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7 Star Wars Locations you Have to Visit

Star Wars

What better way to celebrate the recent release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, than by paying homage to the incredible locations in which the movies were filmed? And no, we’re not talking about a galaxy far, far away – these spots are firmly on planet earth.

From Guatemala to Abu Dhabi to Iceland, may the force be with you as you travel around these must-visit Star Wars locations.


WHERE? Mývatn Lake and Krafla
FEATURED IN: Episode VII, The Force Awakens

Rumoured to be where the huge snowy battles and forsaken winter scenes were shot, the volcanic region of Krafla and the milky-blue lagoons of Mývatn Lake together make the perfect wintry getaway. Both locations are easy to reach via Iceland’s Route 1 ring road, which is accessible from the country’s capital, Reykjavik - a great place to stopover en route to New York.

HOW TO DO IT: Stopover in Iceland for two nights on your way to the Big Apple.

Abu Dhabi

WHERE? The Empty Quarter
FEATURED IN: Episode VII, The Force Awakens

Abu Dhabi’s vast desert surrounds, known as The Empty Quarter, could not have been a better choice to portray the otherworldly region of Jakku. Less than two hours outside of the city, it’s not just a great location for practising your light sabre technique – here you can go quad-biking, buggying, camel riding and sandboarding too!

HOW TO DO IT: Experience a three-night beach holiday at The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi with our range of Escapes. Speak to your Travel Consultant about adding a trip out to the desert for dune-bashing.

California, USA

WHERE? Death Valley National Park
FEATURED IN: Episode IV: A New Hope

When Luke Skywalker roared across the desert in his landspeeder in search of R2-D2, Mark Hamill (and his stunt double) were actually speeding through California’s Death Valley National Park. Shots of Dante’s View and Desolation Canyon were spliced together with Tunisian desert scenes to create the Jundland Wastes in Tatooine.

HOW TO DO IT: On our tailor-made California & Canyons Journey, you’ll enjoy a 10-night holiday exploring the west, including one night in Death Valley National Park.


WHERE? Tikal National Park
FEATURED IN: Episode IV: A New Hope

According to Wookieepedia, the ancient Mayan site of Tikal was used as the filming location for the jungle-clad moon known as Yavin 4. Before moving to Hoth, the Alliance set up base here as they plotted to restore the Republic.

HOW TO DO IT: Fly into Guatemala to discover a land of unique wildlife, peaceful stretches of beach and ancient ruins.


WHERE? Hardangerjøkulen glacier, Finse
FEATURED IN: Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back

Where better to bring to life the vision of a fictional ice planet than on a glacier? That’s exactly what Lucas did on Hardangerjøkulen, Norway’s sixth largest ice sheet. The Finse spot featured at the beginning of the film, when the Rebel Alliance battled the Imperial Forces.

HOW TO DO IT: You have to apply to visit the remote Hardangerjøkulen, but there are plenty of other, more accessible, glaciers, such as Nigard and Briksdal. Speak to your Travel Consultant about our range of Europe holidays today.


WHERE? Caserta Palace, Naples
FEATURED IN: Episode I: The Phantom Menace

The grand Caserta Palace was transformed into Queen Amidala’s royal residence on Naboo for The Phantom Menace. It was chosen for its grand halls and stairways, intricate columns and Baroque design, and immense size: if we’re talking volume it’s actually the largest royal residence in the world.

HOW TO DO IT: Fly to Rome and spend a long weekend exploring The Eternal City before catching the hour-long train down to Naples.


WHERE? Guilin
FEATURED IN: Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

Guilin – or as it’s known in Star Wars: Kashyyyk or ‘Wookie Planet C’ – is one of China’s most postcard-perfect cities. Located in the south, it boasts a beautiful backdrop of dramatic karst mountains and forest-clad hillsides that give it an almost ethereal feel.

HOW TO DO IT: Visit Guilin on our Best of China holiday. This 14-day Journey also incorporates Beijing, Xi’an, Yueluowan, Yangshuo and Shanghai.

Written by Alexandra Cronin (Gregg)

Once a roving local news reporter and now a travel-obsessed writer/sub, I'm head-over-heels for nature, wildlife and the ocean. When I'm not getting up close to animals and sea creatures, I'm seeking out the sets of my favourite TV shows around the world. 

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