Skellig Michael Islands is a small, uninhabited, rocky island eight miles from the small fishing town of Kerry in Portmagee. The island gained worldwide attention after appearing in the mega-hit film “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” In 1996 UNESCO added the island of Skellig Michael to the World Heritage List in recognition of its extraordinary universal value. And here, we have compiled a travel guide to visiting the Skellig Michael islands.
Travel Guide Visiting Skellig Michael Island Irlandia
Skellig Michael, also known as Great Skellig, is the larger of the two islands located 7.2 miles west of the Iveragh Peninsula in Co Kerry. The smaller of the two islands is known as Little Skellig. (The name ‘Skellig’ comes from the word Sceillic, which means steep rock.)
The Skelligs are two small rocky islands located off the coast of Kerry and consist of Skellig Michael and Little Skellig. Little Skellig is the smaller of the two islands and is home to over 25,000 seabirds, while the larger Skellig Michael is a UNESCO World Heritage Site designated as a result of its well-preserved monastic post in the early Christian period. The island also featured prominently in the latest installment of the Star Wars film, The Force Awakens.
How to Get to There
Weather permitting, the Skellig Michael Islands is open from May to September and is accessible by boat from Valentia, Portmagee, Ballinskelligs, and Catherdaniel. The following boat companies all run trips that include a 2-hour stop at Skellig Michael, very few of which offer online bookings.
Exploring Skelling Michael
Once in Skellig Michael visitors have 2.5 hours to tour the island. There is only one way to the monastery (that visitors are allowed to use). Guides are placed along the way, both to keep visitors safe and to teach visitors about the history of the island.
In the span of an hour, 180 visitors were dropped off on the island. 180 people may not sound like a lot, but it’s a small island, and you’ll always be accompanied by other visitors. Visitors climb more than 600 steps to reach the top of the island. The steps are steep, uneven and some of the paths are narrow. The further you climb, the better view you’ll get.
Tips for Visiting Skellig Michael Islands
Skellig Michael is great but there are two things to keep in mind namely, the famous Irish weather and the harsh terrain. Here are our tips for surviving a day at Skelligs:
Choose the right boat trip
Several boats circled the Islands and some stopped at Skellig Michael.
Only 180 people are allowed to visit the island on any given day. A number of small boats left for Skelligs and they ordered at popular times. This ride is even more popular since the Star Wars movies.
This trip allows the weather and the boat won’t leave if the conditions are too harsh.
Prepare your health condition
Depending on where you depart from, the boat journey is at least 45 minutes so seasickness or seasickness is definitely possible for you, as high waves are sure to rock the boat.
Bring warm clothes and wet clothes
Weather can change quickly and, even on a nice day, a 45-minute trip by sea can be chilly. Most boats keep a wax jacket when it rains or when the waves come over you.
Wear traveling boots
Wear traveling boots, because the terrain is rough and steep.
Watch your step
Due to preservation issues, there are too many handrails on the Skellig Michael, and the steps are exposed with light drops. Bring a stick if it helps and pay attention to the trails.
Pack food and drinking water
The trek that stops at Skellig Michael lasts at least 5 hours and there is no doubt the hike will satisfy both appetite and thirst.
Prepare your camera (Skellig Michael Islands)
Skellig Michael is one of the most amazing places in the world, so take the best pictures from there.
Go to the bathroom before you get on the boat
Because there are no bathrooms on the island of Skellig Michael. So, make sure of yourself before it’s too late.
Visitor boats to Skellig Michael depart from the quaint fishing village of Portmagee in Kerry. As the boat leaves for Skellig early in the morning, we recommend staying at Portmagee the night before so the boat is only a short walk away the next morning. Portmagee is a lovely little Irish fishing village, with some really amazing Irish B&B’s. Tourist favorites are usually:
This luxury guesthouse is located opposite the actual Skellig mooring, so you couldn’t be closer to your trip. The food is phenomenal, the atmosphere is always relaxed and the Guinness is pretty good too.
The Waterfront B&B
This family-run, relaxed B&B has great views over the harbor and over Valentia Island. Apart from that, very short walking distance from the harbor.
B&Bs at Shealane Country House
If you don’t like staying in Portmagee, this lovely Irish B&B is just a stone’s throw from the bridge on Valentia Island.