Skellig Islands, Ring of Kerry and Wild Atlantic Way – major Star Wars scene

  • Author:ActiveME
  • Created: May 2, 2013
  • Updated: December 12, 2017
Location: Kerry
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The SKELLIG ISLANDS UNESCO World Heritage Site is also a designated Nature Reserve and now a major scene in the newest Star Wars movies. Located on the Wild Atlantic Way 8 miles (12 km) off the coast of Valentia Island in Co. Kerry in the south west of Ireland, these islands rise majestically to 714ft (218m) out of the wild Atlantic Ocean. The Skellig Islands were home to hermit monks in the 6th Century who chose to construct a unique early christian monastery here at the edge of the known world. This is one of the Top 10 Places to See in Ireland and the Worlds. Take this guide with you on our free App for iPhone and Android and share your photos on the ActiveMe facebook page.

Skellig Islands UNESCO World Heritage Site, Puffin and Gannet Colonies and major set for Star Wars VII The Force Awakens on the Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland

If you are wondering how to book a boat trip to the Skelligs, first thing would be to book well well in advance. Boat trips to and around Skellig Islands can be booked from various operators in Valentia Island, Portmagee, Ballinskelligs and Waterville but the 1.5 hour trip is very weather dependant due the unpredictable Atlantic seas and unfortunately for some, the trip can be cancelled. With the Skellig Islands only open for a few months a year and only a limited number of boats allowed to visit the Skellig, a visit to the Skellig Islands is a once in a lifetime trip and worth every penny. I can guarantee it would be the highlight our your holiday. With only 12 people allowed per boat, the trip takes more than 5 hours, with the boat trip taking 1.5hrs to get from the pier to the islands, 12 miles (19km) off the coast. If you are unable to visit the islands, you can always pay a visit to the Skellig Experience Centre on Valentia Island or take a boat trip around them. The sea can seen calm close to shore but 12 miles out, can be a far different story.

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  • Skellig Boat Trips and Tours: Coming soon
  • Places to Stay Nearby: coming soon
  • Places for Food Nearby: coming soon
  • Places for Entertainment Nearby: coming soon

On the summit of this awe inspiring rock, Skellig Micheal reveals one of the great wonders of the world, an early Christian Monastic site built into the rock face and remarkably well-preserved considering its from the 6th century, nearly 1,500 years ago.  You need head for heights to climb the demanding 618 steps to see the beehive shaped huts and other dry stone buildings, built and lived in by the monks of St. Fíonáns monastery but it is well worth the effort. Using a technique called dry stone construction which did not require any mortar to keep the stone together, the monks built houses called beehive huts, walls, churches, stairs and gardens on the south facing side of the Skellig Islands which created a sun trap and provided great shelter from the wild atlantic.

Behind the Scenes Filming-of-Star Wars VIII The Force Awakens on Skellig Islands, Co Kerry, Ireland on the Wild Atlantic Way

In 2015 the main Skellig Island was used for a major scene (No Spoilers here!) in the newest Star Wars VII The Force Awakens, with filming taking place in 2014 as shown above. A further major scene in the next Star Wars movie VIII will also be set on Skellig Islands and other locations on the west coast of Ireland.

Star_Wars_The_Force_Awakens on Skellig Islands UNESCO World Heritage Site on the Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland

The Skellig Islands are famous for the puffin colony in late spring to August and the 23,000 pairs of gannets on the small Skellig Island, the second largest gannet colony in the world!

Skellig Islands UNESCO World Heritage Site, Puffin and Gannet Colony and Star Wars VII The Force Awakens on the Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland

The Skellig Islands are also famous for its spectacular lighthouse on Skellig Michael and is also one of Irelands best diving spots withs many interesting recreational diving sites in the waters surrounding the islands due to the clear water and underwater cliffs down to 60 meters (200 feet).

Skellig Lighthouse, Kerry on the Wild Atlantic Way by Valerie O'Sullivan

Boat trips to and around Skellig Islands can be booked from various operators in Valentia Island, Portmagee, Ballinskelligs and Waterville but the 1.5 hour trip is very weather dependant due the unpredictable Atlantic seas and unfortunately the Skellig Islands are only open for a few months a year.

The Skellig Islands, Co Kerry, Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland - by Valerie O'Sullivan Star Wars the Force Awakens UNESCO World Heritage SiteTo see where the islands are and get directions, please use our free ActiveMe App for iPhone and Android and share your photos on the ActiveMe facebook page.


1. Skellig Islands

Altitude: 81 m

The SKELLIG ISLANDS UNESCO World Heritage Site is also a designated Nature Reserve and now a major scene in the newest Star Wars movies. Located on the Wild Atlantic Way 8 miles (12 km) off the coast of Valentia Island in Co. Kerry in the south west of Ireland, these islands rise majestically to 714ft (218m) out of the wild Atlantic Ocean. The Skellig Islands were home to hermit monks in the 6th Century who chose to construct a unique early christian monastery here at the edge of the known world. This is one of the Top 10 Places to See in Ireland and the Worlds. Take this guide with you on our free App for iPhone and Android and share your photos on the ActiveMe facebook page.

Skellig Islands UNESCO World Heritage Site, Puffin and Gannet Colonies and major set for Star Wars VII The Force Awakens on the Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland

If you are wondering how to book a boat trip to the Skelligs, first thing would be to book well well in advance. Boat trips to and around Skellig Islands can be booked from various operators in Valentia Island, Portmagee, Ballinskelligs and Waterville but the 1.5 hour trip is very weather dependant due the unpredictable Atlantic seas and unfortunately for some, the trip can be cancelled. With the Skellig Islands only open for a few months a year and only a limited number of boats allowed to visit the Skellig, a visit to the Skellig Islands is a once in a lifetime trip and worth every penny. I can guarantee it would be the highlight our your holiday. With only 12 people allowed per boat, the trip takes more than 5 hours, with the boat trip taking 1.5hrs to get from the pier to the islands, 12 miles (19km) off the coast. If you are unable to visit the islands, you can always pay a visit to the Skellig Experience Centre on Valentia Island or take a boat trip around them. The sea can seen calm close to shore but 12 miles out, can be a far different story.

Add your business to the AcitveMe Travel guide.png

  • Skellig Boat Trips and Tours: Coming soon
  • Places to Stay Nearby: coming soon
  • Places for Food Nearby: coming soon
  • Places for Entertainment Nearby: coming soon

On the summit of this awe inspiring rock, Skellig Micheal reveals one of the great wonders of the world, an early Christian Monastic site built into the rock face and remarkably well-preserved considering its from the 6th century, nearly 1,500 years ago.  You need head for heights to climb the demanding 618 steps to see the beehive shaped huts and other dry stone buildings, built and lived in by the monks of St. Fíonáns monastery but it is well worth the effort. Using a technique called dry stone construction which did not require any mortar to keep the stone together, the monks built houses called beehive huts, walls, churches, stairs and gardens on the south facing side of the Skellig Islands which created a sun trap and provided great shelter from the wild atlantic.

Behind the Scenes Filming-of-Star Wars VIII The Force Awakens on Skellig Islands, Co Kerry, Ireland on the Wild Atlantic Way

In 2015 the main Skellig Island was used for a major scene (No Spoilers here!) in the newest Star Wars VII The Force Awakens, with filming taking place in 2014 as shown above. A further major scene in the next Star Wars movie VIII will also be set on Skellig Islands and other locations on the west coast of Ireland.

Star_Wars_The_Force_Awakens on Skellig Islands UNESCO World Heritage Site on the Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland

The Skellig Islands are famous for the puffin colony in late spring to August and the 23,000 pairs of gannets on the small Skellig Island, the second largest gannet colony in the world!

Skellig Islands UNESCO World Heritage Site, Puffin and Gannet Colony and Star Wars VII The Force Awakens on the Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland

The Skellig Islands are also famous for its spectacular lighthouse on Skellig Michael and is also one of Irelands best diving spots withs many interesting recreational diving sites in the waters surrounding the islands due to the clear water and underwater cliffs down to 60 meters (200 feet).

Skellig Lighthouse, Kerry on the Wild Atlantic Way by Valerie O'Sullivan

Boat trips to and around Skellig Islands can be booked from various operators in Valentia Island, Portmagee, Ballinskelligs and Waterville but the 1.5 hour trip is very weather dependant due the unpredictable Atlantic seas and unfortunately the Skellig Islands are only open for a few months a year.

The Skellig Islands, Co Kerry, Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland - by Valerie O'Sullivan Star Wars the Force Awakens UNESCO World Heritage SiteTo see where the islands are and get directions, please use our free ActiveMe App for iPhone and Android and share your photos on the ActiveMe facebook page.