Skellig Islands

Awe-inspiring natural landmarks off the coast of county Kerry, the rugged Skelligs will appear in the upcoming Star Wars movie.

Jutting out of the rough Atlantic waves stand two impossibly steep islands.

Known collectively as the Skellig Islands, Little Skellig and Skellig Michael are two of the most distinctive and recognisable natural landmarks in Ireland.

Little Skellig is home to over 60,000 gannets, as well as a variety of other sea birds. Though it is inaccessible to the public, some boats tours will lead your group around the rock to see the awe-inspiring sights and sounds of this massive bird colony.

Skellig Michael, the larger of the two, contains the ruins of an early Christian monastery, which has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Though its founding is shrouded it legend, it seems that it was founded sometime in the 8th Century and was inhabited until the 12th or 13th. If your group meets the test of ascending the 670 steps to the top, they can wander around the magnificently preserved ruins and stone beehive huts. While not without its challenges, Skellig Micahel is easily one of the most rewarding attractions in the country.

Ferries operate from the harbour of Portmagee Village. There are a number of different tour operators, but the usual cost is about €50-60. Allow for one hour each way on the boat, and two hours on Skellig Michael.

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