Holiday like you’re in the movies…


Holiday like you’re in the movies…

A film doesn’t just tell a story: it sells a location. Think of the iconic openers to every 007 film: even with the most thrilling of car chases playing out in the foreground, you can’t ignore the spectacular scenery rushing behind the Aston Martin. And would our favourite rom-coms be so successful without such a sense of place? Can you picture When Harry Met Sally’s somewhere other than New York, or an out-of-London Bridget Jones? Here are three of our favourite jaunts inspired by the big screen.

Iceland: The breath-taking and dramatic landscape of this northern island makes it the location of choice for the action flick. It provided the director of Die Another Day with a frozen lake for the epic car chase, and of Thor with the majestic Skógafoss waterfall, where legend has it that the first Viking settler buried his treasure. Its glaciers have stood in for Bhutan (Batman Begins), its mountains for Afghanistan (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty), and its black sand beaches for Japan (Flags of our Fathers). With plenty of tours to take you to these jaw-dropping filming spots, your imagination will have the ride of its life.

Morocco: From one harsh and hostile landscape to another, albeit at the other end of the thermometer: the sand dunes of the Sahara. Located in the desert is Atlas Studios, whose films include The Mummy, Gladiator and Prince of Persia. Cameras have captured a long list of stars making their way through the local Erg Chebbi sand dunes, from Lawrence of Arabia to Carrie Bradshaw and her Sex in the City pals. It’s not all dunes and camel rides: also on offer is a tour of the film studios, overnighters in a traditional Berber tent, scenic drives in the Atlas mountains and shopping and relaxation in the souks and hammams of Marrakech.

Paris: The romantic capital of Europe provides the backdrop to the Before Sunset, the 2004 sequel to Before Sunrise starring Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy. While the first film followed these two strangers through the Viennese night, Before Sunset catches up with Jesse and Celine as they encounter each other nine years later. Meandering along the Seine sometimes on foot, other times in a bateau mouche, sitting in a café, a car, an apartment, all the while talking, they slowly realise that nothing else in their lives has matched their one night together in Vienna nine years prior. It’s a film that relies on its stars’ performances, on the script and on the glorious location; even if you tire of the first two, the latter is not going to let you down.

So when you are planning your next holiday and you think you would like a change of plot, why not get some ideas from the movies?

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