Skellig Michael 2017-03-09T10:05:01+00:00

Skellig Michael, Co. Kerry


Skellig Michael | Wild Atlantic Way by Europcar

The Skellig Islands are a twin presence of dark, foreboding rocky mounds, some thirteen kilometres off the coast of the Iveragh Peninsula, sitting steadfastly against the relentless pounding of the Atlantic Ocean’s waves. A popular sight and diversion for those touring the Ring of Kerry, the Islands consist of Little Skellig and Great Skellig.

Little Skellig is off limits, a stony, ghostly white home to a fabulous array of birdlife, including the largest colony of northern gannets in Ireland. However, Great Skellig – or Skellig Michael as it’s more commonly known – was occupied by Christian monks who built their settlement on a terraced shelf, 120 metres above the sea, sometime between 500 and 700 AD.

The monks fashioned for themselves six beehive cells and festooned their monastery with stone crosses. On the south peak of the island sits a hermitage and, experts suggest, around twelve monks and an abbot would have populated Skellig Michael at any one time. It was sometime between 950 AD and 1044 AD that Great Skellig became Skellig Michael, as Saint Michael’s Church was built there around that time, as a way to celebrate the consecration of the ground as it was dedicated to him.

Skelligs View Signature Point – Wild Atlantic Way
Many of our customers have enthused about the mystical beauty of the island. Only thirteen boat licences are granted to tour operators each year, giving them permission to land on Skellig Michael, and there are no toilets, is no shelter, and no refreshments or concessions. The wind can gust and the rain can make the terrain slippery, to the point where visitors are not permitted to land in windy or stormy weather, even during the summer season. Even in pleasant weather, some visitors can still have trouble with the 120 metres of steep, stone steps.

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