Skellig Michael, or Michael's Rock, also called Great Skellig, is a rocky island on the Atlantic Ocean, 12 kilometers off the coast of County Kerry, Ireland. Skellig Michael is a major monastic complex for Irish monks for some 600 years. Located at the summit of the 230-meter rock is the Celtic monastery which is believed to have been founded around the 7th century. Although it is a famous monastery, it is also one of the least accessible.
Among the natural features at Skellig Michael include Christ's Valley, the Needles Eye, the Spit and the Hermitage. Christ's Valley is a u-shaped depression that bisects the Skellig, formed by millions of years of erosion and faulting activity. The Needles Eye is a narrow rock chimney. The Spit is a narrow ridge at the top of the summit of the southwestern peak of the Skellig, while the Hermitage is an isolated retreat from the itself secluded monastery.
Skellig Michael was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site during the 20th session of the World Heritage Committee in Merida, Mexico, on 2-7 December, 1996.
Photos of Skellig Michael
Beehive huts, Skellig Michael, Ireland
Author: Rob Burke (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic)
Skellig Michael, Ireland
Author: Devek (public domain)
View of Little Skellig from Skellig Michael
Author: Eireway (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.5 Generic)
World Heritage Site Inscription Details
Location: N 51 46 18.984 W 10 32 18.996
Inscription Year: 1996
Type of Site: Cultural
Inscription Criteria: III, IV
Location Map of Skellig Michael
Skellig Michael is numbered 2. Click here if you cannot see the map.
View UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Ireland in a larger map
Visiting Skellig Michael
Skellig Michael is reached only by boat. There are a number of operators.