We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

Brian Lawless PA Archive/PA Images
Ring of Kerry

Lonely Planet names Skellig Ring as top destination for 2017

The popular travel guide describes the area as “perhaps Ireland’s most charismatically wild and emerald stretch of coastline”.

THE SKELLIG RING in Co Kerry has been named one of the top ten regions travellers should visit in 2017 by Lonely Planet.

It is the gateway to Skellig Michael and the Little Skellig and is located close to the famous Ring of Kerry.

Here’s what Lonely Planet has to say about the destination:

“A long time ago, far, far away… a small band of monks established a hidden base on a remote, wave-pounded hunk of rock rising out of the Atlantic like a giant triangle. With a setting like this, it’s no wonder Skellig Michael made the new Star Wars location list.

To get to this far-flung isle, a boat trip is necessary from the Skellig Ring, perhaps Ireland’s most charismatically wild and emerald stretch of coastline. Glimpsed at the end of The Force Awakens, Skellig Michael will play a bigger role in this year’s sequel and local businesses are gearing up for the expected visitor bump.

Nóirín Hegarty, operations director with Lonely Planet in Ireland, told Morning Ireland Skellig Michael’s appearance in Star Wars is not the only reason the location was chosen for the list, but said the film will open “this part of the world to a whole new generation of cinemagoers”.

Hegarty said the area’s untouched landscape is relatively unique, noting it has been “pretty much untouched since the sixth century when the monks lived there”.

Over 13,000 people visited Skellig Michael this year. It is closed to the public from October to April.

Hegarty said Lonely Planet is “very much about sustainable tourism” and uses its travel lists to “identify places that people haven’t thought of or have perhaps overlooked”.

The top 10 regions in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2017 are:
1. Choquequirao, Peru
2. Taranaki, New Zealand
3. The Azores, Portugal
4. North Wales, UK
5. South Australia
6. Aysén, Chile
7. The Tuamotus, French Polynesia
8. Coastal Georgia, USA
9. Perak, Malaysia
10. The Skellig Ring, Ireland

Min Shane Ross and Tourism Ireland welcome latest Lonely Planet accolade 1 Lonely Planet's Nórín Hegarty, Minister Shane Ross and Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, at the launch Shane O'Neill Photography Shane O'Neill Photography

Tourism Minister Shane Ross welcomed the news, saying: “I am delighted that The Skellig Ring is being internationally recognised as a place of rugged and ethereal beauty.

“An integral part of our Wild Atlantic Way, it is a place both wild and majestic. The early monks who settled in this area believed they had reached the edge of the world and anyone who has travelled The Skellig Ring can appreciate the co-existing impressions of timelessness and mortality the landscape evokes.”

Read: A US news network just paid a visit to Skellig Michael and it was looking well

Read: The Irish Air Corps just perfectly captured the beauty of the Skellig Islands

Readers like you are keeping these stories free for everyone...
A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article. Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.

Your Voice
Readers Comments
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.