The Best Areas to Stay near the Cliffs of Moher, Ireland
The Best Areas to Stay near the Cliffs of Moher, Ireland

Best Areas to Stay near the Cliffs of Moher, Ireland

Where to Stay near the Cliffs of Moher – A Guide to the Cliffs of Ireland

The Cliffs of Moher are one of the most beautiful natural sights in Ireland. This Special Protected Area is located in the southwest of the Burren region in County Clare. Spanning 8 kilometres along the coast and rising up to 214 metres above the Atlantic Ocean, these monumental sandstone formations have become one of the country’s most visited tourist attractions and landmarks. Today, we will explore the best areas to stay near the Cliffs of Moher.


Over 1.5 million visitors make their way to these rock formations every year in order to get in contact with nature, hike its lovely trails and bask in the breathtaking scenery: green open fields that end abruptly into the deep blue ocean, ancient villages covered in legends and folklore and the freshness of the sea breeze.

The popular 13-km-long Cliffs of Moher Coastal Walk starts in Doolin and runs along the top of cliffs all the way to Hags Head. The hike takes approximately 3-4 hours to complete and it’s considered a low-difficulty path as it’s relatively flat. This trail offers the best views of the cliffs. Across the water, you can catch a glimpse of the Aran Islands, the Twelve Pins and Connemara’s Maum Turk mountains.

Other than the natural sights, this Special Protected Area is home to O’Brien’s Tower, a round stone castle-like tower located near the midpoint of the cliffs. It was built in 1835 by Sir Cornelius O’Brien, a local landowner who wanted to turn the area into a tourist attraction to boost the local economy. His dream definitely came true.

In order to reach the Cliffs of Moher by air, the closest option is via Shannon Airport. Located 65 road kilometres away, offers several European connections. The Cliffs are also located about 275 km from Dublin Airport.

The great news is that the Cliffs of Moher are well-connected via public transport from nearby cities and towns. From Dublin, you can travel by train to Galway and board bus 350. Alternatively, you can always book a tour or a private transfer. If you choose to rent a car, you can find a cheap rental car here.

When it comes to the best areas to stay, as mentioned above, the Cliffs are surrounded by several small villages and towns. The closest settlements are Liscannor, 6km south, and Doolin, 7km to the north. The latter has many more accommodation options and is a bit more lively.

Here’s a list with the best areas to stay around the Cliffs of Moher.

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In the County Clare town of Ennistymon, Station House Bed & Breakfast is around 14 km from western Ireland’s impressive Cliffs of Moher. With free parking and WiFi, this guest house offers well-appointed rooms and a full Irish breakfast.

The Best Areas to Stay near the Cliffs of Moher, Ireland

1. Recommended Area: Liscannor (Closest to the Cliffs)

Liscannor is a small coastal village located 6 kilometres (4 miles) away from the Cliffs of Moher.

Being the closest village to the Cliffs, it’s easy to see why this tiny rural settlement is number one on the list of best areas to stay near the Cliffs of Moher.

With a population of just over 100 people, this small fishing village has a few local landmarks such as its harbour, the 14th-century Kilmacreehy Church, the ruined remains of Liscannor Castle and an ancient Pagan cemetery turned Christian site known as St. Brigid’s Well.

Hags Head, located 3 km west of St Brigid’s Well is the starting point of the Cliffs of Moher Walking Trail. This area is also home to Moher Tower, a Napoleonic-era watchtower overlooking the sea and the Cliffs.

You can walk the 4.7 km from the village centre to Hags Head in just over an hour, or you can take bus 350 from Liscannor to the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Centre. The bus takes ten minutes and runs 5 times a day.

Despite its size, Liscannor is home to a few guesthouses and tourist cottages.

Best village to stay near the Cliffs of Moher - Liscannor
Best village to stay near the Cliffs of Moher – Liscannor
Best village to stay near the Cliffs of Moher - Liscannor
Best village to stay near the Cliffs of Moher – Liscannor

Why is this a recommended area to stay near the Cliffs of Moher:

  • Closest town to the Cliffs of Moher
  • Hiking trails
  • Local attractions
  • Connected by bus

2. Doolin

Doolin is another coastal village located near the Cliffs of Moher.

Known as an important centre for Irish culture, language and music, this old fishing settlement is actually quite lively, with several pubs and bars offering live music every night.

Attractions in Doolin and around include Doolin Cave, Doonagore Castle and Ballinalacken Castle, as well as several archaeological sites, dating back to the Iron Age.

Doolin is actually a scattered village consisting of four different settlements:

Right on the coast is the Harbour area, which is known for being the gateway to the Aran Islands and the Cliffs of Moher. The Fisher Street section could be considered the town centre and is home to many pubs, B&Bs and hotels. Fitz’s Cross is also pretty lively, with several cafés, bars and hotels. Finally there’s Roadford, considered the gateway to Doolin Cave, as most tours depart from that part of town.

From Doolin, you can take the popular Doolin Cliff Walk Experience, which starts every day at 10 am in Fisher Street towards Doonagore Castle and the walking trail along the Cliffs of Moher. Alternatively, you can take a cruise from Doolin harbour to see the Cliffs from below.

Although Doolin is the perfect village to stay near the Cliffs of Moher in order to walk the Cliffs Trail, you can also reach the Visitor Center via bus route 350 from Fisher Street.

Where to stay neat the Cliffs of Moher - Doolin
Where to stay neat the Cliffs of Moher – Doolin
Accommodation in Doolin - Click on the map to see all the accommodation in this area
Accommodation in Doolin – Click on the map to see all the accommodation in this area

Why is this a recommended area to stay near the Cliffs of Moher:

  • Lively atmosphere and nightlife
  • Near Cliffs of Moher
  • Access to the Cliffs of Moher Trail
  • Ferry connection to the Aran Islands
  • Cruises and activities
  • Connected by bus

3. Lahinch

Lahinch is a seaside town located east of Liscannor and 10 kilometres away from the Cliffs of Moher.

It’s very well-known as a resort town for its 2 km golden sand beach.

Being a holiday destination, Lahinch is a very lively place, particularly along the promenade and in the summer when its pubs offer live-music shows.

There are some tourist attractions located in and around Lahinch, the most notable being Lahinch Leisure World and Dough Castle.

Lahinch is famous among surfers from around the planet for its Atlantic breakers and among golfers for its two world-class golf courses, namely Castle Course and Lahinch Golf Club.

Laninch is a pretty compact little town so you can travel on foot anywhere. In order to reach the Cliffs of Moher, you’re better off taking bus route 350 to the Cliffs Visitor Centre.

This town is also home to some of the best hotels in the area.

The best villages to stay near Cliffs of Moher - Lahinch
The best villages to stay near Cliffs of Moher – Lahinch
Accommodation in Lahinch - Click on the map to see all the accommodation in this area
Accommodation in Lahinch – Click on the map to see all the accommodation in this area

Why is this a recommended area to stay near the Cliffs of Moher:

  • Near the beach
  • 10 kilometres from Cliffs of Moher
  • Golf courses
  • Great for surfing

4. Lisdoonvarna

Lisdoonvarna is an inland village located around 12km northeast of the Cliffs of Moher.

This 700-people settlement is famous as Ireland’s premier spa town.

Its Victorian spa complex, located in a parkland area is a popular tourist attraction.

However, Lisdoonvarna is perhaps best known for its Matchmaking Festival. Held every year in September, it’s defined as “one month of music and dancing from 11 am to late with Ireland’s top country music musicians. Endless opportunities to get together and meet people – from traffic light parties to dances and sessions in the pubs.”

Other than sulphur water and singles mingling, Lisdoonvarna is also home to Burren Smokehouse, a place to enjoy the best smoked Irish Atlantic salmon

As with the other villages and towns mentioned above, the best way to get from Lisdoonvarna to the Cliffs of Moher is via bus line 350.

The best towns to stay around the Cliffs of Moher - Lisdoonvarna
The best towns to stay around the Cliffs of Moher – Lisdoonvarna
Accommodation in Lisdoonvarna - Click on the map to see all the accommodation in this area
Accommodation in Lisdoonvarna – Click on the map to see all the accommodation in this area

Why is this a recommended area to stay near the Cliffs of Moher:

  • Matchmaking Festival
  • Spa town