Skellig Michael is located on the Skellig Coast. It is home to some of the most scenic and eye-catching views in the world. There is amazing wildlife creatures including Bottlenose Dolphins, Seals and Humpback Whales. Not to forget about the Puffins and the 2nd largest colony of Gannets in the world.
The Skellig Coast is an exposed and astonishing coastline on the Wild Atlantic Way. From Valentia Harbour and lighthouse to the Kerry Cliffs and the Skellig Islands, the beautiful coast off South Kerry is a joy to behold. One of the Skellig Islands, is a renowned tourist attraction and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Skellig Michael and its twin Little Skellig are more than 350 million years old. The islands were formed during a period of mountain formation with the MacGillycuddy Reeks. They were later separated by rising sea water. They are located 11.6 kilometers from the Iveragh Peninsula and are only accessible by boat. Skellig Michael’s twin peaks rise over 700 ft. above sea level. In the 6th century St. Fionán founded a monastery on the island and so began centuries of monks settling on the island until the 13th century. Around this time deterioration in the weather led to the island becoming inhabitable and the monks left for the mainland and settled in Ballinskelligs.
Throughout time, Skellig Michael has changed ownership and in 1880 the OPW took the monastic remains into the state’s care. More than a century later, in 1989 the state purchased the island. In 1996 Skellig Michael was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its importance in the natural world.
In recent times, Skellig Michael was home to Luke Skywalker in Star Wars Episode VII “The Force Awakens”. The scenes were filmed in 2014. The Skelligs feature heavily towards the end of the movie. In 2015 the crew returned to film scenes for Star Wars Episode VIII “The Last Jedi”. The island was chosen because of its natural beauty and authenticity. Not to be outdone by Skellig Michael, Lemon Rock, located beside Little Skellig made an appearance in Harry Potter & the Half Blood Prince. While you are here, check out other movies filmed in Kerry!
Join us on one of our tours where you can experience the beautiful scenery and wildlife on offer.