skellig ringThe ring of Skellig is an extension of the famous Ring of Kerry and is a real hidden gem – a small, 20 mile (app 32km?) route that will show you the gorgeous beauty of Ireland with none of the hassles.The Skellig Ring (or Ring of Skellig), detours west off the N70 just north of Waterville, and hooks back up to the Ring of Kerry just south of Caherciveen. If you want to go to Valentia Island, or take a boat to the Skellig Islands, you’ll be heading this way, anyway.

Just north of Waterville on the Ring of Kerry, there’s a small road marked Skellig Ring. Only cars are allowed on these small, country roads. That is reason enough to step off the Ring of Kerry. So. Revel in getting off the beaten path – driving through small villages such as Dungaegan, The Glen, up winding lanes up and down mountains, with the ever-present  Atlantic ocean to the left – its waves crashing against rocks.

While passing through Ballinskelligs there are opportunities to stop for a bite to eat or drink at the various cafes, pubs and shops or visit thebflogo_2341 Blue Flag beach and the well known landmarks of banner4KSCMcCarthy Tower (Ballinskelligs Castle) and the 12th Century Abbey. For those with more time or are staying in the area there is a local tour operator where you can experience the Skellig Ring or Ring of Kerry in a more leisurely fashion and let them do the driving. Tour details can be found here.

Heading towards Portmagee, you’ll find St. Finian’s Bay and enter The Glen. Besides the omnipresent surfers and beautiful beach, you’ll find the Skelligs Chocolate Company (artisanal hand made Irish chocolates). Note the gorgeous Skellig Islands, off to the left. Heading into Portmagee, you’ll see the  harbour with its colorful boats and houses; Valentia Island just across the bridge; numerous boats to head to Greater Skellig Island (The Skelligs).

From Portmagee, head up to Caherciveen, and then either continue on the Ring of Kerry north east (toward Killarney), or back south toward Waterville. You’ve taken in the wild mountains, green landscape of the Iveragh Peninsula, the crashing Atlantic ocean, good food, drink and chocolate, and beautiful memories.  — Remember Ballinskelligs