Holiday in the Latest Movie Locations

We reveal the spectacular destinations providing cinematic travel inspiration this year, in Dune 2, Furiosa and Gladiator 2.

Plus where you can recreate three classic movies: Jurassic Park, Harry Potter and Star Wars.

From Jordan to Italy to Australia, here’s how to holiday in the places wowing people on the big screen.

Dune 2

South Jordan’s spectacular landscapes provide the backdrop for this huge box office success.

The sequel is a hypnotic journey across the deserts of Arrakis. Well, the deserts of Jordan to be more precise.

The movie’s three main filming locations can be neatly combined on a one-week adventure holiday that suits both couples and families with older kids.

Wadi Rum

Discovery Bedu Camp in Wadi Rum

Dune 2 is mostly a journey across Jordan’s Wadi Rum Desert. Flaming sandstone cliffs, vast sand dunes, rugged canyons and surreal rock formations – Wadi Rum is a favourite of our clients, as well as space-loving movie directors.

Wadi Rum was also used as a major filming location in Dune, The Martian, Star Wars Episode IX and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

We recommend spending two nights in Discovery Bedu Camp, the most private, exclusive and comfortable of all the overnight camps within Wadi Rum. It’s essentially an opulent hotel room, with canvas walls for full desert immersion.

A place for admiring Arrakis from Discovery Bedu Camp

You enjoy 48 hours of desert exploration, by four-wheel drive, hiking, a hot air balloon and on top of a camel.

The guides are exceptional and they know specific filming locations. So we can pre-arrange a Wadi Rum itinerary based on Dune 2, or any other movie filmed here.


The Monastery in Petra

Parts of Dune 2 were filmed inside Petra, which Harrison Ford brought to the world’s attention in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989).

It’s now a World Seven Wonder of the World and a very popular tourist destination. But it’s definitely not a tourist trap. Petra is completely worth your time.

Yes, the famous entrance and monastery is busy and crowded, but you need three days to explore the entire area. Few people appreciate the size of this ancient, rock-cut Nabataean city.

Petra has so many areas to explore

No true five-star properties exist near Petra. We recommend staying at The Old Village Resort, a millennia-old Nabataen village that was converted into very authentic, rock-cut accommodation.

It’s cute, comfortable and genuinely historic, just note the accommodation itself is more four-star-superior level.


Kempinski Hotel Aqaba Red Sea

On the shores of the Red Sea, Aqaba’s waters, beaches and reefs provide a striking contrast to the desertscapes in Dune 2.

Kempinski Hotel Aqaba Red Sea is definitely the best beachfront option and it’s a nice place to end an exploration of Jordan, especially after all the sand and dust.

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga

The long-awaited prequel to Fury Road will be dominated by the desolate landscapes and wild beauty of a post-apocalyptic wasteland.

You wouldn’t expect anything less from a Max Max movie. Furiosa will premiere at Cannes Film Festival and you can see it in movie theatres globally from 23rd and 24th May.

Australia provided the filming locations and following Furiosa is a great way to explore Australia’s diverse experiences.

Key Furiosa Filming Locations

Uluru features as a backdrop in Furiosa

The rugged outback of New South Wales was the primary filming location, specifically the vast deserted areas around Broken Hill and Silverton.

It’s empty and barren. Ideal for a movie director creating a wasteland. However, there’s really not much to actually see so we don’t suggest travelling here.

Flinders Mountains in South Australia is a better filming location to visit, where you really can imagine walking alongside Furiosa and her allies.

The ocean scenes in Furiosa primarily come from the famous Great Ocean Road.

The Great Ocean Road

The legendary red rocks of Uluru and Kata Tjuta also feature as backdrops during the film. You might think they’re just big red rocks in the desert but we can attest that the long journey to Uluru is as worthwhile as Furiosa’s own long journey across barren lands.

Mad Max Australia Holiday Idea

For Mad Max lovers our main recommendation is The Ghan luxury train between Adelaide and Alice Springs. Just sit back, relax, and appreciate the enormity of the Australian outback.

But first…start your holiday in Melbourne. You can enjoy the city’s many highlights. Plus do a one-day trip by car and helicopter to the Great Ocean Road.

Or we can plan a short itinerary hopping along the Great Ocean Road and onwards to Adelaide. This is really nice if you like the freedom of adventure in your own rental car.

Driving to the Flinders Ranges, South Australia

After Adelaide in South Australia, travel inland to the Flinders Ranges. Here we recommend staying at the Arkaba Homestead by Wild Bush Luxury, a quintessential outback experience with a very high level of comfort.

From Adelaide you can depart on The Ghan train to Alice Springs, a 25-hour journey. It doesn’t offer the same atmosphere and entertainment experience as the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express.

However, The Ghan is equally as comfortable and unlike the Orient Express, most cabins have en-suite facilities.

Platinum cabins are our recommendation because of their size. By day they are private lounges and there is no better way to experience Australia’s vast and unique outback.

From Alice Springs it’s a stunning scenic helicopter flight above the outback to Uluru, where we recommend at least two nights at Longitude 131, a beautiful little oasis.

Embrace the silence. Embrace the outback. Marvel at the desert. Explore both Ulura and Kata Tjuta. And dream up your own Mad Max prequel of course.

Longitude 131 Uluru

Gladiator 2

Ridley Scott returned to Malta and Morocco to film the sequel to his multi Academy Award winning original from the year 2000.

You’ll need to wait until November to see Gladiator 2 in the cinema, but we do already know the main filming locations, which are consistent with the first instalment.


Malta represents ancient Rome in most of Gladiator and Gladiator 2, specifically the ancient walled city of Mdina, with its narrow streets and imposing fortifications.

Walking this old city you can easily imagine an era of gladiatorial battles and political intrigue.

Mdina, Malta

Fort Ricasoli on the island’s east coast is the main setting for the battle scenes during Gladiator 2.

Ridley Scott also used Popeye’s Village, a colourful seaside village originally built for the 1980 musical Popeye.

Popeye Village

Corinthia Palace Hotel is the best accommodation in Malta, an idyllic base to explore the island’s villages, landscapes, temples and movie locations.

It’s not on the beach, but Malta isn’t a typical beach destination. You come to Malta for slow island exploration and the Corinthia Palace location is ideal for us.

Corinthia Palace Hotel

We can create an itinerary with a specialist guide that enables you to explore the different Gladiator locations, as well as other places that have featured on the big screen.


The old Moroccan city of Ouarzazate serves as another representation of ancient Rome in Gladiator 2.

Ridley Scott has used it as a film location in other movies too, like Kingdom of Heaven and Body of Lies.

Ait Benhaddou. There’s a Gladiator arena in there.

The enchanting mud-brick village of Ait Benhaddou is close by. It was the setting of a gladiatorial arena in the original Gladiator (the first one, before Russell Crowe makes it back to Rome).

Ait Benhaddou is a small World Heritage Site and definitely worth a short visit, although it’s now firmly on the tourist trail. We recommend seeing other villages on this old caravan route between the Sahara and Marrakech. Unfortunately, there is no suitable upscale accommodation in this area.

One option is to visit these places on a day trip from Marrakech, where there are some outstanding luxury properties: Royal Mansour, Mamounia and The Oberoi are just three to name.

Royal Mansour, Marrakech

Another option is an overland route between Marrakech and a camp in the Sahara Desert. It will require one or two none-five-star-hotel nights, but is a great insight into less-visited Morocco.

Also consider a movie related tour in Ouarzazate. You can visit the studios and see props from over 100 movies filmed in the area.

If a movie is set in the Middle East, like Lawrence of Arabia, Kingdom of Heaven or Prince of Persia, it was most probably filmed here in Morocco.

Where to Recreate Classic Movies Around the World

Some people are most inspired by the screenplay or direction. We always want to know where they filmed it!

In recent years we’ve put together a range of trips that include locations from popular movies.

Here are three big franchise movies that you could recreate, in the places they were filmed.

Harry Potter

Diagon Alley? It’s Victoria Street in Edinburgh.

Travel to the United Kingdom and Ireland and there are many options for Harry Potter fans, although Platform 9¾ at London’s Kings Cross Station is a real tourist trap.

Divinity School at Oxford University is a better option in England, and a good excuse to stay at Raymond Blanc’s glorious Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, a magnificent countryside property.

It’s Scotland that is synonymous with the movie franchise. Victoria Street in Edinburgh is supposedly J.K. Rowling’s inspiration for Diagon Alley, and you’ll recognise similarities between the city’s castle and Hogwarts School.

The absolute must is Glenfinnan Viaduct, which you can travel across on the Belmond Royal Scotsman train. Try the three-night Western Scenic Wonders route, which you can do with kids (although they can’t come to the train’s evening parties).

Ireland features throughout the movies too, like the Cliffs of Moher, city of Galway and Skellig Michael, a rocky islet off the Irish Coast.

For the Irish Harry Potter leg we recommend basing yourself at Adare Manor, the best castle hotel in the country and an easy hop away from the filming locations.

Jurassic Park

Surely you can guess the real location of the fictional island of Isla Nublar?

It’s in Hawaii where dinosaurs were brought back to life amid stunning scenery. Kauai, the Garden Island, was the main filming location, where the cliffs and waterfalls of the Na Pali Coast are unmissable.

Do you notice the similarities with the movie?

Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island of Hawaii provided the supernatural backdrop to the movie’s climax.

There’s so much we can recommend across Hawaii, like a helicopter over an active volcano, watching molten lava fall into the sea and discovering your own deserted beach.

Four Seasons have excellent properties on the different islands, where we can offer exclusive Four Seasons Preferred Partner benefits.

Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope

The Rebel Alliance base on Yavin. I.e. Tikal, Guatemala.

Iceland, Ireland, Death Valley National Park, Wadi Rum, Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia…Lucas Films creates another galaxy by filming in some of the most dramatic and remote places on earth.

One that deserves special mention is the ancient Mayan city of Tikal in Guatemala. It was the Rebel Alliance base on Yavin, in A New Hope and subsequent movies too.

Guatemala represents a lot of new hope to us. It’s a stunning country, on par with Costa Rica in terms of natural beauty. Now, finally, luxury hotels and lodges are opening up, making Guatemala a lot more accessible.

Inside the ruins of Tikal

The best two are Casa Palopó hotel on the shores of Lake Atitlan, and Villa Bókeh in Antigua. Six to seven nights across these two properties will be a magnificent holiday.

Both properties have helipads so you can fly to Tikal by helicopter for a day trip, which also provides beautiful views over the country’s volcanoes.

You can also sleep at a jungle lodge in Tikal for one night. It’s not five-star luxury and won’t be for everyone. However sleeping at Tikal means you can explore the Rebel Alliance base after everyone else has left. And then before everybody arrives in the morning.

Bonus Holiday Idea: Angelina Jolie in Cambodia

Ta Prohm is the Angkor temple that features most in Tomb Raider

Angelina Jolie has Cambodian citizenship, as does her adopted son Maddox.

She helped to put Cambodia on the map as a travel destination, when she played Lara Croft in Tomb Raider, which was partially filmed inside the massive Angkor complex.

Later, Angelina wrote and directed First They Killed My Father, a movie exploring Cambodia’s tragic history. Angkor features as a location, along with the rice paddies and picturesque villages around Battambang.

Zannier Phum Baitang in Cambodia

Angelina Jolie stayed in Zannier Hotel Phum Baitang in Siem Reap for four months with her entire family, when she was making this film.

The resort captures the elegance of traditional Cambodian architecture, along with the country’s simple beauty.

Zannier Hotels founder Arnaud Zannier shared this information with us, when we interviewed him for Explorer magazine.

You can combine a stay at Zannier Hotel Phum Baitang with a private tour to different parts of Cambodia that have featured on the big screen. You can even meet local people who were involved in the filming.

What’s Your Biggest Big Screen Inspiration?

We all take our travel inspiration from different places. Sometimes all it takes is just one scene, one moment, one glimpse of a place far away…and we’re hooked on a place we absolutely must visit!

So what is yours?

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