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Experience the Extraordinary

A comprehensive, accessible and beautiful book on a unique and fascinating place. With the famous monastic beehive huts, teeming birdlife and spectacular vistas, The Skellig islands invite exploration. Des Lavelle is a leading expert and tour guide with a unique insight into these amazing islands.

Paperback: €12.99
Paperback: 176 pages
Size:210x148 mm
ISBN: 9781788490832

‘Magic that takes you out, far out, of this time and this world.'
George Bernard Shaw, after a visit to Skellig

This is the story of two of the world's most stunning and unspoilt islands, Skellig Michael and Small Skellig, which lie off the coast of Kerry. Lavelle explores the extraordinary, isolated Early Christian monastic settlement with its stone ‘beehive' huts. He describes the abundant bird life, including the huge colony of gannets, and tells of the history, legend, geology, plant life, the lighthouse, the seals and the underwater world.

There has been a huge growth in interest in these spectacular islands, driven by Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way and the filming of Star Wars.

A comprehensive, accessible and beautiful book on a unique and fascinating place.

Des Lavelle

Des Lavelle of Valentia, County Kerry, is a man of marine passions, and the beautiful Skellig Islands are listed ahead of the rest. A seaman, photographer, diving instructor and author, he – with his venerable boat, the Béal Bocht – has guided many thousands of visitors to the Skelligs. Allied to this activity, his summer days are spent personally appreciating the wonders of wildlife, archaeology and history that occupy every nook and cranny on Skellig – above and beneath the sea – and he has spent many winters taking these topics on a lecture circuit that stretches from mainland Europe to the west coast of the United States. His photographs and texts also form the core of the Skellig Experience Visitor Centre on Valentia.

Though now retired from commercial boating, the call of the Skellig still draws him, on special summer days, to his Lorelei in the Atlantic Ocean.


his intimate knowledge of and love for this special place seeps through his words so that the reader of this accessible overview of the various aspects of the islands cannot help but be sucked in. His detailed description of a boat trip from Valentia to Skellig … will strike a chord with anyone who has undertaken similar journeys or provide a pleasant alternative for those who, for whatever reason, cannot … All of this is written in the conversational and at times poetic style of an experienced storyteller and tour guide. A really lovely little book

Archaeology Ireland

This new work takes the reader on an intimate tour of the early Christian monastic settlement and its stone beehive huts, while the islands’ bird-life and underwater riches are also explored with a wealth of colour photos Culture

this book … has pushed a visit to Skellig Michael a few places up the bucket list

Tuam Herald

Also by Des Lavelle:

Island Boy

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