Looking for a trip with a cultural twist? How about you base your next holiday in a favourite film location? Here are a few blockbuster movie locations to inspire your next travel adventure!
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Rub’ al Khali, Abu Dhabi, UEA – Al Wathba Fossil Dunes
If you travel to the most western region of Al Dhafra you’ll come to the worlds largest uninterrupted sand mass, commonly called The Empty Quarter. This is where you’ll spot the fossilised sand dunes that appear in some of the scenes. There is an eerie and surreal feel to this place that might well have you feeling you really are in the far-flung regions of the galaxy! Discover more about this amazing region in our Abu Dhabi Destination Guide.
Lord of the Rings
Milford Sound, New Zealand – Fiordland National Park
Milford Sound is one of those destinations that definitely lives up to the hype (link to 8 destinations….) and once you set eyes on the spectacular scenery it is little wonder that it was chosen as one of the 150 locations for one of the most jaw-droppingly spectacular fantasy films of all time. It is even reported to be one of director Peter Jackson’s favourite places to set a scene! The Great River Anduin, Fanghorn Forest and the Dead Marshes are just some of the LOTR locations that you’ll find here in real life.
Lost in Translation
Tokyo, Japan – Park Hayatt Tokyo Hotel
Tokyo is a vibrant futuristic metropolis and served as a wonderful setting for this block buster film. The film was set entirely in Japan, but if your romantic heart is looking for an additional hit of wanderlust, head to the Park Hayatt Tokyo, the first western luxury hotel to open in Japan offering guests staggering views of the city, wonderful cocktails and delicious cuisine. Take a peek at our Brief Guide To Japan for more amazing things to do in Tokyo.
Philadelphia, USA – Eastern State Penitentiary
There is more to this location than the iconic psychiatric hospital scenes from 12 Monkeys, it was also the place where Al Capone served time, and the audio tour is actually narrated by Steve Buscemi. It is currently described as being in a “beautiful state of decay” and as there are no more plans to make this place a filming location again, it is definitely a must-see to go on a film fan itinerary. There’s also the chance to soak up Philly with some other great films in mind such as Rocky (Sylvester Stallone), and Philadelphia (Tom Hanks).
Koh Phi Phi Ley, Thailand – Maya Bay
The idyllic scenes shot at Maya Bay have sadly ended up highlighting the darker side of tourism. After the film was released the uninhabited island of Koh Phi Phi Lay became inundated with tourists. As well as (ironically) transforming the deserted paradise everyone was searching for into a heaving tourist hot-spot, this also had a devastating impact on the delicate ecosystems here. After being closed to visitors for three years the ecosystems are recovering, and limited numbers of tourists are allowed to visit once more. There is a cap of 375 people at a time, no swimming is allowed, and boats must moor in designated places to avoid damaging the recovering coral reefs.
Check out the best places to go for Ethical Adventure Holidays.
Don’t forget your travel insurance! Whether you are hiking mountains, swimming in the sea, or immersing yourself in a city break, having the right travel insurance can give you peace of mind in the event of accident, injury, theft, loss or cancellation. Longstay, single-trip and multi-trip travel insurance policies available.