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Skellig Rock

Boat Trips to Skelligs
You can take a trip to Skelligs to view these magnificent natural monuments up close and personal. Skelligs Trips generally run from April to late September depending on the weather. Boats generally leave at 10 in the morning and arrive back at 3 o’ clock, give or take a half hour.

Bringing a picnic is a good idea however it is requested that this be eaten away from the remains of the monastery, to help stop seabirds scavenging among the ruins. The base of the steps near the Heliport is perhaps the best place to have a picnic, as it is well sheltered.

 You should plan to visit Valencia Island on your return trip to The Lodge  and  visit The Skellig Experience on Valentia Island, directly opposite Portmagee  to get a good overview of the history of the monastery.


The trip will cost you in the region of €50/ 60 but is well worth it. There are no banking facilities in Ballinskelligs or Portmagee so you will need to organize the cash before you arrive

Where do I get a boat to the Skellig Islands from?
Boats depart for the Skellig Islands from  Ballinskelligs,  Caherdaniel,Caherciveen,  and Portmagee.

Can I book a trip in advance?
Yes, you can contact the Skellig boat operators directly, or if you’re staying here, we can contact the boatmen for you to secure your place. Of course, the trip itself will depend on the weather on the day.

The tour is on board a fast boat taking approx 45 minutes to do the 8 mile journey to the islands



 Second generation Skelligs’ boat skipper, John O Shea departs daily for the Skelligs from Derrynane Harbour. If John catches some fish while you visit the island , John might have a BBQ on the way back


  • Ballinskelligs Watersports, Ballinskelligs, +353 66 947-9182

How much does the trip cost?
€50 / 60 per person. Though there can be special deals available for larger groups. There are no banking facilities in Ballinskelligs or Portmagee so you will need to organize the cash before you arrive

Can you go to Skelligs at any time of the year?
Unfortunately, no. Boat trips to Skelligs generally operate from April to October. Landing on the Skelligs is very much weather-dependent and, as such, these are the best sea-faring months of the year for landing on the Rock. There is no official starting or closing dates, so we can’t be any more precise. It’s always best to ring in advance.

So, if I arrive between April and October, am I guaranteed a landing?
Again, unfortunately, no. If the sea is too rough, the boat men will not risk their safety or the safety of their passengers by attempting to land. However, for the most part, the weather is co-operative during these months.

What times do the boats toThe  Skelligs ?
The boats depart from the Pier at 10 am, with a little leeway for late arrivals.

How long is the trip and how long is spent on the Rock itself?
The length of the journey is 40 minutes on the faster boats, with the slower boats taking a little longer. Boats generally depart from the rock about 2 and a half hours after landing, which gives ample time to explore. Most boats arrive back at the pier by 3 pm.

What should I bring with me?
You’ll generally need warm or active clothing to protect you on the trip on the way out as most of the boats are open to the elements. Footwear appropriate to climbing 660 stone steps would also be recommended. It might be wise to bring along some rain gear given the changeability of Irish weather. If you’re planning on eating or drinking while out on the Rock, you should bring a packed lunch with you as there is nowhere to buy food on the Rock itself leave.

Is there anything I should be made aware of prior to departure?
There are no toilet facilities available on the Rock although many of the boats have facilities. You will need to pay the boatmen in cash as there are no credit card processing facilities available on the quay-side.

Can I stay on  The Skelligs overnight?
Not unless have connections with the Office Of Public Works, who are in charge of the Skelligs restoration project. Visiting archaeologists and academics sometimes get to stay on the island but not even most locals who have been there dozen of times have been so very fortunate as to sleep under the stars on the Skelligs.

When is the best time to see the puffins?
The puffins nest on the Skellig Michael between early April and the end of July.