SKELLIG ISLANDS – Frequently Asked questions
Where do I get a boat to the Skellig Islands from?
Boats depart for the Skellig Islands from Portmagee, Valentia, Derrynane, Ballinskelligs and Cahirciveen. But Portmagee is generally regarded as the main departure point with the largest number of boats departing from here.
How do I get to Portmagee by car / boat / public transport?
Have a look at our Map and Directions to Portmagee page.
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.
How much does the trip cost?
The rate for 2019 was €100.00 per person. This rate may be subject to change as 2020 rates have not been set yet.
Can you go to Skelligs at any time of the year?
Unfortunately, no. Boat trips to Skelligs generally operate from Mid-May to late September. 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. It’s always best to ring in advance to book your place but the decision whether or not to go out is sometimes not made until the day.
So, if I arrive between May and September, 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 to Skelligs depart from Portmagee at?
The boats depart from the pier between 8am & 10am, depending on the boat operators landing schedule.
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 3pm.
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. If you call into us at the Moorings, we can provide you with a range of Skelligs Picnic packages or even a hearty Irish breakfast before you 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 Skelligs overnight?
Not unless you 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’ve 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. After that, they’re on their merry way for another year.
Is there somewhere I can find Skelligs-related postcards or memorabilia.
We have a range of Skelligs-related gifts in our gift shop, Cois Cuain, which is beside the Moorings.
Where is the most convenient place to stay if I want to go to the Skelligs?
We’re a little biased, but, many of the Moorings rooms overlook the pontoons where the boats depart from as we are a mere 30 second walk away. We also provide a Skellig Islands Tour package where accommodation, food, booking, lunches are all taken care of along with a few other nice surprises as well.