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Cliffs of Moher

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The Cliffs of Moher [1], (Aillte an Mhothair in Irish, or Cliffs of the Ruin) are located in the parish of Liscannor at the south-western edge of The Burren area near Doolin, which is located in County Clare, Ireland.


The Cliffs of Moher panorama at sunset

The cliffs rise 120 m (400 ft) above the Atlantic Ocean at Hag's Head, and reach their maximum height of 214 m (702 ft) just north of O'Brien's Tower, eight kilometers away. The cliffs boast one of Ireland's most spectacular views. On a clear day the Aran Islands are visible in Galway Bay, as are the valleys and hills of Connemara.

The Cliffs of Moher were filmed as the "Cliffs of Insanity" in the 1987 movie, The Princess Bride.

Geology and Wildlife[edit]

The cliffs consist mainly of beds of Namurian shale and sandstone, with the oldest rocks being found at the bottom of the cliffs. One can see 300 million year old river channels cutting through the base of the cliffs.

There are many animals living on the cliffs, most of them birds: 30,000 birds of 29 species. The most interesting are the famous Atlantic Puffins, which live in large colonies at isolated parts of the cliffs and on the small Goat Island. Also present are hawks, gulls, guillemots, Common Shag|shags ravens and choughs.

Get in[edit]

The Cliffs from atop O'Brien's Tower

By Car[edit]

The Cliffs of Moher are off the R478 from Liscannor to Doolin. There's a car park that costs €8.

By Bus[edit]

From Galway, there is a bus service to the cliffs.

By sightseeing tour from Dublin[edit]

Several Dublin based tour operators such as Kennedy & Carr Travel [2] offer daily tours from Dublin city to the Cliffs, often including other areas of interest along the way such as Galway Bay, Bunratty Castle, Dunguire Castle, the limestone "Burren" area, Poulnabrone Dolmen and Doolin fishing village with its charming traditional pubs "FitzPatrick's and "O'Connor's". Typically tours depart around 07:00-08:00 in the morning and return at approximately 20:00. Tickets generally cost around €45. For many travellers such tours can provide the independence they want with the structure and local insight that makes for a relaxing tour. Such operators also offer private hire services upon request both from Dublin and from Galway.

See[edit][add listing]

The Cliffs of Moher are amongst the most impressive places to see in Ireland, and are widely considered to be one of Ireland's top tourist attractions, drawing almost one million visitors in 2006.

The site has been developed by Clare County Council and Shannon Heritage to allow visitors experience the spectacular natural impression of the Cliffs, without the distraction of imposing man-made amenities or features.

In keeping with this carefully-balanced approach, the "Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience" is built into a hillside approaching the Cliffs, blending naturally with the surrounding countryside.

Officially opened in February 2007 having been meticulously planned and built over a 17 year period, the €32M facility features an informative array of interactive media, exploring topics such as the origin of the Cliffs in local and global geological contexts, the bird and fish life in the area, and many more. €6/adult, €4/student/disabled/seniors, free/children under 16.

An IMAX-type multimedia show allows visitors to experience a bird's eye view from the cliffs, as well as seeing the inside of underwater caves at the foot of the cliffs.

  • Moher tower, Hag's Head. A square stone ruin which appears to be the remains of a watchtower placed to monitor the coastline for invading fleets during Napoleon's reign in Europe.  edit

Do[edit][add listing]

View of the Cliffs from sea level
  • Cliffs of Moher and Aran Islands Cruises [3] has a daily direct passenger ferry from Doolin Pier, Co. Clare to view the Cliffs of Moher from sea level. This is a brilliant way to view the awesome nature of the Cliffs of Moher. One can then venture on the same boat and visit Dún Aonghasa by visiting Inis Mor Island. You should be aware of rough or choppy water, as it can make your ferry ride a bit unpleasant. Make sure to speak with the ferry director or captain about the sea conditions that day. If you are prone to sea sickness, it is advised that you bring your own nausea medication with you, as some of the island's food shops may not keep them in stock.
  • O'Brien's Tower. You can climb O'Brien's Tower for the highest vantage point on the cliffs. O'Brien's Tower is a round stone tower at the approximate midpoint of the cliffs. It was built by Sir Cornellius O'Brien, a descendant of Ireland's High King Brian Boru, in 1835, as an observation tower for the hundreds of tourists that frequented the cliffs even at that date. From atop that watchtower, one can view the Aran Islands and Galway Bay, the Maum Turk Mountains and the Twelve Bens to the north in Connemara, and Loop Head to the south. €2/adult, €1/child.  edit

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Branaunmore, a sea stack off the Cliffs of Moher

Stay safe[edit]

The cliffs are not blocked off by a fence or guard, so you should take care to not get too close to the edge of the cliffs as the ground under foot can loosen.

Get out[edit]

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