The best way to explore Ireland’s beautiful Cliffs of Moher is with Paddywagon Tours.
As an island, there are many beautiful lookout points around Ireland that provide panoramic views of the ocean. However, no coast can provide the kind of views that can be seen from the Cliffs of Moher on the Western edge of Europe. They are a definite ‘must-see’. Luckily, Paddywagon Tours makes it easy to get there by running daily tours from Dublin, which includes a scenic drive with sightseeing stops all along the coast.
The tour departs Dublin between 7:30 am to 8:00 am depending on your pick-up location. There are three pick-up points around the small city of Dublin, making it conveniently close to most of the city’s major accommodations. The Paddywagon tour buses cannot be missed, decorated in bright green with vibrant orange writing and a large leprechaun’s face displayed the sides. The tour bus accommodates many passengers, but Paddywagon’s tours do book up quickly so it’s wise to arrange the tour in advance if you can.
Departing Dublin, your driver will also act as your tour guide, pointing out landmarks and imparting some history of Ireland. These landmarks span from Viking to Medieval to Christian times and include the ruins of monasteries, castles, and remnants of ancient housing.
The first stop of the day is the Fishing Village of Kinvara where tourists are given some time to stretch their legs by walking along the harbor.
Kinvara is a very quaint village with colorfully painted buildings and little fishing boats docked in the harbor. It also provides a distant view of Dunguaire Castle.
The tour will then drive along the coast of Galway Bay. This road is part of the Wild Atlantic Way which follows the entire West Coast of Ireland and provides beautiful views of the ocean. The next stop is the Burren, its landscape featuring the Mini Cliffs. Tourists are given some time to walk over the limestone rock to the edge and take lots of photos. It is the perfect opportunity to get excited for the Cliffs of Moher, seeing as the Mini Cliffs are a beautiful and powerful sight on their own.
Following the Mini Cliffs is a lunch stop in Doolin Village. On the way in, the driver will inform passengers of the different eatery options there are within the village. As a small Irish town, it has many pubs in the area serving seafood, soups, sandwiches, and other hot meals. The clam chowder is a popular dish and made with incredibly fresh fish. After lunch, there is some time to explore the village of Doolin; there are some cute shops to browse, and one of these shops serves coffees, teas, and ice cream.
Finally, it’s time to head to the Cliffs of Moher! Admission to the cliffs is included in the Paddywagon’s tour so the driver will hand over the necessary ticket as you step off the bus. There are a couple of options for walking here; for the more physically fit you can climb up a set of stairs to a lookout point, or you can take a stroll along the edge where you will be able to walk as far as you want. Harry Potter fans may recognize a rock structure in the sea close to the bottom of the cliffs; it’s featured in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and you can get a perfect view of it as you walk along the cliffs.
The Cliffs of Moher stretch for almost 10 kilometers, so tourists are given an hour and a half to wander and to visit the gift shop and museum which are actually set inside the cliffs. The museum features the geology of the Cliffs of Moher, which is a UNESCO Global Geopark that is a haven for wildlife and seabirds. A theatre allows visitors to view the different species of the area as they fly around and swim beneath the cliffs.
After the stop at Cliffs of Moher, the Paddywagon tour will head back to Dublin; however, there will be a short stop in the village of Bunratty. This is a chance to stretch your legs again, especially to take photos of Bunratty Castle. Unfortunately, the castle is currently closed so there’s no chance to explore the interior; however, with only half an hour to spare in the town, there isn’t time to do much more than take exterior pictures and visit a few shops.
There is the Woolen Mills store where you can find some good souvenirs and a café above that where you can get a second dose of ice cream. Or, there is the traditional Irish pub called Durty Nelly’s where you can get a pint of Guinness if you’d prefer.
The tour returns to Dublin around 8:00 pm. As the bus approaches the capital city, the bus driver will share some recommendations for dinner. After a long day of sightseeing, you’ll want a good meal and rest for the evening!
You can book this tour online at https://www.paddywagontours.com/.
Paddywagon Photo via Paddywagon’s Public Facebook Profile
All other photos by Mackenzie Boers