Cliffs of Moher

In County Clare, Ireland

The Cliffs of Moher are located at the southwestern edge of the Burren region. One of the top visited tourist sites in Ireland and receive almost 1 million visitors a year.

The Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience was built into a hillside approaching the cliffs and opened in 2007. The facility offers visitors interactive media displays covering the history, geology, flora, and fauna of the cliffs. There are ferry trips to allow visitors a view of the cliffs from sea level.

The cliffs rise 390 feet above the Atlantic Ocean at Hag’s Head. The cliffs reach their maximum height of 702 feet just north of O’Brien’s Tower just to the north.

The cliffs take their name from an old fort called Moher that once stood on Hag’s Head at the southernmost point of the cliffs. Hag’s Head is named for an unusual rock formation that resembles a women’s head looking out to sea. The fort was demolished in 1808 to provide material for a new telegraph tower. The present tower was built as a lookout tower during the Napoleonic wars.

The cliffs consist mainly of beds of shale and sandstone. There are an estimated 30,000 birds living on the cliffs, representing more than 20 species. Atlantic Puffins, gulls, ravens, hawks, etc.

The Cliffs In Movies

  • The Princess Bride in 1987.
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince in 2009.
  • Leap Year in 2010.

O’Brien’s Tower

The tower was built in 1835 by Sir Cornelius O’Brien. From the cliffs and from atop the tower, visitors can see the Aran Islands in Galway Bay, the Maumturks and Twelve Pins mountain ranges to the north in County Galway, and Loop Head to the south. An observation tower for the hundreds of Victorian tourists that frequented the cliffs at the time.

  • The Aran Islands are a group of three islands located at the mouth of Galway Bay on the west coast of Ireland. Inishmore, Inishmaan and Inisheer.
  • Galway Bay is a large bay on the west coast of Ireland between County Galway and the Burren in County Clare. Galway city is located on the northeast side of the bay.
  • The Maumturks are a mountain range in Connemara in the west of Ireland.
  • The Twelve Bens or Twelve Pins are a mountain range of sharp-peaked quartzite ranges located northeast of Roundstone in Connemara. The highest point in the twelve peaks is Benbaun at 2,393 feet.
  • Loop Head is a headland on the north side of the mouth of the River Shannon. There is a lighthouse. The Loop Head peninsula has the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Shannon Estuary on the other side.

(Photos by RSheridan)


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