A remote Irish island was flung onto the world stage in late 2015 when the long-awaited new episode of the 'Star Wars' franchise used its incredible scenery as backdrop to one of the film’s most memorable scenes.
Avid fans flocked to see Episode VII “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” little knowing that many of them would come away with a lust to see the phenomenal Skellig Michael off the coast of County Kerry.
If the beautiful scenes from the movie weren’t enough to convince you, however, these new photos snapped by the Irish Air Corps on a recent maritime patrol will leave you with no doubts that Skellig Michael should be top of the list of places to visit at least once in your lifetime.
The mystic Skellig Michael, an uninhabited pinnacle of rock jutting out of the Atlantic Ocean, rises 750 feet above water leve and it is just 11 miles from the small Kerry fishing town of Portmagee. With the ruins of an ancient monastery standing eerily at the island’s peak, Skellig Michael was named as an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996.
The larger of the two Skellig Islands and located southwest of Valentia Island, Skellig Michael is not a tourist destination for the faint of heart or those with a fear of heights. Small steps cut into the rock by Irish monks centuries ago lead up to the world-famous and incredibly well-preserved early Christian monastic site.
But this all adds to the other-worldly character and mystical quality that makes Skellig Michael so perfect for 'Star Wars.' As if haunted by the monks who once made their home there, the island is like a portal to a different time, transporting you far away from Ireland to something else entirely.
It is more than worth the effort to reach the tip of the island, but if the thought of a bout of sea-sickness is just too much for you, viewing spots of the islands from various points along the Ring of Kerry also offer sights of the island in unforgettable settings. Although, the photographs provided by the Irish Air Corps indicate that seeing Skellig Michael from the air also seems like a great option.
Thanks to the the box office success of the latest 'Star Wars' film, Tourism Ireland is anticipating an increase in demand from tourists wishing to visit the Kerry islands. The skelligs are also expected to feature in a further 'Star Wars' film for 2017.
H/T: Daily Edge