Portmagee is a small picturesque fishing village of brightly painted houses at the southwest tip of Valentia Harbour. The area was a haven for smugglers and pirates whose hunting ground was the trade from the Continent and North America.
Renowned as the fishing centre of South West Kerry with over 80% of the area’s fleet based in the harbour. The village is well known for its traditional pubs and quality restaurants where fresh fish is served daily straight from the boats. One of the highlights of the year is the “Old Year” festivities, which takes place on New Years Eve. It’s a little bit crazy, a little bit amazing and a fantastic time.
Nestled between the spectacular scenery of St. Finan’s Bay & Valentia Island, this area is as amazing for it’s coastal splendour as for it’s Winter Sunsets. Whether your visit to the Skellig Region is for relaxation or the adventures of the outdoors, the breathtaking scenery will leave you gasping at every opportunity.
There are exceptional walks and cycling trails with ultimate moments being Coomanaspig Pass (separating Portmagee and St. Finan’s Bay), Bray Head Tower on the southern tip of Valentia Island and Valentia Slate Quarry to the north with exceptionally beautiful views over Valentia Harbour, Dingle Bay and the Blasket Islands.
As Portmagee is the main departure point for the Skellig Rocks – UNESCO World Heritage Site – a visit to the Skellig Region would not be complete without a visit to the Skelligs World Heritage Site. Skellig Michael, the larger of the two islands is the site of the world’s finest example of an early Christian monastic settlement. The monastic complex lies 12km off the south west of Ireland on a rocky pinnacle and dates to the 6th or 7th century. The monastery survived for about six centuries before being abandoned in the 13th century. The monastic enclosure consists of six beehive-shaped huts of mortarless stone construction, two oratories and a church. According to annals, the Vikings raided in 812 and 823 and found an established community.
A trip to the Rocks will take a full day (boats depart around 9am) and is the highlight of any visit to the Skellig Region. It is an amazing experience to be sitting 220 metres high on top of the rocks looking down at the rough sea and letting the wind fill your lungs with fresh air. No words can capture the serene beauty and spiritual splendour to be encountered there.
Something for Everybody:
Skellig Rocks; Skellig Boat Trips; Skellig Cruise; Hill Walking – The Kerry Way; Valentia Island Scenic Drive; Coomanaspig Pass with spectacular views of the Skellig Region; Skellig Experience Heritage Centre; Valentia Slate Quarry; Valentia Museum; Sea Angling; Horse Riding; Diving; Water Sports; Cycling Routes; Blue Flag Beaches; Magnificent Scenic Drives; Waterville Links Golf; Archaeological Sites; Cill Rialaig Famine Village; Cill Rialaig Art Gallery & Café; Derrynane House; Caherciveen Heritage Barracks; Festivals and Events; and so much more.
World Famous Irish Hospitality
Music, Food, Pubs
Ceoil & Craic – Uniquely Local