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The Cliffs of Moher in Ireland: A Bucket List Destination

No trip to the Emerald Isle is complete without stopping to see these stunning cliffs. At the westernmost edge of Ireland, the rugged Cliffs of Moher tower almost 702 feet above sea level. Considered by many to be the absolute best place to visit in Ireland, this jagged coastline stretches for five miles along the ocean. There are surely few places in Ireland more dramatic than the striated limestone cliffs, which are constantly being lashed by the Atlantic waves and winds. When not shrouded by thick, gray fog and sheets of rain, it’s possible to see as far west as the Aran Islands (the view from the top is one of the most iconic in the world). For many, Ireland’s unmanicured western coast is something of a dream trip — and the Cliffs of Moher are often a highlight.

Where are the Cliffs of Moher? Any trip to Ireland should include a detour to the Cliffs of Moher, which form the western border of County Clare. They begin just north of Liscannor village, which is less than an hour’s drive from Shannon International Airport. If you’re driving the 1,554-mile scenic route, the Wild Atlantic Way, you’ll encounter the cliffs region as you work your way up Route 478.

When is the best time to visit? Plan to visit Ireland during the end of the shoulder season (April and May) or the high summer season (June through August). If you’d like to avoid the crowds, however, plan your trip during the shoulder season: According to the Visitor Center, crowds are particularly thick during the months of July and August. The hour of your visit can greatly impact the experience, too. Arrive early in the morning or after 4 p.m. to avoid congestion (and, if you’re lucky, catch a spectacular sunset spill across the headlands).

They’ve Starred in Major Motion Pictures. Even if you haven’t spent weeks or months ogling photographs of the Cliffs of Moher, you probably still recognize this windswept lip of Ireland. That’s because the cliffs have starred in a number of blockbuster hits, like “Harry Potter & the Half Blood Prince” (a forbidding place where Harry Potter and Professor Dumbledore seek a hidden Horcrux) and “The Princess Bride,” where they were known as the Cliffs of Insanity.