On Skellig Michael, Monastic Past and Sci-Fi Present share a Unique Environment; Danielle Crowley; Coast Monkey

Ireland – Sceilg Mhichíl

The Skelligs really have something for everyone – history, wildlife, stunning views and more recently of course Star Wars.

Skellig Michael, the largest island, was first home to a group of monks who set up there more than a thousand years ago (making it one of the earliest Irish monastic sites) in the search for some peace and quiet in which to dedicate themselves to God. At over 200m in height and 12km from the Kerry coastline as well as being battered by the force of the Atlantic Ocean, this is a seriously hardcore introvert retreat.

Not to mention the many steps, over 600 of them, which the monks had to hand carve into the rock itself (those monks must have been extremely fit!). The steps are very steep and often slippy and have claimed some lives over the years. Not for the faint hearted.

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