So you came all the way to Ireland and you’re not going to walk the Cliffs?
If you want the Ireland experience that cinema has promised you, walk the Burren Way! You’ll see stone crafted walls, pebble paths, roaring green hills, grazing horses, cows relaxing on peek edges, and the star of it all – the great Cliffs of Moher.
The ocean carving its name into the earth.
You are walking paths of history; creating new history with every step; you can feel it in your toes. The salty air brushing your cheeks; whispering in your ear. It’s worth it.
It’s all so very f*cking worth it.
What Every Travel Blog (Including Mine) Will Tell You
The Cliffs of Moher A.K.A The Princess Bride‘s “Cliffs of Insanity” is a must (quadruple the emphasis on must) visit.
Located on the western shores along the Wild Atlantic Way, the cliffs are truly a sight to be seen.
When traveling to the Cliffs of Moher, you have a few different options. There are companies that provide day trips from Dublin or you can rent a car and drive to see the Cliffs yourself. The drive from Dublin will take around 3 hours if you don’t make any pit stops.
That being said I highly recommend making plans to spend a few days in Doolin (1 of my 2 favorite places in Ireland) and take your time on The Cliffs.
The Whole Shabang | Burren Way
The Starting Line | From Doolin
The start of the trail is pretty self explanatory. From the photo below you can see signs pointing you in the right direction, but if you are unsure once you arrive don’t be afraid to ask. Everyone we encountered while in Doolin was very kind and gave good instruction on how to successfully conquer the trail.
Bring Snacks & Plenty of Water
Obviously bring lots of H2O but don’t forget to pack the snacks too. We purchased snacks from the reception area of our lodging.
Where We Stayed | Doolin Hostel
We loved our stay at the Doolin Hostel.
I think the term hostel scares some people off but everything about our experience here was perfectly satisfactory (and we stayed in a few hostels during our trip that were less than ideal… so that’s speaking from experience).
The Hostel was in the perfect location and the staff was extremely friendly and helpful; especially when it came to advice for our coastal trek.
What to Know | Full Coastal Walk
Here Are Your options
- It’s about a 9 mile adventure from Doolin to Hags Head/Kilconnel. (I included tail map photos below).
- You can make this distance a bit shorter by either bussing your way from Doolin to the Cliffs of Moher Visitors Center (instead of walking there) or stopping at the Visitors Center, which is about half way along the Cliffs. From the Visitors Center a shuttle service is provided back to Doolin for a small fee.
- If you continue on to the end of the trek (Hags Head), there is a shuttle in Kilconnel which will take you back to Doolin – this is where it can get a little tricky. We purchased our tickets for this shuttle at the Visitors Center, but when we arrived at the stop, unfortunately, the tickets we purchased weren’t valid, so we went with a different company and re-purchased tickets right then and there. Honestly, it didn’t bother us because we were only out about 8 euros, but it is something to be aware of.
9 Miles seems like a crazy excursion but the sights were so breathtaking and the trail was relatively flat; it wasn’t extremely challenging. Honestly, I couldn’t have imagined visiting the cliffs any other way. Plus we took our time. We began our walk at 7am and our entire day was dedicated to the experience.
The trail was so void of people it felt like an intimate encounter with nature rather than a tourist trap. There is something to be said for that considering the Cliffs of Moher are one of the most popular destinations of Ireland.
(Also) Just So You Know
We did stop at the Visitors Center for a restroom break, a snack, and a coffee. They also have a few gift shops there. I did appreciate the fact when constructing the Center they didn’t make huge infrastructure changes; as far as placing railings along the Cliffs edge or things like that; but the place was busy – especially inside.
There are some scary points along the trail but nothing too overwhelming (no cliff edging). You should know that the entire Burren Way along the coast and the cliffs are railing free – meaning the cliff drops off with no safety net.
I am a person who has been terrified of heights my entire life and I did it, so you’ll be fine!
I also want to note that the only place along the trail you can drive (up) to is the visitors center. All of the magic you see from my images here were captured along the trail and can only be accessed by walking.
If that doesn’t help motivate you, I don’t know what will.
Tips to Make the Most of Your Stroll
Stop! Don’t rush. Take your time. This is everything Ireland promised it would be. You will remember these moments for the rest of your life.
Not rushing is the best piece of advice I can give to you. There is no place like the Cliffs of Moher and no picture can truly capture its powerful beauty.
Bust out those snacks. Take a seat. Have a little picnic. Breath. It’s all so earth churning-ly amazing.
What They Don’t Tell You
It’s a rush. Everything is perfect. Heart unbarred. Mind cloud free. The surroundings are what you read about in your favorite fiction novels.
The day was slightly overcast but sunny all the same. The only sounds surrounding me were waves – pushing, pulling, curling, frothing, smashing. The air – clean, saline, like a thick blanket I could feel its weight on my skin. Everything is so alive. Here, you can lay in the grass and feel the earth pulsing.
After this experience you will never be the same human ever again – these types of adventures are transcending. The Cliffs can make you feel small in the greatest way possible. They have the power to teach you beauty in simplicity, the perfection within miraculous creations, how little we truly know about the world, and how incredibly significant it is to see things, feel things, beyond our own backyard.
The End of the Road
Cheers! You made it to the finish line and just created one of the greatest experiences of your lifetime.
Until next time,