Lockdown or not, movies have the power to transport you to faraway places in a blink of an eye. In a world of CGI and movie sets, the production teams still rely heavily on the natural beauty and historical heritage the world has to offer. The best part of that? You easily visit these movie sets on your next vacation.
So why won’t you look at your favourite movies as travel inspiration for your next trip? Here are some of our favourite untravelled movie locations.
With a diverse natural landscape, charming towns and castles, Romania is a strong candidate for serving as a backdrop for movies. And it had attracted quite a few of them throughout time.
Transfagarasan Road: The snaking road offers an adrenaline-filled ride as it zigzags up the mountain. With some breathtaking views over the valleys and the Transylvanian counryside, it has been called the “best road in the world” by Top Gear‘s Jeremy Clarkson in their 2009 feature in Romania. The road has also been featured in the 2011 Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance.
Carpathian Mountains: The alpine scenery sets the scene for most of the rural side of Romania, creating a serene atmosphere. The star-studded Cold Mountain, starring Nicole Kidman, Jude Law, Natalie Portman, Cillian Murphy, and more, took advantage of that. While the action takes place in North Carolina, most of the movie has been filmed in the Romanian mountains and countryside.
Sighisoara: The birthplace of Vlad the Impaler served as a film location for the 2018 Horror movie The Nun. Besides the cobbled alleyways of the medieval fortress, the movie was filmed entirely in Romania. Locations such as Bucharest’s People’s Palace, Biertan Fortified Church, or Corvin Castle can be spotted.
Peles Castle: It is no secret – tucked away in between the tall mountain crests, Peles looks like a fairytale castle. When snow falls, the landscape acquires a magical aura. And this is exactly what the movie producers of Netflix’s A Christmas Prince counted on for their 2017 feature. They even returned in 2018 and 2019 for the movie’s sequels. The 2008 comedy The Brothers Bloom with Rachel Weisz, Mark Ruffalo, and Robbie Coltrane used Peles Castle as a movie prop as well.
Transfagarasan Road, Romania (left) and Peles Castle, Romania (right)
Kotor Bay – Montenegro
This little gem set in between the Balkans and the Adriatic amazes with its landscapes from the sparkling waters of Kotor to the wild sceneries of its national parks. Kotor Bay makes an appearance in the Papillon remake, starring Charlie Hunnam and Remi Malek, as well as Ralph Fiennes’ Coriolanus after Shakespeare’s tragedy.
Various locations in Montenegro also appear in The Brothers Bloom mentioned earlier.
Matera – Puglia, Italy
The heel of Italy is a surefire foodie destination, but what’s to say it doesn’t make for a great movie backdrop? Some movie producers would agree! With the rugged mountain backdrop and The Sassi with white-washed cave dwellings and narrow alleys, Matera is the star. A few Hollywood blockbuster movies feature Matera, such as Wonder Woman, Lawrence of Arabia, Passion of Christ, or the unreleased James Bond – No Time to Die sequel.
Bay of Kotor, Montenegro (left) and The Sassi, Matera, Italy (right)
Seville – Spain
The home of flamenco and tapas has been deeply influenced by the Roman, Muslim, and Christian styles and its architecture is a result of that. The Moorish Alcazar Palace plays the part of Game of Thrones‘s sun-kissed Dorne. In fact, the TV series used several Andalucian locations, such as Cordoba for the Long Bridge of Volantis. Castillo de Almodovar del Rio stands in for the castle of Highgarden in the final season.
Kashbah Ait Benhaddou – Morocco
The earthen clay Kashbah is perched up tall upon a hill overlooking the valley and is one of Morocco’s top destinations. It is also a favourite as a movie set, a large number of movies having been filmed here. Among them, Gladiator, The Mummy, Prince of Persia, or Game of Thrones. The latter has also used the fortified medina of Essaouira as a location in the later seasons.
Alcazar Palace, Seville (left) and Kashbah Ait Benhaddou, Morocco (right)
And if you spotted your favourite movie on the list above, you can recreate the scene of your choice on one of our trips here.