Skelligs
We are ideally situated for exploring the Skelligs and we can also arrange your sjelligs trip for you. Simply ask for details.


The Skelligs
The Skellig Islands are two small, steep and rocky islands lying about 16 km west of Bolus Head on the Iveragh Peninsula. They are famous for their thriving gannet and puffin populations, and for the early Christian monastery near the top of Great Skellig.


Little Skellig
The smaller island is Little Skellig (Sceilig Bheag in Irish). It is closed to the public, and holds Ireland's largest and the world's second largest gannet colony, with almost 30,000 pairs. It is about 1.5 km east from Great Skellig.
For more information please see Skelligs Rock.


Great Skellig
Also known as the Skellig Michael (Sceilig Mhichíl in Irish), this is the larger of the two islands, rising over 230 m above sea level and with an 6th century Christian Monastery perched on a ledge close the top, Great Skellig is recognized and designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site


Wildlife
Both of the Skellig islands are well known for their seabird colonies, and together comprise one of the most important seabird sites in Ireland, both for the population size and for the species diversity.
Among the breeding birds are European Storm-Petrels, Northern Gannets, Fulmars, Manx Shearwaters, Kittiwakes, Common Guillemots, Razorbills and Atlantic Puffins (with 4000 or more puffins on Great Skellig alone). Smaller numbers of Choughs and Peregrine Falcons can also bee seen.
The surrounding waters teem with life also. Grey Seals are common, and you may also see basking sharks, Minke Whales, Dolphins and if you are lucky a Leatherback Turtle.
The islands have many interesting dive sites due to the clear water, abundance of life and underwater cliffs down to 60 metres (200 feet).

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History of the Skelligs
The earliest reference in history to the Skellig Islands dates back to 600AD. During the time of the Penal Laws, Skellig Michael and Little Skellig became a haven for many Catholics whose beliefs and rights were being suppressed. The largest of the Skelligs is Skellig Michael (Sceilg Mhichil) and was home to one of the earliest monastic settlements in Ireland.

The monks of St. Fionan's monastery led simple lives and lived in stone, beehive shaped huts. They would descend the 670 steps early every morning and fish for the morning's breakfast and would spend the rest of the day praying in the church, tending to their gardens and studying. The huts, which are round on the outside and rectangular on the inside, were carefully built so that no drop of rain ever entered between the stones.

The monks left the island in the thirteenth century and it became a place of pilgrimage. There is a fantastic wealth of birdlife on and around the Skelligs, especially puffins in late spring and gannets on the Small Skellig.