Caherdaniel is a village in County Kerry, Ireland, on the Iveragh peninsula on the Ring of Kerry. It is on the southwestern side of the peninsula, facing onto Derrynane Bay. Derrynane House was the home of Irish politician and statesman, Daniel O’Connell. It is now an Irish National Monument and part of a 320-acre National Park.
Derrynane Beach is part of the national park and it is pretty amazing. A welcome stop along the way to take in some salty Irish air and stretch our legs. We were very lucky when visiting beaches in Ireland. We always seemed to arrive at low tide. The receding water made very interesting designs in the sand.
There are sightseeing trips to the Skellig Islands from Derrynane Harbour daily during the Summer season. We were a wee bit too early to take advantage of such excursions.
Both of the Skellig islands are known for their seabird colonies, and together comprise one of the most important seabird sites in Ireland, both for the population size and for the species diversity. Among the breeding birds are European storm petrel, northern gannet, northern fulmar, Manx shearwater, black-legged kittiwake, common guillemot, razorbill and Atlantic puffin. There are typically 4,000 or more puffins on Great Skellig alone. Red-billed chough and peregrine falcon can also be seen.
The surrounding waters have abundant wildlife. There are many Grey seal, Basking shark, minke whale, dolphin, beaked whale, and leatherback sea turtle have also been recorded. The islands have many interesting recreational diving sites due to the clear water, an abundance of life, and underwater cliffs down to 60 meters (200 feet).
The last scene of Star Wars: The Force Awakens was shot on Skellig in July 2014. Additional filming took place there in September 2015. The remains of the Skellig Michael monastery appear in the film, representing an ancient Jedi temple.