The Skellig Islands, Skellig Michael and Small Skellig, stand aloof in the Atlantic Ocean some 13km southwest of Valentia Island, County Kerry. From any angle, or from any vantage point on the nearby Ring of Kerry, they are spectacular pinnacles, which have magnetised viewers for generations.
The Skelligs are world famous, each in its own right. Skellig Michael is known throughout the world of archaeology as the site of a well preserved monastic outpost of the early Christian period, now designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Small Skellig is equally renowned in matters of ornithology as the home of some 27,000 pairs of gannets, the second largest colony of such sea birds in the world.
The monastic site on Skellig Micheal is reached by climbing over five hundred steps on up a 1000 year old stone stairway. Stone beehive huts where monks lived and prayed centuries ago cling to cliff edges alongside oratories, a cemetery, stone crosses, holy wells and the Church of St Michael. These isolated archaeological remains show the dramatically spartan conditions in which this early Christian community lived. Enduring several Viking raids, the monks eventually left the island in the thirteenth century and it subsequently became a place of pilgrimage.
A boat trip to The Skelligs allows one to experience these magnificent natural monuments first hand, but if you want to stay on dry land visit the Skellig Experience Centre on the waterfront beside the Valentia Island bridge.
Boat trip around the Skelligs
Cruises around the Skellig Islands
Devane Boat trips
For boat trips around The Skelligs call (087) 6178114 (066) 9477108
This trip lasts 2.5 hours and depatrs at 10.30am and 2pm
Price per person: €30
Boat trips to the Skelligs
Landing Boat Operators
- Brendan Casey tel. 066 9472437 and mobile 087 2287519
- Dan McCrohan tel. 066 9476124 and mobile 087 2399741
- Donal McCrohan tel. 066 9476142 and mobile 087 2906168
- Patrick Murphy tel. 066 9477156 and mobile 087 2342168
- Joe Roddy tel 066 9474268 and mobile 087 2844460
- Kenneth Roddy tel. 066 9474268 and mobile 087 1209924
- Michael O’Sullivan tel. 066 9474255 and mobile 087 4178268
- Dermot Walsh tel. 066 9476120 and mobile 086 8339549
- Owen Walsh mobile 087 2833522
Boats depart between 9.00am and 10.00am- weather permitting
Return between 2.30pm and 3.30pm
Price per person €60.00 in May, June, September and October, €70.00 in July and August
Payable in cash only to boat operator
The boats departs daily from Portmagee pier at approximately 10:00am, weather permitting. The boat trip to the Skelligs takes 45 minutes and you have between 2 hours and 2 hours 30 minutes on the rock. The boat stops for a while at the Little Skelligs to allow you to view the bird colony and seals. The return boat trip lasts a further 45 minutes and you are back in Portmagee at around 3 o’ clock. It is advisable to book at least 2 days in advance.
Feel the Force: What’s it really like to visit Skellig Michael?