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The Skellig Experience Visitor Centre

2020 Reflection

2020 has been a very challenging year for everyone. People were not able to visit family members, partake in certain activities, the use of masks was quickly becoming the norm and social distancing was the most used phrase daily. A lot of businesses including us did not even think it would be feasible to open their doors to the public. Ireland was at a standstill and it was something we had never encountered before.

After a couple of months places were slowly beginning to reopen and the travel restrictions were becoming less severe. With all necessary safety measures put in place we were lucky enough to open our doors on June 29th. The Skellig Experience has always been considered a tourist destination, but this year was different. Staycations was the way of holidaying this year and we were excited to introduce our experience to locals and visitors around Ireland. It was lovely to see families relaxing and enjoying their time at our Visitor Centre, in the restaurant and taking boat trips out to the islands.

The weather was spectacular, and we received amazing feedback from visitors who had been to the area but never “had the chance” to visit us before. I think that is one of the positive aspects we can take from the year just gone. It gave people the chance to slow down, take time to enjoy the little things and build memories with their families. The atmosphere was different to other years but still enjoyable as we made the most of the beautiful Summer days.

We are very blessed to live in such a beautiful location with scenery at every possible angle and when the sun is shining there is absolutely no place you would rather be. Located 7 miles off the Ring of Kerry we may be rural, but we have a wide variety of beautiful walkways and hidden gems to keep us entertained.

Like every other year a lot of people had hoped to land on Skellig Michael and make the climb to the very top. Like many things this year landing on the island was prohibited due to the pandemic and therefore the only available cruises were the non-landing tours. While it wasn’t their first choice most visitors took our boats out to cruise around the island and the tour didn’t disappoint. They were able to see the structure of the island, witness the beauty it had to offer, and they even got to see the famous Puffin. The weather really worked in our favor this Summer with some glorious days that were ideal boat trip weather. Many returned from the trip to sit down and enjoy a relaxing meal in our outdoor seating area which overlooks the beautiful fishing harbor of Portmagee.

October came and we were heading for another lockdown. This one was different as we seen it coming. Businesses were shutting down one by one and everyone’s main hope is that 2021 will bring brighter days. In the meantime, we will be working on ways to continue bringing a unique experience to all our customers for when we return. While it may not be back to the normal everyone was expecting we hope that 2021 will be a much better year for everybody and we look forward to welcoming all our visitors back once again when it is safe to do so!

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