Do movies give you wanderlust? Travel into your favorite movie setting with this list of the greatest movie locations of all time.
Love location movies? Leave the movie theater desperate to book a flight there and then?
Check out this list of the Greatest Location Movies of all Time and travel right into your favorite movie scenes!
1) LORD OF THE RINGS, NEW ZEALAND
This Oscar winning movie trilogy boosted New Zealand as a top travel destination for millions seeking to re-create Frodo’s mythical journey for themselves.
The rolling hills of Matamata became Hobbiton, the home of Bilbo and Frodo with crops and flowers planted on set an entire year before filming began.
The eerie volcanic region of Mt Ruapehu in Tongariro National park was the sinister setting for “Mordor” and “Mount Doom” where the ring is forged.
The Southern Alps and the South Island glaciers became the “Misty Mountains” where Gollum hid away with the ring for 500 years.
Countless “Lord of the Ring” tours await so go venture into “Middle Earth”.
2) THE BEACH, THAILAND
Hat Maya, the main beach on Phi Phi Leh island was chosen as the setting to Danny’s Boyle’s depiction of Alex Garland’s novel, “The Beach.”
The fantastically popular movie transformed Thailand into THE quintessential backpacker destination as wide-eyed travelers set off in search of their own slice of island paradise.
The beach seen in the film, however, is not actually the same as in real life. Surrounding mountains were digitally added during post-production. Controversy also arose during filming due to 20th Century Fox’s bulldozing of the beach to make it more “paradise-like”
The Tsunami of 2004, however, has since restored the beach to its natural look.
Much of the wow factor of this 1962 epic movie lies in the awe-inspiring desert landscapes filmed in Jordon.
The camp of Prince Feisel is set in the red cliffs of Wadi Rum and the spectacular entrance of Sherif Ali (Omar Sharif) was filmed on the mudflats of Jafr.
Many of the movie’s other locations were actually filmed in Spain. The town of “Aqaba” was constructed at a beach named Playa del Algarrobico close to Almeria in southern Spain.
The “Middle Eastern” settings were filmed in the Moorish city of Seville.
Scenes were also shot in Morocco at Ait Benhaddou, a village made up of many small fortresses, northwest of Ouarzazate.
4) CAPTAIN CORELLI’S MANDOLIN, CEPHALLONIA, GREECE
Captain Corelli (Nicholas Cage) falls in love with local Greek girl Pelagia (Penelope Cruz) during WWII.
Perhaps the biggest star of the movie is the stunning Mediterranean backdrop of the Greek island of Cephallonia.
Following the release of the movie in 2001 the island was busting at the seams with tourists coming to see the movie’s romantic Greek setting for themselves.
Movie location tours are offered on the island although it is debatable whether the steep path-ways and crowded beaches live up to the idyllic setting portrayed in the movie.
Most of the filming took place in the village of Sami. The Italians’ campsite was built on Antisamos Bay and the bomb explosion beach scene took place on Myrtos Bay.
5) APOCALYPSE NOW, PHILIPPINES
Joseph Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness,” a harrowing Vietnam War tale was brought to life by Francis Fort Coppola in 1979.
The movie was actually set in Luzon, the northern island of the Philippines.
The surfing beach, fresh with the smell of napalm is Baler Bay and has, in fact, recently emerged as a top surfing destination in the region.
The movie sets were originally located in Iba, on Luzon’s west coast, but after being destroyed by Hurricane Olga, were re-located to Pagsanjan. The “Do Long Bridge” was built here, as was Kurtz’s compound.
6) ALIVE, CANADA
A powerful survival story of a Uraguayan rugby team involved in a plane crash in the Andes mountains in 1972.
The bleak mountainous terrain in which the movie is set is not Chile or Argentina but, in fact, the Purcell mountains in British Columbia, Canada. Other scenes are also set in Windermere and Vancouver.
7) CROUCHING TIGER HIDDEN DRAGON, CHINA
A Chinese film in wuxia martial arts style, “Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon” became a surprise international success, becoming the highest grossing foreign language film in American history.
Made on a mere $17 million budget this movie was a magnificent achievement.
Filmed in several locations across China, there are some stunning settings in the movie including the spectacular Gobi dessert, Anji bamboo forest and the Summer Palace north of Cheng De.
The film was primarily made in Beijing with location shooting in the Anhui, Hebei, Jiangsu and Xinjiang provinces.
8 ) CITY OF GOD, RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL
A hard-hitting portrayal of life in the favelas of Rio, “City of God” offers a window to viewers into the brutality and desperation that dominates these slums.
“Cidade de Deus” is a real neighbourhood in Rio in the western zone of the city, established in 1960 in an effort to move the favelas out of the city center.
The movie was not actually filmed in “Cidade de Deus” but in nearly areas. Street children were used as actors, heightening the sense of realism throughout the movie.
Despite the movie’s unsavory portrayal of Rio, “City of God” provoked intrigue in the city, travel to Brazil and interest in the city’s dubious favela tours!
9) THE MOTORCYCLE DIARIES, SOUTH AMERICA
A young Che Guevara (Gael Garcia Bernal) embarks on a motorcycle trip across South America witnessing the social inequality which later fuelled his revolutionary zeal.
To re-create the journey portrayed in the film you’d need to travel 5,000 miles, west from Buenos Aires, Argentina, through Patagonia and into Chile along the Andes to Machu Picchu and lastly to the Guajira Peninsula in Venezuala.
The movie was shot for the most part in the real locations of the journey, including awe-inspiring scenes in the Lake District of Argentina, the Atacama Dessert, the sacred Inca village of Ollantaytambo, Peru and, of course, the Machu Picchu ruins.
If you’re thinking of setting off on a trip around South America, this is the movie for you!
10) BRAVEHEART, SCOTLAND
This epic movie about Scottish war hero, William Wallace is a fiercely nationalistic tale featuring awesome landscapes of the Scottish highlands.
The breathtaking scenery depicted in the movie is the wild, rocky highlands of Loch Leven and Glencoe.
To much controversy, the battle scenes within this quintessentially Scottish movie were actually set in Ireland, using members of the Irish Army Reserve as extras.
Want to walk in William Wallace’s footsteps – go conquer the Scottish highlands!
Have you been to any of these movie locations?? Got more suggestions for more movie-inspired trips? Let us know, we want to hear from you!
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