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The Skellig Ring

As part of our Ring of Kerry day, I originally wanted to take a boat trip out to Skellig Michael, a small island home to sixth-century monastery ruins. We quickly realized that the five-hour trip to Skellig Michael would take the better part of the morning and afternoon and we would have to either rush through the rest of the Ring of Kerry or skip a lot of it since we only planned one day for the ring. So, Skellig Michael ended up on my list for next time.

We did, however, have time to add the Skellig Ring into our schedule. If you’re driving the whole Ring of Kerry, I highly highly recommend including this 20-mile loop for even more diversity in jaw-dropingly gorgeous Irish landscape. The turn is just after Waterville if you’re following the clockwise direction.

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I admit to being extra motivated to drive the Skellig Ring if only to visit Skelligs Chocolate. I had heard of Skelligs from my trip research, but didn’t know much about the factory other than they have good chocolate (that’s all I needed to know). So imagine my surprise and delight when I walked into the shop to find out that they offered free tasting sessions! We stood at the counter in front of the production line while a woman sliced up sample after sample of chocolate bars and truffles. Step aside beer and whiskey; this is a tasting I can get into.

Would you believe it though, I didn’t take a single picture of the chocolate? My apologies for that – I was pretty occupied with consuming all of the samples. We purchased a mixture of the truffles that we tasted, and even more importantly, I tried my first scone ever at the cafe. Delicious!

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My most favorite non-food-related spot on the Skellig Ring was easily the Kerry Cliffs. The spectacular cliffs are the closest vantage point on land to see the Skellig Islands. We lucked out with a clear day and could easily spot Little Skellig and Skellig Michael out to the west. There is a small fee to enter the park, but we felt like the price of 4 euros each was worth it for such stunning views. It’s a nice walk to a lengthy viewing point where you can watch birds circling above the waves crashing against the rocks. Simply breathtaking.
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Also along the Skellig Ring? The fishing village of Portmagee and a super picturesque little isle nearby called Valentia Island. I only learned about Valentia Island after we got back home and I think we would have enjoyed stopping there, so I will add that to my growing list of things to see on our next Ireland trip. I’m excited to have so many reasons to go back!

But we did check off a few more must-see items in Ireland, like the Cliffs of Moher, and that post is up next.

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