The island of Skellig Michael in Ireland, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has become famous through Star Wars. The island is featured in the final scene of Star Wars'”The Awakening of Power” as Rey meets Luke Skywalker. It must have been just as lonely there during the time of the monks who built a monastery there. I was already on Skellig Michael before the shooting and I’m thrilled by this island.
When planning my last round trip to Ireland, which was supposed to take place in the southwest of the island, I came across the Skelligs -- because it’s actually a couple of islands. After a boat trip you can only enter Skellig Michael, also known as Great Skellig. Not far away is Little Skellig.
The excursion to Skellig Michael (Michael’s Rock) starts at Portmagee harbour on the Iveragh Peninsula south of Valentia Island. Here I have planned a stopover at the friendly Shealane Country House Bed and Breakfast. The operator couple has also booked the tour for me with the captain.
There is a certain risk involved in the trip. Because if the sea is too stormy, the crossing is not possible. Therefore, it is best to plan your stay in the region for a few days. Then bad weather and a stormy sea will keep you busy during the planned Skellig Michael crossing.
In the morning we start with a light drizzle. After about 20 minutes the sun shines through.
Surfing the waves is also possible in this sunny weather, but if the captain of the boat is relaxed while sailing in the newspaper, the sea is “calm” according to his own statements. The water splashes at the cabin door clearly show that you are also a little showered. So I’d rather have some rain protection with me. But you always have that in your backpack on an Ireland tour, right?!
The small fishing boat takes about 90 minutes in shaky seas. At the small jetty of Skellig Michael, the individual fishing boats approach little by little. I’m on my way up after a jump ashore.
First of all, it goes along a relatively flat path until I reach the 700 or so steps built centuries ago by the monks. There I get a short safety briefing and then I go up to the former monk settlement on Skellig Michael.
On the way I see puffins sitting on the edge of the stairs, who look at the whole thing calmly.
At the top, one sees a tiny settlement with beehive huts. These have built the monks in the 7th century to have a dwelling on this barren rock.
If you are not really enthusiastic about these stone buildings, you will be able to enjoy the unbelievably beautiful view. I’m not the only one who’s quite impressed.
I have about two hours stay here on the island and look around a bit more. Why don’t you just come with me?
Funnily enough, I took a photo of Rey and Luke Skywalker talking in Star Wars “The Awakening of Power” before all the shooting for the Star Wars movies started.
On my trip around the Basque Country I also found a spot where you could shoot a Star Wars scene. I might have to write to them sometime.
Well, now it’s time to start. It’s always faster to go down than up. A brief look back and we return to the investor.
A resident of Skellig Michael beckons me to say goodbye.
After everyone is back on the small fishing boat, we go to Little Skellig before we return to Portmagee.
The little brother of Skellig Michael: Little Skellig
The island is home to one of the largest bass gannet colonies in the world with almost 30,000 breeding pairs. Even if it is forbidden to enter, this impressive scenery is still visible. After the visit of Skellig Michael our captain at least sailed around the bird island.
Also in the new Star Wars Episode VIII. Skellig Michael. But take a look at them live. It is a wonderful nature experience and I still remember it with pleasure. Therefore, this is one of my travel tips for an Ireland tour.
Costs for the Skellig Michael crossing
The number of visitors allowed to visit the island per day is limited. Therefore you should book in advance. When I made the Skellig Michael crossing, the costs were 50, -- Euro per person.
The fame that Skellig Michael has gained from Star Wars “The Awakening of Power” has become noticeable in the costs for the crossing to Skellig Michael: In the low season the trip costs 60, -- Euro (May, June, September and October), in the high season 70, -- Euro (July and August) per person. An excursion that is also worthwhile for this price.