Historic Skellig Michael
Soaring out of the Atlantic
Guests at The Ross have an exceptional range of immensely beautiful and historical significant attractions to choose from. One of these is the unparalleled Skellig Michael. This magnificent pyramidal island soars 200 metres out of the wild Atlantic about 12km from Portmagee in South Kerry.
A UNESCO World Heritage site since 1996 and one of the locations for the shooting of the new ‘Star Wars’ movie franchise, Skellig Michael is home to a miraculously well-preserved 6th-century monastic settlement, and its neighbour – Little Skellig – houses one of the world’s largest colonies of gannets, with some 20,000 nesting pairs. Despite the harsh conditions and the constant pillaging by raiding Vikings, the monastic settlement on Skellig Michael is believed to have endured right up to the 12th century, with the monks surviving primarily on a diet of seabirds and grown vegetables. The island has been a pilgrimage destination down through the centuries. Lighthouses were constructed on Skellig Michael in the 19th century.
Ask our staff about the best way to experience Skellig Michael. Boat trips to the steep outpost require a head for heights and firm footing, but you can always admire the iconic rock from the shore or take a boat trip around both Skellig islands if you’d prefer to remain off the islands.
In October 2016, None other than Lonely Planet included The Skellig Ring — consisting of Skellig Michael, its sister island the Little Skellig, and the coastal villages on the mainland — amongst the top regions in the world for travellers in the influential Lonely Planet 2017 yearbook.