After visiting the Mini Cliffs of Moher at the start of Day 5 of our All Ireland Rocker Tour, we finally made our way to the destination I had been waiting for the whole trip: The ACTUAL Cliffs of Moher!!!
As our bus was parking, my feet were itching to get out and start exploring!!! I had such high expectations from pictures I’d seen, that I was hoping not to be disappointed. But then again, how could I be?! The moment we stepped on the stairs that led to the views of the Cliffs around us, I was mesmerized, not to mention the weather was some of the most intense I’d ever experienced in my life!
The view speaks for itself!
“Standing 214m (702 feet) at their highest point they stretch for 8 kilometres (5 miles) along the Atlantic coast of County Clare in the west of Ireland. From the Cliffs of Moher on a clear day one can see the Aran Islands and Galway Bay, as well as the Twelve Pins and the Maum Turk mountains in Connemara, Loop Head to the south and the Dingle Peninsula and Blasket Islands in Kerry. O’Brien’s Tower stands near the highest point and has served as a viewing point for visitors for hundreds of years.” – Check out the Cliffs of Moher website for more on this spectacular location.
Fortunately for us, entrance to the Cliffs was included in our Shamrocker All Ireland Rocker Tour. If you are travelling alone, you can buy your tickets online or in person at the cliffs themselves. Ticket prices are €6.00 for an Adult and €4.00 if you are a Student! If you want to go up to the top of O’Brien’s Tower it is an additional €2.00 for an Adult. Although we didn’t do this, it is definitely a reason to go back and see the Cliffs again. The prices are reasonable for the sights you are going to be seeing.
The Promenade and the Cliffs in the Distance!
The Cliffs of Moher website states that if you are driving and planning to visit during peak season, it is advisable to avoid the hours of 11am – 3pm, as this is when it is most crowded. Plan you trip ahead of time so you can make sure you get the best of it!
Also, WEAR LAYERS! I suppose it would depend on the season you are going to visit but, when we visited in September, layers were definitely needed! We experienced rain, very VERY high winds, and gorgeous sunshine all in one day. This weather just added to the dramatic experience of the Cliffs overall!
Remember come dressed appropriately!!!
Even the countryside surrounding the Cliffs was amazing
When we arrived, we were so stunned to see the views that we literally couldn’t stop taking photos. The landscape is truly awe inspiring in its grandeur. We could barely pull ourselves away from the breathtaking vistas. At first, we climbed the promenade stairs up to O’Brien’s Tower. The tower itself is like a little castle. It was built as an observation tower for the hundreds of visitors that came through the area each year. As stated above, we didn’t go see the views from the top of the tower but we will definitely do so next time ;).
Getting closer to O’Brien’s Tower! Notice the viewing deck on top!
The Cliffs have an extensive history created by wind, waves and a little bit of Irish Legend. As with Giant’s Causeway, there are a number of legends linked to the Cliffs. After reading through them, my favourite would have to be about the Mermaid of Moher.
The Legend goes as such:
“There once was a local man who saw a mermaid while fishing from the Cliffs of Moher. He engaged her in conversation and while they were speaking together he noticed, lying on a nearby rock, her magic cloak. This cloak she needed to wear to be able to return to sea. Seeing an opportunity to capture the mermaid, he grabbed the cloak and ran off to his house, where he hid the magical garment.
She followed him to his house to get the cloak back but it was well hidden. She agreed to marry the fisherman and they had a son and daughter. But one day some years later, while her husband was fishing out at sea, she found her cloak. He came home to find her gone, returned to the sea and he and his children never saw her again.”
This is only one of the Legends associated with this area. Maybe if you look out onto the water, you can spot the Mermaid wearing her cloak! If you want to read some of the other Legends you can do so here.
Light and Shadow – What an amazing sight!
Besides the fact that the Cliffs have Legends attached to them, they are also so famous that they are featured in many movies! If you’re a fan of the Harry Potter series, you may or may not know that the Cliffs were the site for a specific scene from the Half Blood Prince movie. The scene in particular is when Harry and Dumbledore enter a cave to find the Horcrux! Yes, that cave was in the Cliffs of Moher! Also, if you love the Princess Bride, the Cliffs of Moher were the Cliffs of Insanity in that movie! There are many, many more movies that feature the Cliffs and it’s no wonder why!
No matter where you stand, there is a picture opportunity…
After viewing O’Brien’s Tower, we went back down and started heading towards the Cliffs themselves, of course snapping about 100 more photos on the way! Walking on, we reached a fork in the road!
Do Not Pass?! Of course we won’t…ahrm!
The safe or the adventurous way! In true Irish fashion, and because the path wasn’t blocked :P, we decided to live on the edge, literally, and boy, was it worth it!!!
And that’s how close to the edge we went!
The pathway just continues onward!
The views were spectacular…I didn’t want to leave!! We continued down the unobstructed pathway and ended up getting really close to the edge to take same amazing photos of the promenade area we had been at earlier with O’Brien’s Tower.
O’Brien’s Tower in the distance
The ocean views are stunning! I bet it would be just as amazing viewing the Cliffs from the ocean, as it is from walking on them. You can actually get a guided tour, in addition to a cruise from sea level! You can book this when you purchase your tickets and I bet this would be a once in a lifetime experience! Another reason for us to come back for a visit ;).
Endless Sky. Endless Ocean. Reflections abound!
If you continue to walk along to the southernmost tip of the Cliffs, apparently you reach the Hag’s Head. At this location is the Moher Tower, which is the ruin of an old watchtower.
“The human story and history of the Cliffs of Moher dates back at least two thousand years as the name derives from a 1st Century BC fort that stood where Moher Tower now stands. The old Irish word “Mothar” means ruined fort and it is this that gives the cliffs their name.”
Unfortunately we didn’t have enough time to walk all the way to the southernmost tip, so we didn’t get to see the Moher Tower. We walked long enough that we could take some amazing shots and absorb the wonder of what was before us but we DEFINITELY have to go back and explore more!
Can you spot Moher Tower?!
After noticing that our time was running out, sadly, we started to walk back along our perilous path, but couldn’t resist taking some silly pictures along the way.
Who knew you could capture the tower between your fingers?!
Walking back, we also made some new friends…
It’s crazy how on one side of the Cliffs, there are cows grazing and then the other leads to some of the most amazing scenery in Ireland!
It’s insane how blue the sky is, when just a couple minutes before it was overcast!
I would have to say that the Cliffs of Moher were probably my favourite part of the trip to Ireland. As I said earlier, I had high expectations and they were so completely met. I loved the wind, rain and sun. I loved the mist and the clouds and the mystery that these Cliffs offer their visitors!
The Cliffs of Moher truly did capture our hearts with their mystery and magic!
Go Visit the Cliffs everyone!!!
Sadly, we had to leave the Cliffs behind us but we weren’t leaving County Clare without a little bit of Irish dance and authentic Irish music!!!
Stay tuned to find out how that went!
Ioana and Natalie
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