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7 Films To Fuel Your Wanderlust

Still not sure where you want to go on your next holiday — or even what kind of holiday you want to take? Settle down on the sofa, grab the popcorn, and get ready to be seriously inspired.


1. ‘Lord of the Rings’ and ‘The Hobbit’

Filmed entirely in New Zealand, the country of director Peter Jackson’s birth, the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films show the breathtaking scenery of the country, which in parts needs little CGI. Middle Earth’s backdrop varies from wide grassy plains with winding tributaries to rocky mountains and craggy volcanic landscapes, and New Zealand provides them all.

2. ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’

Although Iceland has been used as the backdrop for many other-worldly films including ‘Prometheus’ and ‘Thor’, as well as being featured in the ‘Game of Thrones’ TV series, in the 2013 film – The Secret Life of Walter Mitty – the landscape of Iceland speaks for itself. Ben Stiller’s famous longboarding sequence travels down the somewhat hard-to-pronounce but nonetheless stunning Seyðisfjarðarvegur road in Seyðisfjörðu and even scenes meant to be in other countries were filmed in Iceland. Vatnajökull National Park was the set for Afghanistan and the Himalayas.  

3. ‘The Italian Job’

If the original, 1969, Italian Job doesn’t make you want to drive a fast car (or a Mini for that matter) around the winding roads of the Italian Alps, then no film will. As well as the stunning mountain landscape, there are scenes set in Turin, including where the minis drive down the steps at Palazzo Madama and the slow car chase on the former Fiat Lingotto factory roof test track. Unfortunately, the latter has been turned into a shopping centre and public space and you are no longer able to drive around it.  

4. ‘The Beach’

It’s ironic that the characters in this 2000 film want to keep the location of their isolated Thai island a secret so others don’t come and spoil their idyllic paradise. Of course, due to the film’s amazing backdrop, flocks of Thai tourists now want to visit Hat Maya, the main beach of Phi Phi Leh island. The island can be reached by a daily passenger ferry from Phuket Pier. Or if you’d like to visit some of the film’s less busy locations you can travel to the lush Khao Yai National Park, where Leonardo DiCaprio jumps from a cliff top into the plunge pool below, or head to locations in Phuket and Krabi.

5. ‘Shirley Valentine’

You can still visit the restaurant (now called Hippie Fish) in Mykonos, Greece where the romance between Shirley Valentine and Costas Caldes was born, transforming Shirley from a bored housewife into a giddy romantic. The film makes you want to travel to Mykonos to see its recognisable white cubist houses with wooden balconies and pretty traditional windmills.     Mykonos

6. ‘The Motorcycle Diaries’

Besides following the intriguing life of Ernesto Guevara before he became Argentinian revolutionary ‘Che’ Guevara, The Motorcycle Diaries shows some of the most famous and scenic parts of Western South America. It will make you want to travel to the stark and then mountainous landscapes of Patagonia, the ancient city of Machu Picchu in Peru, the high deserts of Chile or even cross the Amazon River.

7. ‘Star Wars’

Over 130 movies have been filmed in Tunisia and, without doubt, the most famous is Star Wars. George Lucas took inspiration for Luke Skywalker’s birth place of Tatooine from the Tunisian town of Tataouine, however scenes were filmed all over Tunisia for the original and prequel films. Some scenery has even been left in place, such as at Onk Jemal, Tozeur, the scene of the lightsabre duel between Qui-Gonn Jinn & Darth Maul in The Phantom Menace.

Image Credit: Lord of the Rings, Shirley Valentine,