The many picturesque planets and worlds which make up Star Wars are not as out of reach as one might think. That’s to say, there’s no need to travel across galaxies to experience the landscapes and scenery as shown in the films.
Whether you choose to drive through the rolling dunes of an Abu Dhabi desert or catch the sunset across the vast horizon of Bolivia’s longest salt plains, you’re sure to be transported to another world.
May the force be with you on your next adventure.
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” (2015)
Puzzlewood, England: The magical Star Wars forest
Star Wars fans will recognize Puzzlewood as the location of an intense battle between Rey and Kylo Ren in “The Force Awakens.” It also will come as no surprise that this mystic forest provided J.R.R. Tolkien and J.K. Rowling with inspiration for “The Lord of the Rings” and “Harry Potter.”
This enchantingly beautiful 14-acre woodland site serves as a tourist attraction and is located near Coleford, in the Forest of Dean of Gloucestershire, England. Nineteenth-century walkways provide access to the forest and make for a picturesque walk for those who come to explore. These ancient woods will transcend any traveller to a different time and place.
Rub’ al Khali desert, Abu Dhabi: Planet Jakku
Abu Dhabi’s Rub’ al Khali desert features as the desert planet of Jakku and home to heroine Rey in Star Wars’ “The Force Awakens.”
Rub’ al Khali desert, also known as “the Empty Quarter,” is located an hour and a half drive from Abu Dhabi and covers most of the southern region of the Arabian Peninsula. Expanding across 650,000 kilometres, it is the world’s largest continuous sand desert. Travellers often camp here or take a drive through the rolling dunes, for an experience like no other.
Lake Myvatn, Iceland: Battleground between the First Order and the Resistance
Battlegrounds for an epic war between two worlds, or a relaxing tourist getaway? Lake Myvatn has been both. Located in northeast Iceland, Myvatn is a volcanic lake, which was featured in the epic battle scene between the First Order and the Resistance in “The Force Awakens.”
Lake Myvatn also serves as natural hot springs, and its surrounding area is one of Iceland’s most popular tourist destinations. The shallow lake was created 2,300 years ago from a volcanic eruption. Not too far away is Krafla Volcano, another popular tourist spot, which was also featured in the battle scene.
“Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi” (2017)
Skellig Michael, Ireland: Planet Ahch-To
Skellig Island, better known to Star Wars fans as Planet Ahch-To, is featured in the dramatic final scene of Star Wars’ eighth film, “The Force Awakens.” Fans will also recognize the islands as Luke Skywalker’s home in the most recent film, “The Last Jedi.”
The beautiful Skellig Island is found 12 kilometres off the coast of Portmagee in County Kerry, Ireland. Founded as far back as the 7th century, the island has been a centre of monastic life for Irish Christian monks for 600 years. UNESCO included the island’s Celtic monastery as a World Heritage Site in 1996 for its universal value. Towering 218 feet above sea level, the island’s incredible height and rocky terrain are ideal for hikers. TripAdvisor offers both landing and eco tours to Skellig Island, so travellers can now visit this majestic island and see the beauty for themselves.
Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia: Planet Crait
It’s not hard to see why Sakar de Uyuni was chosen to be Star Wars’ mineral plant of Crait in the film, “The Last Jedi.” This vast expansive land of glistening white salt looks like a far away galaxy and seems to suit the Star Wars world more than our own.
At nearly 11,000-square-kilometres, Salar de Uyuni, located in Positi, southwest Bolivia, is the world’s largest salt flat. Close to 4,000 metres above sea level, prehistoric lakes evaporated centuries ago, leaving behind this desert-like terrain. With views as far as the eye can see, these salt plains make for a popular tourist destination.
Dubrovnik, Croatia: The Casino City, Canto Bight
Another UNESCO World Heritage Site, Dubrovnik, has been featured in many different movies and TV shows. This seaside city has been featured in Game of Thrones, James Bond and Robin Hood. It was also filmed as Star Wars’ casino city, Canto Bight in “The Last Jedi.”
Dubrovnik, found along southern Croatia’s Adriatic Sea, has created a name for itself as the Pearl of the Adriatic and is now one of the most popular tourist destinations along the Mediterranean. The old town-feel of the medieval 16th-century limestone walls and the incredible view of crystal clear waters are sure to dazzle. There’s no wonder so many travellers are drawn here.
Similar content on CanadianTraveller.com: