Friday, July 24, 2009

The Cliffs of Moher

In Ireland, mention “the Cliffs” and faces light up with a spark of knowing pride.  Everyone knows that “the Cliffs” are the Cliffs of Moher, one of the most beautiful spots in Ireland.  Rising more than 200 meters above the Atlantic Ocean and stretching for more than 8 km along Ireland’s western coast, the Cliffs of Moher offer a spectacular glimpse of Europe’s western-most point.  With the waves crashing below, birds soaring overhead, and a sheer plunge at your feet, the natural drama needs little explication. 

The Cliffs draw thousands of tourists each year, and a few years ago a visitor’s center was built to handle the traffic.  Set into the hillside, it is easy to miss the building itself, but within there is a gift shop, a coffee shop, a restaurant, plenty of restrooms, and the Atlantic Edge, an interactive exhibit about the geological and biological features of the Cliffs (for an additional charge).  And on a hot day, I highly recommend the soft-serve ice cream cones from the coffee shop.  Yummy!


The Gypsy’s Essentials
  • Location: on the west coast of Ireland in County Clare
  • Price:  the Cliffs themselves are free, however there is a parking charge of €8 per car. Atlantic Edge Exhibit: Adult: €4.95; Family(2+4): €13.95; Child(4-16): €2.95; Child(under 4): Free (prices for the 2009 season)
  • Who will love it? Everyone!  The Cliffs themselves are gorgeous, and on a fine day, there is nothing better to do in Ireland.  The walking paths are nicely-groomed, and those with mobility limitations have access to significant parts of the walking paths.
  • Arrangements: In miserable weather (rain, fog, etc) the Cliffs aren’t much fun.  They can be socked in with fog, limiting or even eliminating visibility.  I highly recommend calling the visitor’s center ahead of your arrival to check the weather conditions.
  • Notes: the visitor’s center is well-equipped with options for food, gifts, and clean restrooms.

The Cliffs open to visitors at 9 am all year, but closing time varies depending on the season.  Check the website for more information.  In addition to visiting the Cliffs on your own, scuba, horseback, boating, and hiking outfitters offer trips to the Cliffs as well for a range of different vantage points on one of Ireland’s greatest landmarks. 

The Cliffs of Moher
County Clare, Ireland
Tel +353 (0)65 7086141

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Kristen Gill said...

Love the cliffs! Been there many times myself, and am still amazed by their beauty.


Nancy from Ciao Bambino said...

We just got back from Galway. We didn't make it down to the Cliffs of Moher because the drive was too far with seven wild children. Your beautiful pictures will have to suffice! Check out our Top 5 Family Friendly Activities in Galway.

Amy @ The Q Family said...

OH! What a view!

Angela K. Nickerson said...

Thanks for your comments!

Nancy, I am so sorry you guys didn't get down to the Cliffs. It is a great place for kids to burn off some energy. There's always next time. :)

Tim Marks said...

Really like the shot with the flowers in the foreground. Looks like a great place to spend some serious photo time.

Wanderluster said...

So - how many days a year is the weather actually as lovely as shown in your pics? :-)

Heather on her travels said...

There's something wild but relaxing about being on the clifs above the sea. I love Cornwall for the same reason.

Angela K. Nickerson said...

I get the weather question a lot, and here's the thing about Irish weather: it changes. In some ways it reminds me of Hawaii -- a little rain, a little fog, some sun, maybe some wind -- all in the same day.

I was there for 2 weeks in June, and we had all kinds of weather (no snow). In fact, I went to the Cliffs a total of 3 times on this trip:
1. (with friend) Gorgeous, warm and sunny.
2. (with group) So foggy you could hardly see your hand in front of your face -- so we drove off to explore the Burren instead where it was sunny and gorgeous.
3. (with group) Returned 2 days later to gorgeous, clear skies and a cold wind off the coast.

I think flexibility is key when traveling in Ireland. And I've been told that weather forecasting in Ireland is rather imprecise because their weather comes from the oceans primarily and can be really unpredictable. That's why I recommend calling ahead when going to the Cliffs -- or anything similar. :)

marina villatoro said...

ohmygod! I was there 18 years ago. This totally brought back memories. Only we saw about 2 meters in front of us, but the trip was still amazing!

jessiev said...

soooo beautiful!

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