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Silver Screen Seashores: Iconic movie beaches

You’ve wondered how movie location scouts uncover the stunningly beautiful beaches they do. Now go there.

The movies treat us to spectacular locations whose true glory is enhanced even more on the big screen. Rainforests from jungle adventures, arid wastelands from Westerns, and dazzling beaches from the James Bonds movies to Mamma Mia, and Pirates of the Caribbean to Harry Potter. Jungles and wastelands may not appear on the typical traveller’s itinerary, but beaches from famous movies are true tourist magnets.

The Beach – Maya Bay, Kho Phi Phi Le Island, Thailand

The secret shore of Leonardo Di Caprio’s adventure drama caper was shot at Maya Bay on Kho Phi Phi Le, one of the Phi Phi group of islands off Phuket. As stunningly beautiful as it appears in the movie, Maya Bay is surrounded by high cliffs on three sides and several small beaches, some that appear only during low tide. Talk about hidden beaches!

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl – Petit Tabac, St. Vincent and the Grenadines

If you’ve watched the movie, recollect the scene where Jack Sparrow and Elizabeth Swann are stranded on the same island where Jack was stranded before. The wily captain wouldn’t mind being stranded on the same island twice, with gorgeous company to boot. You would too if you visit this tiny island beach version of paradise with shallow waters, sunny skies and pristine blue water. It’s also nicknamed ‘Pirates of the Caribbean Island’.

Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows 2 – Freshwater West, Wales

The poignancy of the scene where Dobby dies in Harry’s arms has a befitting real-life backdrop. One of Wale’s premier surfing beaches, Freshwater West Beach features in two Harry Potter films and has enticed other filmmakers to shoot on its flat sandy landscape fringed by rocky outcrops, namely, the 2010 Russell Crowe-starrer, Robin Hood, and 1978’s The Thief of Baghdad. Don’t go looking for the Shell Cottage you see in the picture. It was only a movie prop, removed post-filming.

Cast Away – Monuriki, Fiji

By KhufuOsiris – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=37836136

The epic survival drama starring Tom Hanks was shot at a verdant location that continues to look and feel as verdant and remote when you first saw it on screen. Monuriki is a small, uninhabited island off the coast of Viti Levu, Fiji’s largest island. Incidentally, a Castaway Island actually exists not far from Monuriki. The tiny island, measuring just over a kilometre long and 600 metres wide, is a major attraction for tourists who make day trips to relive their own cast away experience.

Mamma Mia! – Damouchari, Skopelos Island, Greece

Meryl Streep, Abba hits and a Greek cove make for an irresistible cinematic trio. Talking of the latter, portions of Mamma Mia! were filmed at Damouchari village on the Greek Island of Skopelos. A website for the village notes, ‘The producers of the film needed a place that resembled 1980 since the action takes place at that time. It was only consequent to choose Damouchari which had conserved the charm of earlier years without traffic and high-rise buildings.’ The island’s inhabitants played extras in the film! The quaint Greek village vibe with its picture postcard harbour and splendid weather, and above all, the fame it gained after Mamma Mia! make Damouchari a must-visit destination when in Greece.

We’re at the end of our voyage across the oceans. Discover little-known wonders, help your kids to learn with fun, watch blockbuster ocean flicks, meet the saviours of our oceans, and have an ocean-filled weekend if your part of the world is not in lockdown!

Deetox.com is going to the ocean

This week, Deetox.com takes you on an exciting, enlightening and entertaining voyage across the oceans. Follow us through June 22 to June 28 as we deep-dive into the mysteries and wonders of the vast water bodies that make our planet blue, create ocean-inspired crafts, and examine ocean-themed pop culture. All hands on deck!

By Romeo Coutinho

Rationalist, truth seeker, full time writer, part time dreamer.

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