Last updated: 11:00 PM ET, Thu February 11 2016

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  • A Cruising Couple | February 11, 2016 11:00 PM ET

    Movie Locations: Out-of-This-World, Yet Just a Flight Away

    Movie Locations: Out-of-This-World, Yet Just a Flight Away

    Photo by Ryan Rudnansky

    Seeking travel inspiration? Then look no further than your favorite blockbuster hits. From mythical worlds to outer space exploration, films offer a fantastic opportunity to get a glimpse of faraway lands that aren’t actually that outlandish to reach.

    From the epic landscapes of “Lord Of The Rings” to the otherworldly set of “Interstellar,” here are some of the best movie destinations that are out-of-this-world (yet just a flight away).


    With its rugged mountains, rolling hills, picturesque towns, quaint villages and historic castles, Scotland’s stunning landscape is a picture-perfect backdrop for a variety of famous films.

    READ MORE: The Force Awakens With Star Wars Tourism in Death Valley

    Take the magnificent landscapes of Glencoe and Loch Leven in the highlands of Scotland; these provide many of the backdrops for Mel Gibson’s Oscar winner “Braveheart.” Additionally, the village of “Lanark,” where the young hero grows up, was constructed in the impressive U-shaped Glen Nevis Glacial Valley under the shadow of the highest mountain peak in the British Isles — Ben Nevis.

    Glan Nevis Vally

    Photo via Flickr/oatsy

    Now it’s all aboard the Hogwarts Express, known to the Scottish as the Jacobite train. The famous route runs over breathtaking Glenfinnan Viaduct, featured in four of the Harry Potter films. Instead of heading to Kings Cross Station in London, you'll be boarding in Fort William with a departure in Mallaig — not at Harry’s famed wizard school.

    Glenfinnan Viaduct

    Photo via Flickr/mrlunastorta


    The mystical volcanic island of Iceland, with its dynamic and dramatic landscape, has captivated directors and viewers alike. These iconic landscapes have been featured in films from “Interstellar” to the TV series “Game Of Thrones.”


    Photo via Flickr/ashnwolf

    The majestic Svinafellsjokull glacier is the actual location of Mann's ice planet depicted in Christopher Nolan's movie “Interstellar.: The glacier also made an appearance in another of Christopher Nolan's big movies, “Batman Begins.” Although the movie claims to take place on a frozen lake in Tibet, the scenes are actually filmed on this glacier.

    'Peaks And Crevasses' - Svínafellsjökull, Iceland

    Photo via Flickr/jixxer

    Additionally, the opening scene for the blockbuster film “Prometheus is located at the impressive Dettifoss Waterfall in Iceland. This cataract is reputed to be the most powerful in Europe, with a height of 150 feet and an average flow rate of 6,816 cubic feet a second.

    Shadows and Mist - Dettifoss, Iceland

    Photo via Flickr/ronkroetz

    While many features present Iceland as a mythical land, “The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty” with Ben Stiller accurately credits the country's beauty while taking viewers to various locations all across the island.

    New Zealand

    If you are a “Lord Of The Rings” fan (or a lover of timeless natural beauty in general) then you'll love New Zealand.

    For one of the best and most authentic Lord Of The Rings experiences, head to the Hobbiton at 501 Buckland Rd., Hinuera, Matamata 3400 on the North Island of New Zealand. The hobbit holes will make you feel like you've stepped straight into the movie.

    New Zealand 2006/2007

    Photo via Flickr/thebecker 

    The towering snowcapped Mount Cook takes credit for being the fabled Mount Doom, where the heroes must travel to destroy the ring. While it isn't constantly spewing lava (it's not an active volcano) the mountain is frequently used by alpinists who are training to take on Everest.


    Photo via Flickr/kewl 

    Near the town of Twizel in the magnificent hills of Mackenzie Country, Peter Jackson filmed the epic battle of the Pelennor Fields, where the men of Gondor and Rohan took on thousands of orcs bred by Sauron.

    READ MORE: Stanley Hotel Announces Plans for Horror Museum and Film Center


    The dramatic Cliffs of Moher are featured in more than one blockbuster film. The sixth installment of Harry Potter, “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” featured the cliffs when Harry and Dumbledore appear standing on a rock, which is moving towards a sea cave in the cliffs. In “The Princess Bride,” they are featured as the Cliffs of Insanity.

    Cliffs of Moher

    Photo via Flickr/alexranaldi

    Chances are you’ve seen at least a handful of the major films listed above. Now, it’s time to take the inspiration to go see the filming destination for yourself! Have you visited any of these countries? What movie setting would you most want to visit?


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A Cruising Couple A Cruising Couple's Column

A Cruising Couple Dan and Casey are the two lovebirds, world travelers and adventurers extraordinaire behind the popular travel blog A Cruising Couple - adventure travel with a dash of class. Their stories and photographs feature that special place where experiential and stylish travel meet. Find out how you can spend less money, live more adventurously and travel more luxuriously on their blog,
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