Doolin to Cliffs of Moher Walk
Enjoy a spectacular coastal walk on this popular route in County Clare. The cliff top hike runs from the little village of Doolin to the Moher Tower at the southern end. There's fabulous views of the Atlantic coast and lots of wildlife to look out for on the way. At peak times there are 30000 birds from 20 different species to see on the cliffs. Keep your eyes peeled for puffins and razorbills in particular. Sea life is also in abundance with grey seals, porpoises, dolphins, minke whales and basking sharks to look out for in the waters below.
Other features on the route include the fascinating geology of the area with Namurian shale and sandstone dating from 300-million years ago. There's also an excellent visitor centre with interactive media displays covering the geology, history, flora and fauna of the cliffs. The centre includes a nice cafe for refreshments after your exercise.
The walk starts in Doolin and heads south west to the coast, with views of the Aille River which reaches the sea near the base of the Cliffs of Moher. Here you pick up the coastal path and continue past Doonagore Castle on your left. The 16th-century tower house is now a private holiday home.
You continue south to O'Brien's Tower which marks the highest point on the cliffs at around 214 metres (702 ft). The tower was constructed in 1835 as an observation tower for the many Victorian tourists visiting the area. From here there are wonderful views as far as Galway Bay and the Aran Islands. Loop Head at the southern tip of Clare and the mountains of Kerry are also visible.
From the tower you head on to Stokeen Cliff and then to Moher Tower at the southern end of the cliffs. The ruined watchtower was built in the early 19th century and stands on Hag's Head, where the cliffs form an unusual rock formation resembling a woman's head looking out to sea. It's a striking location and makes a fitting end to the walk.
The cliffs can also be approached from the village of Liscannor, located just to the east of the southern section. The Burren Way long distance trail can be followed west to reach the site.
To continue your coastal walking in County Clare head to Loop Head. The peninsula is much quieter and includes great views of the River Shannon Estuary and the Atlantic Coast.
You can virtually explore the trail using the google street view link below!
Doolin to Cliffs of Moher Open Street Map - view and print off detailed map
Doolin to Cliffs of Moher Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking
Unfortunately only within the grounds of the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience are dogs on a leash permitted. No dogs are allowed on the Cliffs coastal trail or inside the visitor centre building (unless they are guide or service dogs).