Star Wars Guide To Travel

Star Wars Guide To Travel

With mere weeks until the release of Solo: A Star Wars Story, the new Han Solo Star Wars spin-off, the excitement is palpable as die-hard fans of the Jedi wait to see which far off galaxy their beloved hero will take them.

To celebrate the new film (out in theatres on May 25th), which by the way coincides with the 41st anniversary of Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, the team at The Travel Corporation Canada hand-picked the movie’s very real-world shooting locations, along with vacations, that will allow travellers to visit a galaxy, far, far away without ever having to leave Earth. Millennium Falcon not included.

Canary Islands

Star Wars Guide To Travel - Canary Islands

Could Fuerteventura, one of the Canary Islands off the north coast of Africa, be where fans will finally get a glimpse of Corellia, Han Solo’s home planet? The sandy deserts and volcanic landscape of the island mirror that of the fictional planet. It’s believed that filming took place in the Costa Calma area of the island which boasts kilometers of white sand and calm turquoise waters. Adventurists, like our hero Han Solo, will be in paradise as long sunny days, intense wind, and waves up to two metres mean that the island has a long tradition of windsurfing and kite surfing.

Northern Italy

Northern Italy

Set against 18 otherworldly peaks that cover 350,000 acres, it’s no wonder why the cast and crew flew to the breathtaking Dolomites mountain range to film for a week. Located in northeastern Italy, this dramatic rocky rooftop boasts some of Europe’s most stunning panorama views. It’s been reported that the towering Monte Piana, standing 2,324 meters tall, will be the setting for several key scenes including an undisclosed “violent brawl”. Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy’s most exclusive ski resort and a beautiful alpine haven during summer, was also used as a shooting location – in particular the First World War trenches located above the town that were used in the crucial battles fought on the mountains. Fans can be forgiven if they feel a sense of déjà vu. Italy was also used in past films in which Lake Como served as Naboo for the secret wedding between Anakin and Queen Padmé Amidala and where Obi-Wan and Anakin lightsabered it out against the backdrop of Mount Etna. For those looking to recreate key scenes in Italy, opt for Insight Vacations’ 11-day ‘Country Roads of Northern Italy’ journey that explores the mighty Dolomites where you can surround yourself with the towering cathedrals of rock, Cortina d’Ampezzo where you’ll stay in a traditionally built Ampezzano-style hotel complete with wooden balconies, Lake Como, Milan, Venice and Verona.

London, UK

Star Wars Guide To Travel - London UK

It might not possess the beauty of Endor (though, real estate prices are likely similar to those on Cato Neimoidia), London or rather Pinewood Studios, located 30 kilometres outside of the English capital served as the main shoot location for much of the film – as it did for Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens. Unless you’re in the company of galactic royalty, the studio is largely closed off to the public. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make the most out of being in the vicinity where magic was made. After all, there is a very real-world royal event taking place. Explore London on Trafalgar’s 8-day ‘London Explorer’ trip that offers plenty of free time to amble through the city’s treasured sights and sounds. In between visiting Westminster Abbey and Borough Food Market, snag a pair of Madame Tussauds tickets through Evan Evans, unless you like waiting in line for hours, and envelope yourself in the famous wax museum’s Star Wars Experience. This unique and immersive experience stars extraordinarily life-like wax figures of our favourite heroes and villains of Star Wars Episodes I-VI. Here you’ll be able to explore a galaxy of locations, including the swamps of Dagobah, Jabba’s Throne Room and the flight deck of the Millennium Falcon.

Tunisia

Star Wars Guide To Travel - Tunisia

Scorching sun, sparsely populated and the desert as far as the eye can see. No this isn’t Tatooine, we’re talking about Tunisia. From a balmy, sand-fringed Mediterranean coast to Saharan sand seas, it’s no wonder why George Lucas and team decided to film the first six Star Wars movies here. In fact, the name Tatooine got its namesake from the real town of Tataouine, located in southern Tunisia that boasts below-ground ‘cave dwellings’ designed by the native Berber population for coolness and protection. Although it played a central role in the movie series, no actual shots were filmed in town. For those that want to make a pilgrimage to Luke Skywalker’s home, head over to Hotel Sidi Driss located in the village of Matmâta. It was used in A New Hope and in following years, fell into obscurity but has now been restored to its former glory, Star Wars decorations and all.

Tikal, Guatemala

Star Wars Guide To Travel - Tikal Guatemala

Dating back as far as the 4th century BC, Tikal was once one of the most powerful kingdoms of the ancient Maya civilization. Located in what is now the northern part of the Guatemalan rainforest, this ancient cultural centre is to the Latin American country what the Great Pyramids are to Egypt. The city flourished between 200 and 850 A.D. and its iconic ruins of temples and palaces include the giant, ceremonial Lost World (Mundo Perdido) Pyramid and the Temple of the Grand Jaguar. But Star Wars fans may recognize it as Yavin 4, the jungle-covered fourth moon where Luke, Han Solo and crew land the Millennium Falcon in A New Hope. It’s from here that our heroes launch their attack on the Death Star. In fact, the shot where a Rebel oversees the Millennium Falcon landing on Yavin was taken on top of a building known as Temple IV looking east where Temples I, II and III can be seen on film. Fans hoping to recreate this memorable scene can join Contiki’s 13-day ‘Sol Seeker’ adventure. Like Han and crew, you too can take in the breathtaking view atop Temple IV at daybreak and perhaps even try to summon the Force, before making a daring escape by way of ziplining around treetops at the Jungle Lodge. You’ll also get all the vitamin D you need while exploring the unique cultures of Mexico, Belize and of course, Guatemala.

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