Movie and TV buffs in search of iconic destinations to travel to have been told the most stunning locations they can visit from legendary films.
Travel experts at StressFreeCarRental.com have researched ten iconic filming spots around the globe to inspire holidaymakers to plan their next trip.
Film and TV tourism is a growing trend with 96% of people admitting to visiting places associated with their favourite movies or television shows at least once in their lifetime.
Those wanting to experience what they have seen on their screens and follow in the footsteps of their treasured characters have been told exactly where to head.
The UK is currently the most desirable screen tourism destination because of the huge success of the beloved franchise, Harry Potter.
Many exterior scenes in the movies were filmed in real parts of Scotland, so film buffs can easily visit and immerse themselves in the real-life magical landscape made iconic by the movies.
Other locations known by cinema lovers for their stunning landscapes include Salzburg in Austria where The Sound of Music was filmed and Queenstown in New Zealand where The Hobbit trilogy was brought to life.
John Charnock, CEO of StressFreeCarRental.com said: “Movies and television programs can be extremely powerful in attracting tourists to new destinations.
“It is estimated that the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings films contribute approximately $428 million to the New Zealand economy every year.
“With more holidaymakers jetting off to locations where their favorite movies and shows were filmed, we have researched popular movies known for their extraordinary locations.
“Film and TV buffs can visit the dramatic scenery which plays a huge part in so many popular movies and series and enjoy their own immersive experience.
“From charming towns nestled in the easternmost area of Germany to the Southern Alps that run the South Island, there are many locations around the world that will be recognized by cinema lovers for their enchanting and unique beauty.
“These cinematic masterpieces will inspire moviegoers to swap their Tango ice blast for their passport and explore some of the most beautiful corners of the globe.”
Here are StressFreeCarRental.com’s top 10 stunning filming locations for holiday inspiration:
The magical world of witchcraft and wizardry, created by JK Rowling, was hugely influenced by Scotland and much was filmed in the dauntingly beautiful scenery. From Loch Shield in Lochaber, a freshwater lake and the place of the Triwizard Tournament to the Glenfinnan Viaduct, better known as the Hogwarts Express, a familiar scene in the films when the students return to Hogwarts through the Scottish Highlands. Many of the movie's exterior shots, especially around Hogwarts, were filmed in gorgeous, yet eerie, wild Scottish spots and are free to explore.
The Peak District in Derbyshire is an iconic and beautiful image featured throughout Pride and Prejudice. From the rugged gritstone edge where Elizabeth Bennet daydreamed of My Darcy to the panoramic views of valleys and rivers showcasing the beauty of the British countryside. The 2005 movie adaption also used the magnificent Chatsworth House, a stately home that was used for many of its exterior and interior scenes, and it is arguably amongst the most beautiful country houses in Britain. The stunning home is referred to as the ‘jewel in the Peak District’s crown’ and is available to guests to tour.
Filmed in locations across Ireland, PS I Love You features breathtaking views such as that of Sally Gap at the heart of Wicklow Mountains. The romantic appeal of the spot is overwhelming, showcasing stunning and enchanting panoramic views where nature is blooming with rolling hills and dense woodland. The tragic romance truly celebrates the Irish scenery and nature, panning across various settings in both Wicklow and Dublin.
For the Sound of Music fans around the world, Salzburg in Austria will feature on their travel bucket list as it is teeming with shooting locations and landmarks from the movie. The timeless classic features the beautiful Austrian countryside, the stunning Salzburg Cathedral, and the breathtaking Mirabell Gardens. Luckily for avid fans of the movie, there is an extensive Original Sound of Music Tour through Salzburg city and lake district tour which takes guests to the settings of the movie and the main cultural attractions in the region.
The hit feel-good movie Mama Mia was filmed across multiple locations in Greece, mainly the islands of Skopelos and Skiathos. The beautiful wedding scenes featuring a church perched on top of a rock looking over the Mediterranean Sea and stunning Skopelos coasts were filmed in the church of Agios Ioannis to Kastri in Skopelos. Featuring crystal clear waters, secluded white sand beaches, rocky coves and turquoise waters, Greece is known for its beauty, and the film has only made people more compelled to visit the extraordinary landscapes.
It is well-documented that The Hobbit was filmed in New Zealand, where its breath-taking and unique landscapes are featured throughout, and has since become a huge advert for tourism in NZ. Visitors now draw in from far and wide to see the locations featured in the trilogy, such as Lake Pukaki the filming location for Lake Town known for its spectacular views and the Southern Alps that run the South Island where the dwarves travel through the Misty Mountains showcasing stunning glaciers, waterfalls, and valleys. Fans can make the pilgrimage of the country to walk in the footsteps of Bilbo and Gandalf and enjoy the majestic views of “the home of Middle Earth.”
Famous for being the setting for the 2000 film The Beach starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Koh Phi Phi Le is an island of the Phi Phi Archipelago in the Krabi Province of Thailand. There are no places to stay on the island overnight, but tourists can visit for day trips. The site of the beach, famously known as Maya Bay, reopened to tourists in January 2022 after closing in 2018 for conservation to give the coral and wildlife time to recover. The main beach is just 200 meters long and is surrounded by massive cliffs, with soft white sands and a stunning coral reef bay.
Dead Horse Point Stake Park, where the iconic Thelma and Louise cliff scene was filmed, can be reached by driving the Shafer trail. The road is 1500ft high and takes visitors through colourful sandstone cliffs in the Canyonlands National Park. Fans of the film will be familiar with the iconic Utah landscapes, such as winding canyons and towering mesas, which boast some of the most breathtaking scenery in the USA.
This romantic drama which follows a divorced woman who visits Italy and buys a villa in Tuscany, was shot in Italy. To capture the beauty of Italy, it was filmed in various locations around the country including Rome, San Biagio and the Amalfi Coast. It features some of the most iconic buildings, such as Florence’s Duomo, showcasing the country’s spectacular architecture, as well as the enchanting Tuscan countryside. The movie, which was a huge box office success, sent couples from all over the world to Tuscany in search of villa for themselves after being inspired by iconic scenes featured in the Tuscan town of Cortona.
Wes Anderson used various Eastern European towns and cities in Germany as the backdrops for Zubrowka, an imaginary Eastern European country. Specifically, many key scenes were filmed in the easternmost area of Germany, in the charming town of Görlitz. The most iconic scenes shot in Görlitz were the interior of the Grand Budapest Hotel lobby, which was filmed inside the Kaufhaus in Görlitz, known for its stunning structure and being one of the preserved department stores in Europe from the early 20th century.