Melanie has been interested in cultures, languages, and travel since her youth. She also runs a YouTube channel: The Curious Coder.
The Most Breathtaking Sight in Western Ireland
Each year thousands of people come to Ireland, particularly to the West, to see some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world—including the Cliffs of Moher.
These cliffs are arguably the most breathtaking sight in all of Ireland. Each year, the cliffs draw over one million visitors from all over the world. This region is also the most photographed location in all of Ireland.
Tourists are allowed to walk around the cliffs for some of the most beautiful and unspoiled views in the world. The cliffs span nearly five miles of the Irish coast and offer beautiful glimpses of many of Ireland's famed tourist spots.
The View From the Cliffs
On clear days, visitors can look out into Galway Bay and see the Aran Islands (Oileáin Árann) off in the distance.
The Twelve Bens mountain range (Na Beanna Beola), located in Connemara, can also be seen from here. If you want a great view of the Aran Islands and the Twelve Bens, head off to O'Brien's Tower (and the immediate area) as this is the highest area of the cliffs.
The view of the cliffs themselves is absolutely stunning with the steep limestone and shale rock face and beautiful green moss growing in small crags. The top of the cliffs, where visitors can walk around, offers views of sections of the cliffside and is a great place to (carefully) watch an Atlantic storm roll in.
The hidden secret of the cliffs hold is the huge Atlantic Puffin population as well as small populations of other cliff-nesting birds. To protect the numerous bird colonies here, the European Union designated a large area of the cliffs as a Special Protection Area and a Refuge for Fauna.
The Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience
The Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience was created in 2007 to accommodate the tourists that visit the area. The Visitor Experience allows visitors to learn about the origin of the cliffs and learn about the area's wildlife.
A variety of multimedia displays within the 'Atlantic Edge' area of the center allow visitors to see how the cliffs look from above the Irish landscape as well as rare views of the underwater caves that run through the base of the cliffs.
One of the most critical aspects of the project was to allow tourists to enjoy the area without the facilities ruining the unspoiled beauty of the natural setting. The center also aims to reduce the impact tourists have on the local environment with the use of geothermal heating, solar panels, and even greywater recycling. Because of the environmental efforts that County Clare put into the development of the facilities, the Visitor Experience has earned many awards.
Cliffs of Moher Facts
There are many interesting facts about the cliffs:
- The cliffs are one of 28 global finalists in the "New Seven Wonders of Nature." The winners of the contest will be announced in November 2011.
- The Cliffs of Moher are located in the southwestern corner of a particularly rocky area of Ireland known as "The Burren."
- Many movies have scenes filmed at the cliffs which include: Leap Year (2010), Princess Bride (1987), Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009), and several others.
- The cover art for U2's album "No Line On The Horizon" is a photo of the Atlantic taken from the cliffs.
- The waves near the cliffs make this area a favorite place to surf. The waves here are often called 'Aileens' among the surfer crowd.
Where to Stay
Visitors to the Cliffs of Moher often stay in hotels in Liscannor, Ennis, or Bunratty. If you want to check out the Aran Islands, there is a nearby ferry that can take you to them. There are some small hotels and B&Bs there allowing you to stay overnight on the islands. Be sure to pick up a handmade Aran sweater during your trip to the islands!
There are also inns and hostels that dot the area. The Shannon Airport is the nearest major airport and is an accessible airport for tourists on the western side of Ireland. If you're traveling throughout the western part of Ireland, you need to see the Cliffs of Moher.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2011 Melanie Palen
Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent from Mississauga, ON on March 02, 2013:
These are definitely on my 'To visit list' as they also remind me of Bruce Peninsula National Park of Ontario and Cape Breton National Park of Nova Scotia.
Ireland for me is a land of pedaling the bicycle and hiking along its rolling hills and coast line.
torrilynn on March 02, 2013:
thanks for sharing with me the main
attraction that is in Ireland. I've always wanted to visit
and when I finally am able to visit Ireland, I will make sure
I visit these beautiful cliffs. thanks again.
Kathryn from Windsor, Connecticut on March 02, 2013:
Stunning pictures! If I ever go to Ireland, I hope to be able to go there.
Elias Zanetti from Athens, Greece on March 02, 2013:
Lovely Ireland, I love this country! Had no idea till now about the cliffs though, thanks for the info melbel. Voted up and interesting.
Life Under Construction from Neverland on March 02, 2013:
wow.that is really breath-taking. the view is really amazing
Suzanne Ridgeway from Dublin, Ireland on March 02, 2013:
Great write on The Cliffs which are a stunning part of Irish landscape and history. I have been several times and it certainly should be on the radar when visiting here. Great job here, votes, share, tweet, pin
Jack Baumann from St. Louis, Missouri on December 23, 2012:
I will put this on my to see list when I go back to Ireland!
Purple Jubilee from Kent, UK on February 29, 2012:
I went there eighteen years ago and found the scenery to be dramatic and beautiful. The west of Ireland is a fascinating area - have you been to the wedding festival at Lisdoonvarna?
Peter Allison from Alameda, CA on February 19, 2012:
Thanks for this informative and interesting travel article. (I love that warning/info graphic you included). Next time I'm in Ireland I will definitely visit the cliffs of Moher!
Brittany Kennedy from Kailua-Kona, Hawaii on February 18, 2012:
I want to visit this place so badly! The photos you used are amazing! Great work, voted up, etc.
Dinesh Mohan Raturi from Dehradun on February 18, 2012:
I love Mountains. Really enjoyed the beautiful pics of Cliffs of Moher. Thanx a lot for the share.
Sunnie Day on February 18, 2012:
The pictures were so beautiful. One place I dream of visiting one day..Thank you for sharing..
Sheila Brown from Southern Oklahoma on February 18, 2012:
Wonderful hub! Great information and beautiful pictures! I would love to be able to visit there sometime. Voted up, beautiful and sharing! :)
lovetowrite on January 31, 2012:
The Cliffs are breathtakingly gorgeous. However I would not suggest reading a book up there... It gets quite windy. Also there are guardrails, but if you choose to look over the end from the primary viewpoint, do so my crawling on your belly to look over the edge, the wind can be very strong. If you get the chance visit Doolin Ireland in County Clare on the way out, its an amazing music sector in ireland
Julz09 on January 22, 2012:
these images are stunning!! looks like it gets very green over there. I like the cliff sign, funny as.
Thelma Alberts from Germany on January 10, 2012:
Hi melbel! I have been to the Cliffs of Moher a few years ago before my husband and I decided to live in Ireland. It is an amazing place to visit. I even wrote a hub about it. Great hub! Voted up.
Laura Matkin from Laceys Spring, Alabama on January 10, 2012:
Beautiful Cliffs I never knew what part of Ireland I wanted to see but now if I ever make it I will want to go see those cliffs!
Marissa from United States on January 10, 2012:
Nice hub! My husband's aunt runs trips to Ireland (their homeland) every year, and someday when the kids are older we'd like to travel there. I'm going to bookmark this so I can remember at a later date to add the cliffs to the agenda. :)
Kelly Umphenour from St. Louis, MO on January 09, 2012:
I would like to go there. My mom has been and she says it is gorgeous too. I have a fear of heights though:) lol You say not many guard rails? I say no way!
princesswithapen on January 09, 2012:
A glass of red, good company, an ipad or a kindle reader - Seems like you could spend hours at these cliffs, taking in the breathtaking views while reading up on a favorite book or chatting with a partner. Absolutely beautiful!
Melanie Palen (author) from Midwest, USA on January 24, 2011:
I'm glad you all found the hub useful! Thank you for the comments!
Celtic Weddings from Hamilton, New Jersey on January 23, 2011:
A must see if you are visiting Ireland. Beautiful pictures and a great Hub.
mecheshier on January 21, 2011:
Beautiful pics. Wonderful article. Thank you for the Hub! Now I need to go there! :-)
amybradley77 on January 20, 2011:
Absolutely and utterly beautiful, looks really like a blessed a magical world here those cliffs are overwhelming!! A very inspiring and wonderful page to share here. A.B.
Hello, hello, from London, UK on January 20, 2011:
Thank you for the perience of readibng about and seeing these great photos.