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Cliffs of Moher Short Loop Walk

Hiking route · Shannon
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  • Cliffs of Moher Southern End
    Cliffs of Moher Southern End
    Photo: Josiah Skeats, Macs Adventure
m 140 120 100 80 60 40 5 4 3 2 1 km

Today’s trail teeters atop the iconic Cliffs of Moher with dramatic and breathtaking views never far away.

easy
Distance 5.4 km
1:30 h
83 m
91 m
144 m
56 m

The Cliffs of Moher are one of Ireland’s most celebrated tourist sites and yet they always manage to live up to (and exceed) the high expectations people arrive with. The footpath stays several metres from the edge, and often with a wall protecting you, but it still sucks your breath away to see the ground fall away to the sea 100-200 metres below you. This sheer face of rock continues for as far as you can see along the coastline.

If you can bear to peer over the edge (while staying on the official gravel footpath – not the mud tracks) you will spot secluded bays and interesting rock formations such as archways and columns that are like a geography textbook brought to life. Beside you is a squawking display of aerobatics as seagulls and other birds ride the thermals around the cliffs they call home.

Author’s recommendation

The route we have prepared turns right after 2.9 kilometres, but the cliffs remain just as impressive further on. If you have enough energy it might be worth continuing further, before returning back the same way to this junction.

Profile picture of Josiah Skeats
Author
Josiah Skeats 
Update: January 19, 2023
Difficulty
easy
Technique
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Highest point
144 m
Lowest point
56 m

Track types

Show elevation profile

Safety information

There are a few sections of road with no pavement. Walk on the right-hand side facing the oncoming traffic.

The path is rocky in places; take care as these may be slippery, especially when wet.

The cliff-line is unfenced. Be sure to keep away from the edge and stay on the official gravel track, ignoring the temptation to stray onto the mud paths that go perilously close to the edge. On a windy day, this area is very exposed and extra care must be taken.

Tips and hints

Points of Interest

Cliffs of Moher Visitor Centre

Many people park at the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Centre which has several different viewpoints. I don’t believe the views are more impressive than those you will see during this walk, and it is considerably more crowded, however it might be a nice spot to go for lunch, or to capture that exact photo as you have seen it before.

More information available here: https://www.cliffsofmoher.ie

 

Doolin Cave

The largest stalactite in Europe is not far away, hanging from the ceiling of Doolin Cave 'like a chandelier'. 7.3 metres long, and formed from a single drop of water over thousands of years, it is just one of the sights you will see on a guided tour of the caves.

More information available here: https://doolincave.ie/

 

Food and Drink

There are no opportunities to buy food or drink during this walk, so bring everything you need.

If you choose to continue past the turn-off point for this walk, after 2.6 kilometres you will reach the Visitor Centre which has a café, where you can have lunch or snacks before returning the same way to the junction.

Start

Cliffs of Moher Coastal Walk Car Park (69 m)
Coordinates:
OSI Grid
R 02288 89032
DD
52.943512, -9.454234
DMS
52°56'36.6"N 9°27'15.2"W
UTM
29U 469476 5866083
w3w 
///outcasts.hunt.consequence

Destination

Cliffs of Moher Coastal Walk Car Park

Turn-by-turn directions

0.00km – Start in the Cliffs of Moher Coastal Walk Car Park. Leave the car park and TURN LEFT onto the road with the sign ‘Farm Access Only.’

0.23km – As the paved road turns left, BEAR RIGHT to continue along the gravel cul-de-sac.

0.58km – When you reach two gates ahead TURN LEFT to cross over a stone stile (steps over a wall or fence) and then immediately BEAR RIGHT to continue along the gravel road.

1.00km – CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON over a stone stile to walk towards the Tower of Moher. After 100 metres BEAR RIGHT to cross another stile and continue along a narrow path, walking with the dry wall on your left. Continue along the gravel path enjoying the great views out over the cliffs. There are lots of mud paths which stray close to the edge but it is recommended to stay on the main gravel track keeping the dry-wall and rock slabs on your left.

1.70km – CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON over the stone stile.

2.50km – Look over your left shoulder to spot an archway at the bottom of the cliffs.

2.90km – TURN RIGHT through the pair of double gates (which may be open already) to walk on a wide gravel road through a quarry.

3.20km – As the path opens up into the quarry BEAR LEFT onto the winding lane towards a distant gate and road.

3.50km – Pass around the edge of the gate and after 100 metres TURN RIGHT onto the road.

4.10km – As the road forks BEAR RIGHT following the sign to Cliffs of Moher Coastal Walk Car Park.

4.70km – BEAR RIGHT ignoring the track on your left headed towards farm buildings. After 100 metres BEAR LEFT to remain on the paved road.

5.10km – As the road forks with two gates directly ahead TURN RIGHT. From this junction you should be able to see the car park slightly uphill on your right.

5.30km - Finish back at the car park.

Note


all notes on protected areas

Coordinates

OSI Grid
R 02288 89032
DD
52.943512, -9.454234
DMS
52°56'36.6"N 9°27'15.2"W
UTM
29U 469476 5866083
w3w 
///outcasts.hunt.consequence
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Equipment

Sturdy hiking boots, warm clothes and a waterproof/wind-break layer are all required. The weather can change quickly so be sure to take all equipment even if the weather looks okay.

This walk is isolated with no opportunities to buy food or water so be sure to bring enough with you.

If you would like a physical map you can buy OSI Discovery Sheets 51 & 57.


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Difficulty
easy
Distance
5.4 km
Duration
1:30 h
Ascent
83 m
Descent
91 m
Highest point
144 m
Lowest point
56 m

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