Screen stars: destinations that steal the spotlight
Have you ever watched a film and felt just as captivated by the setting as you did by the performances? These iconic destinations – all of which can be visited on a P&O Cruises holiday – have featured in iconic films and series, and now, they’re ready for their turn in the spotlight.
In honour of the final series of Game of Thrones, we bring you six stunning filming destinations from the show that you can explore in real life. Whether you’re a super fan or a casual viewer, read on to find out more about the captivating locations featured in the show.
Game of Thrones (2011-present)
With its beautiful harbour and medieval walls, Dubrovnik is heaven for history buffs – and perfect for a starring role as the fictional city of King’s Landing, capital of the Seven Kingdoms.
Seville is famed for flamenco, tapas and incredible architecture, and now it can add its status as a Game of Thrones filming location to that list: the Alcázar palace served as the Palace of Dorne in season five.
Split is a mix of fascinating history and modern life, all in a spectacular setting overlooking the Dalmatian coast. Game of Thrones fans will know recognise it from season four, when it was transformed into the city of Meereen.
Combine Malta’s 8,000 years of history with a surreal landscape and it’s not hard to see why it served as the setting for King’s Landing in the first season of Game of Thrones – especially the town of Mdina.
Northern Ireland has been a key filming location for every season of Game of Thrones. Much of the series has been filmed at Belfast’s Titanic Studios, and the country’s atmospheric forests, rugged coastline and craggy castles have starred in many an outdoor scene.
Iceland’s landscape can best be described as ‘otherworldly’ – a magical terrain of glaciers, lakes, lava fields, waterfalls and geothermal lagoons. The country’s dramatic setting created the environment for many scenes from Game of Thrones’ third season.
Visit these iconic locations
Far from the tales of love, religion, murder and mystery that Game of Thrones brings its fans, a whole other world of cinematic exploration awaits. Order a martini – shaken, not stirred – and try your luck in the Casino de Monte-Carlo or live like the locals and take in the city sights and sounds with a passeggiata through the streets of Rome. There’s something for everyone with these seven spectacular places – made famous by films you know and love.
The Painted Veil (2006)
Li River near Guilin, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China
Based on the 1925 novel by W. Somerset Maugham about a British doctor and his unfaithful wife moving to a remote area of China to help fight an outbreak of cholera, John Curran’s 2006 film The Painted Veil features breathtakingly inspiring scenery. Wanting to find an authentic and distinctive Chinese location, film scouts covered nearly 5,000 miles all over the country looking for an area that had an ancient town in close proximity to a river and mountains, settling on Guangxi Province in Southern China. Sail the dreamy Li River on a three-night overland shore excursion on cruises to Shanghai (rejoining your ship in Hong Kong).
Casino de Monte-Carlo, Monte Carlo, Monaco
The legendary Monte Carlo Casino was built in 1863 and with its impressive facade and luxurious location in the principality of Monaco – the second smallest country in the world after the Vatican – it has starred in many blockbuster hits, including two Bond films. The glamour and opulence provided the backdrop for Pierce Brosnan’s Bond and Famke Janssen’s Xenia Onatopp to play a game of baccarat in GoldenEye, and guests can get a taste of the luxury on cruises to Monte Carlo.
When Harry Met Sally (1989)
Central Park, New York, USA
New York’s vibrant green heartland is one of the most filmed locations in the world. Established in 1857, Central Park’s 843 acres are brimming with attractions that many an avid film-watcher will recognise. The pastoral wonderland provides the backdrop to Rob Reiner’s 1989 American rom-com classic When Harry Met Sally, one of the most quintessential Central Park love stories of all time.
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011)
Palace of the Winds (Hawa Mahal), Jaipur, Rajasthan, India
Jaipur plays a central role in John Madden’s comedy drama about a group of British pensioners who move to a retirement hotel in India, with many of the city’s landmarks featuring in this big-screen hit. Madden chose to film in Rajasthan due to the city’s wealth of rich colours, the chaotic buzz and the heady mix of agricultural and modern life. Visit Jaipur on a five-night overland shore excursion on cruises to Colombo (rejoining your ship in Dubai).
Roman Holiday (1953)
Various locations, Rome, Italy
Audrey Hepburn may have won an Academy Award for her role in the romantic classic Roman Holiday, but the city of Rome itself proved just as captivating on the big screen. Hepburn and Gregory Peck took audiences on a whirlwind tour of many of the city’s key sights, from the Trevi Fountain to the Spanish Steps and the Colosseum.
Captain Corelli's Mandolin (2001)
Various locations, Cephalonia, Greece
Set in the Second World War, when Italian forces occupied the Ionian islands, the relationship between Italian officer Antonio Corelli (Nicholas Cage) and defiant local islander Pelagia (Penelope Cruz) plays out on the island of Cephalonia. A host of locations – Myrtos Beach, Mount Ainos, Agios Fanentes and Dikhalia village – are clearly recognisable. The village of Sami, meanwhile, was recreated to resemble the Venetianèsque village of Argostoli, which was largely destroyed during an earthquake in 1953.
Pirates of the Caribbean (2003, 2006 & 2007)
St Vincent & the Grenadines
With its crystal-clear waters, white sandy beaches and lush interior, St Vincent and the Grenadines was the quintessential backdrop for the first three Pirates of the Caribbean films. Retrace the steps of Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) and co by swashbuckling your way around spots such as Bequia, Wallilabou Bay and Black
Point, all of which will be recognisable to fans of the popular Disney franchise.