Cliffs of Moher Cliffs of Moher

Cliffs of Moher

Cliffs of Moher is one of Ireland's 7 Wonders and most visited natural attraction with a magical vista that captures the hearts of almost a million of visitors each year. Situated in county Clare and lie just south from the Village of Doolin and the Burren, the Cliffs of Moher consist mainly of beds of Namurian shale and sandstone, with the oldest rocks being found at the bottom of the cliffs. One can see 300 million year old river channels cutting through the base of the cliffs. Standing 230 meters above the ground at their highest point and 8km long, the Cliffs boast one of the most amazing views across the Aran Islands which on a clear day, are visible in Galway Bay as well as the valleys and hills of Connemara.
To the south of the cliffs is Hag's Head and the cliffs reach their highest point just north of O' Brien's Tower. The Tower was built in 1835 by Cornelius O' Brien a descendant of Brian Boru, Kings of Thomond, as an observation point for the hundreds of tourists who even then, visited the Cliffs. The tower stands proudly on a headland of the majestic Cliffs of Moher. It boasts views of 5 counties on a clear day. The seastack, Breanan Mór, stands over 70 metres above the foaming waves. It is recomanded to dress warmly enough when visiting the cliffs because of the cool Atlantic winds blowing in off the ocean.
The Cliffs of Moher is home to a hugh number of nesting seabirds. The area is designated as a Refuge for Fauna since 1988 and as a Special Protection Area for Birds (SPA) under the EU Birds Directive in 1989. Cliffs of Moher seabirds include representatives of:
  • Atlantic Puffin - a natty black-and-white seabird with a huge, multicolored bill, the Atlantic Puffin looks like a clown of the sea. The Cliffs of Moher hold the only mainland colony of breeding Atlantic Puffins in Ireland, where the population is increasing. They only come on shore to breed in April/May, when they nest in cliffs.
  • Razorbill – a medium-sized seabird, Razorbill is black above and white below. The Cliffs of Moher are an internationally important site for Razorbills where numbers are increasing.They only comes on shore to breed when they nests in sea cliffs.
  • Chough - acrobatic member of the crow family that have unique, bright red, curved bills, Chough engage in spectacular aerial displays and courtship involves the preening and feeding of the female by the male. Choughs are declining dramatically in other parts of Europe but appear to be stable in Ireland. They are normally found in low intensity grasslands along the coast.
  • Common gull - a medium-sized gull with light grey upperparts and white underparts, the Common gull is a winter visitor and is common in Ireland and Clare. It can be found all along the Clare coast. They have a wide range of habitats such as coastal and grasslands.
Big wave surfing at Aill Na Searrach or Aillens for short has really taken off over the last couple of years. Surfers travel by jetski from Doolin to the wave at the bottom of the Cliffs which can be over 35ft high.
Cliffs of Moher has been awarded the prestigious designation of membership of the UNESCO-supported Global Geopark network at the 10th European Geoparks Conference in Langesund, Norway. As a Geopark, the Cliffs of Moher region is set to continue its rise on the world stage as an important geological region and as a mecca for sustainable tourism as well. Each of us should go, look around, learn, and explore.
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