Movie Trips in Spain and PortugalVisiting the exact location where a memorable movie scene in a movie was shot is getting more and more popular, motivating innumerable Movie Trips in Spain and Portugal. Our destinations have offered many unforgettable locations to the film industry and the public: Laurence of Arabia’s classic was shot in the south of Spain in 1962, Sean Connery played 007 in Spain, and we had also “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade”… Most of Pedro Almodovar’s productions were of course shot in his homeland… and the last scene of Millenium 1 was surprisingly shot in the beach of Malaga.

Portugal hides surprising film locations as well: Did you know that Harry Potter’s library is a real book shop in the city of Porto? Can you imagine Meryl Streep and Jeremy Irons in Lisbon for “The House of the Spirits”?

All those involved in Incoming Tourism in Barcelona know the importance of “L’auberge espagnole” to attract young French visitors to the city since 2002. The film by Cédric Klapisch was a successful French-Spanish coproduction based on the life experience that Barcelona offered to a French Erasmus student. No longer young French movie lovers still organize Movie Trips to Barcelona nowadays…
L’auberge espagnole

Sevilla experienced an even more important impact thanks to the TV Series “Game of Thrones”: Seville and surroundings were chosen as film location to portray the Kingdom of Dorne for Season 5 of the successful HBO series. Weeks of rumors and speculation followed US Cable network HBO announcement. Real Alcazar was the main site. People and authorities in Osuna were even more excited than Sevillians to be part of the film locations as well. The quarries, the ancient bullring, the collegiate church and Osuna’s university building were the monumental sites in the list of the show’s producers. The old center of Girona, the staircase of the cathedral were the locations chosen to represent Braavos in Season 6. Samwell Tarly’s palace in Horn Hill is actually in Canet de Mar in Catalonia… Murriola Beach, San Juan de Gaztelugatxe and other impressive locations of Season 7 are in Basque Country.
Real alcazar
Game of thrones

Is any of these an inspiration for a Theme Tour soon? Or just an excuse during a cultural trip?

Alambra, Spain. Writing

Granada is the first Spanish city included in the list of Cities of Literature within the UNESCO Creative Cities Network Program. This classification will certainly motivate new literary trips to the beautiful city of Granada.

The outstanding literary heritage in the city includes one of the most surprising poem collections in the world: the poetry carved into the walls, ceilings and columns of the impressive Alhambra palaces in beautiful Arabic inscriptions.

Alhambra and Generalife form a monumental complex of amazing beauty which is also part of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, moving and inspiring poets and novelists during centuries, from Al-Siqundi to Ernest Hemingway, from Federico García Lorca to Salman Rushdie.

The International Poetry Festival (FIP) taking place in Granada on a yearly basis. The opening of Centro Federico García Lorca, to safeguard and promote the study and knowledge of his work were certainly taken into consideration by UNESCO jury to reward Granada with the City of Literature title in 2014.

Cities of literature

Other destinations motivating literary trips in Spain and Portugal:

windmill. SpainCastilla La Mancha, the land of Don Quixote is probably the first literary destination in Spain. The windmills described by Miguel de Cervantes in one of the most published books ever, are now the symbol of the region.

Santiago de Compostela is the scene of the novel “La Casa de la Troya” by Alejandro Perez Lugín. The frequent use of this book during the 20th century in the teaching of Spanish as a second language made the novel very well known abroad, especially in the Americas. La Casa de la Troya, the building where the main character of the novel used to live as university student in Santiago, is nowadays occupied by a charming hotel and a museum recreating the guesthouse where the novel takes place: one can pay a visit to the dorms, the kitchen, the study room and library… with furniture and decoration of that time, the beginning of the 19th century.
La Casa de la Troya

Barcelona: “The Shadow of the Wind” , the novel by Carlos Ruiz Zafón released in 2001, has been a powerful motivation to visit the city where it was set: Barcelona. In this case visitors don’t have a specific nationality as the novel has been a global success: it sold over 6 million copies throughout the world.

Sintra: “Annihilation”, the first book of the trilogy of Jeff Vandermeer, “The Southern Reach” seems to have used a tower in Sintra as inspiration for his Area X tower-tunnel. This fiction creation was a NYT-bestseller in 2014. (Annihilation, Authority, and Acceptance)

The Shadow of the Wind

Lisboa. Bertrand Bookshop ChiadoLisbon and Porto: Bookstore lovers have 2 small paradises in Lisbon and Porto.
Livraria Bertrand in Chiado is considered the oldest bookshop in the world. It opened in 1732 and was the origin of the present bookstore chain with shops all over Portugal and Spain. The old shop in Rua Garrett, 73 is still the most beautiful.

Livraria Lelo & Irmaos is one of the nicest in the world thanks –also- to a spectacular staircase that seems to have inspired Harry Potter’s J.K. Rowling when creating the staircase at Hogwarts. The author lived in Porto during her youth, taught English at a language school and visited Livreria Lelo often.