For any first time visitor to Ireland, a visit to the Cliffs of Moher is highly recommended. Even for the returning visitor, it is a great experience.
Starting out from Dublin, many visitors drive or are driven through the Irish heartlands without much time for a stop, except for a bathroom break.
But for visitors with a desire, a keen desire, to get an authentic travel experience, the journey to the Cliff of Moher should also be part of your experience.
Leaving Dublin, you begin your adventure into Ireland’s Ancient East, that part of Ireland where history is written in the landscape and stories abound.
While the drive from Dublin to the Cliffs of Moher is at least 3 hours, 30 minutes, consider slowing down. An overnight stop can make your trip all the more enjoyable with time to stop and linger, to steep yourself in the Irish landscape. Possible overnight stops that may appeal to you include:
The K Club
Just under an hour from the centre of Dublin, The K Club is a lavish and luxurious resort hotel.
What you will love about the K Club is that it is steeped in history and heritage. The original house was built by wine magnate Hugh Barton of Barton & Guestier. French influences abound with the house build in the style of a French chateau which remain part of the complex today. Indeed, the Barton family owned the estate right up to 1949.
For golfers, the K Club is an obligatory stop. Two courses were developed and designed by Arnold Palmer. Indeed, The Ryder Cup was played here in 2006. As Golf Digest states, this is a place to walk in the footsteps of your golfing heroes.
One of the crown jewels of the Irish hotels, this is an experience that will live with you for many years to come.
Ballyfin is just one of only five Relaix & Chateau properties in Ireland and oozes luxury.
Today the demesne comprises 600 acres. At the heart of the estate lies Ballyfin which is described as the most lavish Regency mansion in Ireland. Over the centuries, Ballyfin has been through many changes of ownership reflecting the changing political, social and economic times in Ireland. Indeed, during most of the 20th century, it was a boys’ boarding school.
In the early 2000s, it was taken over by an American-Irish family and sensitively restored to become what guests today describe as an unbelievably beautiful and sublime experience.
The Savoy Hotel, Limerick
For visitors who prefer a stopover closer to the Cliffs, then, a stopover in the heart of Limerick city could be the answer.
The Savoy Limerick is the city’s only 5* hotel and benefits from a city centre location. The hotel has a pleasant, understated ambience where you can either relax in The Library (a favourite with our Ursula) or enjoy a tipple in the hotel bar.
The hotel concierge, Mike, can guide you as to activities to enjoy, whether checking out the local restaurants or bars. A favourite with the local culturati is The White House bar, famed for its Wednesday evening poetry sessions, ideal if you are feeling poetic about your Irish vacation so far.
Back in 1962, Dromoland Castle, the ancestral home of the Lords Inchiquin, became a luxury hotel. Since then, it has welcomed high profile guests such as American presidents George Bush and Bill Clinton as well as other world leaders such as Nelson Mandela, and Premier Xi of China.
When you walk through the halls of Dromoland Castle, not only will you walking the footsteps of notable political leaders, you are also following in the footsteps of stars such as The Beatles, Mohammed Ali and others.
Apart from being a wonderful stopover, Dromoland Castle is just under an hour from The Cliffs of Moher. For visitors flying back to the US after your Irish vacation, Shannon Airport is convenient, being just twenty minutes drive from the hotel.
The Cliffs of Moher
The Cliffs are best enjoyed on a clear day so it’s always best to check the forecast. Better still is to base yourself for a few days along the County Clare section of The Wild Atlantic Way.
Mornings are busy at The Cliffs when the myriad of tour buses arrive. So we recommend you plan for you visit for later in the afternoon, especially in high season when the crowds are at their peak.
Your visit can be not just viewing the sights of the amazing Cliffs; it can also be an educational experience by taking time to explore the adjacent interpretative centre.
If you are feeling energetic and want to soak in the Wild Atlantic Way experience, consider the coastal walk from The Cliffs of Moher to Doolin – 5 miles/8km, allow 2.5 hours. When you arrive in Doolin, there are many delightful cafes and pubs to rewards your endeavours.
The Cliffs of Moher – unmissable!