The Ballinskelligs region of South Kerry is an area with strong associations to the Skellig Monks. The renowned Skellig Islands (Na Scealga), which includes Skellig Michael upon which St Fionan’s monastery stands, are visible off the coast as you drive throughout the region.
Ballinskelligs Abbey, also known as Ballinskelligs Priory, is an Augustinian Abbey that was built in the 12th Century to house the Skellig Monks. The Abbey was founded for monks who returned to the mainland from Skellig Michael after numerous attacks by Vikings. The Abbey was dedicated to St Michael, as was Skellig Michael, and the monks adopted the Augustinian rule. A number of buildings, most from the 15th Century, constitute the Abbey, among them a rectangular church. The church and other buildings were arranged around a central cloister. Parts of the cloister and a large domestic hall are still visible. The Abbey is one of a number of spiritual sites dedicated to St Michael in the area.
Enjoy a walk on the nearby Emlagh Looped Walk and be rewarded with some great scenic views of the bay.