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“Awe inspiring” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Skellig Michael

Skellig Michael
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Ring of Kerry and Skellig Experience Centre Day Trip from Killarney
Ranked #5 of 369 things to do in County Kerry
Certificate of Excellence
Level Contributor
60 reviews
36 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Awe inspiring”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 7, 2013

A trip to Skellig Michael is a once in a lifetime trip. It is humbling to see the work which was out in over 1,000 years ago is still being appreciated and the work those early monks did to live on this rock. The whole island is a monument standing out at sea 8 miles off the coast. The monastery is a fabulous piece of work and is very well preserved. The actual monastery site is quite small and is easy to explore. all the huts are accessible to visitors and can be viewed. there are guides on hand to tell the history of the settlement also. Allow the whole day for the trip out here, the boat leaves about 10 am and arrives at the rock at about 11am. we then had until just after 1pm on the island before having to return again. This gives around 30-40 minutes on the monastery once all the steps have been climbed. The journey out to sea is rough but the return journey is better, something to do with the tides.It is about an hour back also with a stop to view (and smell) little skellig fromthe sea.

Visited September 2013
Thank ennisbannerman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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498 reviews from our community

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Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Skellig Michael in June”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 4, 2013

One of the highlights of our trip to Ireland last June (2013) was the boat trip and landing on Skellig Michael. As many of the reviews describe the basics of this trip, I'll just talk about our experience. My wife and I were staying in a rented house in Kenmare for a week, and when we saw calm weather was predicted for the next day, we decided to try to make the trip to Skellig Michael. Getting up early, we got to Portmagee, where the boats leave from, about 9:00 a.m., an hour before departure time.

We went down to the dock and bought a passage for the two of us. The boats left in two groups of four and the crossing in moderate swells took about 45 minutes. The captain was clear in telling us that whether we landed or not was in his sole discretion (although part of the cost was refunded if we didn't land). Fortunately the water was calm enough to land and we walked the 600 steps up to the monastery settlement, which was occupied for about 500 years, ending in the 12th century. We heard talks by two scientists working on the island and we were free to wander about, looking at the beehive huts, cemetary, gardens and, of course, the unsurpassed views.

The island is magical, if you have any imagination you can feel a bit of what it must have been like for the dozen monks living 12 kilometers offshore at the edge of the western world. We had beautiful weather and the experience was sublime.

My wife and I are 60 years old and moderately active, and neither the trip out to the island nor climbing the stairs was especially difficult for us. I would say that if you are prone to seasickness, have small children or a disability that makes walking difficult that you ought to think carefully about taking the trip. In addition, we were told that the boats only were able to land on Skellig Michael about 20% of the time, so flexibility is a must.

The experience is so wonderful that I would try to work it into to your schedule if at all possible.

Visited June 2013
1 Thank SeriousSummer2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gloucester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“A Different Experience”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 3, 2013

We had good weather for our trip - quite a few trips are cancelled due to rough seas or not being able to land, so book in advance
This is a magical place. When the monastery and beehive huts were built this was the edge of the known world, and the monks would offer their prayers out to sea. The monastery has been well preserved and it gives you a good idea what it must have been like to have lived there many centuries ago.
This is a trip to marvel at the buildings as the only walk is up to the monastery and back to the harbour.

Visited August 2013
1 Thank Mike_Speke
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Te Anau, New Zealand
Level Contributor
32 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Great site. Horrendous boat trip”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 3, 2013

This Unesco World Heritage Site is, in my opinion, one of the top things to do in Ireland. Sadly, getting out there is just an awful ordeal, and many people are turned off by this. Somebody really ought to get heli-trips started out there. We went in Des Lavelle's boat. It's a small open boat. I think it's an old wooden fishing boat. The life jackets were neither offered. Nor on display. Licensed to carry 12 passengers - however, on that day, there were 12 adults and 3 children. Maybe the children don't count as passengers! Anyway, very little concern given to the comfort of the passengers. The sea was very rough and it took us 2hrs to get out there. Most people were very sick on the boat. It was a thoroughly miserable experience, for which we had all forked out E50. At one point, the boat nearly capsized and a woman was thrown across the boat, injuring her shoulder. There was only one skipper (it wasn't Des, but I'm sure Des wouldn't have handled the boat any differently, nor made any difference to the sea conditions). Had the boat capsized, we would all have been in a very rough cold sea without any lifejackets. And I'm sure none of us, including the skipper would have survived this. I feel that it's really only luck that there hasn't been a serious accident getting there. On landing, many of the passengers felt so weak from the journey that they had difficulty getting up the steps to the 6thcentury monastic site (which is really superb). This made me wonder, if the accidents that have actually occurred on Skellig may not have been caused by fatigue, or that awful seasick induced .or that fatigue/sickness, may have been contributory factors?. It's certainly a point to consider. Anyway, I know that there is another operator (Seanie) who has a faster (metal) boat, so I'd recommend checking him out. Remember, there is no guarantee that you'll even be able to land on Skellig, so maybe the best thing, if you have time on your hands, is to wait in the area for a good calm day. June and July are best for seeing the hundreds of puffins out there. It's really AWESOME. But if you're prone to sea sickness, or have a heart condition, bad knees, bad back, pregnant, or if you suffer from vertigo, maybe give it a miss!

Visited August 2013
1 Thank nomadnomore2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Must do trip”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 30, 2013

As everyone says a fabulous trip thank you Pat Joe Murphy for a lovely day out and for looking after us so well. Incredible history and simply beautiful.

We had originally booked with Joe Roddy who overbooked and then gave our seats away - beware he is best avoided!

Visited August 2013
2 Thank Mike O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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