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County Clare – Doolin & The Cliffs of Moher

For many good reasons, most visitors to Ireland have the Cliffs of Moher on their “must see” list. The cliffs and the surrounding area are beautiful and unique to this part of Ireland. There are a variety of ways to see the cliffs, but some enhance the experience more than others:

- Guided Bus Tour

- Drive

- Bus Éireann

- Boat

- Hiking


Guided Bus Tours are available from Dublin and Galway and stop at other sights in County Clare. The bus tours only offer just a short visit to the cliffs, but the visit can be accomplished without checking out of your hotel room and without the stress of driving, etc. You can get referrals to guided bus tours from your hotel, B&B or from the web.

The other four methods for seeing the cliffs usually require an overnight stay near the cliffs. It can be done in one long day without staying the night, but this is not my preference. My preferred place to stay is Doolin with a variety of B&B’s, restaurants, and music pubs. Lisdoonvarna, Liscanoor, and Ennistymon are good alternate places to stay. When driving from Galway to Bunratty (or the reverse) a detour to the cliffs is practical.

I covered Bus Éireann routes (350) and times in the previous Clare blog. The bus goes directly to the cliffs without a bus change from Galway (or Ennis). The same bus is available for a short hop from Doolin to the cliffs and can be used for the return trip to Doolin

On a good weather day there are two great ways to see the cliffs: Hiking and Boat. The definition of “good weather” is different for each type of transport. Crashing waves on the shore and high swells indicate bad weather for the boat. This can happen even if the weather is sunny or still. A perfectly still sea is not required, just not a rough sea. Lashing rain is the only indicator of bad weather for hiking to the cliffs. For the hike it is still best to take a rain jacket and to carry some water. Hiking boots are not required. The boat ride and the hike both take about two hours. The hike will require another hike back or a bus ride back to Doolin, my preferred method.

Ferry to Cliffs
View of Inisheer from the ferry

Two tour companies provide boat tours of the cliff:

Both boat operators also provide service to the A