The Cliffs of Moher (Aillte an Mhothair in the Irish language) UNESCO World Heritage site in the Burren, Co. Clare has long been a popular place to visit for tourists coming to Ireland. The natural beauty, wildness and ruggedness of coast and sheer size of the landmark impresses and awes even the most well-travelled visitor.
The cliffs themselves rise to over 120 metres (390 ft) above the Atlantic Ocean and once almost feels like you could almost see the faint outline of the American west coast on a clear day, such is the imposing height and views across the sea. The cliffs themselves take their name from an old fort called Moher that once stood on Hag’s Head, the southernmost point of the cliffs themselves.
The writer, Thomas Johnson Westropp referred to the cliffs themselves in Irish in 1905 as Moher Uí Ruis or Moher Uí Ruidhin. The local fort from where the cliffs themselves take their name from still stood in 1780 and is mentioned in an account from John Lloyd’s a Short Tour Of Clare (1780). It was demolished in 1808 to provide material for a new telegraph tower. The present tower near the site of the old Moher Uí Ruidhin was built as a lookout tower during the Napoleonic wars around the same time as the easily recognisable Martello Towers which are dotted around the Irish coast to this day.
Today, The Cliffs of Moher is consistently one of the most popular tourist destinations in Ireland and one of the most recognisable landmarks around the world. The construction and opening of the dedicated visitor’s center has greatly improved the facilities at the site and now boasts a restaurant, gallery and viewing windows cut into the cliffs themselves. It is also possible to view the immense scale of the cliffs from their base by arranging a ferry ride on the day.
If you want to experience of the beauty of the Cliffs of Moher landscape then check out Wild Rover Tours one day tour from Dublin to the Cliffs of Moher.