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Shooting films in Spain

Nine destinations from behind the lens

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Films and TV series filmed in Spain

While walking around the streets in Spain, perceptive lovers of the seventh art will be surprised when they recognise the settings of their favourite films and series. Whether it is due to the nice weather or wide variety of locations, Spain has played a key role from the start of the international film industry. It had a decisive influence on western cinema with a European feel—Spaghetti Westerns—and has been used for all kinds of projects imaginable. Different spots in Spain have been transformed into futuristic settings and its monuments have portrayed stories from the distance past. It has captivated great international directors such as Woody Allen, Ridley Scott and Steven Spielberg. Not to mention the homegrown talent of Pedro Almodóvar, Alex de la Iglesia and Juan Antonio Bayona, who always travel around Spain to shoot their films. Spain is a film set from the north to the south, and all you need to do is to keep your eyes peeled and know where to look.We’re going to suggest nine settings to visit, although the list could be much longer.

  • Plaza de España, Seville

    From a galaxy far, far away to Seville

    Star Wars is one of the most famous sagas in the history of cinema. But perhaps not everyone has noticed that the Plaza de España in Seville features in Episode II: Attack of the Clones.  This Seville landmark was the setting George Lucas chose to film the arrival of Senator Amidala, Anakin Skywalker and R2D2 on the planet of Naboo.

  • Castle of Zafra, Guadalajara

    Zafra Castle, witness to the birth of a king

    Starting in the fifth season, Game of Thrones filmed scenes in many locations all over Spain. The later seasons were shot in several places in Catalonia, Castilla-La Mancha, the Region of Valencia, Navarre, Extremadura and Andalusia. Zafra Castle in Guadalajara was particularly important, as the setting where one of the show’s best-kept secrets was revealed: Jon Snow’s true lineage.

  • Plaza de Cibeles in Madrid

    Witchcraft in Navarre and the charms of Madrid

    Witching and Bitching by Alex de Iglesia follows two unemployed men who commit a robbery and while escaping end up in the Zugarramurdi woods of Navarre. They are captured by a horde of witches and have to use all their ingenuity to escape. While filming the duo’s trials and tribulations the director used the most important streets in Madrid and the film travels all around Spain’s capital.

  • Views of the Roque Nublo from Tejeda, Gran Canaria

    Tejeda, setting of a not-so-distant future

    Episode after episode, Black Mirror examines the relationship between society and technology. The science fiction series has gained recognition from audiences for its stories about different hypothetical versions of the near future. Tejeda in Gran Canaria was the main setting of the sixth episode of the third season. “Hated in the Nation”, directed by James Hawes, was filmed in the old town centre and busiest streets of Tejeda.

  • Lanzarote coast

    In search of the white whale of the Atlantic Ocean.

    Alajeró (La Gomera) and Yaiza (Lanzarote) were two of the destinations chosen by Ron Howard as the setting for In the Heart of the Sea. Based on the real events that inspired Moby Dick, Howard examines the consequences of the encounter between the fishermen and the gigantic whale. Part of the Canary Islands became the backdrop for this story, which portrays the terrifying but majestic aspect of the sea.

  • Filming in the Tabernas desert

    The paranormal side of the Tabernas desert

    The Tabernas desert in Almería has been the scene of several film shoots. In the golden age of Westerns, several international productions were filmed here to recreate the Wild West. Despite the genre’s decline, Tabernas is still one of the locations of choice for foreign directors. One of the most famous recent series shot here was the third and final series of horror drama Penny Dreadful.

  • Sierra Nevada, Granada

    Travelling in the Tardis around Spain

    Since Doctor Who began in the 1960s it has transported its audience to different points in time and to different places around the world. In 2012, the filming team went to Almería and Granada to film scenes for the seventh season. Since then, the Sierra Nevada, Granada and the Tabernas desert in Almería have been recurring locations in the stories of The Doctor. In later years, the British series has started filming in more places around Spain, such as Fuerteventura, Tenerife and Lanzarote.

  • View of Toledo

    The geography of Spain through Almodóvar

    The story of Julieta is a journey through the life of the protagonist, and also through the country of the director. Throughout the three decades in which the story is set, Pedro Almodóvar takes the audience on a journey with Julieta: from Toledo to Madrid, passing through Galicia, Aragon and Andalusia. The camera captures the landscapes of Castilla-La Mancha from the window of a train as she travels to the fishing village of Redes in Coruña. The story moves on to the Andalusian locations of Sanlúcar la Mayor and Mairena de Alcor, the Pyrenees in Aragon, and ends in Madrid.But Julieta is just one example - places all over Spain have played their part in Almodóvar’s many films.

  • Alicante Town Hall

    Alicante through the lens of Ridley Scott

    The Counsellor tells the story of a lawyer who gets involved in a drug trafficking operation to raise money for his wedding. Ridley Scott reflects on power, ambition, life and death while visiting several different points around Spain. It was shot in various locations in the province of Alicante, including the city of Alicante, Elche, Pego, Fontcalent and Altea. He also went to Bardenas Reales in Navarre, to film scenes involving the American-Mexican border, and to Jumillas in Murcia.

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