Best time to travel to Ireland

Watching Puffins in Ireland

Set off for your birdwatching journey across Ireland to spot puffins on the coast

Best time: April–early August

Watching Puffins
Watching Puffins
Watching Puffins

Due to the harsh decrease in puffins' population, Ireland becomes one of the unique spots​ for watching them in the wild. You won't find it difficult to observe these birds if you visit their most favourite spots such as Great Saltee, the Cliffs of Moher, and Skellig Michael. Most importantly, don't forget to set off for your journey at a right season as these places abound with puffins since April till early August.

Practical info

Where can you see puffins in Ireland?

To spot the puffins, you can visit Great Saltee Island, the Cliffs of Moher, and Skellig Michael, which have a considerable population of these birds. Although they can also be found elsewhere, these places are the most common sighting areas along the coast of Ireland. Show more

When is the ideal time of year to see puffins in Ireland?

The breeding season from April to early August is the best time to observe puffins in Ireland. Puffins become more active during this season, making their bright plumage visible. During that time, Great Saltee Island, Cliffs of Moher, and Skellig Michael are bustling with activity. Show more

What transportation options are available to visit Great Saltee, the Cliffs of Moher, and Skellig Michael?

Great Saltee Island is accessible by boat from Kilmore Quay, which is a three-hour drive from Dublin. The Cliffs of Moher and Skellig Michael can be reached by car via the N67 and R559, respectively. Visitors must obtain a permit to land at Skellig Michael beforehand from the Office of Public Works. Show more

Are measures being taken to safeguard the puffin population in Ireland?

The Irish authorities have put various measures in place to preserve the populations of puffins. The government enforces regulations, and marine protection laws are in place to prevent overfishing. Additionally, the National Parks and Wildlife service has established reserves and protected areas, such as Skellig Michael, to safeguard their habitat. Show more

What equipment is necessary to view puffins in Ireland?

Binoculars are recommended for watching puffins in Ireland due to their location on cliffs and rocky outcrops, making the birds a fair distance from the shoreline. The beach terrain can be difficult, making it challenging to get clear sightings without binoculars. Visitors are advised to dress warmly, carry rain gear, and wear appropriate footwear. Show more

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