The Cliffs of Moher and Howth Cliff Walk, Ireland

When I visited Ireland for Easter, I made sure to plan a trip outside of Dublin so that I would get a chance to see the rest of the country. I did two fantastic day trips, one to the town of Howth about a half hour outside Dublin, and one to the west of Ireland to the Cliffs of Moher, which was a longer trip but one of the most amazing places I’ve ever been. I would highly recommend both if you’re visiting Dublin!

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Howth is a seaside town just outside of Dublin, with a gorgeous cliff path walk. There’s a famous seal that hangs out in the harbor, and tourists love him!
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We ate delicious seafood at one of the many dockside restaurants, before embarking on our cliff walk.
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Howth Lighthouse, celebrating its 200th anniversary this year!

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It was mostly cloudy, as I assumed April in Ireland would be, but we got lucky with a few breaks of sun! This was the gorgeous beginning of our cliff walk:

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There were several trails that split off and were marked by different colored arrows, but they weren’t marked very clearly and we almost went down the advanced trail, which we didn’t really feel up to. We ended up just walking for a while in one direction and reached the top, then turned around, rather than making a loop!

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A few days later, I did a solo day trip to the Cliffs of Moher while my friend Alessandra went to work. It was a long trip – 12 hours total – but it was super easy, with a bus and tourguide, and we covered a lot of ground in those 12 hours.

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Sunrise over the River Liffey as I walked to the start of the bus tour.

We drove straight across to the west of Ireland to the Cliffs of Moher as our first stop. We took a coffee break at the Barack Obama Visitor Centre, in a tiny town (in the middle of nowhere, as our bus driver explained) where Barack Obama’s Irish ancestors came from, which basically put this town on the map.

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I had heard that the Cliffs of Moher were beautiful and not to be missed, but I was completely unprepared for how breathtaking they would be. We had magnificent weather (apparently they are often covered in fog!) and they completely blew me away. I don’t know if my photos do them justice!

 

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The Cliffs of Moher were featured in the movies The Princess Bride (the Cliffs of Insanity) and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (the cave where Dumbledore takes Harry). To me, they were what I pictured as classic Ireland.

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And we were SO LUCKY to get a (mostly) sunny day!IMG_7094

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After the Cliffs of Moher, we headed to The Burren, a rocky landscape that’s often compared to resembling the surface of the moon. It sits on the West Coast of Ireland, and on a clear day (which we had!) you can see the Aran Islands in the distance.

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Aran Islands in the distance

 

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After the Burren, we stopped for lunch in the adorable tiny town of Doolin, and then drove along the Wild Atlantic Way, a scenic coastline drive. We saw lots of farms, including lots of cows, sheep, and baby lambs frolicking! It was the cutest thing.

Our next stop was Corcomroe Abbey, the ruins of a church built in the 12th century.

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IMG_7252 Our final stop was the harbor village of Kinvara, a sweet little seaside town.
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The highlight of the day trip was absolutely the Cliffs of Moher, and I felt like it could have been a few hours shorter, but at least we got our money’s worth by seeing a lot of Ireland on the way back to Dublin.

If you get a chance to go to the Cliffs of Moher, GO!!! It was one of the most incredible places I’ve ever been. It was also really nice to see the Irish countryside, and get a sense of the country beyond the city of Dublin.

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