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Portmagee is a small fishing village in County Kerry near Caherciveen.

This is the starting point for Skellig Michael, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Maurice O'Neill Bridge to Valentia Island from Portmagee
Colourful houses on coast
Portmagee Harbour the starting point for the Skellig Islands

Get in[edit]

A car drive takes around 30 mins from Cahirciveen.

Get around[edit]

The village of Portmagee is small enough to walk around on foot. Nearby destinations that can be reached easily by walking include Bray Head, Valentia Island and a small strand (waterfront) called Reencaheragh at the western end of Portmagee.

Bicycles can be hired in Caherciveen, but it costs extra to have them transported to Portmagee.

There is a local shuttle bus (Kerry Transport - Route 35 - Valentia to Caherciveen) [1] between Portmagee and Caherciveen that runs Monday, Thursday and Friday for €5 (single journey). Pick up in Portmagee is at approx. 09:45 at the Fisherman's Bar. The bus continues on to Tralee on Thursdays. Journeys to Tralee must be booked by 15:00 the day before (call 1890 528 528).


  • Derrynane House in Caherdaniel is the ancestral home of Daniel O'Connell. It's open daily April-Oct, Sa Su Nov.
  • Valentia Island can be seen on the other side of the bridge.


  • The Skellig Experience, Valentia Island, +353 66 947-6306. Visitor centre on Valentia Island (across the bridge from Portmagee) that explores the islands' history, architecture and wildlife. Also offers boat cruises around the islands, but are not licensed to land. €5 adult.
  • Kerry Marine Tours, Caherciveen, +353 86 156-2828. Whale watching cruises (€60) and sea angling. Leave from the marina in Caherciveen. Walk on/walk off (no ladders or steps).
  • Heatherhill Stables, Ballinskelligs, +353 66 947-9318. Open May-September. Horse and pony trails to suit all ages and abilities through beaches and forest.
  • Valentia Island (walk across the bridge from Portmagee). This small island off the coast of Kerry is linked to Portmagee by bridge, and Cahersiveen by car ferry. Things to see on the island include Bray Head (well-known spot for land-based whale watching), the starting point of the first trans-Atlantic cable, the Grotto, lighthouse, tetrapod tracks, Glanleam and Culloo. There are two small villages (Knightstown and Chapeltown) on the island, and the Skellig Experience Visitor Centre.


  • Skelligs Chocolate Co., The Glen, Ballinskelligs, +353 66 947-9119. Factory producing handmade Irish chocolates, not far from Ballinskelligs. Buy truffles, gift boxes, hot chocolate, etc. Opening times depend on season, see website.
  • Cois Cuain Gifts. Local crafts and foods, festive and nautical gifts. Connected to The Moorings B&B and Restaurant.
  • Deo's Food Store and Post Office. Open until 20:15. Newsagent, basic groceries and post office.


There are some shops and a restaurant on the road just beside the port

  • K's Golden Grill, +353 87 659-3389. After 21:00. A food van that operates after the local restaurants have stopped serving meals. Serves typical greasy spoon fare: burgers, chips, drinks, etc.
  • The Moorings B&B and Restaurant, Main Street, +353 66 947-7108. 18:00-22:00, April to October. Award-winning seafood restaurant. Closed Mondays except Bank Holidays.
  • Wild blackberries. These can be found growing on the roadside amongst the wildflowers, delicious! Free.


  • The Bridge Bar. Nicknamed 'The Posh Bar'. Touristy, excellent quality meals, live music and dancing on Tuesday nights. Part of The Moorings B&B and Restaurant.
  • The Fisherman's Bar. Nicknamed 'The Gay Bar', as it's usually full of local men. Less touristy than the Bridge Bar down the road, full of locals.


  • [dead link] Portmagee Hostel. Check-in: 16:00-20:00, check-out: 10:00. Immaculate digs, more like a guesthouse than a hostel. Only five minutes walk from the main street of Portmagee. Free parking, TV room with DVD player, internet and 2 large kitchen/dining areas. Private and shared rooms, ensuites available. Skellig tours, horseriding and water activities can be arranged. from €15pppn.
  • The Moorings B&B and Restaurant, +353 66 947-7108. Excellent standard of accommodation, restaurant attached, waterfront views.

Go next[edit]

Boats run between Skellig Michael and Portmagee typically carrying 12 to 14 people The boat ride is exciting and somewhat daunting!

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