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Ring of Kerry Private Tour from Killarney
"The Itinerary:Following a pick up from your accommodation on route we will visit Killorglin which is home of the semi-pagan festival; Puck Fair.  From Killorglin the tour will include the following scenic areas of interest:The Bog Village Museum The Bog Museum is located close to Glenbeigh. This museum gives a fascinating insight into how people lived and worked in Ireland in the 18th Ce we shall also visit its glorious sandy beach. CahersiveenFollowing the N70 road we will stop at Cahersiveen the birthplace of Daniel O'Connell who was a political leader in the first half of the 19th century and was often referred to as the Liberator or Emancipator.Valentia IslandFrom Cahersiveen the tour continues to Valentia Island. It is a picture-postcard island situated off the South West coast of Kerry and is of great beauty and contrast. It is joined to the mainland by bridge via the Portmagee Channel. Valentia was the eastern terminus of
From EUR240.00
 
Private Tour: Ring of Kerry from Killarney
"The ""Ring of Kerry"" is a spectacular scenic route in south west Ireland. A private tour is the best way to enjoy all the sights and scenery the route has to offer. You can fully be in charge of the itinerary. Compared with coach tours we can make more stops (of your choice) and travel to places where buses have no access.The Ring of Kerry is a world-famous route following the N70 N71 and R562 roads in a circular direction around the Iveragh peninsula. The route starts in the town Killarney and passes through the towns and villages of (in order): Killorglin Cahersiveen Waterville Sneem Kenmare
From EUR56.00
 
Ring of Kerry Private Tour from Cahersiveen
"The ""Ring of Kerry"" is a spectacular scenic route in south west Ireland. A private tour with us is the best way to enjoy all the sights and scenery the route has to offer. You can fully be in charge of the itinerary. Compared with coach tours we can make more stops (of your choice) and travel to places where buses have no access.The Ring of Kerry is a world-famous route following the N70 N71 and R562 roads in a circular direction around the Iveragh peninsula. The route starts in the town Killarney and passes through the towns and villages of (in order): Killorglin Cahersiveen Waterville Sneem Kenmare
From EUR56.00

Skellig Island Tips (16)

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!

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JLBG
Feb 13, 2008

Goodby Blind’s man Cove and Skellig Michael.

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 given very scarcely. Boat operators are only permitted to make one trip to the Skelligs each day. Landing on Skellig Michael is limited to about 300 visitors a day even in the busy summer travel season. Out of the summer season, this number is much lower, even if the weather allows landing.

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JLBG
Feb 13, 2008

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 steep “East steps”. Moreover, they had to climb on top of south peak, what I did not!

JLBG's Profile Photo
JLBG
Feb 13, 2008

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 the same place but with a 300 mm telephoto lens.

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JLBG
Feb 13, 2008
 
 
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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 place, outside the community … and they built a tiny hermitage on top of south peak! The access is difficult and dangerous.

The second photo is an enlargement. The south peak appears as a massive mass with two twin summits. On the left, a shelf made of a large rock leaves a narrow passage called “Needle’s Eye”. (arrow). After the narrow passage, one has to climb on 5 m inside a natural chimney (not shown here) to get on the other side of south peak. Several shelves have been arranged and terraced with dry stones in order to have small gardens, an oratory and there must have been a beehive hut but not much is remaining. This place may have been a hermitage for a single monk or/and place where the monks from the abbey might hide when there were attacks by the Vikings, which occurred several times; The monastery was impossible to defend while in this place, a single man could, at Needle’s Eye, block any troupe of warriors, whatever its importance.

I did not tried to climb to the hermitage but only on the right to south peak, on a ridge easily accessed but from where it is not possible to reach the hermitage. The third photo shows two silhouettes on the ridge where I went moments later and took the photos of the next tip.

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JLBG
Feb 13, 2008

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 inflata, of the Pink family (Caryophyllaceae). I have found that in English it was called either bladder campion or maiden's tears, which is obviously very different!

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JLBG
Feb 13, 2008

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 dry stone walls to create small gardens.

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JLBG
Feb 13, 2008

Not for those that fear heights!

Great Skellig is not for those that fear heights!. When you climb the stairs, you only see the next stairs but when you stop and turn back, you get a magnificent landscape with the sea 150 meters or so lower!

The first photo shows the open sea, northwards.

The second photo shows the upper part of the stairs and the kind of path between both sides of the island, at mi height. Several people gave up and did not climbed any further, feeling dizzy and stayed in the grass, waiting that their bolder fellows came down from the hermitage.

The third photo shows Small Skellig from mid stairs and the fourth from the first huts of the monastery.

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JLBG
Feb 13, 2008

Top 5 Great Skelligs Writers

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JLBG

"Great and Small Skellig"
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sabsi

"My favourite place on Earth"
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PeteNL

"An "out of the world" place!"
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X-Ice

"The Island Monastery"
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Folbi

"Skellig-Ballingskelligs"
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Climbing to Christ’s Saddle

A little further, the stairs are wider and more comfortable, either directly carved into the rock (first photo) or made of wide slabs of rock that have been taken a few meters away (second photo). What is amazing on Great Skellig is that grass grows everywhere it can cling and gives a thin cover of vegetal soil on the bare rock.

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JLBG
Feb 13, 2008

Landing on Great Skellig at Blind Man’s cove

There is no shelter on Great Skellig. The motorboats moor temporarily to a small quay at Blind Man’s cove to allow landing and anchor off the island to wait the visitors. Even on a clear day with a smooth sea, the boat jumps up and down along the quay and landing is not that easy. Actually, landing is often not possible and then the tour boats sail around the island. Weather commands!

We were lucky to be able to land! The small stone and concrete quay gives way to a rocky lane that was carved in the cliff at the end of the 19th when a lighthouse was built. It is named the lighthouse road.

As soon as you climb, the view is stunning. On the third photo, Small Skellig appears in the background.

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JLBG
Feb 13, 2008

Great Skellig’s monastery

From the sea, it is difficult to spot the monastery that we will visit.

The first photo was taken with 300 mm telephoto lens. You must enlarge the photo. Near the summit, you might distinguish half a dozen mole traps. They are the beehives dry stone huts (clochan in Irish) of the monastery.

The second photo was taken with a 600 mm and the huts stand in the middle.

The third photo is an enlargement of the previous. The quality is lower but now the huts are easier to spot.
While small Skellig had a whitish look due to the many birds, Great Skellig has a greenish look due to grass growing on each shelf of its cliffs.

JLBG's Profile Photo
JLBG
Feb 13, 2008

Great Skellig

Great Skellig is as rocky and as inhospitable than small Skellig but more massive and thus more impressive. It is 7.5 miles southwest of Valentia island, which, though an island, is stuck to the mainland of Kerry. South Peak of Great Skellig rises 268 meters (879 feet) over the continental shelf and 218 meters (715 feet) of which rise over the ocean level. The north summit, where stands the monastery is smoother and tops at 185 meters. Between South Peak and the plateau, Christ’s Saddle stands at 135 meters.

Great Skellig is 750 meters long and 300 to 350 meters wide. The total area is 18 hectares (44acres).

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JLBG
Feb 13, 2008

Things to Do Near Great Skelligs

Things to Do

Derrynane House

Derrynane House is an interesting place to visit. Derrynane House was the home of Daniel O'Connell who was a lawyer and politician (born August 6th 1775). O'Connell was instrumental in the movement to...
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Walk Dursey Island

Dursey Island is 6.5 km long and 1.5 km wide, so really isn't that big an area to cover by walking, I guess it depends on how fit you are though. To get there, you leave your car in the car park and...
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Things to Do

The Dolphin Fungi

Sure it's touristy -- but then, you ARE a tourist, aren't you? Come on, you know you want to. Climb aboard a EUR 12 boat tour, enjoy the harbor views and wait for Fungi. Don't worry, he's almost...
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Things to Do

Blasket Islands

The Blasket Islands are a series of 7 rocky islands just offshore. The largest is shaped like a dead man laying in the water. During the summer, you can take a 2-3 hour boat trip around the islands to...
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Things to Do

Gallarus Oratory

Pretty cool church considering it's age and the precision with which it was built. No mortar, cement, etc- just stones stacked so precisely and perfectly that it is completely bone dry inside....
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Getting to Great Skelligs

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