What are the Cliffs of Moher?

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  • Written By: B. Miller
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 19 September 2019
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The Cliffs of Moher, known as Aillte an Mhothair in Irish Gaelic, are one of the most popular tourist destinations in Ireland. They are widely considered a spectacular can't-miss stop on any trip. The cliffs are located near the Burren Area in County Clare, bordering the Atlantic Ocean.

At their highest point, the Cliffs of Moher are 702 feet (214 meters) high and about 393 feet (120 meters) at their lowest. They extend along the Atlantic for about five miles (8 kilometers). Visitors to the cliffs are able to walk out to the edge and look down at the ocean below, which is a beautiful sight on any day. Travelers are advised to dress warmly due to the chilly, damp weather, and be cautious when walking along the edge of the cliffs, as sections could give way. Visibility varies widely on the cliffs due to fog, but on clear days, the views are spectacular.


From many viewpoints atop the Cliffs of Moher, visitors are able to see some of Ireland's other famous landmarks. These include Galway Bay and the Aran Islands, along with some of the mountains in Connemara, the Twelve Pins and Loop Head to the South. Also found on the Cliffs of Moher is O'Brien's Tower, an observation tower built in 1835 by Sir Cornelius O'Brien, a descendant of Brian Boru. Brian Boru was High King in Ireland from 1002 until 1012. The tower is a great vantage point on a clear day, where you can view Doolin to the north and Hag's Head to the south.

You can explore the Cliffs of Moher yourself or take part in a guided tour. The guides will explain the history and ecological significance of the cliffs. There is also a visitor's center located on the cliffs to help you learn more. The eco-friendly center is built into the hillside and features a number of interactive media learning centers.

It is also possible to take a ferry ride and view the Cliffs of Moher from the ocean below. Many tours also visit the Islands of Aran on the same trip, so it can be a fun and interesting way to spend the day. The Cliffs of Moher are also designated as a Special Protection Area for some of Ireland's cliff-nesting sea birds, including the Atlantic Puffin, Razorbuill, Chough and Common Gull, so you might be able to catch a glimpse of some birds as well.

Surfing at the Cliffs of Moher is also popular. The "Aill Na Searrach," Ireland's biggest wave at 35-40 feet (10-12 meters), breaks just below the cliffs. No trip to Ireland would be complete without a stop at the Cliffs of Moher.


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