As it usually is along the Atlantic coast, the wind was bitterly cold that day in Western Ireland. The wild Atlantic breeze pushed me back inland as I made my way to the edge, reminding me that Mother Nature is still very much the master here, despite the hords of visitors.
Dramatically rising 700 feet high out of the ocean, the 8-kilometres long Aillte an Mothair are by far Ireland’s most popular attraction and once you stand there, with the striking headlands rolling off into the distance and stopping the crashing waves in their tracks, it’s not hard to see why visitors flock here.
Located at the southwestern edge of the Burren region in County Clare, the limestone cliffs which have been shaped and bend by over 300 million years of treacherous storms, relentless waves and bitter winds rise up from the churning Atlantic Ocean and looks out onto the Aran Islands, the hills of Connemara and Galway Bay on the clearest of days, which admittedly don’t come ’round too often in these parts. Nonetheless, the view is one to behold.
As seen in the movies
The Cliffs of Moher were one of the top attractions on the Shamrocker Tours 7-day itinerary around Ireland, and I was positively excited to finally lay eyes on them. The cliffs are indeed quite famous in pop culture, having been featured in motion pictures like The Princess Bride and even Harry Potter.
Some of you may actually know them as the Cliffs of Insanity…
“- You seem a decent fellow, I’d hate to kill you.
– You seem a decent fellow, I’d hate to die.”
They were also seen in Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince, when Dumbledore and Harry go on a quest to find a horcruxe in the cave you see on the lower left side.
Visiting the Cliffs of Moher – Good To Know
There are two ways to visit the cliffs: a safe, sensible one that not only keeps you clear of the edge and, therefore, alive, but that also takes you inside the informative visitor’s centre (which was literally built into the hillside so as not to obstruct the view) for trivia and a warm cuppa. The other, reckless yet irresistible and thrilling way, beckons you to disregard common sense and climb over the safety barrier for a leisurely (LOL!!!) walk along the cliff edge.
Do so at your own risk, however; strong blasts of winds blowing people off to their deaths an unforgiving 700 feet below is not unheard of. Don’t be that person!
Because I visited with a tour group I was only there for an hour, but I strongly recommend alloting a solid three hours at the Cliffs of Moher. Walking to the very end – a beautiful stone tower from the Napoleonic Wars named Hag’s Head – takes roughly an hour, not counting the many stops you’re inevitably going to make for pictures. On the opposite side is O’Brien’s Tower, which you can climb for just €2.