Many of our students and their families take the opportunity to attend Coláiste Mhichíl to immerse themselves not only in the Irish language but in the local area itself. With a wide range of accommodation types available, they base themselves in Ballinskelligs to take in local attractions along the Wild Atlantic Way.

Ballinskelligs is a Gaeltacht area located in South Kerry on the Iveragh Peninsula. The name Ballinskelligs is taken from Skellig Michael – town of the Skelligs – Baile ‘n Sceilg.

The Skellig rocks are located 8 miles out from the beautiful coast here. Skellig Michael is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has really come to international fame in the last few years with the recording done for Star Wars movies. This amazing rock attracts hundreds of tourists each year from all corners of the globe.

The 12th Century saw Monks from Skellig Michael visit the mainland. They founded the Augustinian Priory, known locally as The Abbey. The Priory was dedicated to St. Michael and was characterised by a church and central cloister of which parts have survived to this day.

Skellig Michael

McCarthy’s Castle dominates the western shoreline of Ballinskelligs beach. Legend has it that it was built in the 16th century by McCarthy Mór, chieftain of Munster to protect Ballinskelligs Bay from pirates.

Ballinskelligs Blue Flag Beach

Ballinskelligs Blue Flag beach is ideal for leisurely walks, swimming, watersports, and a coffee with friends in Café Cois Trá. There is an amazing panoramic view of Ballinskelligs Bay and beyond looking towards the McGillicuddy Reeks. It is also the perfect location for taking in Ireland’s first designated Dark Sky Reserve after being awarded the first Gold Tier reserve in the Northern Hemisphere in 2014.

All of the above can be taken in along the Skelligs Monk’s Trail. This 2 km walk stretches from the beach car park to the old Coastguard Station at Reen. Local guide Dessie Cronin will take you through the rich history and heritage of the area along the way. It also includes the story of the Ballinskelligs transatlantic cable station which over 100 years ago was laid from Ireland to the United States of America.

Art enthusiasts can sample national and international works by artists or enjoy a taste of Italy with wood-fired pizza in the Cill Rialaig Arts Centre in Dungeagan.

For those with a love for the outdoors, why not challenge yourself to one of the many Loop Walks or take in the surfers in St. Finian’s Bay before treating yourself to a hot chocolate and award-winning tasty treats in Ireland’s only fully open-plan chocolate factory, Skelligs Chocolate.

As you venture towards Portmagee you can take in spectacular views of Puffin Island and Skellig Michael from the Kerry cliffs. In Valentia, Bray Head, Geokaun Mountain, the Slate Quarry, Knightstown, the Skelligs Experience, locally produced ice cream and the famous lighthouse are waiting to be explored.

Golfing, fishing, and marine activities are available in Waterville on the eastern side of Ballinskelligs Bay while a diverse range of eateries can be found in Cahersiveen, the ancestral home of Daniel O’Connell.

Coláiste Mhichíl
Coláiste Mhichíl
Coláiste Mhichíl
Coláiste Mhichíl
Coláiste Mhichíl