Skellig Ring and North Wales among top 10 places in the world to visit in 2017

Skellig Ring
Skellig Ring

Ireland's Skellig Ring and North Wales have been named as two of the top 10 places in the world to visit next year by a leading travel guide publisher.

Lonely Planet has revealed the regions in its annual Best in Travel league of unmissable destinations for "topicality, excitement and wow-factor" in the year ahead.

The Skellig Ring, a coastal route in Co Kerry, is described in the guide as "perhaps Ireland's most charismatically wild and emerald stretch of coastline".

It overlooks Skellig Michael, a massive rock jutting out of the Atlantic Ocean and a Unesco World Heritage Site, which has been used recently for filming scenes from the latest Star Wars sequel.

Lonely Planet says local businesses are gearing up for an expected increase in visitors on the back of the publicity.

"The Skellig Ring should be on every traveller's must-see list," said a spokeswoman.

"It's a spot of timeless beauty and now that it's coming to prominence on the silver screen, 2017 really is the year to get out there and see it for yourself."

North Wales also features in the top 10, for what the publisher describes as its reinvention.

"Once upon a time the mountains and valleys of North Wales gave up a bounty of slate, copper and even gold; now this landscape, ringed with hills and rich with mythology, is a playground for hikers, mountain bikers and rock climbers," it says.

Other regions making up the top 10 include Taranaki in New Zealand, the Azores in Portugal, Aysen in Chile, the Tuamotus in French Polynesia, Coastal Georgia in the USA, South Australia and Perak, Malaysia.

Choquequirao in Peru takes the top spot for offering as close an experience as possible to "exploring Machu Picchu before the hordes and mass commerce".