When the penultimate fantasy novel “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” by J.K. Rowling was made into a movie, it captivated the audience to wondrous cinematography. “Being me has its privileges,” Dumbledore tells Harry in the Astronomy Tower. His enviable ability to “apparate” himself and Harry Potter take them to an unrivaled vantage point – The Horcrux Cave. Towering heights, angrily crashing waves, rugged and panoramic cliffs loom large on the screen. The audience watched. Spellbound! These cliffs that were featured are The Cliffs Of Moher.
Located on the West coast of Ireland, close to Liscannor village in County Clare, the eight dramatic headlands of the Cliffs of Moher reveal different facets of Ireland’s incredible coast as a historical landmark, a geographic wonder and a treasure trove of natural richness. The day ahead would be one we will never forget.
As the car drove from Galway to the Cliffs we were quiet in the car. The spectacular views blew our breaths away. It’s said, the journey is just as important as the destination. The drive to the Cliffs is beautiful and we were glad we took the road. Why ‘Moher” I asked? An interesting tale ensued.The Cliffs take their name from a ruined headland fort ‘Mothar’. Demolished during the Napoleonic wars in the early 1800’s it was replaced by a signal tower at Hag’s Head, the southernmost point on the cliffs. The word ‘Mothar’in old Gaelic means ‘the ruin of a fort’.
The Cliffs of Moher are located at the southwestern edge of the Burren region in County Clare, Ireland. Towering at 390 ft above the Atlantic Ocean at Hag’s Head, and reaching their maximum height 702 ft just north of O’Brien’s Tower, the Cliffs attract about one million visitors a year.
As soon as we reached the destination we found our way to the visitor center and the “Atlantic Edge” exhibition. From here, we walked up to the O’Brien’s Tower which marks the highest point of the Cliffs of Moher and harnesses splendid views of and from Moher. The vast expanse of the Atlantic Ocean opened before us. It’s important to check the weather forecast before making a trip to this nature’s wonder. I’m glad we did. This day was a clear one and the faraway skyline of the Twelves pins, the Aran Islands, and the Maumturks offered clean and spectacular vistas.
Looming large over the Atlantic Ocean, these natural wonders have been thrashed into incredible furrowed forms by the violent pounding of the waves. The cliffs are home to about 30,000 seabirds and as we walked the narrow track of 8 km, we could hear the cries of the birds. Black ravens, razorbills, puffins, kittiwake, fulmar glided in the blue skies.
The views from the Cliffs left me breathless many a times. They’re so awe-inspiring. I closed my eyes to capture all that I could see around. Visiting it is an encounter with nature in its wild, raw form. The mighty, rugged cliffs facing the tempestuous ocean, the taste of the salty air, the cry of the cliff-nesting birds, the thud of the feet on the rocks, the cool breeze on the face; it’s nature in all its glory. It’s an experience of a lifetime.
Opening Hours: Daily from 9 AM, closing times vary according to the season (closed on December 24th, 25th, and 26th).
Admission Prices: Adults € 6, Children under 16 free, Students, Senior Citizens, and Disabled Visitors € 4. Reductions for groups, or when pre-booking on the internet.