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Crossing the Island: Plan a Weekend Jaunt from Dublin to the Cliffs of Moher

Crossing the Island: Plan a Weekend Jaunt from Dublin to the Cliffs of Moher

Katie Rhodes |

Whether you’re of Irish descent or just find yourself daydreaming of this country’s beauty, seeing all of Ireland is a top wish on many people’s bucket list. For those lucky enough to make the trip, Dublin is often a starting and ending point thanks to its accessibility. However, that doesn’t mean all your time in Ireland has to be spent on this side of the island. Consider a weekend jaunt to the Atlantic side to visit the Cliffs of Moher.

The Drive from Dublin to the Cliffs of Moher

Approximate Distance: 286 km (178 miles)
Approximate Travel Time: 4 Hours

If you have a need for speed, the fastest route from Dublin to the Cliffs of Moher is via the M4/M6 motorway. If you leave Dublin early in the morning, you can be in Western Ireland in time for a late breakfast or early lunch.

Need a break? The halfway point between the two destinations is Athlone. Stop here to stretch your legs and get a cup of coffee or even visit a few of their top attractions. Athlone Castle, which sits along the River Shannon, is a popular choice for both adults and children thanks to history and architecture. If you are particularly interested in Irish culture, make a stop at the Derryglad Folk & Heritage Museum, located only a few miles out from the city center.


Getting back in your car, continue along the M6 until you reach Galway. This is where the drive will become more interesting. From here, you’ll take N18 and N67 along the coastline until you reach the Cliffs. While there is a slightly faster route, this is by far the most beautiful. This drive will also afford you numerous photo opportunities as well.

O’Brien’s Tower at the Cliffs of Moher

When you reach your final destination, pause to admire the beauty for an afternoon. The bucolic Cliffs rise to almost 700 feet (at their highest point) above the blue waters of the Atlantic. Many visitors take in the view from O’Brien’s Tower. Built in the 19th century, this vantage point offers spectacular views of the Aran Islands, Galway Bay, the Twelve Pins, and the Maum Turk mountains.

When you leave the Cliffs of Moher, head back up the coastline to nearby Doolin where you can pop in at a pub for a quick bite. If you wish to stay the night, this town also has lodging.