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The Skelligs: A Galaxy Far Far Away

Named one of the Lonely Planet’s Top 10 places to visit in 2017, the Skellig Ring in County Kerry, which includes the mysterious and stunning Skellig Michael and Little Skellig Islands, has to be seen to be believed.

The UNESCO world heritage site of the islands themselves - formerly the home of one of Ireland’s earliest monastic settlements and, more recently, the isolated retreat of Jedi Master Luke Skywalker in the latest Star Wars films - has seen over 13,000 visitors in the last year alone: an incredible turnout for the two iconic, windswept crags, on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean.

Getting to the islands from the ravishingly wild and inviting Skellig Ring, however, is no mean feat; thrill seekers must contend with rocky boat launch locations, a rough and ready open-sea crossing and any number of unexpected meteorological elements as their tour operator beelines for these remote peaks.

Once there, however, it’s time to navigate the steep and winding climb up hundreds of small steps carved directly into the rock by its former monastic residents – all under the watchful scrutiny of hundreds of puffins, gannets and cormorants who make the islands their home throughout the year.

The ruined monastery atop the peak of Skellig Michael, which dates to roughly 600AD, has hardly changed in over a millennium.

The reward of arriving at the summit and peering out over the edge of the world is what truly makes the Skelligs experience a special one. The ruined monastery atop the peak of Skellig Michael, which dates to roughly 600 AD, has hardly changed in over a millennium, and the ancient beehive-shaped, hand-stacked stone huts nearby enchant, echoing the voices of the past.

Timeless and utterly otherworldly, the Skelligs exemplify the richness of Ireland’s ancient heritage and history. A true gem of the Wild Atlantic Way, the world’s longest defined coastal touring route, and as film buffs and outdoor enthusiasts alike can attest, the Skelligs’ spectacular features make for an unforgettable experience - on and off the screen.

Source: Wild Atlantic Way, Irish Film BoardFáilte Ireland, Tourism Ireland