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Skellig Michael – Puffin Paradise

Puffin Paradise - Ireland's West CoastLast Sunday, a day in which we experienced the most beautiful weather Ireland has seen in years, I had the amazing opportunity to visit Skellig Michael, an island located in the Atlantic Ocean, just 11 km off the West Coast of Ireland.

Skellig Michael, while not known to a lot of people (thankfully – that’s what makes it a hidden gem!), is in fact a UNESCO World Heritage site and home to one of the oldest Christian Monastic settlements in the world – founded sometime between the 6th and 8th century. It is also home to a vast range of wildlife, including Puffins, Seagulls and over 50,000 gannets! Not bad for a tiny island off the coast of Kerry!

Thanks to its status as a world heritage site, its obscure, remote and exposed location, only 13 boat licenses are granted each year and these tour operators are only allowed to run a single trip to Skellig Michael each day during the summer season. This means that only a lucky few get to see this magical place each year, and if you happen to land while the sun is shining, as we did, you can consider yourself truly blessed!

The boat trip to the island took about an hour, and we had nearly 3 hours to explore the island itself. This was the perfect length of time to climb the 618 slippery steps to the monastery that perches on top, to explore the expertly built beehive huts that the monks would have lived and slept in, which have remained intact and untouched for hundreds of years and to take in the spectacular views, scenery and abundant wildlife that is on offer.

It’s hard to believe such a piece of paradise, a tiny bit of history frozen in time, exists right on our doorstep. If you live in Ireland, I think you should do everything you can to visit this very special place. My only regret is that it took me 27 years to discover it.




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monastery grave stone crosses

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skellig michael steps




Valeriia

Sunday 10th of January 2016

Gosh, they are soooo cute! What lense did you use to take them?

Janet newenham

Sunday 10th of January 2016

Just a point and shoot...I don't even own a DSLR :-)

fromgreentoblue

Monday 16th of September 2013

Great read and photos! We were fortunate to go to Skellig a few weeks later and lucked out with the same great weather. What a beautiful place.

intrepidtraveller

Monday 16th of September 2013

Hey - I'm SO happy you also were blessed with the weather. It really is one of the most beautiful places in the world...and so untouched! I enjoyed your photos, thanks for sharing.

Rich

Tuesday 30th of July 2013

Almost got to go last summer, but my wife read about it and banned me from taking the kids there. She heard it is very steep and doesn't like heights. Maybe we'll go next year, when they're teenagers.

Josh Bourne Çapulcu

Monday 17th of June 2013

great entry, loved the photos :)

SandyLand

Wednesday 12th of June 2013

Beautiful photos.

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