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Skellig Islands : activities and sites to visit

The Steps of Skellig Michael

Localisation en Irlande
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars 3.53/5 (507 votes)
If you're sporty, tough and not afraid to take on demanding challenges, then we recommend you take a trip...

St. Fionan’s Monastery

Localisation en Irlande
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars 3.43/5 (389 votes)
The monastic village of Skellig Michael refers to an ancient religious settlement on the island of Skellig Michael in...

Skellig Lighthouse

Localisation en Irlande
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars 3.00/5 (21 votes)
The Skellig Lighthouse is an Irish lighthouse located on the island of Michael Skellig, off the coast of County...

Little Skellig

Localisation en Irlande
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars 3.42/5 (19 votes)
This is an island like no other. Uninhabited, made of pure rock, it is a dream habitat for sea birds!

What to expect?

Facing the fury of the Atlantic Ocean, the Skellig Islands are located in Kerry County, not far from Portmagee Bay (12km). With a strong monastic history (one of the islands was occupied by only a few monks), the Skellig Islands form one of the most beautiful archipelagos in Ireland. The life is deliciously wild, and a bit of hiking in these places will give you access to countless archaeological remains, in the company of fabulous species of birds!

Visit Skellig Islands

Skellig Michael

Skellig Michael is the largest and wildest island of the Skelligs, known for its impressive black rocky peak that rises to 218 metres. Once occupied, remains of monastic life from the 6th century can still be found here. For example, you can find the ruins of St Fionan’s Monastery, where priests and monks devoted themselves to religion while leading a life of hard work. The precariousness of life there was however difficult, and the violence of nature placed them in particularly difficult conditions (wind and cold are very present on this island).

You will be able to admire the marvellous constructions still intact, where the monks lived. They are a kind of bories, (stone huts), facing the ocean. Recent archaeological excavations have revealed many finds of ancient objects that were used daily in monastic life.

The writings tell that every morning, the monks would get up at dawn to go and catch a few fish necessary for their subsistence. They then spent the rest of the day tending their vegetable gardens, studying the sacred texts and praying, in order to devote themselves 100% to their religious and cultural life.

Nevertheless, life being very hard on the island, the monks left Skellig Michael in the 13th century, abandoning churches and huts, to settle on the Irish coast. A few monks made pilgrimages there every year, but the island was never inhabited again. This is how many species of birds decided to make it their home. Today there are more than 23,000 birds on the island, including gannets. It is even said to be the second largest colony in the world!

Little Skellig

Little Skellig is smaller than Michael Skellig, and has a very exceptional flora and fauna. Also composed of murres, gannets and puffins, it takes the form of a very dark black rock, unaffordable by man. Some populations of Northern Gannets are so numerous that they sometimes completely cover the rock and its sides, giving it an astonishing white colour.

Unlike Michael Skellig, Little Skellig has never been inhabited: its geology and nature being too wild, the island is unsuitable for humans.