The Skellig Islands

The Skellig Islands

The Skellig Islands, located off the coast of County Kerry, are a must-visit destination for those looking for a truly unique and awe-inspiring experience. These two islands, Skellig Michael and Little Skellig, are steeped in history and natural beauty, and offer visitors the chance to explore a truly remote and breathtaking part of Ireland.

Skellig Michael

Skellig Michael

Also known as ‘Great Skellig’ and the larger of the two islands. Skellig Michael is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is home to an ancient monastic settlement that dates back to the 6th century. This stunningly preserved site offers a glimpse into the lives of the monks who lived on the island, and the breathtaking views from the top of the island make the climb well worth it.

Star Wars

Worldwide fame, Skellig Michael has achieved, hmm, thanks to Star Wars, it is. As the planet Ahch-To, featured in The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, it was.

Yoda speaking on the new-found fame among Star Wars fans

Skellig Michael has become well known around the world after its starring role as Luke Skywalker’s Island Sanctuary on the planet Ahch-To.

Little Skellig

Little Skellig, on the other hand, is an uninhabited bird sanctuary that is home to thousands of gannets, puffins, and other seabirds. This rugged and unspoiled island provides a unique opportunity to get up close and personal with some of Ireland’s most stunning wildlife.

A Skellig Puffin

One of the best ways to explore the Skellig Islands is by taking a boat tour from Portmagee or Valentia Island. These tours provide a unique perspective of the islands and offer the chance to see the wildlife and natural beauty of the area up close.

Visitors should be aware that the Skellig Islands are a remote and challenging destination, and should be prepared for the rugged terrain and often-unpredictable weather conditions. However, for those who are up for the challenge, the Skellig Islands offer a once-in-a-lifetime experience that is truly unforgettable.

How to Get There

The two most common ways to get to the Skellig Islands are by boat or helicopter. Boat trips to the islands are available from the towns of Portmagee and Ballinskelligs, while (very expensive) helicopter tours can be arranged from several locations in the area.

Here are some tour operators, which we have listed without preference or recommendation:

Boat Trips
Casey’s Skellig Island Tours
Skellig Michael Cruises
Skellig Michael Boat Trips

Helicopter Trips
Aerial Adventure – a helicopter trip but pricy at €15,950 for up to 8 people
Executive Helicopters

Watch the Weather!

The Skellig Islands are located in the Atlantic Ocean and are subject to rapidly changing weather conditions. Before setting out, be sure to check the weather forecast and sea conditions to ensure that it’s safe to make the journey.

Written / Updated