"Our tours are about the journey not just the destination and travelling from Dublin City to The Cliffs of Moher is a treat all in itself."
It takes you from the developed east with it's industry and hectic pace of life through the sleepy plains of the midlands dominated by beautiful green rolling hills and finishes on the western tip of Europe, a concoction of crashing waves roaring winds and awesome coastal scenery. Along the way you will pass through eight counties of Ireland and an array of scenery, towns & villages and sites of historic importance lie just off the main road.
Below you will find some of our favourite highlights of the journey to the cliffs...
Your journey to the cliffs will take you through The Queens County - County Laois. A five minute drive from the main road will take you to one of the many castles that dot the landscape of Ireland - The Rock of Dunamase. What used to be one of the most important castles on the island, the home of the MacMurrough clan now lays as an atmospheric ruin with local stories of spirits and treasure attached. Great views across the surrounding countryside await.
The Rolling Green Hills of the Midlands & The Curragh Racecourse
Your day tour to the Cliffs of Moher will take you through the stunning rolling green hills of the midlands where you can get your perfect Emerald Isle shot. As you pass through the plains of Kildare you will encounter the Curragh Racecourse. A course that dates back to the 18th century and one of the many racecourses that form part of Kildare's horse county. Keeps your eyes out for some of the most expensive horses in the world as they gallop along the ancient track.
The mountains that look more like hills are the Slieve Bloom Mountains between County Offaly and County Laois in the midlands of Ireland. Said to be the area where the legendary giant Fionn MacCumhaill learned the arts of war, these beautiful understated mountains offer great walks treks and a host of adventure activities.
It was from the town of Moneygall where a young shoemaker by the name of Falmouth Kearney left when he was 19 years old back in 1851. The country had been ravaged by famine and many Irish where looking for new lives in America. Falmouth Kearney like many Irish became involved in the construction industry in New York City, started a family and made a new life for himself. He went on to have a daughter by the name of Mary Ann. The current president Barack O'Bama is the great, great grand-son of Mary Ann and one of the 22 US presidents with Irish blood. Take a stop on your way to the cliffs at his ancestral village Moneygall and see the home where his ancestors once lived.
Doonagore Towerhouse & Doolin Village
The stunning Doonagore Towerhouse stands overlooking the crashing waves of the wild Atlantic. This unsual cylinder Gaelic towerhouse can be found off the beaten path on the way to the quiant village of Doolin. Here you can also hop on a boat and see the Cliffs from the ocean.
Named after the Celtic Goddess Sionna, the broad majestic Shannon is the queen of Ireland's rivers. Stretching over 360km in length the river divides Ireland's midlands and the west. For truly serene and tranquil settings it is unrivalled in terms of it's beauty in Ireland. Travel down the banks of the river whilst discovering the many hidden gems and treasures along your journey.
The Oldest Pub in the World - Sean's Bar, Athlone Town
A short detour off the main route will take you into the medieval town of Athlone. Here alongside the River Shannon and Athlone Castle you will find the oldest pub in the world - Seans Bar. Take a pint and take in the unique atmosphere.
Corcmoroe Abbey in the heart of the Burren
Your journey will take you deep into the heart of the Burren or The Great Rock. Up a side road you will find one of our favourite abbeys in Ireland. The hauntingly beautiful Corcmoroe Abbey. Dating to the 12th Century this Cistercian Abbey encapsulates the true soul of the Burren region.
As you enter the winding roads of the west on your way to the Wild Atlantic Way you will pass the Rocky Road Roundabout where standing tall, naked and proud is the statue of Icarus. The man who flew too close to the sun, his feathers fell off and he crash landed to Earth. A reminder to passers by to always stay grounded, a trait of the people of the west.
Just past the River Shannon you will notice that the roads bends to the right. If you look very closely to your left you will notice a quite inconspicuous tree/shrub. This is a White Thorn tree and in May will be blooming with beautiful white blossoms. A tree that is steeped in superstition and tradition. Never cut down a White Thorn as it is the avenue of the spirits from the underworld to the overworld. A fascinating story of legend and mythology.
As you approach Lahinch you pass the site of a monument dedicated to the people who past away during Ireland's darkest period - the Great Famine of 1845. The statue is called An Gorta Mor which means the Great Hunger and depicts a young boy called Michael Rice knocking on the notorious workhouse door. Not far from the statue are the remains of the industrialised workhouse where many Irish including Michael RIce perished from disease and overcrowding. The famine shapes modern day Ireland in many ways and was the catalyst for a patriotic revival movement that in turn led to rebellion.
As we hit the Wild Atlantic Way we will pass the surfing capital of Ireland - Lahinch and home to the famous Lahinch Golfcourse. The west of Ireland has a growing surfing industry and some of the largest waves in Europe pound our west coast, most notably the Cliffs of Moher wave named Aileen. You are now on the longest defined coastal route in the world and you will follow the blue signs with the white jagged line - The Wild Atlantic Way.
The Cornelius O'Brien Watchtower is the first sign of the Cliffs of Moher that you will see as you make your way up the small country roads. The tower, built in the mid 19th century was created for the local landlord Cornelius. It was said to be a place where he could woo the local lady's. Cornelius himself a appeared to be a fair landlord, not performing any evictions during the famine and he is the man credited with developing tourism at the Cliffs of Moher during Victorian times. You can hear lots more of history, stories and folklore surrounding the Cliffs of Moher with a tour by local farmer Pat Sweeney.
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