Movies to take you around the world
A great movie can make you feel like you’ve been transported to another place. We’ve picked our favourite movies where the scenery is the star and found the spots where they were filmed, so that you can add them to your wish list and relive some of the best moments on the big screen. Get ready to be whisked away on an Italian adventure, take a trip to Middle-earth and follow stormtroopers to a tropical island.
1. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – The Maldives
This Star Wars spin-off takes us to planet Scarif – and it’s quite different to the desert and forest landscapes that we’re used to visiting in this galaxy far, far away. On Scarif, you get stormtroopers with a side of crystal blue waters and palm trees. In real life, this tropical paradise is the Maldives, where tiny white-sand islands are fringed by rainbow reefs.
2. The Lord of the Rings trilogy – Matamata, New Zealand
When Peter Jackson flew over the green hills of Matamata, he knew he’d found the perfect spot to bring The Shire to life. The set was originally dismantled after filming finished, but fans’ calls were answered when the Hobbiton Movie Set was created – complete with 44 hobbit holes, the Mill, the bridge and cosy Green Dragon Inn.
3. The Talented Mr. Ripley – Ischia, Italy
Anthony Minghella’s 1999 psychological thriller transports us to 1950s Italy. The fictional resort of Mongibello, where Dickie and Marge while away their days, was created on the beautiful island of Ischia and its tiny neighbour, Procida. On Ischia you’ll find pretty towns tumbling down the hills and silvery sands lined with colourful parasols.
4. The Man with the Golden Gun – Phang Nga Bay, Thailand
007’s globetrotting adventures are a key part of all the Bond films. Khao Phing Kan is one of the most iconic locations – it’s even known as James Bond Island. The beach looks out to where the limestone karst tower of Koh Tapu rises out of the water – this is where our spy and his rival, Scaramanga, go head to head in a pistol duel.
5. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade – Petra, Jordan
The third film in the Indiana Jones franchise takes us from the USA through Europe to Jordan on the hunt for the Holy Grail. In the final scenes, the ‘lost city’ of Petra is the star. You might not be able to ride a horse through the high-walled slot canyons that lead to the Red Rose City, but visit at night and you can follow the thousands of candles that light the way to The Treasury.
6. Jurassic World – Kauai, Hawaii
Over 20 years after Steven Spielberg first brought dinosaurs to the big screen, Jurassic World returned to Isla Nublar – and its real-world location of Kauai in Hawaii. While the fictional dinosaur-populated island is set in Central America, Kauai was the clear choice for its jagged cliffs, thick jungle and towering waterfalls.
7. Cast Away – Fiji
We wouldn’t exactly want to swap places with Tom Hanks’s character in Cast Away, but we’d happily while away the days on Fiji’s idyllic Mamanuca Islands. This volcanic archipelago is made up of 20 islands, ranging from unspoilt specks in the ocean to plush hideaway resorts.
8. The Dark Knight Rises – Jodhpur, India
The conclusion to The Dark Knight trilogy put the remote town of Mehrangarh on the tourist map. 400 feet above the city of Jodhpur, Mehrangarh Fort was used as the outside of the prison where Christian Bale’s Batman climbs out of a stepwell to make his escape. Scenes inside the prison were filmed at Chand Baori – an even more isolated spot around eight hours away.
9. Avengers: Infinity War – Banaue, Philippines
Infinity War is a huge movie, with a huge ending. And it turns out that Thanos’s choice of retirement planet – The Garden – is a real place. The Banaue Rice Terraces are lush green rice paddies that were carved into the mountains of Ifugao in the Philippines around 2000 years ago.
10. Game of Thrones – Dubrovnik, Croatia
Our final entry isn’t a movie, but it’s just as epic. Game of Thrones fans will instantly recognise the red-tiled rooftops and striking battlements of Dubrovnik as King’s Landing – the capital of the seven kingdoms. Spot key filming locations such as Lovrijenac Fortress and Gradac Park, which was the setting for Joffrey’s wedding. A 30-minute drive from Dubrovnik, the Gothic-Renaissance gardens of Trsteno Arboretum will look familiar too: the vine-filled pergolas double as the palace gardens.
This feature was published on 8th April 2020. The information within this feature is correct to the best of our knowledge at the time of print. Feature by Siobhan O'Halleran.