The Cliffs of Moher and the Burren - The Edge of the World
Social activity programme at GCI
Buy discounted tickets from us at the school
The Cliffs of Moher are one of the most iconic places to visit in Ireland and with very good reason. Their stunning beauty is unrivalled. There are plenty of day tours running from Galway to the cliffs. They are located on the edge of the rocky Burren landscape, which is equally as impressive as the cliffs.
If you’re looking to go on a day tour to the Cliffs of Moher and the Burren, we sell discounted tickets here at GCI.
The trip lasts a full day and includes stopping points along the way. On this tour, you will venture through the heart of the Burren, a stop at the Cliffs of Moher, Dunguaire Castle and the Ailwee Caves.
We recommend that you be prepared for any kind of weather as it changes quite frequently in Ireland. Bring a packed lunch, a bottle of water, a warm jumper, sun cream, a camera and waterproof clothing.
The Cliffs of Moher
The cliffs tower at over 200 meters from the ocean and span 8km in length. Be sure to bring a camera as the views of the Atlantic Ocean, the Aran Islands and Connemara are out of this world. Sunsets here see the sky turn a kaleidoscope of amber, amethyst, rose-pink and deep garnet-red.
For all the Harry Potter fans, the cliffs feature in “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows” when Dumbledore enters a cave to destroy Voldemort’s Horcrux.
Just down below the cliffs, big wave surfers have been flocking to the area to ride one of the biggest wave spots in the world; Aileen’s wave. See if you can spot a few surfers when you visit!
There is a long walkway that runs the length of the cliffs and we recommend taking a stroll to take in the views while you're here. Have your camera ready!
Stretching across northern Clare, the rocky, windswept Burren region is a unique striated lunar-like landscape of barren grey limestone that was shaped beneath ancient seas, then forced high and dry by a great geological cataclysm. It covers 250 sq km of exposed limestone, and 560 sq km in total.
The best time of the year to visit The Burren is in the spring or summer months as this is wildflower season. Wildflowers in spring give the Burren brilliant, if ephemeral, colour amid its stark beauty. You'll find such colour peering up through the cracks in the rock.
The Burren region is unlike any other and has to be experienced firsthand to fully understand the significance of the landscape.
The Dunguaire Castle is located in a beautiful part of county Galway. This castle, which was built in 1520, sits on the edge of Galway Bay and the seaside town of Kinvara. Originally, the castle was home to the King of Connacht, Guaire Aidhne. The stunning setting of the castle makes this 75 foot tall castle the most photographed castle in Ireland!
Dunguaire Castle was built in 1520 by the Hynes Clan who were a prominent family in the area since 662. In the 17th century the castle was passed onto the Martyn clan of Galway who remained in the stonghold until 1924. It was Oliver St. John Gogarty, a well known surgeon andwriter who bought and restored the castle and made it a meeting place for literary greats like George Bernard Shaw, Lady Gregory, J.M Synge and W.B. Yeats.
Only a short distance away from Galway, Doolin is considered by some to be traditional Irish music’s capital of Ireland. The small town is in West County Clare. On a clear day it’s visible from GCI’s windows in Salthill. It’s a great place to stay or make a short stop when visiting the Burren or the Cliffs of Moher for your lunch or for warm cup of tea. You can also get to the Aran Islands from Doolin pier if you wish!
County Clare has always been a hotspot for traditional Irish music. In the sixties and seventies there was a traditional Irish Music Revival and during this time the two most talked about places to hear traditional Irish music were Dublin and Clare. Today, Doolin has been coined the music capital of Ireland for the calibre of musicians that make their way there to play tunes in the local pubs.
If you're interested in extreme sports and want to do more exploring of Clare by yourself, Doolin is a popular stop for rock climbers and surfers. In the last 30 years surfing has become a huge industry along The Wild Atlantic Way. There’s a Rock Climbing and caving centre that’s worth checking out, but is only open in the summer months if you care to come back! Doolin has a small surf school, but if you’re an absolute beginner you might want to consider going to Lahinch instead.
The ancient Ailwee cave is the most impressive caving system in all of Clare. At the entrance to the cave, visitors are greeted with the remains of one of the last bears in Ireland. The cave features an underground river and waterfall, as well as many large stalactites and stalagmites. Please be advised, the Ailwee caves are only available seasonally.