The Cliffs of Moher adventure is the most popular tourist destination in Ireland. As a result, starting in 2006 they have received about 1,000,000 annual visitors. Their location in the SE Burren in County Clare makes for easy access from Galway and also Dublin. Therefore, the Cliffs of Moher from Dublin is about 250 kilometers and a 3 hour drive. Additionally, the Cliffs of Moher from Galway is about 1.5 hours by car. The nearest towns are Liscannor and Lahinch to the south and Doolin to the north.
Cliffs of Moher Facts
The most notable features to be found are the views of the Atlantic Ocean and the towering height of the cliff face. At the southern end of the cliffs is Hags Head and Moher Tower. Here, the height of the cliffs is 120 meters (390 feet) Moreover, at the mid point they tower 214 meters (702 feet) above the Atlantic. The midpoint features O’Brien’s Tower and it is within short walking distance from visitors center known as the “Cliffs of Moher Experience”. O’Brien’s Tower is made of stone and it was originally constructed in 1835. As a result, visitors can enjoy panoramic views of the area from the top.
The cliffs are about 16 kilometers in total length with the southern end being at Moher Tower and the northern end winding up in Doolin to the north. The majestic cliff face is composed primarily of sandstone and shale. As a result, it is able to bear the Cliffs of Moher weather which consists of high winds and lots of rain. This is because of the hard composition of sandstone and shale as compared to limestone. The former are rather impermeable and therefore effectively weather resistant.
Cliffs of Moher History & Wildlife
Unfortunately, the Moher Tower is all that is left of the Moher Fort which used to be located at Hags Head. The fort was dismantled in 1808 so the materials could be used to construct a lookout tower to warn against a French invasion during the Napoleonic Wars. Nonetheless, the cliffs are named “Moher” and the legacy of the fort continues to endure to present times.
Additionally, the Cliffs of Moher adventure is home to about 30,000 birds that nest in the face of the cliffs. The cold waters of the North Atlantic are rich in nutrients and it can sustain the large population of birds. As a result, there are about 20 species of birds including the photogenic Atlantic puffin.
Cliffs of Moher Deaths
Occasionally a the Cliffs of Moher adventure can lead to danger at the cliffs. Unfortunately, climbing is very hazardous on the cliff face. Most recently 2 people were seriously injured while following a goat path down the cliff face. As a result, both men endured a serious fall and needed to be airlifted to the hospital where they remain in serious condition. However, for those who wish to stay on the trail it is indeed very safe. However, it is prudent to be prepared for the adverse Cliffs of Moher weather which is occasionally very windy, cold and rainy.
Additionally, due to the risk of falling rocks the “cliff walk” was discontinued by the park authorities in July 2016. However, it is still possible to experience the cliff face close up by booking a ferry tour which approaches the cliffs safely from the water.
Hollywood Movie Location
The area surrounding the cliffs is very photogenic. Indeed, the Cliffs of Moher have been featured in Hollywood movies such as Harry Potter (2009), The Princess Bride (1987) and Leap Year (2010). This area of the Irish coast line is also world renown for surfing including the giant wave known as “Aileens”. As a result, the area is featured in the surfing documentary “Waveriders” (2008).
Although I have not watched any of these movies (with the exception of the surfing documentary) I was also thoroughly astounded by the landscape photography opportunities. Therefore, I indulged myself with a few photos of my own.
Additionally, the Irish countryside is a very delightful walk especially on a rare sunny day. The stone walls run for miles over the gently rolling lush green landscape.
Last but not least, you may encounter some carousing cows while walking in the Irish countryside.