This year’s list of travel-inspiring films was one of the most challenging because there were so many great films to choose from in 2012. After much deliberation, and some input from our readers, we decided the following five films best capture the locations where they were set and filmed.
Who doesn’t want to travel like James Bond? In Skyfall, 007 brings audiences on a tour of London, Shanghai, Istanbul, and the Scottish Highlands. But, our favorite location in the movie is Hashima Island (Raoul Silva’s lair). The now desolate island was once a bustling city that was abandoned after Mitsubishi shut down the coal mine where most residents worked. You can now take a three hour tour of the island for about $54 per person.
Brave is the first animated film we’ve ever included in our list of travel films, and for good reason. Brave not only gave little girls a new kind of princess to look up to, but it also brought them on a journey across Scotland that no live action film ever could. Disney Adventures has created a special tour inspired by the movie with stops at the Callanish Standing Stones, Glamis Castle where guest try their hand at archery, Edinburgh Castle, and more. For more information about the movie and the tour, visit adventuresbydisney.com.
3. To Rome With Love
It seems, when it comes to travel inspiration, Woody Allen can do no wrong. Last year, Midnight In Paris was our number one pick and this year’s list just wouldn’t be complete without To Rome With Love. In his latest, Woody prominently features some of Rome’s most famous landmarks like the Villa Borghese, Piazza del Popolo, and the Spanish Steps. You can read more about the film and these locations here.
2. Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
If you’ve never really had an interest in going to India, watch The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and we guarantee you’ll change your mind. The movie is set at the Ravla Khempur but it was also filmed in and around the city of Jaipur. Some of the famous locations featured in the film include the Lake Palace Hotel, the Kanota Fort, and the Amber Fort. Find out more about these locations over at Fodor’s.
1. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
It would be difficult to find a movie more intertwined with the country in which it was filmed than this one. The Hobbit (and The Lord of the Rings films before it) has launched an entirely new tourism industry in New Zealand. Hundreds of fans are planning trips to New Zealand to see where the film was made. Hobbiton, the permanent set on a farm in Matamata complete with hobbit holes, gardens, bridge, the Mill and The Green Dragon, has become the highlight of these trips. Hobbiton is open to the public for tours, events, and even the occasional wedding. For more information, visit hobbitontours.com or newzealand.com.
Finally, here’s a look at our 10 runners up: Chasing Mavericks (Half Moon Bay, CA), Perks Of Being A Wallflower (Pittsburgh, PA), The Bourne Legacy (Manila, Philippines), Breaking Dawn Part II (Vancouver, BC), The Hunger Games (North Carolina), Moonrise Kingdom (Rhode Island), Beasts of the Southern Wild (New Orleans, LA), Five Year Engagement (Ann Arbor, MI), Big Miracle (Alaska), and Taken 2 (Istanbul, Turkey).
Let us know what movie inspired you to travel in 2012 in a comment below!