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From your first Disney cartoon to your favourite Oscar-winning epic, the big screen can play a huge role in crafting and shaping our travel dreams.
Using sweeping wide-angle shots of high impact landscapes, unique perspectives of glittering cityscapes and intimate close-ups of mysterious cultures to captivate us, filmmakers transport us to new worlds that can ignite our wanderlust.
Whether it was Indiana Jones charging around rose-red ruins that made you yearn to visit Petra, or the ice cream scene in Eat, Prey, Love that made you promise to one day eat gelato in a piazza in Rome, we have all taken inspiration from the silver screen to help forge our travel plans.
If you fancy getting out ‘on location’, check out ‘Take One’ of our favourite blockbuster backdrops.
Film Set Destinations
THE HOBBIT – New Zealand
Following the huge box office success of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Peter Jackson had no reluctance to film the entirety of The Hobbit saga in New Zealand.
Far from just being a figment of Tolkien’s imagination, the eye-watering beauty and high altitude drama of the Land of the Long White Cloud is a reality.
And adventure is never far away: jade lakes dot the mountains like beads spilt from a necklace and the Milford Sound fjord is a glorious parade of jewel-like colours and unexpected reflections. Welcome to the real Middle Earth!
Take me there: New Zealand Holidays
LIFE OF PI – Pondicherry, India
This metaphorical, multi Oscar-winning spectacular, although wowed with its advanced CGI visuals, was enhanced by the authenticity of its earlier scenes, all shot on location in Pondicherry, India.
After two centuries of colonial occupation, this dreamy coastal town in southern India exudes a unique and charming mix of French and Indian cultures.
With its wide, sleepy streets lined by French villa-style houses draped in blossoming bougainvillaea, Pondicherry has a very relaxed, Mediterranean feel to it but with the spice and vibrant colour you’d expect in India. Just don’t expect to see a Bengal tiger here!
Take me there: Southern India Coast to Coast Ride
LAWRENCE OF ARABIA – Ait Benhaddou, Morocco
Ait Benhaddou, a spectacular Moroccan village made up of mud brick Kasbahs, has played host to a number of film sets, from The Living Daylights to Gladiator but none more famous than the original desert biopic, Lawrence of Arabia.
Step through the ‘door of the desert’ into an ancient, dusty land just south of the rust coloured peaks of the High Atlas Mountains.
Walk to the top of the hill for the best views over this Berber ksar, one of Morocco’s oldest UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Take me there: Highlights of Morocco
HANNA – Oulanka National Park, Finland
The snow-draped wilderness of Finland’s Oulanka National Park was the secluded setting for the movie Hanna, which sees Eric Banner training his daughter to become the perfect assassin by stalking reindeer through the forest to master her bow and arrow skills.
Basecamp Oulanka will afford you a little more luxury than Hanna’s rudimentary log cabin and hunting is definitely not on the agenda!
Instead, feel the force of the pack husky-sledding over frozen lakes and through silent forests, clip on your snowshoes for a romp in knee-deep powder and try crafting an igloo to spend a cosy night in – the perfect winter adventure.
Take me there: Finnish Wilderness Week
MOTORCYCLE DIARIES – South America
Ok so we’re technically cheating with this box office entry as it features a whole continent rather than just one destination, but with sweeping landscapes of towering snow-capped peaks, groaning glaciers and stark deserts how could we choose just one?!
Following in the footsteps, or indeed tyre tracks, of one Ernesto Guevara and his comrade Alberto Granado on their 5,000-mile journey, Motorcycle Diaries maps out the ultimate South American adventure.
Take me there: South America
Browse more holidays to films locations below.