Hike the path on the edge of the sheer Cliffs of Moher that drop 200 metres to the Atlantic Ocean on the west coast of Ireland. On a clear day you can see the Aran Islands and Bay of Galway from the cliffs formed over 320 million years ago in County Clare.
Our Starting Point – Hags Head
The 13 kilometre panoramic walk from Hags Head to Doolin took us four and a half hours with a break and a snack at the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Centre and many photo stops. There is a car park in Hags Head where you can avoid the crowds; it only costs two euros. Signs for the car park are on the main road. A narrow windy road goes past other farms before you reach the car park.
The path winds along the coast past farms with cows and sheep grazing on the lush green rolling hills. Thirty local landowners have granted permission for walkers to use their land.
The hike from Hags Head to the Visitor centre is 5km; allow one and a half to two hours. Allow for extra time if you want to see the exhibition in the Visitor centre (entry is six euros per person).
The hike from the Visitor centre to Doolin is 8 km, allow two and a half to three hours. O’Briens Tower stands near the highest point of the cliffs. (214 metres) There’s a sea stack (67 metres high) close to the tower that was originally part of the Cliffs of Moher.
The path continues along the cliffs until you reach Doolin. Make sure you follow the detour that takes you from the cliff edge for a short part of the hike. (follow the signs to Doolin ) Coastal erosion from the waves crashing at the bottom of the cliffs has caused sections of the upper cliffs to collapse. The cliff near the detour is very dangerous if you don’t follow the signs. My stomach turned when I saw a girl climb from the path down to a cliff ledge to take a selfie.
Walking towards Doolin is easier as it’s lower than Hags Head.
Getting around the Cliffs of Moher
A shuttle bus runs from Spring until the end of October. The last bus leaves from Doolin for the Visitor Centre and Kilconnel (close to Hags Head car park) at 1730pm. For more information, bus timetables and a map of the path, visit cliffsofmohercoastalwalk.ie
The dirt path is well sign posted and isn’t difficult, it’s very close to the cliff edge and not advised if you have a fear of heights. It’s dangerous in high winds or low visibility. Wear a good pair of walking shoes; hiking boots aren’t necessary.
If you arrive in Doolin after the last bus, like we did, there’s a sign with a phone number for a taxi near the end of the hike.
When to go
Our hike was in late May before the Summer crowds arrive. The weather is best for the hike between Spring and late October. The Cliffs of Moher are open for viewing all year round; except in extreme weather. Visit cliffsofmoher.ie
Stay in Doolin
One of the highlights of our stay in Ireland, Doolin is a great little Irish town. It’s a good base to go to the Aran Islands or cruise the Cliffs of Moher from Doolin Pier. Head to O Connors Pub for a bit of craic and traditional Irish music. The hospitality and extra touches at Dalys House B&B were the best we experienced in Ireland. The Breakfast buffet will keep you going for the day !