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An Intergalactic Itinerary



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Long renowned for its constellation of sights that are out of this world, the Wild Atlantic Way now boasts beauty spots that are out of this galaxy, thanks to the makers of Star Wars’ love for this incredible landscape.  

From headlands home to Jedi Temples and coastal corners doubling as distant planets, explore the intergalactic inspiration for yourself with this itinerary.  

 
 
Visit coastal marvel Malin Head, a spot brimming with history, wildlife and views that are never less than cinematic.
 

A Donegal dimension

With Luke Skywalker himself (Mark Hamill) so enamoured with Donegal’s charm that an image of Malin Head became his Twitter header for a spell, it’s no surprise to learn that the Inishowen Peninsula in Donegal’s Northern Headlands features in the latest instalment, The Last Jedi. Visit coastal marvel Malin Head, a spot brimming with history, wildlife and views that are never less than cinematic. It was here for a number of weeks during the summer of 2016 that a very Millennium Falcon-esque structure was built on the windswept headland.  

With Malin Head set to play part of the water-covered planet Ahch-To in the 2017 film, what could be more fitting than a 10-kilometre drive on the aptly titled Ahch-To Way? Spy beautiful Esky Bay and be sure to catch a space-age sunset at the Knockamany Bends viewing point too. While you’re searching for droids in Donegal, why not visit Sliabh Liag’s captivating clifftops, feel the force of Fanad Head’s raw beauty or check out the gaping ancient chasm that is Hell’s Hole near Banba’s Crown – just one of the many locations captured during filming.  

 
  • Take a seasonal boat trip over to or around these otherworldly outposts.
 

Kerry's interstellar islands

What makes a UNESCO World Heritage Site even more of a wild wonder? Why the presence of a Jedi of course! With the ancient monastic sandstone settlements of the Skellig Islands glimpsed in The Force Awakens, the larger Skellig Michael is set for even more screen time in The Last Jedi. Take a seasonal boat trip over to or around these otherworldly outposts from lively Portmagee and Ballinskelligs and be wowed by their lunar-like majesty. Be sure to drive the exceptional Skellig Ring touring route too, for truly unrivalled seascapes and vistas of the Kerry Cliffs, Valentia Island, Geokaun Mountain and beaches galore. 

In nearby Ballinskelligs, there’s no finer way to marvel at galaxies far far away than at Kerry International Dark Sky Reserve. The only Gold Tiered Reserve in the whole of the Northern Hemisphere, with these clear Kerry skies free from artificial light you’ll easily spot constellations, planets, satellites, falling stars and more.  

In order to protect and preserve the centuries-old Skellig Michael, filming for The Last Jedi also took place at Ceann Sibéal (Sybil Head), a stunning headland near Ballyferriter on the Dingle Peninsula. Here, replicas of Skellig Michael’s ancient beehive huts were built and are set to be showcased as the First Jedi Temple in the new silver screen instalment. Get behind the wheel and take Slea Head Drive for seriously enchanting scenery and spot more filming locations like Dunmore Head, the most westerly point in Europe. You can also view Ceann Sibéal’s breathtaking beauty from Ceann Sraithe (Clogher Head), while those more adventurous can even paddle board under sublime Ceann Sibéal itself.  

 
 
Mizen Head, the country’s most southerly point and possibly one of its most intergalactic too.
 

Cork's Rebel Alliance  

The Force was felt as far south as West Cork too when beautiful Brow Head near Crookhaven was the site of much filming buzz. Roam the landscape and you’ll soon discover why it provided such interstellar inspiration.  

Not far from Goleen, there’s another spot the Star Wars crew spent time in; be sure to visit Mizen Head, the country’s most southerly point and possibly one of its most intergalactic too. The vast chasm below Mizen’s famed 99 steps makes for an out-of-this-world experience, while the dolphins and whales you’re likely to spot are the icing on this coastal cake. Tour more of this region’s majestic Southern Peninsulas and spot lighthouses, wildlife, islands and endless stretches of sand that rival the scenery of just about any stratosphere.  

Now you know that other galaxies are far closer than you could have dreamed, get planning your trip and explore more of the Wild Atlantic Way's intergalactic connections.

 
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