A POPULAR heritage and tourism spot in Ireland has been named one of the most remote and beautiful places in the world.
Skellig Michael, or Sceilg Mhichíl, is a UNESCO World Heritage site and popular tourist site.
The vast rocky island located off the coast of Co. Kerry, is also stunning to look at, boasts a well-preserved early Christian monastery and is an important site for breeding seabirds.
Oh, and it has been a filming location for no less than two Star Wars movies. So, it really does offer something for everyone.
All of the above has not been missed by the team at the global travel site Big 7 Travel, who partnered up with the car comparison specialists HolidayCars to find the 50 Most Remote and Beautiful Places in the World.
They released their list this week, which features Skellig Michael at number 25.
“The world is full of amazing and remote places, some of which are challenging to reach,” they explain.
“Sometimes you just crave some peace and quiet and alone time. If you want to avoid the crowds and get off the beaten track, here are some of the most far-flung, hard-to-get places and hotels on Earth, perfect for intrepid travellers and solitude seekers.”
Of their list they add: “The full list includes 50 destinations on nearly every continent from the endangered species of the Okavango Delta in Botswana to the remote Corn Islands off the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua.
“These destinations offer a unique and unforgettable experience for adventurous travellers.
The off-the-radar destinations were ranked on several factors including but not limited to remoteness, number of inhabitants, unspoiled beauty and uniqueness.
Here are the top 25 locations featured in the Big 7 Travel list…
1 Blue Eye, Albania
The Blue Eye, or Syri i Kalter, is a beautiful freshwater spring in the small village of Muzinë, down a narrow dirt road. Surrounded by lush greenery, the water is mesmerising with its crystal clarity and shades of brilliant blues and gorgeous greens. The spring is at least 50 metres deep, and it is dark blue in the centre - hence its name - but be warned, though it looks inviting, the water is a very chilly 10°C year round. But a quick dip to beat the summer heat is refreshing.
2 White Desert Whichaway Camp, Antartica
Located in East Antarctica's Schirmacher Hills, the White Desert Whichaway Camp is a cluster of camel-coloured eco-friendly pods reserved for the most intrepid travellers. Arriving by private jet, this experience is as luxurious as it is adventurous. Once-in-a-lifetime activities include treks to stunning ice tunnels and giant ice waves and visits to the South Pole and the Atka Bay Emperor Penguin Colony, where the BBC filmed two Attenborough documentaries.
3 Macquarie Island, Australia
Situated in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, about halfway between New Zealand and Antarctica, Macca, as it is affectionately known, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and nature reserve and is famous for its rocks and rookeries. It is one of the only places you can see rocks from the Earth's mantle above sea level - to see the mantle elsewhere, you must dive deep into the Atlantic Ocean. The island is also famous for being the only known breeding ground of the royal penguin.
4 Laya, Bhutan
At 3,820 metres above sea level, Laya is the highest settlement in Bhutan and is home to the indigenous Layap. Breathtakingly beautiful and very remote, you access the village via a two-day trek from Gaza, the nearest town. Walking along the muddy paths, you can admire the marvellous mountainous scenery and picturesque panoramas. Once you arrive in Laya, you can immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of the Layaps and enjoy a warm welcome.
5 Pinnacles of Gunung, Mulu National Park, Borneo
Mulu National Park is a remote adventure destination with incredible geological formations, including the world's largest cave chamber. However, the Pinnacles on Mount Api are one of the most remarkable and remote features on the whole island of Borneo. Standing some 50 metres high, The Pinnacles are a cluster of razor-sharp limestone rocks that jut out of the jungle-clad mountain slopes. Getting to the viewing platform to admire this limestone landscape involves a challenging three-day hike.
6 Sandibe Okavango, Botswana
Sandibe Okavango Safari Lodge is in the southern reaches of the Okavango Delta, home to some of the world's most endangered species of large mammals. This hotel combines adventure with luxurious comforts with the stinking architecture perfectly blending into the natural splendour. Each secluded suite has breathtaking views, a private plunge pool and a cosy fireplace, and guests can explore the landscapes and wildlife during guided walking safaris and games drives.
7 Pitcairn Island, British Overseas Territory
Pitcairn is the only inhabited island of the Pitcairn Islands group, which are in the South Pacific, some 2,170km (1,350 miles) from Tahiti and 6,600km (4,100 miles) from Panama. Once you reach the island, you can enjoy the untouched subtropical landscape, pristine waters, endemic flora, bird and marine life, and excellent hospitality. Just 50 people live on the island, and they are all descendants of the mutineers of the HMS Bounty and their Polynesian consorts
8 Anegada, British Virgin Islands
For those looking to live out their castaway fantasy on an idyllic tropical island, Anegada is ideal. It is one of the British Virgin Islands' most unique places as it is a coral island, not a volcanic island like the rest of the archipelago. Stunning reefs surround the island, and just off-shore, you'll discover underwater caves, tunnel formations and shipwrecks, which are a playground for snorkelers and divers. Of course, you can always admire the water from the power-soft white sand beaches.
9 Ivvavik National Park, Canada
Ivvavik National Park is one of Canada's most remote and beautiful places. If you want to escape from it all, make the journey to this Yukon beauty spot, which receives fewer visitors than Mount Everest each year. A true wilderness adventure; there are no roads into the park, so most people arrive here by charter aeroplane or helicopter. Once inside, pristine wilderness surrounds you, and you'll find rich indigenous culture and an abundance of wildlife.
10 Marble Caves, Patagonia, Chile
The magnificent Marble Caves are in Aysén, one of the most remote parts of Chile. Over 6,200 years, the water of General Carrerra Lake has eroded the cliffs' large marble deposits, creating highly unusual and beautiful caves, tunnels, and vast columns of pure marble. The caves are some of the most spectacular natural wonders in the world. The best way to explore this marble maze is to paddle right into them on a kayak or take a boat tour.
11 Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, China
Known as "the roof of the world", the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, at an elevation of 3,000 to 5,000 meters (10,000–16,000 feet), is the highest and largest plateau on Earth. Despite its remoteness and harsh climate, the plateau is vibrant with flowers and herbs, is home to rare animals and rich cultures, and features an array of climate zones. A trip to this beautiful region feels like you are as far off the beaten track as possible.
12 Cocos (Keeling) Islands
The Cocos (Keeling) Islands are Australia's last unspoilt paradise. The tiny archipelago lies in the azure waters of the Indian Ocean, midway between Australia and Sri Lanka. The reefs close to the islands are home to several rare species of marine life, which is how the region gets its nickname of "Australia's Galapagos Islands".
13 Pacuare Lode, Costa Rica
The Pacuare Lodge is the place to escape for complete immersion in the rainforest. Set on protected land overlooking the Pacuare River, the journey to your luxurious accommodation will live long in your memory. There is only one way to get there - by white water rafting. Once you reach the indigenous Cabécar-inspired property, you can bask in the most intimate environments of the tropical forest.
14 Mashpi Lodge, Equador
Set deep in the heart of the Chocó-Andean Cloud Forest, Mashpi Lodge is an expedition hotel where you can experience nature at its most pristine. This luxurious accommodation is a nature lover's dream where you can enjoy tree treks, wildlife spotting and waterfall swimming and encounter 400 species of flora and fauna, many of which are found nowhere else in the world.
15 The White Desert, Egypt
Known locally as Sahara el Beyda, the White Desert is one of the most remote places in Egypt. Adorning this vast, otherworldly landscape are massive white chalk formations sculpted by the harsh desert winds. Constantly evolving, the scenery is intensified by the scorching midday sun before shimmering into a golden tableau at sunset.
16 Lundy Island, Devon, England
Lundy is an English island in the Bristol Channel, just off the coast of Devon. A National Trust site, the grant outcrop is famous for its peaceful environment because there are no cars on the island. Lundy is also renowned for its marine reserve in the clear waters of the surrounding Atlantic. In the summer, you can catch a ferry to the island, and in the winter, you access the island via helicopter.
17 Blue Nile Gorge, Ethiopia
Nicknamed the 'Grand Canyon' of Africa, the Blue Nile Gorge on the northwest Ethiopian Plateau is one of the largest gorges in the world and one of the most magnificent too. You can traverse the gorge by driving a dramatic but treacherous road that snakes its way through some spectacular scenery. The alluring natural beauty of this remote place makes the arduous journey worth the effort.
18 Gasadalur Village, Faroe Islands
You'll find the Faroe Islands between Iceland and Norway in the North Atlantic Ocean. The tiny village of Gasadalur is on Vágar, the most westerly of the large islands. The settlement perches precariously at the edge of a soaring sea cliff surrounded by towering mountains. Once you make it to this remote outpost, your reward is some of the best views in the Faroe Islands and one of the prettiest waterfalls in the whole world.
19 Kerguelen Archipelago, French Southern and Antartic Lands
Known as the 'Desolation Islands', this archipelago is located in the southern Indian Ocean, some 2,050 miles from the coast of Madagascar. The islands are icy and harsh but incredibly beautiful in their ruggedness and remoteness. However, they are also sparsely populated, with just 45 to 100 soldiers, scientists, engineers, and researchers calling the islands home.
20 Meteora, Greece
Meaning "suspended in the air" in Greek, Meteora is a rock formation home to the largest and most precipitously built complexes of Eastern Orthodox monasteries. Located on the northern side of Greece, in Thessaly, Orthodox Christian monks first came to this site between the 9th and 10th centuries to isolate themselves. By the 16th century, 24 monasteries stood on top of the sandstone cliffs. Today, just six remain active for people to visit, and approximately 50 nuns and 17 monks still live in the monasteries.
21 Itilleq, Greenland
Located on an island 1km from mainland Greenland and 2km north of the Arctic Circle, Itilleq is a tiny colourful settlement with around 100 inhabitants. Surrounded by steep, alpine mountains, there is an end-of-the-Earth feeling to the pristine village, especially with its vast, sweeping sea views and eternal sunshine in the summer months, thanks to the natural phenomenon of the midnight sun.
22 Deplar Farm, Iceland
It doesn't get more remote and beautiful than the Fljót Valley on the mountainous Troll Peninsula in northern Iceland. It is the perfect location for experiencing the Aurora Borealis whilst surrounded by breathtaking landscapes. With floor-to-ceiling windows throughout Deplar Farm, this luxurious hotel ensures you never miss a moment of the epic views and colourful light dancing across the skies.
23 Jalakara, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India
The Andaman and Nicobar islands are among the most remote places on Earth. Of the 572 islands, only nine are open to visitors, one of which is Havelock Island. On this lush, tropical island, you'll find the concept-drive Jalakara private villa hotel, where you can unplug from the digital excess of modern life and tune into the peaceful sounds of the natural surroundings.
24 Bawah Reserve, Indonesia
Bawah Reserve is a luxury, sustainable resort located in the unspoiled Anambas archipelago in a far-flung corner of Indonesia. Serene and secluded, this resort encourages guests to unplug and unwind and explore the untouched hinterland as well as the crystal clear lagoons of the island. With an open-air spa, waterfront dining, cinema and pool, Bawah Reserve is the perfect place to relax, recharge and feel rejuvenated by the end of your stay.
25 Skellig Michael, Ireland
Skellig Michael is a remote, rocky island in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of County Kerry in Ireland. It is the most westerly sacred site in Europe, and it attracts thousands of pilgrims each year who visit its well-preserved early Christian monastery. It is also famous for being the filming location for two Star Wars movies, and fans flock to the island to re-enact their favourite scenes. The island is also one of Ireland's most important sites for breeding seabirds
For Big 7 Travel’s full list of the best Remote and Beautiful Places in the World click here.