With the Oscars just held over the weekend, wouldn’t it be wonderful to travel to some of the spectacular locations where some of these movies were filmed at? The Scott Dunn team has shortlisted several destinations based on four incredible locations that served as the backdrops for films nominated at the 95th Academy Awards.
In Martin McDonaugh’s The Banshees of Inisherin, main characters Pádraic and Colm are often seen walking along the Achill Island coastlines – a decision motivated by the director’s desire to capture the beauty of Ireland. On the other hand, An Cailin Ciuin (The Quiet Girl), was mainly filmed in the capital city of Dublin, revealing Ireland’s more urban side. Whether you’re looking to relax along the coastlines or experience the urban charm and craic of the Emerald Isle, Scott Dunn has the perfect plan for you to experience the bewitching beauty of Ireland’s West — along with the dancing streets of Dublin.
The Killarney National Park (see featured image) located down south in Kerry County offers a varied landscape filled with tall mountains, enchanting woodlands and beautiful waterfalls worthy of any fairytale. Here, the Scott Dunn team will arrange for you to partake in an exclusive, hands-on falconry experience where you can admire the colossal wingspans of the region’s magnificent birds. On top of that, you can also expect a privately-guided walk to explore the park’s most scenic spots, and even get the chance to embark on a kayaking trip through the surrounding limestone caves and small islands.
For the foodies, embark on a unique culinary adventure through County Cork you won’t want to miss. Here, you can visit a local Buffalo mozzarella farm to discover the art of making the iconic cheese, while tagging along with a local expert as you journey through the colourful mediaeval town of Kinsale to visit a range of different eateries and sample their delights for a true taste of the isle. And as you head back to the bustling city of Dublin, you can treat yourself to the best of Ireland’s liquid gold – and learn the process of making them – during the guided tour of Teelings Whiskey distillery, while looking forward to a specially arranged visit to the famous Guinness Storehouse which is known for being the home of the treasured Guinness archive.
When to visit: While Ireland’s weather can get quite erratic, the summer from May to late September is generally seen as the most pleasant time to visit. Rainfall is difficult to predict – but Ireland does not receive as much as many are led to believe.
The Celsus Library in Ephesus, Turkey
The chief site for Charlotte Wells’ widely acclaimed Aftersun was a resort town in Fethiye, located on Turkey’s south-west coast, with scenes shot at various attractive accommodations such as Telmessos Neva and Turk Hotel, as well as the Belcekiz Beach. Just like how protagonists Calum and Sophie were able to create precious memories with each other throughout the film, the Scott Dunn team — with their keen eye for detail — are always on hand to design a tailor-made itinerary that will fit any traveller. Families, for instance, would love an itinerary along the lines of this dual-centre itinerary.
As you arrive at Istanbul, you’ll be greeted by an indulgent private cruise along the grand Bosphorus River which runs through the length of Istanbul – a fantastic way to soak in the sights and gain your bearings on this majestic city. A city undoubtedly rich in history, Scott Dunn’s travel experts are at hand to take you and your family through the highlights of the storied capital, such as the Topkapi Palace and the majestic Haghia Sophi — they can even arrange for you to reside in some of the city’s best lodgings, such as the Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at the Bosphorus.
Afterwards, you’ll set out down south to the bedazzling Bodrum peninsula which, with its long stretching golden coastlines and elegant marinas, presents the perfect backdrop for you to strap up your scuba or snorkelling gear to swim through its crystal clear waters. There, you can also explore the ancient city of Ephesus and marvel at one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. One of the best preserved ancient sites in the world, the Ionian City still stands strong as a historical landmark and features several attractions such as the theatre, the Hadrian Gate, the Celsius Library, the Street of Curetes, the Fountain of Trajan and the Odeon.
When to Visit: Turkey has a comfortable year-round climate. Spring, running from March to May, is marked by mid to warm days, while the Turkish autumn is known for its cool nights. The best time to visit would be during its summer months from June through to August with its warm to hot days and pleasant evenings.
A valley in Drakensberg South Africa
While The Woman King tells the tale of Agojie female warriors who defended the West African Kingdom of Dahomey in the 17th to 19th century, the film was actually shot in Cape Town, South Africa. Known for its vast landscapes and a diversity of unique wildlife, the rainbow nation is truly a destination for your next great African adventure. Read on to discover one of Scott Dunn’s most magnificent itineraries, which will allow you to uncover South Africa’s greatest natural secrets up close.
The majestic Drakensberg presents one of the best gifts South Africa has to offer. One of the best ways to appreciate this region in luxury is at the Montusi Mountain Lodge where you can enjoy uninterrupted views of the iconic Amphitheatre; Scott Dunn’s seasoned experts have a rigorous checklist when it comes to properties that they recommend to guests, ensuring that every location they recommend is always top tier. Depending on your interests, Scott Dunn will assist you in customising your adventure with a selection of activities ranging from mountain biking through vast vistas to cantering into the river valley on horseback.
If you were amazed by the lion-hearted fearlessness of Dahomey’s female warriors, you’ll definitely enjoy revisiting the enthralling stories of the British Empire and Zulu warriors recounted by expert guides whilst exploring the breathtakingly beautiful scenery at Rorke’s Drift. There, you could also try a hand at fly-fishing and bike through the nature trails or even just let loose by spending your evenings relaxing on the deck and drinking wine around the crackling fire.
And for those truly seeking the road less travelled, you shouldn’t miss out on the opportunity to immerse yourself in the wildlife on a three-night safari expedition through the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi National Park at KwaZulu Natal. Here, you can explore nature with ease on a private safari alongside the most experienced guides secured especially for you by the Scott Dunn team, as you awaken your senses by tracking white rhinos while being encased with lush, vivid green vegetation.
When to visit: KwaZulu Natal boasts a sub-tropical climate and tends to enjoy sunshine year-round with hot and humid summers, from November to March and much milder winters from May to September than the rest of the country – the coastal line is typically blessed with around 300 days of sunshine while the elevation of the Drakensberg makes the temperature more moderate. During the rainy season, Drakensberg is likely to have thunderstorms and rain.
Mendoza serves as the heart of Argentina’s wine country
Shot in Buenos Aires, the recount of the famed Trial of the Juntas is mostly set around the Sala De Audiencias courtroom where the original trials took place. But if you’re keen to explore beyond the metropolitan backdrop depicted in the film, the Scott Dunn team has prepared an itinerary that allows you to uncover the life-affirming sceneries and savour the finest wines with visits to the most well-renowned vineyards in Argentina.
Composed of 275 different cascades, Iguazu Falls is recognised as the largest broken waterfall in the world – one of the first spots off of Scott Dunn’s extraordinary Argentinian programme. Here, the team has planned out a truly wet and wild, tailor-made actioner: kick things off by launching yourself into motorboats that venture up the Lower Iguazu Rapids towards the heart of the Falls before finishing off the experience on an absolute high by soaring over the falls on an exhilarating helicopter flight. And on the topic of taking to the skies, the Scott Dunn team strongly recommends you witness the Bariloche panorama at its best by hopping on a bi-plane right before sunset as you bask in the magical scene.
Wine connoisseurs can definitely look forward to visiting the Mendoza Wine Region where they can explore the region’s vineyards on foot, or even on a private bicycle tour, while also treating themselves to one of the finest gourmet cuisines Argentina has to offer. Francis Mallmann cooks up a storm in the restaurant Siete Fuegos at The Vines Resort & Spa in which seven outdoor fires contribute to the rustic cooking techniques that give the food its flair.
Up next in the programme is to experience the fervent city of Buenos Aires as you delve into the eclectic flair of the city on a private bicycle tour as you jump from one buzzing plaza to another through the city’s many vibrant neighbourhoods. After stopping along the way to devour piping hot empanadas and refreshing cervezas, our team has arranged for you to witness a cooking demonstration from Argentina’s very own Fernando Mayoral, before tantalising your tastebuds with an exquisite three-course dinner paired with the finest of wines. And for those into the fine arts, an itinerary prepared by the Scott Dunn team that includes a visit to the iconic Teatro Colon and a range of ateliers and studios hand-picked to suit your personal taste is something to look forward to.
When to visit: Although considered a year round destination, the water levels at Iguazu Falls can vary depending on rainfall – December to February tend to be wetter, compared to the driest months (June and July) – however, you’ll be rewarded with stunning vistas regardless of the season. You can expect plenty of sunshine almost all year round in Mendoza, with a similar dip in temperatures in winter months.
Images: Scott Dunn