If you are going to Ireland, you have to see the Cliffs of Moher. They are the Cliffs of Insanity in the Princess Bride movie.

Cliffs of Moher, over 700 feet above the Atlantic

Cliffs of Moher, over 700 feet above the Atlantic

The Cliffs of Moher are in County Clare, Ireland. They are over 700 feet above the Atlantic overlooking the Aran Islands in Galway Bay. They are at the edge of the Burren.

O'Brien's Tower

O’Brien’s Tower

O’Brien’s Tower

O'Brien's Tower

O’Brien’s Tower at the top of the Cliffs
Branaunmore sea stack at the bottom

The Cliffs of Moher were already a popular tourist attraction in Victorian times.  A tower was built by Sir Cornelius O’Brien in 1835 at the highest point of the Cliffs.  O’Brien was an Irish politician, Member of Parliament and landowner in County Clare, where the Cliffs of Moher are. They were built as a picnic area, a teahouse that served as protection if it were rainy or windy. From the tower you can see as far as the Aran Islands and the Twelve Bens, mountains in Connemara.

Napoleon Tower in the distance from the Cliffs of Moher

Napoleon Tower in the distance from the Cliffs of Moher

Napoleon Towers

The Cliffs of Moher are named for a fort that once stood here, Moher Uí Ruis. The stones from the fort were used to build Moher Tower, the nearby Napoleon Tower on Hag’s Head, at the southern end of the Cliffs of Moher. If you drive along the coast of Ireland, you will see other Napoleon Towers. Napoleon Towers were built as lookout and signal towers during the Napoleonic Wars of 1803 to 1815.  The Napoleon Tower at the Cliffs of Moher is a square stone tower with a parapet.

Cliffs of Moher Visitor Center

Cliffs of Moher Visitor Center

Visitor Center

There is a visitor center that is built into the ground, so you can only see it from the parking lot. There are a lot of exhibits about the area’s geology, plants and animals. It also has videos of the cliffs from the air and from the sea. I recommend you use the bathroom before you walk on, because as soon as that cold sea air hits you, it is a long way back.

Please Do Not Go Beyond This Point Well worn path on the other side of warning signs at Cliffs of Moher

Please Do Not Go Beyond This Point
Well worn path on the other side of warning signs at Cliffs of Moher

There were a lot of warning signs to try to prevent people falling to their deaths. People were completely ignoring them and walking on a well-worn path on the other side of the wall. Parents were letting children walk on the wall by the cliffs. They were making me a nervous wreck.

Seabirds at The Cliffs of Moher

Seabirds at The Cliffs of Moher

There were bird-watchers here, too. A man let me look at the puffins through his binoculars.

Next: Along the Coast to Doolin Harbour >

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