Day Tripping to Cliffs of Moher from Dublin
The Cliffs of Moher are Ireland's most dramatic natural landmark. 5 miles of 500 ish foot high cliffs, imposing and beautiful as hell, are a legendary part of any trip to Ireland. With a little planning, it's really easy to do these as a (long) day trip from Dublin.
I don't typically like guided tours. The often exhausting, challenging journey of traveling without tours makes the destination that much more sweet. Guided tours take away this rewarding aspect of traveling, but I knew it was only possible to see the Cliffs of Moher from Dublin through an agency, or renting a car, which I wasn't quite ready to do on my own at the time. After searching for a budget option, I found Paddywagon Tours, which makes a full day sightseeing affair out of the trip from Dublin to the cliffs. For only 40 euros, you get to see a lot of the Irish countryside that you wouldn't otherwise see.
The day started early at 6 am with the long drive from the east side of Ireland to the west. Along the way, we stopped at several different castles and natural landmarks, complete with a very cheerful Irish tour guide who provided interesting facts about the country's history. After a couple hours, we reached the cliffs!
The first views of the cliffs proved to be absolutely breathtaking. The majestic cliffs rise vertically out of the sea like a burgeoning force, at once silencing you with awe and eliciting a childlike excitement within. Several dozen buses drop tourists off at the center, but to get some peace and quiet with the incredible nature, just head along one of the paths to the left or right and find a less crowded viewpoint. Be prepared for chilly weather and crazy cold winds, the cliffs' proximity to the sea make for fast and freezing gusts of wind. I went in the winter, and apparently got really lucky with the weather - it can get super cloudy to the point that you can't see the cliffs, but it was sunny and clear when I visited. Also watch out for leprechauns that I swear are going to pop out and steal your loot at any given moment. After a couple hours in pure bliss at the cliffs, we headed back towards Dublin and arrived just after sunset. The perfect day trip!
Ireland did not disappoint!