Cliffs of Moher
The Cliffs of Moher, (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 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
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.
From Galway, there is a bus service to the cliffs.
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.
- The Doolin Ferry Company operate large passenger ferries from Doolin Pier, Co.Clare. They are the original ferry service from Doolin, opened in 1970.
- Cliffs of Moher Cruises depart from Doolin Pier, Doolin Co. Clare. This is a fantastic way to see the Cliffs of Moher from another perspective.
- O'Brien Line Ferries offer cruises underneath the Cliffs of Moher.
- Cliffs of Moher and Aran Islands Cruises. Has a daily direct passenger ferry from Doolin Pier, Co. Clare to view the Cliffs of Moher from sea level.
- 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.