One Day in Portmagee: Itinerary

One day in Portmagee

Welcome to Portmagee, a sleepy fishing village, located on Ireland’s southwestern coast. This town may seem quiet at first glance, but don’t be fooled – it’s the town on the coast where Skellig Michael looms. This little town is not to be missed on your travels to Ireland. The ancient monastery that awaits you off the coast of Portmagee is the stuff of legends, and I’m here to help you plan one day of exploration and adventure in Portmagee.

This itinerary will take you through a perfect one day in Portmagee which includes taking a boat ride to the mysterious Skellig Michael Island. I hope you’re ready for an adventure of a lifetime!

Stop 1: Portmagee Marina

Preparing for your one day in Portmagee

One day in Portmagee
Grab some breakfast to take with you at O’Connells for your Skellig Michael tour!

Start your day bright and early for a Skellig Michael landing tour at the Portmagee Marina. Grab a quick snack / breakfast at O’Connells Foodstore in town before heading out on the water. Make sure you bring a waterbottle and sunscreen – it’s going to be a long day!

As you walk along the marina to your boat, take a moment to admire the colorful boats resting in the Portmagee harbor. If you’re lucky, you may even catch a glimpse of some wildlife.
Traveler’s Note: Skellig Michael tour options include eco tours and landing tours. The difference is that landing tours allow you to step foot on the island and explore the ancient monastery, while eco tours provide a scenic tour around the island but do not include a stop on land. Whichever option you choose, be prepared for a life-changing experience!

Stop 2: Boat Tour to Skellig Michael Island

The Boat Tour to Skellig Michael

The view from the ancient monastery at the top of Skellig Michael island.

The highlight of your day is the boat ride to Skellig Michael, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the filming location for scenes in Star Wars, the Last Jedi. From Portmagee Marina, it takes about 45 minutes to reach the island.

As you approach the island, be prepared to be amazed by the sheer cliffs and rugged landscape. Keep an eye out for puffins, sea birds, and whales along the way – you never know what you might see! This is the Atlantic Ocean after all.

Once you land on Skellig Michael, prepare to step back in time as you climb the uneven steps up to the ancient monastery. This is where monks lived over a thousand years ago, seeking growth and solitude.

The Ride Back from Skellig Michael

The ride back from Skellig Michael is just as breathtaking as the ride there. Most days the boat tours circle Little Skellig, a smaller island known for its wildlife that lives there. As you see Skellig Michael island shrink into the distance, take a deep breath, it’s only about 3:00 PM! You still have more to see around Portmagee. Don’t forget to thank your boat captain for a safe ride!

** Optional: Take an eco tour around the Skellig Islands instead of a landing tour for a sustainable way to enjoy the beautiful scenery and wildlife. Taking an eco tour also means you don’t have to climb the 618 steps to the top. However, you’ll still get to see the stunning views of Skellig Michael and Little Skellig. Plus, you’ll learn about the history and unique wildlife of the area from knowledgeable guides. It’s a win-win for both you and the historical site!

Stop 3: Lunch in Portmagee at the Moorings

After a morning of adventure, it’s time to refuel with a late lunch in the village of Portmagee. At the Moorings across the street from the marina, enjoy a delicious meal while taking in the views of boats in the harbor.

Stop 4: The Kerry Cliffs Viewpoint

Kerry Cliffs Viewpoint

After a day of adventure and exploration on Skellig Michael, take some time to see the Kerry Cliffs! You can walk along the cliffs and take in the views of the Atlantic Ocean. As the waves crash on the rocks below at the Kerry Cliffs viewpoint, you’ll be glad you came to see the cliffs. These cliffs rival the famous Cliffs of Moher, have fewer crowds, and a more personal experience. Don’t forget to take photos! You may even see some sheep or cows grazing by the cliffs. You’ll want to remember these moments.

Stop 5: Dinner at Fisherman’s Bar Portmagee

After a full day of adventure and exploring, it’s time to head back to the marina and unwind and indulge in some delicious food and drinks at Fisherman’s Bar in Portmagee. This bar and restaurant offers fresh caught seafood, traditional Irish food, and vegetarian and vegan options. Relax and enjoy your food as you ponder the experiences of the day and plan for tomorrow’s adventures!

Where to Stay in Portmagee (For All Budgets)

where to stay in Portmagee
View during my stay in the Skellig View B&B, 5 minutes from Portmagee.

Now that the night is over, you need a place to stay for the night! Portmagee has a few different options depending on your budget and preferences.

  • If you prefer a more authentic experience, there are several bed and breakfasts such as the Skellig View Sunrise Apartment or Ocean View B&B.
  • For a touch of luxury without breaking the bank, the Moorings Guesthouse & Seafood Restaurant offers stunning views and comfortable rooms.
  • For those looking for more privacy and more space, there’s the Portmagee Village Apartments, complete with a washer and dryer.

⭐ Traveler’s Choice: Skellig View Sunrise Apartment

** Optional Drive from Portmagee to Killarney or Dingle for the Night

If you choose not to stay in Portmagee, don’t worry! The nearby towns of Killarney and Dingle offer plenty of accommodation options and are also worth visiting. From cozy local B&Bs to luxury hotels, there’s a lot of options nearby.

View from the road from Portmagee.

The drive to Killarney from Portmagee is a scenic route that takes you through the stunning landscapes of Killarney National Park. There are quaint towns along the way that you can stop at for dinner this way. This drive takes about an hour and fifteen minutes.

If you choose to head to Dingle, prepare to be welcomed by its colorful streets and friendly locals. This drive takes a bit longer at two hours, so plan accordingly!

No matter where you choose to spend the night, your memories of your one day in Portmagee will stay with you forever.

FAQs about Portmagee

What’s the best time of year to visit Portmagee?

May to the beginning of September offers the best chances for no cancellations and smoother sailings to Skellig Michael. Keep in mind that puffins can only be seen on the island until mid-August.

Can I stay on Skellig Michael?

The only way to set foot on Skellig Michael is with a pre-booked boat tour. These tours ensure your safety getting on and off the island. There are no accommodations for guests on the island itself. Most visitors choose to stay in Portmagee or nearby towns and make a day trip out to the island.

What should I pack for a day trip to Skellig Michael?

Pack a small breakfast for while you’re on Skellig Michael. Bring waterproof gear because you’re in Ireland – and you never know. You should pack sturdy walking shoes for Skellig Michael’s steps. Sunscreen is a must since you are exposed to the elements for a few hours! Also, pack some water, it’s important to stay hydrated!

How far is it from Killarney to Portmagee?

Portmagee is an about hour and fifteen minutes by car from Killarney.

How far is it from Dingle to Portmagee?

Dingle is about an hour and fifty minutes by car from Portmagee.

Is there a ferry from Dingle to Portmagee?

There is no ferry from Dingle to Portmagee. The best option to get to Portmagee is by car. If you’re traveling from outside of Ireland, I recommend renting a car.

Travel Resources for Ireland

πŸš—Β Discover CarsΒ helps you get the cheapest rental cars while traveling
πŸ›οΈ Viator is best for researching and booking tours and experiences
πŸ€• Safety WingΒ is my recommended travel health insurance


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