Ireland and Northern Ireland are more than just pubs and sheep. Ireland is above all a vast island with wild nature, shaped by the wind and sea. The island has steep coastlines, some diving vertically into the ocean. Here are some of Ireland's most dramatic cliffs.
Ireland has a ton of coastline, even for an island. The jagged ins and outs created by the ocean cutting into the land have left it with dramatic cliffs, peninsulas, and islands. Islands like Inishmore and Skellig Michael are very steep rugged due to the rough seas surrounding them. The Giant's Causeway in Northern Island is unique thanks to its hexagonal, volcanic columns, while the Cliffs of Moher offer a pleasant walk along the coastline. Ireland is composed of many dramatic cliffs, but each has its own identity.
Dingle Peninsula, County Kerry, Ireland
The Dingle Peninsula can be traversed via a coastal road R559, also known as Slea Head Drive. The route runs along the Atlantic Ocean and climbs up and down the spectacular topography, giving visitors a splendid view of the horizon. Since the coast is so steep, cliffs of different heights offer different points of view and viewpoints are marked at low points on the road. Along the way, don't miss the cliffs of Ballyferriter, an absolute natural marvel.
Cliffs of Moher, County Clare, Ireland
These are certainly the best known cliffs in Ireland. The Cliffs of Moher can be found near County Clare on Ireland's west coast. There are plenty of organized walking tours as well as the possibility to hike alone to experience these sheer walls of earth dropping into the ocean.
Mizen Head, County Cork, Ireland
Further south, Mizen Head is a cape situated in County Cork. Many people believe that this is the southernmost point of the country. However it is Brow Head further east that holds this title, not Mizen Head. Its iconic footbridge is still worth a visit.
Little Skellig Island, County Kerry, Ireland
Ireland's offshore islands are similarly very steep, stunned by the striking waves of the Atlantic Ocean. Little Skellig is not as well known as its bigger sibling, Skellig Michael, and it's also not open to the public. But boat trips are available that allow visitors to gaze up at its dramatic shoreline.
Skellig Michael Island, County Kerry, Ireland
Little Skellig's big sister has recently been thrust into the public eye thanks to its role in the flim Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Skellig Michael, rising over 210 meters out of the ocean, is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Carrick-a-Rede, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
Situated in Northern Ireland, Carrick-a-Rede's dramatic silhouette deserves a mention. A winding inland road leads back to the coast, where a breathtaking view awaits. At a height of 601 meters, the Cliff of Slieve is the second highest sea cliff in Europe.
Giant's Causeway, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
Moving on to another spot in County Antrim, Giant's Causeway was one of Northern Ireland's first UNESCO World Heritage Sites. And it's easy to see why as the cliff itself is quite unique. Its hexagonal columns reaching up to 12 meters in height are due to the rapid thermal contraction of cooling lava. It's an unmissable sight during any tour of Northern Ireland.
Loop Head Peninsula, County Clare, Ireland
Loop Head Peninsula hasn't yet become famous to tourists. It's the perfect place to discover the luscious landscapes that Ireland is famous for without the massive crowds. The jagged coastline shifts from cliffs, to crevasses to plateaus.
Kerry Cliffs, County Kerry, Ireland
The impressive Kerry Cliffs are surrounded by a brooding seriousness, giving the landscape a distinct character. Some even prefer these cliffs to the Cliffs of Moher. Take the Ring of Kerry road for spectacular views of the cliffs and the Skellig and Puffin Islands.
Cliffs of Aran, Inis Mor, Ireland
Faced with these cliffs that drop right down into the ocean, it's easy to imagine that the ground has just collapsed. Looking out into the distance, it's possible to see the Cliffs of Moher, looking back at those of the Aran Islands.