During my nearly two-week trip to Ireland and Northern Ireland, I was determined to see as many places as possible, even though I wasn’t driving. This was made easy by the amount of day tours available from major cities and towns like Dublin, Belfast and Galway. When I was in Galway, I decided to do a tour to the Cliffs of Moher, which is undoubtedly one of the country’s biggest attractions.
Although there are many companies offering trips, I chose to go with Lally Tours. Their reviews were spectacular and I like the additional stops they offered. If you’re a fellow solo traveller, or are trying to choose a Cliffs of Moher tour, here’s a review of my experience.
Cliffs of Moher day tour
Firstly, the trip left just after 10:00 and we arrived back in Galway before 6:00. We departed from the New Coach Station, which was super easy for me to get to. Our bus was very full for a Thursday during off-season. I think there were maybe 4 spare seats altogether and a group of about 45 people. The group included a wide range of people, from friends travelling together to young families to retirees.
Unlike some tours I’ve previously done, our friendly driver/guide, Martin didn’t speak the entire time. He did speak about Galway’s history, the interesting areas we drove through, and when we approached our stops. But for the remaining time, he simply played some fun Irish music as we drove along. I actually preferred this, over guides who try and fill you with too much information!
The tour is officially called the Cliffs of Moher & Burren Day Tour. The latter is an area we drove through for most of the day. Our first stop was Aillwee Cave. It was 5€ extra to go for a walk through these caves, so I thought why not? It was a 30 minute trip through the caves, which were actually pretty interesting. Our guide was entertaining and told us about its history (spoiler: it truly was one of the first “man caves”).
He also turned off all lights so we were in complete darkness, which was both cool and scary. We then had to walk awhile back to the entrance (about five minutes), which is when I was like, does this cave ever end? But I made it out and would recommend going inside if doing the same tour. Unless you are as claustrophobic as my mum!
Cliffs of Moher
We then headed to the Cliffs of Moher, Ireland’s most visited natural tourist attraction. It was as windy and as beautiful as I expected. We had quite a long amount of time to walk all along the cliffs and check out the visitor centre (over 1.5 hours). I took so many photos of the Cliffs, from both sides. You could easily spend hours here, walking along the cliff edge.
Then it was time for a late lunch at Doolin. This is a very small village, which is apparently Ireland’s traditional music capital. It had a couple of different food options, like a café and a pub (of course). I was hungry so headed for Fitz’s Pub, where I had one of my favourite meals of the trip so far. My plate was filled with vegetarian shepherd’s pie, mashed potato and vegetables. It was SO good.
The coastal way home
After lunch it was back on the bus for the drive back to Galway; along the coast and Wild Atlantic Way. We stopped a couple more times, which was perfect. Firstly we visited Black Head Lighthouse on the rugged and rocky Irish coastline.
Then we stopped at Dunguaire Castle for a quick photo stop. This castle is now primarily used for medieval banquets. How cool is that? Its position was picture perfect in my opinion.
I thought this tour was perfectly balanced. It didn’t feel like we spent a lot of time on the bus, which is always nice when doing a day tour. I’d highly recommend it to fellow solo travellers who want to see the Cliffs of Moher without hiring a car.
Thanks to Lally Tours for the complimentary tour. All opinions (and shepherd’s pie ravings) are of course my own.