With the London BFI film festival this October drawing to a close, the country specialists at Audley Travel have created a list of the top eight most iconic film and TV locations that any discerning traveller or film buff should visit. A great film or TV show has the power to transport the viewer from their seat and right into the scene, but visiting these locations in person lets them feel even closer to the fictional worlds and characters. The wide range of filming locations around the world is a fantastic inspiration for a film and TV lover’s travels.
1. Lord of the Rings
New Zealand: The Remarkables, Deer Park Heights, Kawarau Gorge, Arrowtown
Audley’s specialists recommend a once-in-a-lifetime journey to Middle Earth to take in some of New Zealand’s most iconic scenery. The operator’s 4×4 Safari of the Scenes tour fully immerses clients in the sweeping landscapes that formed a backdrop to the Lord of the Rings film trilogy. Venturing off-road, clients are driven among The Remarkables mountain range, which doubled as the Misty Mountains in the movies, pausing to take in views over Deer Park Heights — the setting for the Rohan refugees’ travels and battle scenes from the second film in the trilogy. They also visit Kawarau Gorge, used for the Argonath or the Pillars of the Kings, as well as Arrowtown, where the Ring was lost at Gladden Fields.
2. James Bond
Clients follow in the footsteps of James Bond and travel to Jamaica’s luxurious north coast, where the most recent installment of the long-running series – No Time to Die – was filmed in Port Antonio.
Clients can also walk in 007’s footsteps from the three films set on the island – Dr. No, Live and Let Die, and The Man with the Golden Gun – with a visit to the famous Dunn’s River Falls or by exploring the capital city Kingston.
3. Indiana Jones
Audley’s specialists suggest emulating Indiana Jones and exploring the capital city of an ancient empire hidden in Jordan’s desert. Deep in the country’s southwestern dunes film lovers can hike through the narrow Siq canyon to visit the Treasury in the city of Petra, instantly recognisable as a filming location from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
4. La La Land
USA, Los Angeles: Hollywood Hills, Griffith Park
Los Angeles is synonymous with the film world, so a visit to the City of Angels as part of a California road trip will help clients check off plenty of movie locations. Audley can arrange tours of movie studios or clients can explore the city in a classic convertible with their driver pausing at hidden filming locations few others know about.
Audley’s specialists also suggest taking a two-and-a-half-hour hike into the Hollywood Hills, accompanied by a local guide who’ll point out filming locations and share Hollywood anecdotes.
Beginning in Griffith Park, clients see the Observatory Tunnel where Marty uses his hoverboard in Back to the Future Part II. The tour then moves to the Griffith Observatory at the top of Mount Hollywood and the location of the planetarium scene in 2016’s La La Land, when Mia and Sebastian waltzed in mid-air.
5. The Rings of Power
Set thousands of years before J.R.R Tolkien’s legendary Lord of the Rings trilogy, this TV show returns viewers to Middle Earth, focusing on the actions of a much younger (though still millennia old) Galadriel. Much like its predecessors, The Rings of Power is filmed entirely in New Zealand, showcasing its untamed landscapes. Among them are the Denize Bluffs — mammoth, sheer-sided limestone cliffs that feature some unusual rock-like formations, and the coast around the Hauraki Gulf, which has been home to the Māori people for thousands of years.
6. My Brilliant Friend
Based on Elena Ferrante’s four-part series, the Neopolitan Novels, this critically acclaimed TV series is largely set around Naples and the nearby island of Ischia. It follows two girls growing up in post-World War II Naples, with many of the exterior shots filmed on location. Clients can discover more about the history and significance of this filming location with a personalised trip to this southern Italian city.
- House of the Dragon
Taking place in the world of Westeros, the prequel of the acclaimed Game of Thrones TV series has journeyed across multiple countries to find ideal settings for each realm. The capital city of Kings Landing was filmed in Cáéceres, western Spain (its home was the Croatian city of Dubrovnik previously). Clients can visit this historic city on a House of the Dragon-inspired to admire its Roman ruins, 12th-century Moorish city walls, Gothic and Renaissance architecture, and cobbled Medieval streets.
- Inventing Anna
Inventing Anna tells the story of Anna Sorokin and her deception of New York’s elite. As well as being filmed in New York City, the show took viewers to some wonderful places around the world including La Mamounia, a luxury resort in Marrakesh, and the location of one of the biggest credit card scams of Anna’s story.
These are just a few of the destinations Audley’s specialists recommend for clients looking for the best TV and movie locations to visit. Audley’s country specialists can craft a bespoke trip to destinations around the world through their extensive first-hand expertise and knowledge.