Great Skelligs Travel Guide

  • View from the South peak’s base
    View from the South peak’s base
    by JLBG
  • The cemetery
    The cemetery
    by JLBG
  • Not for those that fear heights!
    Not for those that fear heights!
    by JLBG

Great Skelligs Things to Do

  • Skellig Island

    On the way back, we had a last look at Small Skellig with its birds (first photo) The second photo was taken when we passed the end of Small Skellig with Great Skellig in the background. The third photo was taken just before entering the harbor of Portmaggee. The Skelligs are now far away! Goodby Skelligs!

    more
  • Beehive

    The crosses have obviously been processed by hammering slabs of rock to remove the parts that had to be removed. This was not really “carving” but something very rough, certainly with poor tools, may be only another stone. However, some of the crosses are more elaborate than other. The tall one on the first photo has even an engraving with...

    more
  • Puffins

    I tried a few times to take a picture of a landing puffin. They are definitely more talented in diving than in walking and almost certain in flying. When they fly they look like one of those old silent movies which are shown in a too high speed, when they land they look even more clumsy... I loved to watch them!! And I guess I was really lucky to...

    more
  • Birds

    Morus bassanus or Sula bassana is named in English “Northern Gannet”, in French “Fou de Bassan”, in Spanish “Alcatraz”, in German “Basstölpel”, in Dutch “Jan van Gent”’, in swedish “Havssula” and in Italian “Sula”. It the largest seabird in the Northern hemisphere as it can be 1 meter high and have a wing span of 182 cm. It is twice larger than...

    more
  • Back to the mainland

    On the way back, we had a last look at Small Skellig with its birds (first photo)The second photo was taken when we passed the end of Small Skellig with Great Skellig in the background.The third photo was taken just before entering the harbor of Portmaggee. The Skelligs are now far away! Goodby Skelligs!

    more
  • Goodby Blind’s man Cove and Skellig...

    There are now restrictions to the visits as too many visitors on the fragile ecosystem of the island has been found to be detrimental for it. Boat operators have a permit for taking passengers to the Skelligs. This permit is now not transferable anymore, for example to a son. When a boat operator retires, his permit is lost and new permits are...

    more
  • Return to Blind’s man Cove!

    A visit of Skellig Michael is something very special and “out of the beaten path”! I was very lucky and happy to have done it. I could not help to think of the pilgrims that for centuries ventured to this remote island. The visit was far from being as easy as it had been for me. The accesses we used did not exist. They had to climb by the rough and...

    more
  • View from the South peak’s base

    I took this series of photos from the ridge just beneath the south peak.The first photo shows Christ’s saddle with visitors laying in the sun, the north summit with the stairs that lead to the monastery and in the background, Small Skellig..The second photo was taken a little further west with a 180 mm telephoto lens.The third was taken from almost...

    more
  • South peak’s hermitage

    The south peak stands at the other end of the island. On the first photo, it is seen from the summit of the stairs that go from the monastery to Christ’s saddle. The monastery seemed to be the remotest possible place for monks to live. However, some of them (most likely one at a time, for obvious reasons!) wanted to live in an even more isolated...

    more
  • Abundant vegetation

    The creation of garden was somehow easy (not really!) because the wetness of the extreme oceanic climate speed the desegregation of the volcanic rock that gives a thin layer of fertile vegetal soil. No cultivated plant remains from the monks gardens but wild plants make a thick cover which is a testimony of its fertileness. Here, a bed of Silena...

    more
  • View from the cemetery

    From the cemetery, the view on the cliffs and the sea is stunning. Blind’s man cove, where visitors land, is 185 m below, on the left of the picture, Boat that wait after their load of visitors look like toys!This cliff is typical of the structure of the island with numerous narrow shelves, some of which had been improved by the monks that built...

    more
  • The crosses

    The crosses have obviously been processed by hammering slabs of rock to remove the parts that had to be removed. This was not really “carving” but something very rough, certainly with poor tools, may be only another stone.However, some of the crosses are more elaborate than other. The tall one on the first photo has even an engraving with straight...

    more
  • The cemetery

    Along the Beehives, two dozens of slabs of stone have been roughly carved to figure crosses and stand in a small enclosure, stuck into the thin soil. Each tomb has very little space: about 1 m long and 40 cm wide. Moreover, and what is puzzling is that the soil is not more than 20 cm thick, 30 cm to the most. How bodies could have been be buried...

    more
  • Beehives huts

    Close to the Oratory, six beehives dry stone huts stand on two terraces. They are considered to be monks cells. As two monks might have lived in each cell, the monastery would never had ore than a dozen monks. They grew vegetables on several small terraces for their food and seem to have raised goats. After the 11th century, the climate became...

    more
  • The Oratory

    The oratory has the usual shape of an upside down boat (first photo). It is 3.5 m high. It stands on a small terrace and was built on a rectangular plan (3.65 x 2.44 m). It has a narrow and tall window with a vaulted top above the altar. Lilltle Skellig is exactly framed within the window! (second photo)

    more

Great Skelligs Restaurants

  • by sabsi Written Mar 19, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    There is no restaurant, no shop, no nothing on this island. Luckily! Even a public toilet would spoil the whole feeling here ;)

    Favorite Dish: The fact that there is none!

    Skellig Views
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Birdwatching
    • Archeology

    Was this review helpful?

    more

Great Skelligs Nightlife

  • by sabsi Written Apr 9, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    There's no nightlife on Skellig Michael - except for if you are a bird. Visitors have to leave the island in the afternoon, nobody is allowed to stay .. just the birds!

    There used to be a lighthouse here. Imagine the lonely life the people who ran it were living!!!

    Dress Code: Walking shoes and water proof clothes for the cruise!

    On the way back with some yellow Italians!
    Related to:
    • Archeology
    • Historical Travel
    • Birdwatching

    Was this review helpful?

    more

Great Skelligs Transportation

  • Murphy Sea Cruise

    There are only 156 people allowed on the island each day-13 boats with 12 people in each. The fare in July was 45euro. All the boats are open so you can get very wet in rough seas. I found one covered boat from Ballinskelligs-this cost 50 Euro but was well wortyh the extra charge. We watched people on other boats arrive cold wet and shivering...

    more
  • there is a covered boat

    There are only 156 people allowed on the island each day-13 boats with 12 people in each. The fare in July was 45euro. All the boats are open so you can get very wet in rough seas. I found one covered boat from Ballinskelligs-this cost 50 Euro but was well wortyh the extra charge. We watched people on other boats arrive cold wet and shivering...

    more
  • Take one of the various boattrips - or...

    You go to various places along the coast for a boat trip.On my first visit I took off from Ballinskelligs, must have been Joe Roddy, though I remember they offered diving trips (and they don't show it on the below website/link..).The second time we went with a Portmagee based company (Des Lavalle, I think). Small boats, high sea, it was quite tough...

    more

Great Skelligs Warnings and Dangers

  • by sabsi Updated Aug 7, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    There is no shop, no toilet, ... hmmmm ... actually nothing on the island!!! Be prepared! Bring enough drinks, maybe stuff for a picnic, enough rolls of film or memory cards and wear nappies ;-)

    Can you imagine a public toilet here?
    Related to:
    • Adventure Travel
    • Eco-Tourism

    Was this review helpful?

    more

Great Skelligs Tourist Traps

  • by sabsi Written Apr 9, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Skellig heritage centre on Valentia Island is a good place to go to after having been to the Skelligs to get more impression about the monks, birds or the lighthouse people who lived there.

    But don't think the Experience is replacement for making the trip over to the rock itself! You can go on a boat from the visitor centre which brings you around the Skelligs - but without actually stopping and getting off the boat... if you ask me don't do that! Go on a proper boat trip that brings you onto the island!!!

    Unique Suggestions: Go after you've been to Skellig or before you will go there to learn about the history and the nature of this place. But don't take it as a replacement!

    Fun Alternatives: Go! If you can then get on a boat and go there!!! You won't regret it!

    Skellig Experience Flyer
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits

    Was this review helpful?

    more

Great Skelligs What to Pack

  • Rain Gear

    I was happy to have brought a waterproof backpack. Without it everything I have brought would have been wet after the cruise to Skellig Michael! Hiking boots will help you climb the 680 stairs up to the top! Bring weatherproof clothes for the boat trip, I was soaked when we arrived at Skellig Michael because all the seaspray hit me. The boatmen...

    more
  • What to bring for a day at Skellig...

    I was happy to have brought a waterproof backpack. Without it everything I have brought would have been wet after the cruise to Skellig Michael! Hiking boots will help you climb the 680 stairs up to the top! Bring weatherproof clothes for the boat trip, I was soaked when we arrived at Skellig Michael because all the seaspray hit me. The boatmen...

    more
  • Great Skelligs Hotels

    0 Hotels in Great Skelligs

Great Skelligs Favorites

  • Skellig Michael

    The information centre is ok, but it's nothing like the real thing. And the boat from the centre only takes you around (at best!), without landing... You can find boats that take you to the island in several nearby towns - Portmagee, Ballinskelligs, and Caherdaniel. See the transportation tip for some more details. The Ballinskelligs one also...

    more
  • The St Michael-Apollo Axis

    While I searched if the pilgrims that went to Skellig Michael visited also Mont St. Michel and Sacra di San Michele, I found an amazing information about a book. I quote the presentation of this book.The St Michael-Apollo Axis, a Study in Sacred Geography, by Lucien Richer, translated by Francesca GreeneThe Apollo line is so named because the solar...

    more
  • Other St Michel’s sanctuaries

    Four main Saint Michel’s Sanctuary standing on top of sharp rocks, “midway between earth and god”. They are and easily accessed, stand on an almost straight line and are almost equidistant. From North to South :Skellig Michael, in south western Ireland, Mont Saint Michel in Normandie (France), Sacra di San Michele in Piémont (Italy)Santuario di...

    more

Instant Answers: Great Skelligs

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

86 travelers online now

Comments

Map of Great Skelligs

View all Great Skelligs hotels