7 Natural Wonders of the World
New Seven Wonders of Nature-One
of 28 nominees. Winners will be announced in 2011.
The Cliffs of Moher
are located in the parish of Liscannor
at the south-western edge of the Burren
area near Doolin, which is located
in County Clare, Ireland.
The cliffs rise 120
meters (394 ft) above the Atlantic
Ocean at Hag's Head, and reach their
maximum height of 214 meters (702
ft) just north of O'Brien's Tower,
eight kilometres away. The cliffs
boast one of Ireland's most spectacular
views. On a clear day the Aran Islands
are visible in Galway Bay, as are
the valleys and hills of Connemara.
O'Brien's Tower is a
round stone tower at the approximate
midpoint of the cliffs. It was built
by Sir Cornelius O'Brien, a descendant
of Ireland's High King Brian Boru,
in order to impress female visitors.
From atop that watchtower, one can
view the Aran Islands and Galway Bay,
the Maum Turk Mountains and the Twelve
Pins to the north in Connemara, and
Loop Head to the south.
Cliff viewThe cliffs consist mainly
of beds of Namurian shale and sandstone,
with the oldest rocks being found
at the bottom of the cliffs. It is
possible to see 300 million year old
river channels cutting through the
base of the cliffs.
There are many animals
living on the cliffs. Most of these
are birds, with an estimated 30,000
birds from 29 species. These include
the noted Atlantic Puffins, which
live in large colonies at isolated
parts of the cliffs and on the small
Goat Island. Also present are hawks,
gulls, guillemots, shags, ravens and
The Cliffs of Moher is amongst the
most popular tourist destinations
in Ireland, and topped the list of
attractions in 2006 by drawing almost
one million visitors.
Building work at the Cliffs, November
2005The site has been developed by
Clare County Council and Shannon Heritage
to allow visitors to experience the
Cliffs, without the distraction of
overly-imposing man-made amenities
or features. In keeping with this
approach, the "Cliffs of Moher
Visitor Experience" is built
into a hillside approaching the Cliffs,
blending naturally with the surrounding
countryside. The centre is also environmentally
sensitive in its use of renewable
energy systems including geothermal
heating and cooling, solar panels,
and greywater recycling.
Officially opened in
February 2007, having been planned
and built over a 17 year period, the
€32 million facility features
an array of interactive media, exploring
topics such as the origin of the Cliffs
in local and global geological contexts,
the bird and fish life in the area,
and many more. An IMAX-type multimedia
show allows visitors to experience
a bird's eye view from the cliffs,
as well as seeing the inside of underwater
caves at the foot of the cliffs. The
official Cliffs of Moher website features
pictures and information on tours,
school trips and other areas of interest.
There is a charge of
8,00€ per car for admission.
This covers all people in the car
and is termed a "facilities charge"
- it includes access to the visitor
centre building, parking and a contribution
towards conservation and safety at
the cliffs. Visitors to the Atlantic
Edge exhibition are charged an additional
4 euros per adult.
Cliffs of Moher CruiseThe Cliffs of
Moher Visitor Experience won an award
in the Interpret Britain & Ireland
Awards 2007 awarded by the Association
of Heritage Interpretation. Although
the award was specifically for the
Atlantic Edge exhibition, the AHI
assessed the entire visitor centre
and site. The citation states that
the entire visitor centre was "one
of the best facilities that the judges
had ever seen."
Ferry trips also allow
tourists to view the Cliffs of Moher
from sea level.
May 26 Tour of Isle
continues with the day's highlight being
the spectacular Cliffs of Moher