I always get a thirst for watching films at this time of year because we’re in the run-up to the Cannes Film Festival. And with the weather becoming warmer, and daylight lasting longer, I think about holidays too, and I wonder if I could combine the two – a holiday where I can visit famous movie locations in Europe.
To get you in the mood for the 69th Cannes Film Festival and inspire you to travel to amazing holiday destinations in Europe, I’ve picked my favourite iconic locations that have had their moment in the movies.
Switzerland: shaken, not stirred
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One of the biggest franchises in British movie history is, of course, James Bond. In the sixth film, On Her Majesty’s Service, Bond climbed the steps of a mountain retreat in Switzerland to uncover the shady shenanigans of Blofeld’s research lab. Today those steps belong to Piz Gloria, one of the most iconic restaurants in the world.
Switzerland is an outstanding country in its own right, with plenty to discover. But if you stay at Camping Jungfrau, you’ll find that Piz Gloria (and the spectacular views it provides) is easily within reach – mainly by cable car.
Experience Twilight in Tuscany
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In 2006 I was lucky enough to visit Bran Castle in Transylvania, Romania. The place had an atmosphere like no other I’d visited (although I saw no vampires). If vampire tales are your thing (probably thanks to one Edward Cullen?), you can find them in Italy too.
If you stay at Parco delle Piscine, which is situated on the edge of the stunning hilltop town of Sarteano, you won’t be far from the ancient city of Volterra in Tuscany, where the fictional Volturi of the Twilight series live.
Strike gold in serene Sicily
[responsive-image id=’2603′ align=’center’ caption=’Bump into Mr Clooney in San Vito Lo Capo, Sicily’]
Research teams will go to great lengths to make sure they find the best locations for filming, so when the people behind Ocean’s Twelve found Scopello on the north-western tip of Sicily, they must have known they’d struck gold. Check out the ‘rock towers’ in the sea and stroll through the ancient fishing village, just as Brad Pitt and Catherine Zeta-Jones did.
What’s great is that it’s literally just a few miles from the El Bahira campsite, just the other side of the beautiful Zingaro Nature Reserve.
Paris: the city of great love (and great films)
[responsive-image id=’2604′ align=’center’ caption=’Start your Da Vinci Code trail at the Louvre, Paris’]
Paris, with its romantic atmosphere and iconic architecture, has provided the perfect backdrop for many popular films. If you’ve seen Amelie, then you’ll have about 80 different locations to visit! But films like Ratatouille and The Da Vinci Code have also made the best use of what the city has to offer, such as the streets of Montmartre, the Church of Sulpice and the Louvre.
If you stay at Paris Est-Champigny, everything about the city is within easy reach (including the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame) – and you have the added bonus of being just 30 minutes away from Disneyland, so it really is a destination that offers something for everyone – no matter how old they are, or what films they have or haven’t seen!
Top tip: fancy cracking Dan Brown’s code for yourself? Let this Da Vinci Code Tour be your guide…
Want to get close to the celebs at Cannes Film Festival?
If, however, you want to be near to Cannes itself to see the actors and actresses then your best chance could be to camp at Esterel, which is just 20 miles from the city. Green Park in Cagnes is also just a 45-minute drive from the film festivities, giving you ample chance to chase celebrity stardom!
Have you been to any famous film locations in Europe? Have you trodden the same paths as the movie stars, or even seen filming while abroad? Tell us about your film-related holiday tales in the comments below, or on our Facebook page.