Lonely Planet has released its Best in Travel 2017 guide, naming Kerry's Skellig Ring as one of the top 10 regions in the world to visit next year.
Described by one guide as 'a trip to the edge of the abyss', the route was ranked number ten in the Lonely Planet list and is a 30 kilometre drive off the Ring of Kerry, acting as a gateway to Skellig Michael reports RTE. The guide recommends booking early for "unmissable experiences" such as the sixth century monastic UNESCO World Heritage Site Skellig Michael and Little Skellig, one of the world's largest gannet colony's.
The Skellig Ring, "perhaps Ireland’s most charismatically wild and emerald stretch of coastline", has narrow travel paths only suitable for vehicles no bigger than a car. Skellig Michael, which is expected to attract hundreds of thousands of extra tourists to Ireland after appearing in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, is to have a bigger role in the sequel to the blockbuster.
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Topping the list was Peru's Choquequirao, with New Zealand's Taranaki and Portugal's Azores being named number two and three respectively.
Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Shane Ross said: "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.
"When George Bernard Shaw visited there in 1910 he wrote; ‘I tell you the thing does not belong to any world that you and I have lived and worked in; it is part of our dream world’, and anyone who visits today could not but agree."