‘Not too close to the edge, you might fall! Come on, I just want to make a selfie to show how high the cliffs actually are. Can you hold my legs? Kieran, don’t encourage him to do those things. He might fall down!’
Apparently some visitors go ‘selfie’ crazy when walking on top of the Cliffs of Moher. And although we would never agree to let someone else hold our legs while we hang above a cliff (yes, real life example!) we can imagine that it is very tempting to take snapshots of such a beautiful sight as the Cliffs of Moher. We leave it up to you how close you dare to stand to the edge while doing so!
The Cliffs of Moher are one of Irelands main tourist attractions. At their highest point the cliffs stand 214 meters above sea level and they stretch for eight kilometers along the Atlantic coast. Birds inhabit the rocks of the cliffs and the combination of wild Atlantic ocean and steep rocky cliffs is breathtaking.
The cliffs derive their name from the old Irish word ‘Mothar’ which means old ruined fort. Up until the 19th century the Cliffs of Moher were in fact the location of a defensive fortress that was originally said to have been build in the 1st century BC. However, the fort was demolished and a watchtower, that you can still see today, was constructed instead. Signs of habitation of the cliffs go some 2000 years back, with humans using the area around the cliffs for defensive purposes but also for hunting, fishing and agriculture. Living conditions in this area of Ireland must have been hard , howling cold winds, grey clouds and rain most of the year must have made more than one fellow working at the ancient fort feel extremely lonely. Exactly these harsh weather circumstances give the cliffs of Moher its charm though.
You might expect that the tower on top of the Cliffs of Moher was built for defensive reasons or to oversea boat activity in the area. You are entirely wrong though. We have to admit it is fun to imagine soldiers (and possibly even knights) working day and night in the tower for centuries but the tower was actually built in 1835 by Cornelius O’Brien for touristic purposes. Apparently mister O’Brien was far ahead of his time and saw tourism as a way to lift the people in the area out of poverty. Smart man!
Main points of interest:
– Walk over the Cliffs of Moher
– Visit O’brien’s tower for the excellent view
– Visit the visitors centre
– Watch rare species of birds (bring your binoculars)
How to reach the Cliffs of Moher?
The Cliffs of Moher are situated near Liscannor village, right below Galway. Driving from Galway to the cliffs will take approximately one-and-a-half to two hours. You can reach the cliffs by car or by bike (if you are the sporty type) or book a ticket on one of the tour buses that frequent the site. We rented a car and used our GPS to arrive at the cliffs. Just remember that in Ireland you drive on the left side of the road.
GPS coordinates of the Cliffs of Moher :
Latitude: 52.9714578 Longitude: -9.4247540