Visiting Skellig Michael: What you need to know

Skellig Michael, or Sceilg Mhichíl as it is known in the Irish language, is an island situated south-west off the County Kerry coast. You can take a trip to this quaint little island on The Ring of Kerry walking trip.
Home to a monastic settlement which dates back to the 6th Century, it became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1996. This is no surprise once you see the scale, stature and skillfully placed steps (over 600!) of the Great Skellig.
Multiple beehive huts can be found on the island, as well as a graveyard, hundreds of sandstone steps, all of which were created by hand. During the time of the Penal Laws, Skellig Michael and Little Skellig became a haven for many Catholics whose beliefs and rights were being suppressed.
The monks of St.Fionan’s monastery left the hermitage in the thirteenth century, with Christians coming from all corners of the world to visit Skellig Michael as a place for pilgrims. Today, just three tour guides live on the island. These experts are perfectly placed to teach you about the history and culture of this special place.
The island is also a nature reserve, home to thousands of Puffins (clearly not camera-shy), Manx Shearwater, Razorbill, and Gannet, to name just a few. Watch these cheeky characters peeking out from the rocks playfully or soaring the air.
To access the Skelligs, boat tours are offered from May to late September. Landing tours have skyrocketed in popularity due to the new Star Wars movie franchise filmed there. In order to preserve the island’s heritage and to protect the natural habitats who live there, tours are limited and sell out fast. Boat tours leave from Portmagee marina every morning and afternoon throughout summer months and September.
For more information on any of our walking and cycling tours, please contact the travel specialists.

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