Eight miles off Kerry’s magnificent Iveragh Peninsula – where Ireland’s highest mountain range sweeps down to the wild Atlantic coast – is one of the wonders of the world: Skellig Michael. 1300 years ago, early Christian monks built a remarkable hermitage at the top of this jagged ocean crag – then at the furthest limits of the known world. Steep steps are carved into the rock. Near the 213 metres (700ft) summit is a collection of ‘beehive’ monastic cells: solitary places for contemplation and prayer, as far from the distractions of civilisation as it was possible to be.
This extraordinary, far-flung place of pilgrimage – is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It can be reached by the adventurous – for a sometimes life-changing visit – on a small boat from Portmagee or Ballinskelligs … but only when the weather allows, and only for those with good sea legs and a head for heights.
Watch Skellig Michael Video