Lonely planet has recently listed Ireland’s Skellig Michael region as one of the top ten places to visit in the world…..and we agree!
Here at Ireland luxury Travel, we really enjoy helping our client’s achieve their dream of landing on the UNESCO World Heritage Site, and do everything we can to make the unpredictable adventure, safe and amazing.
The Skellig islands are located off the south west coast of Ireland and are accessed by small ferry from the fishing village of Port Magee. They were build by Coptic Church early Christian monks who came from the middle east in the 6th century looking for isolation. They found it. The larger island is 217 m high and is largely a jagged rocky outcrop jutting out of the sea. The monks cut 600 m steps into the rock face leading up to a saddle were they located their settlement. Tiny beehive shaped oratories were build out of dry stone cut from the rock. Manmade vegetable gardens and rain water cisterns were all cut out of the side of the cliff to sustain life out on the windy Atlantic Ocean. The settlement has survived to today and can be visited by a few luck adventurers.
Our Rough Guide to a Successful Skellig Rock Landing
Book your place on the ferry early. Places fill up 4-5 months in advance and the boats only sail in the summer months (May to September). Meet the ferry in Port Magee on the Skellig Ring, the very edge of the Iveragh Peninsula, but make sure to have confirmed the trip the night before because cancellations are very common due to unpredictable weather conditions. If the boat can’t land, you might still get to sail around the Island and take in the stunning views from underneath. This is an experience well worth doing, even if the windy conditions prevent you from landing on the island.
There is a huge selection of fantastic 4* and 5* hotels on the Ring of Kerry that will cater to every taste and budget. Getting to Kerry is one of the best parts of the whole trip, and we recommend incorporating a 7 – 10 night tour of the country to really see the best of what Ireland has to offer. You can fly into Dublin Airport and make your way to the coast or fly directly into Shannon Airport which is the closest to the Skellig Experience and keeps you out of any cities if that is what you are looking for.
If you are lucky and get on to the Rock, you have about two hours to explore the site for yourself. 600 steep steps bring you to the settlement were you can discover how these brave and spiritual monks lived in one of the most remote places in Europe. There are no toilets, restaurants, transportation or protection from the weather. You are on your own!. Take lots of pictures but also take in the memory of being one of the lucky few to get to visit one of the most beautiful places in the world.
The ferry back is relaxing after such an adrenaline decent off the island. This is not a trip for the faint hearted!. Heading back to your hotel, make sure to take in the Skellig Ring drive. This is the far edge of the famous Ring of Kerry that is not accessible by heavy vehicles or buses. So no bus tours here! Make sure to stop at the chocolatier for a sample of possibly the most remotely made chocolate in the world!.
Star Wars chose this region for the opening sequence of Star Wars: The Force Awakens and the Skellig Michael Island as Luke Skywalker’s secret retreat. Further filming is going ahead and this location will be used to a larger extent in the future trilogies. For stunning cinematography, you can see why.