Site closed due to Covid-19 restrictions
The magnificent Skellig Michael is one of only two UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Republic of Ireland.
On the summit of this awe-inspiring rock off the Kerry coast is St Fionan’s monastery, one of the earliest foundations in the country. The monks who lived there prayed and slept in beehive-shaped huts made of stone, many of which remain to this day.
The monks left the island in the thirteenth century. It became a place of pilgrimage and, during the time of the Penal Laws, a haven for Catholics.
Following in the monks’ footsteps involves climbing 618 steep, uneven steps. Getting to the top is quite a challenge, but well worth the effort.
As well as the wealth of history, there is a fantastic profusion of bird life on and around the island. Little Skellig is the second-largest gannet colony in the world.
Site Closed due to Covid-19 restrictions
Opening arrangements are variable, depending on weather conditions.
At all other times this site is unmanned and visits are prohibited.
Average Length of Visit: 2.5 hours (excluding boat trip)
A visit to the monastery will entail a climb of 618 steps, ascending over 600 ft. (180 metres). It is a demanding climb and any person with health issues should consider carefully their own physical limitations before exploring this part of the site.
- Visitors must stay on the recognised pathways at all times
- Children must be strictly supervised at all times
- Beware of falling rocks
- Steep gradient on the steps
- Uneven steps
- Steps slippery when wet
Please note that there are no toilets. Visitors are advised to carry water and to wear protective clothing.
This is a particularly vulnerable site and visitors are therefore asked to co-operate with our efforts to protect this monument. No animals are allowed on this site.
01 647 6620
- Guided tours
- Hold hand rail
- Limited Access
- Stay back from edge
- Uneven walkways
Nearby sites to visit
The childhood home of Daniel O’Connell
Approx. 27.2 km from Skellig Michael
The Blasket Centre – Ionad an Bhlascaoid
The story of a remarkable island community
Approx. 39.8 km from Skellig Michael
Ilnacullin – Garinish Island
An island garden of rare beauty
Approx. 67.7 km from Skellig Michael