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While certainly not the most high-brow of televisual entertainment, ITV2’s reality TV show Love Island was certainly a major hit this summer in the UK. And despite the exact location being kept secret, searches for flights to Mallorca surged as the series reached its climax. It was eventually revealed that the super-luxury villa featured in the show was set on the outskirts of Sant Llorenc, a small sleepy town on the east side of the island. This meant easy access to the posh hotels and restaurants in nearby Cala Ratjada, Son Servera, and Cala Bona, where most of the couples’ ‘romantic dates’ were shot.
The runaway success of this BBC mini-series also sent bookings to the island soaring. And it’s no surprise, with the drama showcasing some of the island’s finest spots, most famously the restaurant ‘kidnapping’ scene. This was shot in the gorgeous rocky cove of Cala Deia, in the Ca’s Patro March restaurant that overlooks the water. The series also featured the pretty Pine Walk in the upscale resort of Port de Pollensa, while Roper’s lair is a former fortress on the bay’s headland (called La Fortaleza and one of the most valuable properties in Spain). Several places in Palma also stood in for Madrid, including the super-atmospheric Sadrassana restaurant in Plaça de Drassanes and Café Moderno in Plaça de Santa Eulàlia.
Based on the best-selling book by Jojo Moyes, Me Before You is the the story of love blossoming between a paralysed billionaire (Sam Claflin) and his carer (Emilia Clarke AKA the ‘Mother of Dragons’ from Game of Thrones). In the movie the couple head to Mauritius for a romantic getaway, but look a little closer and you can make the crystal-clear water and pine-fringed beach of Formentor. Sam Claflin (who also starred in The Hunger Games) was quoted as saying “this place truly was one of the most amazing places I’d ever visited,” and it’s easy to see why. Scenes also include shots inside the nearby five-star Barceló Formentor Hotel, as well as various locations around the capital, Palma.
With a budget of around $100 million and starring the likes of Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugh Grant, and Susan Sarandon, Cloud Atlas is one of the biggest movies to be partly shot on the island. As well as being another movie adaptation of a hugely popular novel, it also has the island impersonating other destinations – doubling for New Zealand and Hawaii. Locations included the secluded mountain cove of Sa Calobra, the picturesque Port de Sóller, and the seriously photogenic Formentor. Quick fact: During filming Halle Berry broke her foot whilst walking in the hills around Sóller and they were forced to use a body double for some scenes.
When the makers of the movie version of the cult teen-comedy series The Inbetweeners were looking for somewhere that captured the booze-fuelled mayhem of Malia in Crete, where better to go than Magaluf? Charting the hapless holiday shenanigans of four teenage boys, the notorious party resort provided all the necessary tat and cheese factor for the filming. Being shot in February, however, meant scantily-clothes actors having to grin and bear the winter cold in swimwear.
Based on the classic horror novella “Turn of the Screw” by Henry James, this movie featured a stella cast that included Harvey Keitel, Lauren Bacall, and Jude Law. The spectacular country estate of Raixa, located in the foothills of the Tramuntana mountains, provided the perfect backdrop for this spooky 19th-century ghost story. Parts of the property date back to the 13th century, while more recent additions include faux ruins, a manmade grotto, a neo-Arabic mirador, and a neoclassical temple. The estate is open to the public during the summer months, and entry is free.
This movie caused a major stir at the time in being the first Spanish film to show a bikini-clad lady. In fact two women were shown in a brief shot in the two-piece beachwear, that until a few years previous had been banned on Spanish beaches (by the notoriously conservative Franco regime). The story involves the summer affair of a bored heiress (played by German actress Elke Sommer) and a surly pianist (Arturo Fernández), and includes some superb shots around the city of Palma and of course its surrounding bay. The film was also a huge success in Germany and some say was largely responsible for inspiring the arrival of the first wave of German tourists on the island’s shores.