St Finians is a tiny village on the "Ring of Ballingskellig" in the extreme southwest of Kerry. It is a small fishing village that had its most fame in the 19th century fishing pilchards and herring, a village famous for their “Seine boats”.
On the map the term St Finan's Bay applies to the whole of the bay between Ducalla Head and Puffin Island. On the ground the signposts to St Finian's Bay lead to the little beach below the settlement of Keel.
St Finan, Finian or Fionan (one of at least six of that name) was a follower of St Brendan, and is is attributed with founding the monastery on Skellig Michael dedicated to him. He is also credited with being the founder abbot of a monastery in Kinitty, Offaly.
It is a wonderfully remote area consisting of only a few houses, the ruins of a church and a chocolate factory. You are now in one of the Gaeltacht in southwest Kerry. You are on the famous "Ring of Ballingskellig".
This road takes you on a hill where you will get a spectacular view on the 2 sides (one of the most beautiful views of Ireland). And you will continue this path to get to St. Finian's Bay.
This is one of the wildest spots of Ireland. Opposite, you will see the "Skellig Rocks." But St.Finian's Bay is also known internationally by ornithologists due to "Puffin Island". The largest colony of Ireland for "puffin". Is also recognized as the best beach for surfers, as well as for fishing at the bar, which nevertheless is very dangerous because of its strong currents.
Very good trekking in Celtic history and in ornithology. It remains to note that St.Finian's Bay has one of the best chocolate shops in Ireland.
SKELLIGS CHOCOLATE CO., ST. FINIANS BAY, THE GLEN, BALLINSKELLIGS, CO. KERRY, IRELAND
(066) 94 79119
The Skelligs Chocolate Co. promote themselves as the most westerly chocolate company in Europe and they have been producing their award winning chocolates for more than 10 years but they still have the same passion now as when they first started.
The tiny factory is situated in St. Finian’s Bay, The Glen, Ballinskelligs, Co. Kerry or more poetically in An Gleann, Baile an Scéilg, Co. Chiarraí, Éire. The factory is after all in the heart of the Gaeltacht; the Irish speaking area of Co. Kerry. From the factory windows are some of the most spectacular views in the country, looking directly over the Skellig Rocks, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The company has won over 20 ‘Great Taste Awards’ over the years for their creations, including for their Baby Figs, Brandy Plums and Apricot Amaretto’s. It takes about 5 days to produce each batch of truffles and the company is still proud to create them in the same handmade fashion as they have always done.
The factory welcomes visitors, to watch the process and enjoy some sampling and new this year is a small cafe for teas and coffees and the house speciality ‘HOT CHOCOLATE’.
The company makes more than 60 different varieties of truffles and rotates their flavors with the seasons; e.g. Violet & Champagne for spring, Raspberry & Coconut for summer and Hot Toddy (Whiskey & Chili) in winter.
All are available to buy from the factory and are also available from a number of stores in Co. Kerry. They are also available further a field in Ireland but at the moment they are restricted to Harvey Nicks stores only in the U.K.
Also new this year is the Skelligs Chocolate Cafe in Killarney
where all their chocolates are available and you can enjoy a freshly
made sandwich or salad while you sip a Rainforest Alliance coffee
specially blended for them by Badger & Dodo of Cork.
If you love Hiking and mountain climbing then you must try your skill at these.
The Black Valley Cliff
The Black Cliff.
By the way have you any stories or information or help concerning climbing in County Kerry you would like to offer? If so please email me at the link below and I will add it to the appropriate page.
Kerry Mountain Climbing