Update: Apparently this won’t be off the beaten path for long. Rumor has it that they will be filming part of the Star Wars movie here.
Beer Geek tends to like to do things that are a bit off the beaten path. When he heard about Skellig Michael, he let me know that it was one of the top things on his “to do” list in Ireland.
Skellig Michael is an island about 8 miles off the coast of Ireland. It was once an active monastery, but now is just ruins. You can only visit Skellig Michael via boat and only 12-13 boats with 12 passengers each are allowed out each day. Because it is completely unprotected from the elements, it is often impossible to visit because boats are not allowed to dock due to waves or climbing is not safe due to rain. The first day we tried to go, boats were cancelled. Luckily, we managed to reschedule and, despite an incredibly foggy day, we were able to go.
After the boat ride out (thank God for dramamine), you climb a steep staircase carved into the cliff face to get from the boat to the path on the island.
Then it’s a short walk on a protected paved path. As you round a corner at the end of the path, the fun begins.
600 steps up on steep, uneven rock stair cases. Most of the stairs have little in the way of protection.
But oh, my goodness!
Views that would be breathtaking on a non-foggy day.
If you ever get to Ireland, I highly recommend this. Both of our boys (12 and 8) were fine with the climb and it was worth every single penny and every single stomach turning jolt on the boat.
- Schedule this early in your trip so you have the chance of rescheduling if it’s closed.
- Make reservations at least a few days in advance.
- Bring snacks (or lunch) as the trip lasts from 10-3ish.
- There are no bathrooms for the public.
- Dress warm, in layers, with a waterproof layer on top.
- Do it!!! It’s amazing!