One of the things that can really inspire us to get out into the world is film. While plenty of movie environments are enhanced or even created from scratch in studios, many are tied to very real places in the world. If you’re much of a cinema fan, you probably get the drill: sometimes you’re watching a movie and you’re just captivated by the characters’ surroundings. Really, it’s a nice way to expand your travel bucket list.
Even better is when a film set inspires you to see a part of the world you might not have considered before. Plenty of movies show famous actors strolling through the streets of New York and Paris and the like. But here we’ll look to line up a few more adventurous destinations that have been propped up by mainstream movies.
1. New Zealand (The Lord Of The Rings)
It’s arguable that no film or franchise has done more to promote a destination than The Lord Of The Rings trilogy has for New Zealand. This part of the world is so naturally striking that it was deemed an appropriate filming location for films based in JRR Tolkien’s fictional land of Middle Earth. Now, you can get a real taste of that land simply by wandering through some of the country’s more dramatic landscapes. Many visitors seek out the village of Hobbiton, which is still intact as it was for the filming of the movie. But you might feel even more immersed in Middle Earth by going on some of the famous mountain hikes.
2. Cabo San Lucas, Mexico (Troy)
If you recall the 2004 movie Troy, you may remember feeling as if you’d been transported to our most adventurous interpretations of the ancient world. Depicting the semi-mythical fall of Troy, the film took a fictional approach, but still made you wonder what it might have been like to witness a great battle between spear-wielding ancients. The catch is that it wasn’t actually filmed in Greece or the surrounding areas where Troy is thought to have been. It was actually filmed in Cabo San Lucas, where the Playa El Faro Viejo beach stood in for some of our most appealing visions of Mediterranean paradises. You won’t see the walls of Troy they built for the movie, but you may just enjoy that same feeling of seeing something pretty and ancient.
3. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (City Of God)
City Of God isn’t exactly a film you want to dive into in the sense that its drama is at times brutal and and sad. It’s a 2002 film by Brazilian directors Fernando Meirelles and Katia Lund, and depicts the violence and organized crime that exists in Rio. It’s almost part of the movie’s core impact however that all this is happening with an authentic and at times breathtakingly beautiful backdrop. Rio is a wildly intriguing city, and certain shots from the movie will make you want nothing more than to visit. In particular, an iconic shot of one of the characters crouching on a beach at dusk with mountains in the background conveys the appeal of some of the beaches in this part of the world.
4. Cape Town, South Africa (Tomb Raider)
I’m looking ahead a little bit with this one. But in case you haven’t heard, there’s going to be a new Tomb Raider film coming out next year. This franchise has spanned across decades’ worth of games and movies. And as one of the games put it, Lara Croft (the main character) has come a long way indeed from her origins in 1990s video games. Not only is she now in new games – online slots, mobile apps, and the like – but the new film looks to be beautiful and well-made. Much of the adventure was undoubtedly produced in studios, but numerous places in the otherworldly South African city of Cape Town are listed as filming locations, and the trailer alone makes it look like a fascinating place to visit.