If you’re a big fan of the cinematic industry and everything related to it, you have probably already contemplated the idea of visiting the film set of your favorite moving picture.
Here are some of the best places to visit that have been used for filming some of the masterpieces of the cinematic industry
1. Braveheart – Glen Nevis; Loch Leven, Scotland; Ireland
The impressive story of William Wallace who, after the execution of his wife, begins a revolt and leads Scottish warriors against the cruel English tyrant who rules Scotland, takes place somewhere magical; the sweeping landscape in and around Glen Nevis and Loch Leven, Scotland provided the backdrop for Mel Gibson’s Oscar winner.
On the other hand, the actual fight scenes in the movies were filmed in the neighbor country, in Ireland. So, if you want to follow William’s footsteps, you’d have to conquer both the highlands of Scotland and the lower lands of Ireland. The landscapes are amazing, and it is mostly a place you would want to visit if you were a nature lover. Bring a backpack and a good camera for the perfect trip photo album.
2. Star Wars – Tunisian desert
There aren’t a lot of people that haven’t heard about the “Star Wars” series. It is one of the most popular science fiction series of all cinematic history and the set is definitely a point of interest for the most passionate fans.
By far the most interesting and spectacular place where a part of this masterpiece was filmed is the Tunisian desert. Coming here, the fans can actually go on a tour through the south of this mysterious country, find “Luke Skywalker’s home” (that has been turned into a hotel), or find themselves in the middle of the lunar landscapes that still keep, to this day, some of the original decors of the film. The homes of the troglodytes, the sand dune where R2-D2 and C-3PO collapsed in “Episode 4” and much more can be seen during one of the many organized trips from any Tunisia resort.
3. The Lord of the Rings – New Zealand
The Oscar winning trilogy turned New Zealand into one of the most wanted destinations for a vacation. Thousands of people, fans of the series, want to recreate the incredible trip of Frodo.
The Matamata hills became “Hobbiton” – the home of Bilbo and Frodo, where you can find all the fields and the flowers planted on the set one year before filming. The dark volcanic region of Mt. Ruapehu in the Tongariro National Park was the sinister setting of “Mordor” and “Mount Doom”, where the ring was forged. The Southern Alps and the glaciers all around became the “Misty Mountains”, the place where Golum kept the ring hidden for 500 years. The countless circuits from “The Lord of the Rings” await you! Of course, it will be a journey towards somewhere close to the end of Earth, not very cheap but… it is definitely worth it. What if YOU find the ring?
4. The shining – Colorado
Jack Nicholson’s talent would allow him to create the specific suspense of his movies just about anywhere, but we can’t deny the contribution of the extremely intriguing locations used for the filming of this work of cinematic art. The landscapes of the Rocky Mountains and the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado were the perfect choice for the moving picture. Kubricj turned the luxurious building overlooking the Estes Valley in a setting for the insane, with countless corridors with no exit, no life and no hope, that feel like prisons, despite the comfort.
Today the hotel receives visitors with bright lights, with the charm of an old world, cutting-edge comforts and panoramic views that will take your breath away… and, of course, a ghost tour for the most daring. All this at a price starting at $150.
5. Spectre – Sölden, Austria
The filming for Spectre, the 24th film in the British franchise “James Bond”, was held in 4 unique locations, each with its own challenges and advantages, but by far the most intense sensation is given by the high altitude setting in Austria.
The crew met up in the heart of an incredible winter wonderland in Sölden, Austria. The fantastic landscapes and opportunities for impressive film scenes convinced Sam Mendes, the producer, to choose this location with everything it has to offer: the BIG 3 (three mountains over 3000 meters high), 145 kilometers of slopes, the IceQ building, the Gaislachkogl cable car, where spectacular scenes were filmed or the “ice road”, where the highest road tunnel in Europe can be found.
If you’re looking to find the exact location where all the “magic” has happened, keep in mind that you can’t really get there by car, due to the very high altitude. The vehicles used in the film were towed on the mountain with snowmobiles because of the lack of access. Also, just imagine the cold… bring warm clothes! A lot of them. All together, the landscaped are incredible and the sensation the whole setting can give you, having seen the movie, is one of a kind. You can almost feel the tension, the suspense and the excitement of all the action James Bond takes part in.
Sölden is also a very popular ski resort that hosts the first World Cup races of the season regularly, usually in late October. Is it one of the most wanted tourist destinations in Austria, after Vienna and Salzburg. So if you decide to go there, make sure you book your trip early enough or you will have a bad time.
6. Popeye – Mellieha, Malta
If you have children, it might be a great idea to introduce them into the movie world as well. Children have an incredible imagination and they will always dream about being part of their favorite characters’ world, so they would be extremely happy if you give them the opportunity to do something like this. The best suggestion in this case is one of the most colorful villages in the world: the Mellieha resort in Malta. Children have the times of their lives here, having fun with the characters from “Popeye”. The whole place was actually built as a film set for the 1980 live-action musical feature film Popeye, and everything that followed (cartoons, other series) were definitely inspired by this wonderful place. It is the perfect destination for a family to spend a vacation together, as the place is currently open to the public as an open-air museum and family entertainment complex.
The village has a lot of tourist attractions (besides seeing the awe on your child’s face), such as shows, rides, museums, play houses for children, boat trips and a cinema.
To find out more about accomodation and ways to get to any of these places, visit TripEconomy and check for hotels and flights. Enjoy the surreal landscapes and the excitement of being in a film setting in one of these great locations, and make a lot of great memories!