Posted by: Marcie Miller | May 12, 2010

Best day in Ireland ever!

On top of Skellig Michael with small Skellig in the background

We made it!!! The trip to Skellig Michael today was amazing! Beautiful weather, calmish seas, views forever in all directions! And my knee made it! It felt a little wobbly, going up the legendary 600 steps, but I made it!

There were five boats of  10-12 people each who arrived at the rock at about the same time, but once we spread out, it didn’t seem like hordes. Everyone was quiet and respectful at the huts.

For those of you who don’t know what Skellig Michael is, it’s a massive peak that rises straight up out of the sea, about 7 miles off the Iveragh Peninsula. Monks used it as a hermitage for 600 years, braving harsh conditions and more than a few Viking raids, before finally abandoning it due to unsually harsh weather in the 13th century. Guess they thought God was trying to tell them something. It was still used as a place of pilgrimage and worship for several centuries.

The monks built and lived in a series of stone “beehive” huts that still stand today. Looking at them today, one can only think, those were tough monks.

In the doorway of a "beehive" hut on Skellig Michael. The monks must have been very short.

An ancient cross stands sentinel over a visitor to remote Skellig Michael.

As we climbed the narrow steps with precipitous drops to the ocean (with a lot of rocks on the way, as Chris points out), we kept thinking, you could never do this in America!

Section of the path with steep drops

Lower portion of the path up Skellig Michael, before the steps begin.

After an all too short visit to this World Heritage site, we headed back down to catch the boat. On the way out we went past Small Skellig, which holds a large gannet colony, as well as assorted other sea birds, such as puffins and guillemots.

Small Skellig in foreground, Skellig Michael in the background. Skellig means rock.



  1. I told you you were a tough cookie! Of course you were going to make it to the top. Isn’t Skellig the best thing ever? You’re making me homesick…..

  2. And….. I like the new blog header!

  3. I brought my daughter and her Spanish friend to visit The Skelligs last year .
    It was a wonderful experience never to be forgotten . The climb was daunting at first , but on reflection I’m glad I climbed it . Again a never to be forgotten experience . I’m in my late sixties but I’m glad that I climbed it !!!

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