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A learning centre devoted to the Skellig Islands, located off the Iveragh Peninsula. Skellig Michael island was home to an early Christian monastery, one of the best preserved examples today, which lasted for 1,400 years. Given this island is a far cry from home – a seemingly uninhabitable lump of rock eight miles of the coast – it is pretty amazing to imagine the lives of the monks who did call it home. They lived in a cult of seclusion and survived of the bounty of the sea.
How to get there
Located on Valentia Island, where the road bridge meets the island, the center is directly opposite the fishing village of Portmagee.
From Killarney, take Ring of Kerry drive N72 to N70 west to Cahirciveen. Look for turn off to Portmagee. Drive across road bridge at Portmagee to the center.
From Kenmare, take Ring of Kerry drive N70 west to just outside Waterville. For a pretty drive, follow Skellig Ring coast drive west to Ballinskelligs, then north to Portmagee.
From Tralee, take N70 south to Cahirciveen. Look for turn off to Portmagee. Drive across road bridge at Portmagee to center.
See www.buseireann.ie website for all current travel details and restrictions.
April and May: 10AM to 6PM (Last admission at 5:15PM)
June, July, August: 10AM to 7PM (Last admission at 5:15PM)
September, October, November: 10AM to 6PM (Last admission at 5:15PM)
You can purchase a ticket for the exhibition, the exhibition and cruise to Skellig Islands, or the exhibition and cruise around Valentia Island.
Adult 5 euro
Child 3 euro
Senior Citizen/Student 4 euro
Family (2 adults, 4 children) 14 euro
Exhibition and cruise to Skellig Islands:
Adult 27.50 euro
Child 14.50 euro
Senior Citizen/Student 24.50 euro
Family (2 adults, 2 children) 71.50 euro
Each additional child under 12 yr 8 euro
Exhibition and cruise around Valentia Island:
Adult 22 euro
Child 11 euro
Senior Citizen/Student 19.50 euro
Family (2 adults, 2 children) 60 euro
Each additional child under 12 yr 7 euro
Skellig Heritage Centre
Ring of Kerry
Tel: 00 353 (0)66 9476303
Most interesting to me was the early Christian cult of seclusion, which began in the deserts of Egypt by St. Anthony. It became an ideological trend all over Europe. It led the first monks to inhabit such an extreme place. There are monastic remains on 23 other islands off the Irish coast.
I know someone who would’ve hopped boat to live on Michael Skellig - my travel partner. He finds such serenity in the sea and solitude. I imagined how his mind and spirit would soar on the tip of Michael Skellig, to heights totally beyond modern civilization. He would build a hut from stones, bask daily in the sun, and nourish body and soul from the sea. Knowing his hermetical ways allows me to better understand the lives of the monks there.
Given how crazy our modern world is, they should offer the beehive huts for solo retreats today.