Skellig Michael – the rugged island 11 miles off the coast of Co Kerry – has been in the news quite a bit over the last few weeks.
The island was used as a filming location for the highly anticipated movie Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
The association with the hugely popular movie franchise has brought Skellig Michael media attention from around the world. It was recently named as one of the top ten places in the world for Star Wars fans to visit, while the New York Times could not speak highly enough of the island in a recent review.
However, Skellig Michael was holding its own as a tourist attraction long before the movie producers ever showed up. It was named as a UNISCO World Heritage site in 1996.
In the 6th century, it was used as a by monks seeking solitude. They made it habitable by carving into the rocks.
There are six ‘beehive cells’ on the island as well as the ruins of an ancient monastery. The island also boasts fantastic views, with awe inspiring views looking back to Co Kerry or into the vast Atlantic Ocean.
Luke Skywalker acotor Mark Hamill recently said that he felt a ‘wave of emotion’ when he visited the island.
The Irish Independent have created a video tour of the island to let people see what they will be in for if they decide to pay a visit.
It starts with the journey to the island, including footage of the 40 minute boat trip followed by the visitors embarking on the first of hundreds of steps.
Narrator Graham Clifford then gives some insights and information about the island and shows video footage of what it has to offer.
The video was recorded before the Star Wars filming took place and Clifford mentioned that some people were concerned about any damage that might be caused.
Thankfully any damage was minimal and proved to be no more than the wear and tear of any tourist season.
It was recently reported that Ireland is expecting its record year for tourism in 2016 thanks to the new Star Wars movie.
Take a look at the video below.