By far the most impressive attraction in County Clare are the Cliffs of Moher. You can tell where they are by the impressive selection of tour buses in the car park as you approach via a small country road covered in double yellow lines.
This is of course designed to make you cough-up at least 2 Euro 50 for the car-park.
At least entry to the cliffs is free.
Once you avoid the "diddly-diddly" buskers (I think there is an Irish law which says there must be at least two at every Irish tourist site) on the approach path, the Cliffs themselves are quite breathtaking.
There are a couple of lookout points (O'Briens tower) that you can then walk to in order to get a slightly different view.
The tourist board claim they are the highest cliffs in Europe, but this would seem just a little contentious to say the least.
See the Cliffs of Moher (Ailltreacha Mothair), the name comes from a ruined fort, Mothar, which was replaced by a signal tower during the Napoleonic wars.
It’s a natural barrier where the Atlantic can show his might during a storm. The are in some places 215m above sea level and they stretch over a length off almost 8km.
You can visit O'Briens tower to see even the Aran Islands and the twelve Bens of Conemara, but then you need to have a clear day.
We had the luck that we had a big fog hanging over the Cliffs of Moher. When we approached the cliff car park, the fog get thicker and thicker and we even passed the entrance before we saw it. We got out, jumped into our jackets and we went to see a glimpse of the cliffs. But we didn’t see anything their except the fog and now and then an opening. We went back in the afternoon and it was the same story. But now we could see the sea sometimes, but we couldn’t get any impression of the grandness of the cliffs.
The Cliffs of Moher can be found between the villages of Doolin and Liscannor on the R478. Look for a car park on the side of the road that is closest to the sea and you have found these stupendous acts of nature. Be warned that the car park costs 3 euros during the day, regardless of how long you are there. However, if you like the sea and enjoy lovely views, it is well worth the money.
The cliffs drop vertically down to the foaming sea; are up to 700ft (215mtr) high in places and extends 5 miles (8km) along the coast. It is home to loads of different types of birds; guillemots, puffins, choughs and kittiwakes, to name a few. It is made up of dark yellow sandstone and millstone grit, the layers of which can be seen near the top of the cliffs.
We found that the car park was free after 6pm (not certain if this is all year long – I am sure that they charge for the car park later into the evening during the summer) so I took the opportunity to sit out on a very windy and cold cliff to take this photo of a sunset. I think it was worth it, though, don’t you?
Within the car park, there is a visitors centre, shop, tearoom and, best of all, public toilets. These can be few and far between in this area of Ireland, so make full use of them!
As stated, O’Brien created a wall to protect any visitors to the area, which has been maintained and is still in place, to this day. This can be seen in the first picture.
Don’t be an idiot like this guy and clamber over it, onto the cliff edge, just to get a good photo. In certain spots, it is possible to look along the sides of the cliffs and a lot of them have crumbled away underneath and the land that you stand on could just be an overhang waiting to fall into the sea, so taking chances like this is just not worth it.
If you do decide to brave O’Brien’s Tower, then beware the stairs. they are made of iron, extremely small steps and narrow. The room at the top is quite limited and during the summer, I should imagine, extremely crowded.
On top of one of the highest cliffs stands O’Brien’s Tower. Built in 1835 by Cornelius O’Brien, a local landlord who wanted the tower as an observation post from which to watch the turbulent sea. He also got his peasants to build a 3 mile-long wall of limestone flags to prevent visitors being sucked over the edge of the cliffs by the down-draughts. It costs 2 euros to access the tower but it is worth it as it gives some superb views of the area from the top You can also use the telescope that you find at the top for free.
The Cliffs of Moher are probably one of the most photographed places in the country. If you see them, get your picture quickly. They can become shrouded in fog and your only option will be to buy the postcard instead. We had to do that two years ago, so this time we drove through Doolin and got our pictures taken before we checked in to the lodge...
Ireland's main tourist attraction - the Cliffs of Moher - are just a few miles away south of Doolin. This makes Doolin a perfect place to stay if you want to explore the Cliffs in the morning.
These cliffs are very exciting (especially when we were there on a day with gaelforce winds!!) and up to 200 mtrs high. Even though there's lots of tourists here I enjoyed the views very much.
Perfect viewpoint about Cliff's of Moher. Some upstair and view Panorama, and look through a glass.
Tower entrance fee : 1Irish pound.
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