7 Beautiful Filming Locations on the Croatian Adriatic
Dubrovnik… or better yet: Little Hollywood in the south of the Adriatic? As everyone already knows, the cultural and historical pearl of Dalmatia played perfectly its King’s Landing part during the eight seasons of Game of Thrones, where exciting plots, intrigues and battles for power and supremacy over the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros took place. More than 15 city locations have been immortalized in the episodes of the iconic HBO series, including the Pile Bay, the Fort Lovrijenac, the Fortress Bokar, the Trsteno Arboretum and the Church of St. Dominic where the anthological scene of Cersei Lannister’s walk of shame was filmed.
This millennial city was also the filming location for Borgia and Casanova and the latest Hollywood version of Robin Hood. But Dubrovnik is not just the ideal backdrop for epic stories with historical or fantasy overtones. Exciting space adventures also took place here! In The Last Jedi, the eighth chapter of the Star Wars saga, Dubrovnik is transformed into the galactic gambling city of Canto Bight, which becomes the scene of a tense film chase. In short, Dubrovnik is a true star!
It was only a matter of time before the beautiful island of Korčula caught the eye of filmmakers and producers across the pond. The acclaimed American series Succession has found an ideal background in the town of Korčula. In the last episodes of the second season one can recognize the old town, the Cathedral of St. Mark, but also the prestigious local restaurant Cupido. After Korčula, the Succession team continued their Adriatic tour, so some of the scenes were also filmed in Cavtat and in the vicinity of Dubrovnik. After all, fashionable Mediterranean locations are an ideal setting for a story about the adventures of a high society family, right?
The island of Vis entered the Hollywood map in style, thanks to the popular musical comedy Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again featuring stars such as Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Amanda Seyfried and Andy Garcia. Most of the film’s cast actually stayed at the various locations on the island during the filming in 2017, and we have no reason not to believe that the Croatian Mediterranean left them breathless (aside from singing Abba’s hits). Admittedly, the (non) arrival of the Hollywood Queen Merryl was shrouded in mystery all the time, but still, that is a story for a different occasion. Thanks to this film hit, the bay of Barjoška in Vis was nicknamed “Mamma Mia Beach”, and in 2018 the island of Vis was part of the prestigious selection for the best European filming location.
Split as Ibiza? That is possible as well, at least in Netflix’s romantic comedy in which the city at the foot of the Marjan Hill played the popular Spanish party destination. Apart from Split, Ibiza was filmed on the Zrće beach on Pag Island, another favourite destination of partygoers. Quite appropriate, we would say. Split also served as a filming location of a completely different project, the SF drama Bliss, starring the well-known Salma Hayek and Owen Wilson. The film has yet to experience its premiere, and it was shot on Split’s main promenade Riva and Prokurative. The story of Bliss seems truly intriguing, and follows the heroine who thinks that the world we live in is not real at all. No worries, the locations in Split are real for sure.
What does Pag make you think of? Most of us will say summer, holiday, sunbathing, beaches… But in the TV series The Terror, produced by the famous Ridley Scott, this Croatian island got a completely unexpected outfit. A lavish adventure series, with hints of horror in its first season, deals with the mysterious disappearance of a royal naval expedition in Arctic waters in the 19th century. Believe it or not, it was the island of Pag that acted out the icy polar wasteland, all thanks to the visual effects geniuses. While watching the series, you probably won’t immediately recognize Pag’s locations, but it will be certainly fun to see a completely different appearance of our island – which, fortunately, is completely unreal.
The fabulous Opatija served as one of the filming locations of a biographical drama about Princess Diana, so dearly missed. Of course, the Kvarner “queen of tourism” was visited on this occasion by the famous actress Naomi Watts, who played the leading role in the story about the last two years of Lady Di’s life. The luxurious architecture of Opatija fits perfectly into the aesthetics of the film, and many viewers will surely recognize the aristocratic views and interiors of the famous hotels Kvarner and Imperial.
Rovinj is famous for its sunsets, rich sacral heritage, picturesque narrow streets, beautiful beaches and culinary delights – and lately as a film stage. Samuel L. Jackson, Ryan Reynolds and Salma Hayek (who obviously got to know the Croatian coast very well) visited this beautiful Istrian town last year, when filming the action spectacle The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard. Judging by their Instagram profiles, the famous cast fell in love with Rovinj at first sight. Anyone who has visited it at least once knows very well that this is nothing out of the ordinary.