Ireland

Cliffs of Moher in the Emerald Ilse (Ireland)

Posted by on 1:53 pm in Ireland Travel, Travel Tips | 7 comments

Cliffs of Moher in Ireland

During my two-week tour of Ireland several years ago, there were two highlights: the delightful basalt columns of the Giant’s Causeway and the Cliffs of Moher. Both sights are impressive and are a great geological marvel. The Cliffs were formed in the Upper Carboniferous Period, around 319 million years ago and consist of shale and sandstone.

Cliffs of Moher Ireland

Cliffs of Moher, Ireland – view from the northern platform

The Cliffs of Moher Ireland (County Clare) are located on the western Irish coastline where it meets the Atlantic Ocean. They stand 214 meters (702 feet) at their highest point and stretch for 8 kilometers (5 miles). There are two platforms you can take a view of the Cliffs – north and south platforms. I ventured up the North side where the O’Brien Tower is located. Depending on how much time you have, you can go up both sides.  You’ll need at least two hours to climb both sides (probably more). It is a bit of a climb. If you have more time, you can walk 5 km to Doolin or hike the coastal trail which coverages 20 km.

Cliffs of Moher in Ireland

Cliffs of Moher in Ireland – view north from the north platform

O’Brien’s Tower is located on the North platform. It was built in the 1830s by Cornelius O’Brien, a descendant of the Kings of Thomond. It is a wonderful observation point. A million tourists visit the Cliffs of Moher Ireland each year.

O'Brien's Tower at Cliffs of Moher Ireland

O’Brien’s Tower at Cliffs of Moher, Ireland

Other Information:

  • Price is 6 euros for adults; children under 16 are free; Seniors are 4 euros
  • Additional 2 euros (1 for children) to access the rooftop area in O’Brien’s Tower
  • It is open year-round but hours will change during season – always open at 9 am and closes at 5 pm in winter and between 6:00-7:30 in the spring and 9:00 pm in July/August. For more info, visit the official website
  • You can stay after the visitor centre closes onsite in case you wish to get a sunset photo (no limit to parking)
  • Bring a sweater because it gets quite windy up on the platforms even during the summer months
  • If you wish to photograph Puffins, they are around from late March to mid July and the best play to view them is from the south platform

Have you been to the Cliffs of Moher? What are your thoughts?

 

Ireland Travel Tips

Posted by on 2:45 pm in Ireland Travel, Travel Tips | 7 comments

Cliffs of Moher, Ireland

Cliffs of Moher, Ireland

I travelled to Ireland several years ago and toured the whole emerald isle (Ireland and Northern Ireland). It is a VERY lovely island. I loved the beautiful countryside and most importantly, the people are the friendliest and funniest lot I have ever met. The men have the sexiest accent is another incentive for the single ladies to visit. Most of my pictures do not have filters; it is that gorgeous there plus I was lucky with weather. So here are my Ireland travel tips!

Ireland Travel Tips!

1. I usually do not advocate taking guided tours but the Irish island has very skinny roads. If you are not a great driver or want a more relaxing vacation, book a tour.  I took a two week tour of the island which of course made me nervous being on a tour bus driving on those roads. I just sat at the back and enjoyed the scenery out the window.

2. This will contradict my above tip but if you are able to rent a car and don’t mind driving the island, go for it. I did not want to do that. I was hesitant about driving in a foreign country (yes on the left side of the road) nor did I want to be stressed out with maps and routes. I rented a car in France for my trip last year and it wasn’t that bad. So buck up and do it. Next time I go to Ireland, I will rent a car.

3. Bring an umbrella plus a rain coat/boots. The weather can change rather quickly plus how do you think those beautiful green landscapes stay so green? Lots of rain. The rain usually doesn’t stick around long.

Blarney Castle, Ireland

Blarney Castle, Ireland

4. I went in July and had almost perfect weather. It is also high season so the big travel sites have long lines. Another good reason for a tour: you get to skip lines. I would suggest going slightly off-season or off-peak. You will save money travelling in the off-season for almost everywhere!

5. Embrace the Guinness! Yes, have a pint for lunch. Maybe skip it at breakfast time but try the beer. If you make it to Dublin, visit the factory. It is a fun tour. Also if you can tour a distillery such as Bushmills near the Giant’s Causeway or Jameson in Dublin, that is fun as well. The best part is the tasting at the end of the tour. Mmmm!

6. Don’t ignore Northern Ireland. I was lucky enough to travel the entire island and it is a MUST!! Northern Ireland has the Giant’s Causeway, Queen’s University, Bushmills, Belfast and the northern coast is spectacular.

Giant's Causeway, Northern Ireland

Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland

7. Overnights – You should stay at least two nights at each location. I say this for most trips in Europe. You may even want to pick a base and travel to and front that place for three or four days. One night is not enough as you’re packing up almost after arriving.

8. Stop at the Waterford Crystal factory for a tour. You get to see moulding, blowing, hand marking and cutting. It is amazing!

9. Enjoy the pub food – from Irish stews to bangers and mash to fish and chips, nothing beats the original!  Ooooh the homemade bread – heaven!!!

10. The music is the other highlight of Ireland. Go see live Irish music as much as you can. We would ask the hotel concierge each night on where is the best local music? We ended up in tiny taverns with locals playing beautiful Irish music.

11. Pick up the Heritage Card. It will save you lots of money since it covers many places throughout the country such as Dublin Castle, Rock of Cashel, Kilkenny Castle, Glendalough and many many many many others.

Dingle Peninsula, Ireland

Dingle Peninsula, Ireland – no filter at all

 So there you have it – a few of my Ireland travel tips! Has anyone else been to Ireland? What are your tips?