The stunning Cliffs of Moher are a top tourist attraction in Ireland and are certainly one for a reason. However, there is nothing like a million tourists taking photos with their iPads to ruin a hot spot. We were determined to get the most out of the iconic landscape.
Lauren and I are BIG on picnics. We have one at least once a week, but when traveling, they occur daily. After spending the night in Lisdoonvarna, a town in proximity to the cliffs, we stopped at the town’s famous Burren Smokehouse to buy some decadent smoked salmon. After sampling a few, I purchased a mix of the cold and hot smoked salmon (500g for 10€) and Lauren picked the whisky, lemon, fennel cold smoked (300g for 9€) and we drove about 15 minutes down the winding coastal road to the Cliffs of Moher.
Before going to the Cliffs, some people at our hostel informed us about spots to avoid the visitor center and paying the 6€/each to see the cliffs. It is a natural landscape, after all, and they don’t block it all off. We drove around the area looking for the “huts” and “farm houses” our acquaintances spoke of, but clearly we had missed a turn somewhere. We did not give up though.
Somewhere past the visitor center (coming from Lisdoonvarna), we saw a farm road on the right which we turned up and drove down for a couple kilometers. All that was there was green pastures and private farm gates. We were beginning to feel a little hopeless, but decided to keep on driving. It was then that a little red car coming from the other direction stopped us. We were sure this gentleman in his 50s was going to inform us that this entire road was private property and to turn around.
When he stopped us, he asked us what we were doing. We bashfully explained that we were trying to view the cliffs without paying and without the hoards of other tourists. After a short conversation about where we came from and him claiming the cliffs to be “better than the Grand Canyon, although I haven’t been to the Grand Canyon”, the Irish farmer told us his property was just up the road and that we could park up his gate and walk up to the Cliffs. We were elated and did just so!
After walking through a black limestone excavation yard, there they were in all their glory and we were THE ONLY people there (although it was clear people had been there before us by the rock/slate stacks everywhere).
We immediately found a flat surface to set up our picnic and have a one-of-a-kind picnic and photo-sesh (and enjoy a bit of Bulmer’s Light Cider since we rarely went anywhere in Ireland without it).
probably the most beautiful bathroom I’ll ever use 😉
The Cliffs of Moher tower the length of over two football fields above the Atlantic Ocean below. There are trails all along to walk the edges, and I mean the edges! There are no guard rails, so you can walk right up and hang your legs over if you desire. Puffin spotting is also a popular activity in the area, although we were not lucky enough to spot one of the cuties.
How do you feel about channeling your inner-Princess Bride and visiting the Cliffs?