The Skellig Ring in Kerry
This magnificent region just off the Ring of Kerry route has some of the best scenery seen anywhere in Ireland and Europe. Loaded with History, Tradition, Religion, Innovation, Landmarks, pre-Christian Monuments, 385 Million-year-old footprints and add some breathtaking scenery and you get the Skellig Ring. The very picturesque Islands just off the Coast were used in the recent Star Wars movie, Skellig Michael the larger of the two which has an Old Monastery dating back to the 7th century with its spectacular Beehive Hut style structures.
Our Top things to see on the Skellig Ring
- Knightstown on Valentia Island via the Carferry from Renard Point, (a nice restaurant here O’Neill’s)
- The Museum Heritage centre on the Transatlantic Cable back in 1866 the first communication with Europe and North America
- The Valentia lighthouse at Cromwell’s Point, a narrow steep road but worth it very scenic
- Tetrapod footprints 385,000,000 years old one of the first amphibians to walk on land, one of the oldest in the World.
- The Slate Quarry and Grotto great views on the Lighthouse and the Atlantic ocean.
- Saint Brendan’s well which has become popular with New York Firefighters and emergency personnel in recent years, its a shrine to Saint Brendan the patron Saint of Kerry, on the way down too the well you will pass a pub “NEXT PINT NEW YORK” it was used for a Guinness commercial as the most remote pub in Ireland, you will be surprised when you see it 😉
- Bray Head Loop walk a must in nice weather, great to stretch the legs here and enjoy the views of the Skellig Island’s from the old spotting tower in the distance. It’s nice to get out of the car for a break from driving here is the spot. You will at least need good runners/trainers for this one and preferably a pair of walking boots.
- Portmagee is a nice place for lunch there are plenty of nice establishments in the area also but we like the Bridge bar in Portmagee.
- Coominaspic pass the highest pass in Ireland on the way to Saint Finian’s Bay
- Saint Finian’s Bay has a holy Well besides one of the most spectacular views of the Skellig island’s with its beach. This place is very popular with Surfers however it is not great for swimming and has strong rip tides. Here you can roar “Up Kerry” at the Skellig Islands and you will hear the echo come back if you do it loud enough.
- The Skellig Chocolate factory where you can taste before you buy and it is being made in front of you, enjoy a fresh coffee, pastries, hot chocolates for the Kids and more.
- Bolus Head walk is a remote walk yet has amazing views of the Skellig Island’s
- Ballinskelligs and McCarthy’s Castle a sister castle to the one at the Lake Hotel in Killarney there is a beautiful Abbey a short walk from the Castle to the right another nice break from driving. The Priory or Abbey was settled in the 12th Century from Skellig Michael after numerous attacks from the Vikings. Ballinskelligs Abbey (Priory)
- Reen Rua Beach popular with Surfers, it has the remains of a petrified Oak Forrest under the sand and can be seen in certain tides and times of the year. To the right is an old derelict hotel once the dream of Billy Huggard’s from Waterville, built in the late 1960’s in its day it offered Sand Yachting, Horse Riding, Surfing, Beach Sulkies, an Outdoor Swiming Pool, Indoor Swimming Pool, Standing Stones, Beehive Huts, Games Rooms, Snooker Tables and so much more. It even had an Airstrip, the troubles in Northern Ireland in the early ’70s and the decline of the growing numbers of visitors at the time stopped.
The Skellig Islands
Skellig Michael can be visited via local boat operators daily but must be booked well in advance, the filming of Star Wars has increased its already popularity. Be aware you may be disappointed because of bad weather or rough seas the boats will not go and it is very difficult to get another slot close to the time. It is accessible from may to September and is around €70 per person and there is the physical effort required along with some scrambling on the way to the summit which quite steep in places. Safety briefings take place at the base of the steps that lead up the 700 feet to the Monastery. There is also an option to take a boat trip around the Islands from Portmagee.