Why Ireland's Cliffs of Moher Are the Ultimate Must-See Destination
Oh, Ireland. From its captivating, craggy coastlines to its alluring, pristine landscapes, there is no denying this European island in the North Atlantic is one of the most special places to visit in the world. And while the entire country oozes with enchantment, if you want to experience real magic, you've got to make your way to the infamous Cliffs of Moher.
When my husband and I were plotting our itinerary for exploring Ireland, I demanded — in the nicest way possible, of course! — these cliffs make the cut. Because how can you venture around the Irish countryside and not make the five-hour-out-of-the-way drive to these majestic cliffs? Am I right? As you can probably guess, our journey was a bit long — especially along the narrow, bumpy, countryside roads — but oh so worth it. Taking in the views from this natural wonder was one of the most surreal moments I have ever experienced, to say the least. So if an Irish adventure is in your near future, or simply on your life bucket list, I highly recommend squeezing in time for the Cliffs of Moher. No matter the length of the drive, you won't regret it. Just take a look for yourself . . .
Get ready to pick your jaw up off the ground from the mesmerizing, majestic views.
As soon as we parked our teeny-tiny compact rental car and made our way up to the cliffs, down dropped my jaw. I knew the views would be spectacular, but I had no idea they would be this breathtaking. Now I understand why the Cliffs of Moher are the most visited natural tourist attraction in all of Ireland.
What amazed me the most about these awe-inspiring cliffs was their grandeur scale. Just look at the tiny colored dots on top of the cliffs in the picture above. Can you believe those specks are people? Soaring 700 feet above the Atlantic Ocean, these rugged cliffs portray nature in its purest form. Breathing in the fresh sea-salt air while standing firm in my stance soaking in the surrounding beauty, I couldn't help but become hypnotized by the roaring waves crashing into the coastline below.
If you're afraid of heights, have no fear, as there are stone walls to cling onto.
One of the many magnificent things about a visit to the Cliffs of Moher is how accommodating this destination is when it comes to sightseeing options. For instance, once you park and make your way through the visitor center — which is another cool experience in itself! — the stone pathway to the cliffs takes about a mere five minutes to walk. To continue on with your journey of views, you can then turn right to make your way up a paved hill (which is both stroller and wheelchair accessible) that offers more breathtaking scenery.
This walkway is perfect for those with small children or people who aren't the biggest fans of heights, as there are stone walls bordering the edge of the cliffs.
Now, if you are a lover of heights and feel the urge to have an adrenaline rush . . .
If heights are your jam, there are dirt paths (with no railings!) leading to more coastal captivation.
Remember how I mentioned if you turn to the right when approaching the cliffs that you would be led by a paved walkway? Well, if you happen to turn to the left, a spine-chilling experience awaits! Here, you will find a dirt path spanning as far as the eye can see. If you have the time, you can hike along the cliffs for hours, taking in the jaw-dropping views. This option is perfect for those yearning to escape the crowds and simply connect with nature.
You can even tip-toe your way to the edge as much as you want . . . sorry, Mom!
If you're an adrenaline addict like me, you're in for a real treat when it comes to these mighty cliffs, as you can tip-toe your way to the edge as much as your adventurous spirit allows. Just be prepared for gusty winds. Because these enormous cliffs are staggeringly high and planted right next to the ocean, the winds surrounding this area are intense!
For comfort — and for the sake of keeping your belongings! — I recommend dressing in layers and leaving hats, sunglasses, and any other items that could possibly be swept away behind in the car.
Be sure not to miss climbing to the top of the cliffs' mini castle.
There's no question that the Cliffs of Moher are steeped with rich heritage and tradition, and one of the best ways to take a step back in time is by climbing the iconic "mini castle," also known as O'Brien's Tower. This tower marks the highest point of the cliffs and was built by a local landowner, Cornelius O'Brien, as a viewing point for 19th century visitors. While the spiral staircase to the top of the tower can be a bit dizzying, it is an experience not to miss!
Despite the length of the drive, the moments from your window will be forever worth it.
Like I said, for us, making the way to the cliffs was a bit out of the way from where we were staying, which was closer to Cork. Yet, despite the long drive, I couldn't have asked for a more memorable experience. This journey allowed us to explore so much more of the lush countryside than we ever could have imagined. The rolling hills, the illuminated green fields, not to mention all the adorable sheep we spotted along the way — those moments from our car window are ones I hope to forever reminisce on.
Ireland, you truly are a beauty!