Kerry: Following the last Jedi to the Skelligs; Louis Furney; Independent

Ireland – Sceilg Mhichíl

One would normally associate running into multiple, seven-foot tall densely haired individuals with a trip to Scandinavia. But Kerry can offer a similar experience as it is now, thanks to Star Wars: The Last Jedi, a familiar stomping ground for Wookies.

Although Skellig Michael was the star location of the movie, relatively little of the filming was done on the island itself (as it is a Unesco World Heritage site). Instead, the filming was spread over the Kerry coast which has added a whole new side to Kerry tourism.

Breege and Noel ‘Nolsey’ Granville were so taken with the whole Star Wars phenomenon that they now not only run tours based on the film and its locations but also organised a festival to coincide with the release of the film in December.

On the Dingle Peninsula there were locations built for the film in Farran and Dunmore Head – but perhaps the biggest was in Ceann Sibeal, near Balliferriter. In order to preserve Skellig Michael, the island’s village of beehive huts was recreated there and a road had to be built across fields to run the shoot.

Source: Kerry: Following the last Jedi to the Skelligs


Real places in Oscar-nominated films from Dunkirk to Toronto; Beth J. Harpaz; AP

Ireland – Sceilg Mhichíl

NEW YORK (AP) — From the beaches of France where “Dunkirk” took place to a historic Toronto theater where “Shape of Water” was filmed, fans can visit many of the real-world destinations depicted in this year’s Oscar-nominated movies.


For the Italy depicted in “Call Me By Your Name,” head to the town of Crema, about an hour from Milan in the northern Lombardy region. Actor Michael Stuhlbarg says the setting was “exquisitely beautiful. … It was a character in the film.”


At London’s Churchill War Rooms museum , visitors can see the map room, cabinet room, Winston Churchill’s bedroom and other locations depicted in the movie about Churchill’s early days as prime minister during wartime. The museum was even visited by the movie’s stars, Gary Oldman, who portrayed Churchill, and Lily James, who played his secretary. An exhibit called “Undercover: Life in Churchill’s Bunker” shows how typists like James’ character sometimes lived and worked there around the clock. The museum on King Charles Street is open daily (admission, $29).


Read more

From shark attacks to moped hire – the most dangerous spots for everyday holiday activities; Emily Payne; The Sun

Ireland – Sceilg Mhichíl

From swimming in Australia to dodgy motorbike hire in Thailand and even taking selfies – these are some of the most perilous tourist activities around the world.

LAST week, a South African tourist died and 12 more were injured after a hot-air balloon carrying 20 people crashed in Luxor, Egypt.

It isn’t the first time that a balloon crash in the area has resulted in fatalities though – in 2013, a hot air balloon crash near Luxor caused 19 deaths out of 21 passengers.

Safety concerns are regularly raised in the area, with recent crashes also occurring in 2007,2008 and 2009,

Hot air ballooning isn’t the only popular tourist activity that comes with a warning though – road traffic accidents are the most common cause of death for Brits abroad, followed by drowning.

Swimming in Australia to dodgy motorbike hire in Thailand are some of the most perilous tourist activities around the world.

Read more

The Last Jedi’s Monastic Retreat; Julia Blakely; Smithsonian Libraries Unbound

Ireland – Sceilg Mhichíl

The Skellig Islands. More stunning and other-worldly than any of the special effects of the past two Star Wars movies is the real-life towering rock outcroppings glimpsed in the closing moments of The Force Awakens (2015) and now playing a starring role in the blockbuster, The Last Jedi (2017). Although the Great Skellig, also known as Skellig Michael and Sceilig Mhichíl, and the Lesser (or Little) Skellig appear to be in a galaxy far, far away, they are in fact about eight miles off the dramatic southwest Atlantic coast of Ireland. Long before Luke Skywalker arrived on the scene, the islands have been a sacred place of retreat, pilgrimage and sanctuary.

Up a great trek of the remaining 618 steps cut into the sea-bitten cliffs, Great Skellig has near its 715-foot summit an ancient monastery that appears to be almost organic with the ragged landscape.

Read more

Skellig Michael by helicopter: A galaxy not so far away; Erin McCafferty; Independent

Ireland – Sceilg Mhichíl

As Star Wars hits cinemas, we take to the skies for a Millennium Falcon-style view of the Skelligs…

It looks so peaceful from above. A giant, pointy, rock formation in varying hues of grey and green, rising majestically from the Atlantic.

In crystal clear December daylight, I can see the jagged edges of the coast – earthy brown and grey – contrasting with the deep navy blue of the sea below.

It’s only when you look closely at the edges of Skellig Michael, and see the frothy white waves crashing in wild abandon against the rocks, that you realise just how treacherous this tiny island actually is.

There’s an almost tangible power to it, with or without Star Wars – in which it features dramatically as a location. It casts a spiritual spell.

Read more


Rugged Irish islands contend with the Force; Wes Little; CNN

Ireland – Sceilg Mhichíl

Thanks to the giant advertisement that is “Star Wars,” Ireland’s ruggedly beautiful Skellig Islands feel the Force of tourism.

Skellig Michael, Ireland (CNN) — A rocky pyramid emerges out of a dark blue sea. It is cinematic even before you add the Millennium Falcon.

You can see why “Star Wars” producers chose Skellig Michael as a location in a galaxy far, far away.

The small rocky island sits about 8 miles off the southwest coast of Ireland. It hosts a UNESCO World Heritage Site, an ancient Christian monastery famous for its architecture consisting of stone “beehive” huts built without mortar.

The otherworldly appearance of the island as well as its secure, hard-to-get-to location may have been among the reasons monks were drawn to the island as well.

Read more

Photographer’s Guide to Skellig Islands; Bastian Bodyl; Improve Photography

Ireland – Sceilg Mhichíl

This guide should help you to go to the photographer’s paradise of the Skellig Islands and gives you a few tips when you are there. The Skellig islands are tow rocks in the sea 12 km from the coast of Ireland has become really popular since they have filmed parts of the Star Wars films there. It is a great photo location for many different kinds of photography but the access is limited. This Guide should help you to make this once in a lifetime experience and use your limited time on the island in the best possible way.

If you want to go to Ireland you should consider visiting the Skellig islands especially as a photographer. It is a photographer’s paradise and a unique experience.

Read more

Star Wars at 40: How Kerry became the centre of a galaxy far, far away; Greg Murphy; Irish Examiner

Ireland – Sceilg Mhichíl

In 1977 we were introduced to Han Solo, Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia for the first time. To mark 40 years of Star Wars, Greg Murphy took a trip to Skellig Michael (aka the planet Ahch-To), set to take centre stage again.

Describing somewhere as out this world has never been so accurate when you’re talking about West Kerry, and that’s before we leave Portmagee to journey to ‘a galaxy far, far away’.

Arriving into the already stirring fishing village at 8.30am I couldn’t help but feel that it was going to be a special day.

My destination, the Skellig Experience Visitor Centre on Valentia Island, and from there, to the home of the first Jedi temple on the planet Ahch-To, known to locals as Skellig Michael.

Read more

My ‘Star Wars’ journey to the real-life first Jedi temple; CNET

Ireland – Sceilg Mhichíl

There is perhaps no more evocative place on Earth to stage a cliff hanger than on a rock covered in cliffs that juts like an angry iceberg out of the wild Atlantic Ocean.

This is exactly where we left Rey and Luke Skywalker at the end of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” and, if the trailer is to be believed, where we will greet them again this winter when “The Last Jedi” opens in theaters. Rey had gone in search of Luke, who was camped out at the first Jedi temple on the planet of Ahch-To.

In our world, the tiny, uninhabited island of Skellig Michael, part of Ireland and right at Europe’s westernmost tip, stood in for the supposedly sacred ground (appropriately, it was home to an actual monastery).

Read more

Meet Skellig Michael, the Enigmatic Island Where Star Wars 7 Was Filmed; Low Lai Chow; BLOUIN ARTINFO


Ireland – Sceilg Mhichíl

Rocky cliffs. Craggy terrain. Choppy seas. Skellig Michael, the enigmatic Irish island — and UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996 — that stands isolated in the Atlantic Ocean some 7.5 miles off the coast of southwestern Ireland, is as remote as it is mythical. It also holds a rare badge of honor for film buffs, providing the scenic backdrop for the recent Star Wars: The Force Awakens, where the beautiful final scene took place.

Yes, the force is strong with Skellig Michael.

This precipitous island is where Ir, the son of Milesius, is said to have made his final resting place. It is also home to a remarkable monastery: built on a sloping rock plateau at the north-eastern summit between the 6th-8th centuries, the well-preserved Christian site continues to stand its ground today, seemingly frozen in time, bearing testament to early Irish monasticism on the site.

Read more