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“Amazing - on a par with Angkor, but secret”
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 #6 of 372 things to do in County Kerry
Certificate of Excellence
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8 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Amazing - on a par with Angkor, but secret”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 23, 2009

Hard to get to, far off the very south-western tip of Ireland, this place is an absolute jewel. It's a good 40 mins in a small boat, and the weather is so changeable that you might not be able to go on the day you plan to. But it's really worth getting to, despite the rough seas and the drizzle and cloud. The day we went we couldn't see it when we were a mile away, the cloud was so thick, but the next day we could see it out at see from all around the coast!

It's a steep but not ridiculously arduous climb up a lot of uneven and slippery stone steps with no handrails, so if you're afraid of heights or not steady on your feet, don't go. If you've got sturdy walking boots, wear them.

Landing on the jetty was tough - the seas were really rough. There's a road round from the jetty, and when you reach the bottom of the steps you're welcomed and advised to read the sign (no picnicing, be careful, be respectful). Once you get to the top, you're rewarded with an amazing site - 8th century or earlier stone beehive huts which once housed an isolated community of early Christians.

The highly knowledgeable guide/historian on site answered everyone's questions in depth - it was hard not to monopolise her - but she had stories for the few children there as well as information on early Irish Christianity for the pilgrims and for the rest of us tourists she could tell us about these ancient building techniques, and how they survived in this remote corner on the edge of the world.

The atmosphere is peaceful and surprisingly spiritual. Pilgrims still come here and a mass is held every year for St Michael, so there's a sense of continuity from those early monks to the present day. Well worth doing whatever you can to get there.

1 Thank Mildred08
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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379 reviews
78 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 642 helpful votes
“Magnificent Skellig Michael”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 23, 2009

A short, choppy trip by boat brings visitors to this ancient monastic site. Maintained by the Office of Public Works, steep steps lead up to various viewpoints. Guides are available and it is recommended to use them, both for their valuable sources of information and for safety. It really is not worth visiting if the weather is in any way inclement or visibility is poor. As for the monks in the past, there are no modern conveniences and it is best to bring a hot drink and a snack. Sea sickness can be a problem for the unwary - see tip below.

Thank BrandonDublinIreland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
81 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 117 helpful votes
“Between earth and heaven”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 23, 2009

Skellig Michael is the most spectacularly situated of all the early medieval island
monastic sites, particularly the hermitage perched on sheer and towering cliifs over the open Atlantic. The site has been described as one of the most daring architectural expressions of early Irish monasticism. This is an extraordinary place - holy ground alive with the spirit of centuries of continuous monastic life.The island’s isolation has helped to preserve and protect the onastic remains. Their state of preservation and authenticity makes Skellig Michael f immeasurable importance.

Thank Ireland_member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Highly Recommend”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 8, 2009

Prefer out of the way spots when traveling and this was it. Visited the island in late May during the puffin mating season. The island was covered and it was magnificent. Definitely for the semi-fit since you have to climb up to the monastery. The views are amazing and it's well worth the climb.

Thank lmagl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Should be the eighth wonder of the world!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 5, 2009

This was absolutely amazing. If you go anywhere near the Ring of Kerry, do yourself a favor and stop here. I was traveling alone for 3 weeks in Ireland and was using public transport. This was way out of the way for me, but I insisted upon going. I was so glad that I did. The ferry ride out to the skelligs is stunningly beautiful, and the monastery there is an absolute wonder. Don't miss the talk that the OPW employees (who camp out there for 6 months of the year) give.

If you are going by public transport, it can be very difficult to reach, as the closest bus stop is in Cahersiveen, 15 miles or so from the boats in Portmagee. On my return back to Cahersiveen, I had the pleasure of meeting Ted Kennedy, a man who operates a bus hire in the areas around Valentia Island. His service is the cheapest way to get there and back, and he, being born and raised on Valentia Island, knows so much about the area. He was so kind as to take me to the ring forts, the old workhouse, and an abandoned castle, all things that I would not have seen at all because I didn't have a car. My point is, if you are going to Skellig Michael and are trying to get there via public transport, e-mail Ted and let him know. He would probably pick you up and take you back from the bus stop in Cahersiveen. His website is www.kennedysbus.com.

Overall, Skellig Michael was the greatest experience I had in the 3 weeks I spent in Ireland. It is officially the single most remote place that I have ever been. Don't miss it... it's worth every penny!!

3 Thank Culture_Aficionado
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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