Sure, you can take a trip somewhere nice this summer, but how cool would it be if that trip were to somewhere you saw in a movie? As Bold experiences and far-flung destinations go, that could be something your relatives wouldn’t mind seeing pictures of! Here, them, is a list of places you’ve likely seen on the big screen that may be worth a visit.
1. Hobbiton, New Zealand
When talking about the most famous movie locations in the world, nothing tops the list but Hobbiton in New Zealand. Located on a 1,250-acre sheep farm in Waikato, Peter Jackson and his team used the area as the location of The Shire due to its striking similarity to JRR Tolkien’s description of the Hobbits’ home in Middle Earth.
From March to December 1999, the Lord of the Rings crew and the New Zealand Army constructed 39 temporary Hobbit Holes across the lush farmlands for filming all the Shire scenes for the award-winning trilogy. Unfortunately, the team demolished over half of the holes created after the three movies ended.
But in 2009, Jackson and his team recreated the Hobbiton Movie Set Tours you’ll see today. Tourists can now see 44 permanently reconstructed Hobbit Holes in complete detail and design scattered across the farmlands. In addition, guests can also enjoy the end of their Shire experience with drinks from The Green Dragon Inn.
Due to the mild climates of the North Island all year round, tourists can enjoy visiting Hobbiton anytime. The set also offers numerous packages for guests to experience the place, like the Hobbiton Movie Set tour. For $89 per person, LoTR fans can enjoy a two-hour guided tour around the iconic movie location. They also offer an Evening Banquet Tour which goes for about four hours. Unlike the other packages, guests tour the 12-acre at dusk, concluding it over a Hobbit feast at The Green Dragon Inn for $199 each.
2. Ice Q, Austria
Nothing says Hollywood magic and wonder more than the adventures and missions of British spy James Bond. Although the movies offer several vacation-worthy locations for fans to visit, the gleaming-bar restaurant in Sölden from Spectre is a perfect addition to this list.
The Ice Q is a bar-restaurant in Austria that sits 3,048 meters up in the Alpine resort of Sölden. In Spectre, it was also the background and location of one of the movie’s biggest action scenes, with 007 chasing the villains down the snow-covered mountains.
But the best feature of the Ice Q is its futuristic and sleek design and stunning views of the Alps. In addition, the establishment’s style fits most Bond villains’ aesthetics- rich, fashionable, powerful, and evil genius. You can say that as much because this building’s foundations move when the ice base beneath it does.
After skiing the slopes for the day, guests can also visit the James Bond exhibition and enjoy a drink to end the night. A Vesper martini, perhaps?
3. Wadi Rum, Jordan
Wadi Rum in Jordan is the desert valley that turns otherworldly settings in many sci-fi and adventure films a reality. But more than being a sci-fi movie’s scenic location, like The Martian, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, and Dunes, Wadi Rum is a vacation spot unlike any other on Earth.
This desert valley of red dunes and massive orange granite rocks offers numerous activities and sights for adventurous, movie-loving travelers. Depending on when and how long you’ll visit Jordan, you can enjoy several outdoor experiences to last a lifetime.
Travelers can explore the desert through the day by 4×4, hike the valleys and connect with nature, go on stargazing tours at night, and even sleep in unique bubble domes for a more otherworldly experience.
4. Doune Castle, Scotland
The magical thing about medieval-themed Hollywood films isn’t about their usual historical inaccuracies and fascinating costume designs but their movie locations. Unlike other make-up places, many medieval strongholds, castles, and ruins still dwell in Scotland, England, and other parts of Europe.
One of them is Doune Castle in Scotland. This medieval Scottish castle has been one of the favorite shooting locations of movies and tv series for decades. In addition, if you’re a Monty Python fan, visiting this place is a must, as it’s one of the castles used in Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
For an entrance fee of £5.50, travelers to Doune can also experience a bit of Game of Thrones lore, as it was the location for the Starks’ home, Winterfell. Outlander fans can also recognize this as the seat of Clan MacKenzie, the Castle Leoch.
5. Hatley Castle, Canada
One of the notable locations in the X-Men movies is Charles Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters. Although fans can’t study how to channel their superpowers under the guidance of Professor X, Beast, and Wolverine, visiting the real-life location of the X-Mansion is highly possible.
Hatley Castle in British Columbia, Canada, has been the go-to movie location for X-Men films for years. Besides its connection to Professor X’s school and the building’s beautiful exterior, it also boasts an ornate Japanese-style garden and a free museum related to the movies.
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