The Skelligs - Hartney Photographics

The Skellig Islands (Na Scealaga), are two magnificent, steep, and rocky islands lying about 12 km west of Portmagee, in South West Kerry. They are famous for their thriving gannet and puffin populations, and for an early Christian monastery that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Moreover, during the summer of 2014, Hollywood suddenly and controversially landed on Skellig Michael to film a new Star Wars film. The smaller island is Little Skellig (Sceilg Bheag); closed to the public it holds Ireland's largest and the world's second-largest Northern Gannet colony, with almost 30,000 pairs. It is about 1.5 km eastnortheast of Great Skellig and a tour of its shoreline forms part of the popular Skellig boat trip. These boat trips are licensed and limited annually; the trip also includes several hours on Great Skellig, also known as Skellig Michael (Sceilg Mhichíl). Skellig Michael is the larger of the two islands, rising dramatically from the sea with peaks rising to over 230 m above sea level. Its remarkably well preserved sixth-century Christian monastery is perched at 160 m above sea level on a ledge close to the top of the lower peak and is accessed by a steep climb of 618 stone steps. The monks lived in the stone, beehive shaped huts you see in our images. These huts are round on the outside, rectangular and dark on the inside. We hope to have captured some of the atmosphere experienced on this fabulous trip in our images.

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