(Irish: Sceilig Mhichíl), or Great Skellig (Irish: Sceilig Mhór), is the larger of the two Skellig Islands, 11.6 kilometres (7.2 mi) west of the Iveragh Peninsula in County Kerry, Ireland. While the smaller of the two islands is home to one of the world’s largest gannet colonies, the larger, Skellig Michael, is famous for its 7th century monk settlement. The site was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996.
If you’re a Star Wars fan, you’ll know the key plot of the Star Wars movie “The Force Awakens” was filmed on Skellig Michael.
Access to the Skelligs is by ferry from the town of Portmagee. A number of boat tours make the trip from May to September (weather permitting); see Skellig Michael Cruises, Skellig Boat Trips, Casey’s, Owen Walsh, Sea Quest, Skellig Trips and Skellig Tours (which departs from Derrynane Harbour). You’ll find contact details for many of the individual boatmen online. This trip is extremely popular and involves booking very far in advance. If you’re unable to get a booking or weather doesn’t permit the crossing, be sure to check out the surrounding area. The Skellig Ring (part of the greater Ring of Kerry route) runs along the coast and offers fabulous views of the Atlantic Ocean, Skelling Island and Bray Head, one of Wild Atlantic Way’s Signature Points.