The Story of the Cliffs
Standing proudly at the centre of Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way in Co. Clare are the majestic, Cliffs of Moher. The ancient history of the Cliffs began with the first sighting of man and stretches back almost 2000 years. This is a history that should be explored with a visit to the Cliffs that includes a walk through their spacious World Class Visitors Centre which brings into perspective all the aspects of nature, geology, and history of this truly magical place. Nestled into hillside, this unique cave-like structure accommodates a vast range of facilities and world-class attractions for you to explore, all of which are housed underground. The eco-friendly design of this magnificent complex delivers minimal visual impact on the natural beauty of the surrounding area and fits seamlessly into the Cliffs landscape. This building and site forms part of the Burren and the Cliffs of Moher UNESCO Global Geopark.
It’s no surprise that the Cliffs of Moher are considered one of the natural wonders of the world and attracts over 1 million visitors from all over the globe each year. It is believed the cliffs are over 320 million years old, dating back to when Ireland’s ancient rivers laid down sediments on the seabed to form the rocks of the Cliffs of Moher – sandstone, siltstone and shale.
Soaring to 216m at their highest point, on a clear day visitors may be lucky enough to see the Aran Islands and Galway Bay to the West and from the O’Brien Tower, those with a keen eye may even see the Dingle Peninsula and The Blasket Islands in Kerry. Standing at the Cliffs as the Wild Atlantic sea-spray perfumes the air, it is hard not to think of the many fabled legends surrounding this ancient site including The Ledged of Hags Head…How an ancient Irish witch’s love for the legendry Irish hero Cú Chulainn led to her tragic end.
You can recall how the immortalised Celtic Irish Gods, Tuatha de Dannan inspired the name of one of the most famous waves in the world that forms just below the Cliffs….Aileen’s Wave.
You can travel back through the centuries and learn of the mythical Lost City that rises by the Cliffs of Moher every seven years and the curse that surrounds it!
Or take a moment to remember Cornelius O’Brien whose vision to build the O’Brien’s Tower in 1835 led to the creation of one of the world’s most famous and loved tourist attraction…
As you meander down the path that leads from the O’Brien Tower, take a moment to discover one of the most unique and precious aspects of the cliffs, the local wildlife that calls them home. Those with a love of birdwatching will be spoiled here as they witness first-hand, countless sad-eyed puffins; elegantly dressed razorbills; chattering kittiwakes; and if you’re lucky, even an elusive peregrine falcon. The surrounding landscape itself is a marvel of natural delights, with blushing sea pinks and wildflowers dotting the springy coastal grass around your feet. On a calm day, keep an eye out for any ripples in the water below as breaching basking sharks and friendly dolphin pods are a common sight.
Whatever your reason for visiting these famous Cliffs on Europe’s Western frontiers, be assured that a spectacular experience awaits you. Their beauty has inspired artists, musicians and poets for hundreds of years and your visit will remain with you for ever.