Cliffs of Moher, The Burren, Corcomroe Abbey, Irish Day Tours

Sunday July  13th ~ Dublin cross-country tour, Ireland

Map of our bus trip today

Map of our bus trip today, round trip from Dublin (courtesy of Irish Day Tours)

One of the most visited tourist attractions in the entire country, the Cliffs of Moher had to be on our “must see” list.  With over 1 million visitors a year, it tops the list of scenic natural destinations in Ireland. In fact I think the only place that more tourists go to is the Guinness Brewery.

After a bit of research, we chose to use a local tour company and booked two different day trips out of Dublin.  One for today, and then the next one for Tuesday.  There are several others we are interested in, but we thought taking one or two first to see how good (or bad) they are before booking five tours sounded smart.

The tour company we selected has really good reviews on Trip Advisor, so after booking online, we were ready for another full day adventure.  It required a very early wake up as well as a short taxi ride to the meet-up point in front of the Old Stone Church on Suffolk Street.  Our tour was scheduled to depart at 6:50 and we were asked to arrive 10-15 minutes early.  Tim and I got there at 6:25 and at 6:30 were on our bus.  Being one of the first onboard we got a front row seat with an excellent view.

When our bus was full, we departed, actually 10 minutes early.  There was a second bus for the same itinerary to catch the remaining passengers.

It will take us about three hours to travel by bus across the country from East to West. The bus is new, clean and holds 55 passengers.  The seats are a little narrow, and leg room for someone Tim’s size is a challenge, but we are excited to be on our way.

Barry is both our driver and our tour guide.  I’m not sure that I like having our guide also drive the bus, as it seems somewhat safer to have a driver dedicated to just that – DRIVING.  Tim and I put our seat belts on…

A couple of hours in we make a toilet stop and stretch our legs.  I guess our president stopped here not too long ago for a visit to this area and they named a petrol station after him.  WHAT???

Barack Obama Plaza

Barack Obama Plaza

The morning weather was dismal, overcast, gray and then raining.  By the time we arrived in Limerick, visibility was fair at best.  We were holding our breath, hoping that things would improve by the time we got to the coast.  A short photo stop was next.

The treaty of Limerick was signed in 1691, supposedly on the stone mounted on a pedestal along the Shannon river, opposite King John’s Castle.

Treaty Stone

Treaty Stone

Cliffs of Moher

Considered one of Ireland’s Seven Wonders, The Cliffs of Moher rise 700 feet above the Atlantic Ocean.

Several movies have been filmed here including Leap Year, Princess Brides, and one of the Harry Potter movies.  I knew that if the weather Gods were shining on us, the views would be amazing.  I know, I know, we took way too many pictures, but here are some of our favorites.  I’m normally the photo junkie, but Tim was “in the mood” today for photography, and many of these are his.

First view - Cliffs of Moher, facing South from viewing platform

First view – Cliffs of Moher, facing South from viewing platform

Cliffs of Moher looking North

Cliffs of Moher looking North

Rocky edge with O'Brien's Tower on top of the ridge

Rocky edge with O’Brien’s Tower on top of the ridge

A little wind blown, but loving the view

A little wind-blown, but loving the view

The Branaunmore rock just off O'Brien's Tower

The Branaunmore rock just off O’Brien’s Tower

There is also an excellent visitors center that shows an on-going short movie from a birds perspective, sailing along the cliff edges and diving under water.

A couple more pictures taken here before we move on…

Purple thistle

Purple thistle

Keep off the grass

Keep off the grass

Fence with lichen

Fence with lichen

The Burren is one of the largest karst landscapes in Europe.  Located along the Atlantic Ocean and Galway Bay, part of which makes up Burren National Park, one of only six National Parks in Ireland.  A stark rocky landscape at first glance, but look closely and you will find fragile and delicate flowers, some only found in this area.

Delicate flowers grow amongst the rocks

Delicate flowers grow amongst the rocks

Climbing rocks

Climbing rocks

Get close to the edge and view the rocks far below the cliffs

Get close to the edge and view the rocks far below the cliffs

Corcomroe Abbey

C Abbey

Corcomroe Abbey

Made from local limestone, probably between 1205 and 1210.  It is unusual for the detailed carvings not normally found this early.  Legend has it that the King had the five masons that built the abbey executed to prevent them from building another rival masterpiece.

More pictures taken along the way

Two colts playing in the sun

Two colts playing in the sun

Fields with rock wall fences

Fields with rock wall fences

Along the road

Along the road

Bull standing on top of a hill

Bull standing on top of a hill

Coming into a town

Coming into a town

All the details:

The company we used is Irish Day Tours.  Here is a link to the web page which shows the complete itinerary we took to the Cliffs.  The current pricing is €45 ($61.25 USD) per adult.  They do offer children’s rates as well, age 5-12 €22.50, and under five is free.  Do be advised that this is a LONG day on the bus and may not be suitable for young ones.

As you can see, we covered a LOT of territory in one day.  It was 7:30 in the evening by the time we returned to Dublin.  My overall impression is that this is a very well run company that offers an excellent opportunity to see the best of Ireland in a reasonably priced way.

Gratitude Moment:  Today I am grateful for the wizardry of the Internet that allows me to be in Ireland, take a boat load of pictures, and be able to share them with friends and family around the world.

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About Tim and Joanne Joseph

Hi and welcome! We are Tim and Joanne Joseph and we have just embarked on our "next chapter". At a stage in life where traveling the world, taking pictures, and sharing our adventures with friends and family will be our dream come true.
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28 Responses to Cliffs of Moher, The Burren, Corcomroe Abbey, Irish Day Tours

  1. Lovely photos! Those colts are so cute!

    Like

  2. Reblogged this on Extreme Ireland and commented:
    Bloggers keep us all on our toes and it’s good to see we keep them happy most of the time

    Like

    • Thank you for reblogging my post and for providing a quality tour. We just returned from taking your Blarney Castle Tour and plan on posting my write up tomorrow. We are also looking at taking three more over the next week.

      Like

  3. Hi, I am delighted that you took your day tour with us and that you enjoyed the tour. Great photos! I’m not surprised that they named a petrol station after Barack I’m sure if you travelled around Moneygall you’ll think he was born there.

    Like

  4. The Princess Bride is one of my all time fav movies…wonderful to read about the setting. And thanks for taking a look at lovewordsmusic.com. Cheers! Caroline

    Like

  5. We loved the Cliffs. We visited them while staying in a little Inn in Bunratty near Durty Nellie’s Tavern (yes, it’s spelled with a u). Very fun trip. Your photos bring back such good memories.

    Like

  6. flowerpoet says:

    Thanks for the vicarious vacation! I do hope to see Ireland in person some day. Excellent photos and commentary. I look forward to seeing more. Enjoy the journey! Shelley

    Like

  7. duckykoren says:

    Breathtaking photos, truly…. Thank you for sharing.

    Like

  8. John Love says:

    I am a new follower, I found you because you followed my blog. Yours is much more uplifting however. I am looking forward to sharing your travels. My wife wants a trip to Ireland and is looking over my shoulder with glee!

    Like

  9. rojjoc says:

    We’ve just started our retirement travels a couple of months ago and are loving it. The language is a challenge at times (neither of us speaks Spanish) but we’re taking lessons and are making progress every day. Your blog is awesome! Just started mine and hope to get the technical kinks out soon! Thanks for commenting on mine and we look forward to continuing to follow yours.

    Rosemarie Ojalvo & Jack O’Connor (thus the O &O)

    Like

    • Welcome to retirement traveling! We have been pretty fortunate so far on language issues. Fortunately most of the people we have interacted with speak English or have found someone close by to translate for us. Occasionally we have relied on gestures and signs, with smiles and laughter thrown in. That is just part of the joy of exploring…

      Like

  10. Tim and Joanne,
    Your pictures are spectacular. We had a wonderful time in Western Ireland when we visited with our boys in 2007; I hope to add them to my blog soon. I am tickled by the Barack Obama gas station;)

    Like

  11. bluepaddock says:

    Love your blog great work !

    Like

  12. Kate Wynn says:

    Hello Tim & Joanne, love your post. Just yesterday a friend posted a picture on Facebook of us sitting outside Kinvara Castle and then WordPress leads me to this. Isn’t the universe weird sometimes?! Do you know what the town was you were coming into in that last photo?

    Like

  13. I’m an Irish lass at heart and in heritage and these are some of my favorite places. Standing on the Cliffs of Moher looking over the Atlantic for the first time, was a spiritual experience for me. I felt as though I had finally come home, to Ireland. Thanks for stopping by my little eclectic blog. Be well, Tracey

    Like

  14. Thanks for liking my post about my trip west. I loved reading your post about the Cliffs and the Burren. I visited there when my sister lived in Galway years ago and your pictures brought back a very happy time. Your blog is fun-I can’t wait to see where you go next!

    Like

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