If you have a good head for heights, the Cliffs of Moher, which are one of Ireland’s most popular tourist attractions, are a place which should not be missed! These impressive cliffs soar to a stomach churning 700 feet above the Irish coastline between the north of Doolin and Liscannor. This is the Atlantic coastline and it’s wild and impressive. You really need to wear warm clothing even in summer when visiting the cliffs, because the Atlantic winds which blow in from the ocean are extremely fresh!.
This area is protected as a designated UNESCO Geo Park and if the heights and the winds gusting are a little too much, you can still enjoy these magnificent cliffs from the visitor centre which opened in 2007.
This features a detailed exhibit with the highlight being a gannets eye virtual reality perspective of the cliff face. You can dive and swoop as the birds would in comfort and safety! As well as gannets there are guillemots, puffins and shags nesting on the cliff face and swooping down for food in the waters below.
For those with a greater sense of adventure, the best view of the cliffs is believed by many to be from O’Brien’s Tower. This was built by in the 1830′s by Cornelius O’Brien of Dromoland Castle and signifies how long this has been a popular attraction for visitors. From here, when it’s clear weather, you can see as far as the Aran Islands, and the Twelve Bens of Connemara.
Cornelius had the foresight to see that tourism would greatly benefit the local economy and lift people out of poverty. There is a wall of Moher flagstones along the Cliffs built by him and he is attributed to building everything in the area except the Cliffs. These flagstones carry an unusual and historic imprint of fossilized eels which were compacted during thousands of years.
Cornelious was a member of the parliament for County Clare and after his death in 1857 he was buried in the O’Brien vault in the graveyard which is adjacent to St. Brigid’s Well.
If you walk along the Cliffs of Moher, you’ll realise why they are so popular, having said that, you do need to take care as there are no safety rails! If you can stand to do so, you can walk right to the edge and look at the Atlantic Ocean below, however, if you are daunted by heights there is also a catamaran trip so that you can view them from the sea instead.
Another unusual feature of the Cliffs is the Hags Head which is located at the southern point of the cliffs, this is a strange rock formation which resembles a woman’s head looking out at the sea.The location of the Cliffs is convenient to Lahinch, which is a popular picture postcard resort seven miles up the coast.
In turn, Lahinch is only twenty miles away from Ennis, which is County Clares largest town. Ennis is only fifteen minutes from Shannon Airport, so access is easy, visit this remarkable area on your next trip to our beautiful Ireland!