The Good, The Bad and The Ugly: Provencal Colorado, Rustrel, Vaucluse
Western are your jam. And as going to the Far West is a bit hard these days you’ll have to stick with the PACA region. Former industrial area, this open sky ocher quarry became a huge touristic place for landscape buff. And if you want to add realism to your experience (yes you can bring your hat) it is possible to do horse trekk here. Yipaaa!
Hunger Games: Abraxas, Noisy-le-Grand, Seine-Saint-Denis
It’s well known, for the last movie the staff dumped their cameras and microphones in Ile de France. More precisely in Les Espaces d’Abraxas, created between 1978 and 1983 by the architect Ricardo Bofill. And if you want to discover even more set from the movie you can go to Saint-Hilarion, less than an hour and a half by car, where you’ll find Voisin Castle, headquarter of President Snow. May the odds be in your favour.
Beauty and The Beast: Conques, Aveyron
Ranked as one of the most beautiful villages in France with its abbey church and its bridge ranked «world heritage» by UNESCO Conques is no less than the town that inspired the sets for Disney’s live-action Beauty and The Beast. Located in the South of France and nested in a verdant patch it’s the perfect place for peaceful holidays. But if you prefer North and you still want some cute little half-timbered houses you can choose to go to Alsace for the same effect. However, if you cross path with a talking teacup, you’ll have to ask yourself some serious questions…
Robin Hood: Paimpont Forest, Ille-et-Vilaine
Almost always associated with Brocéliande Forest (so often that the writer of this article didn’t know its real name) you’ll discover here more than 222 acres, perfect for an enchanting walk. Composed mostly of Oaks, Pines and Beeches this Breton forest will let you dream of amazing adventures against the Sheriff of Nottingham without risking having all your economies stolen in the process. And if you love Arthurian legends you can even try to pull Excalibur out of its rock.
Lord of the Rings: Larzac’s Causse, Aveyron
Back in the South, in Larzac plateau where plains and rock formations stretch as far as the eye could see. Ranked by UNESCO as a «world heritage» you won’t meet any Elf or Dwarf but some deers and boars. With snow during winter and warm days during summer, it’s almost like New-Zealand. Close your eyes and maybe you’ll hear Uruk-Hai running as if the very whips of their masters were behind them.
Brokeback Mountain: Massifs the Pyrénées or the Alps
The choice is yours. Okay, we’re far away for cowboys and rodeo but you can still guard herds of sheep or ride horses. South West of France for the Pyrénnées and East for the Alps, they are the most famous mountains chains in the country. If you’re on a budget chose the first one and in any case, go during summer if you want to be closer to the movie. It’s up to you to camp, alone or not but small advice, don’t cheat on your partner, you saw how it ended…
Donkey Skin: Chambord Castle, Loir-et-Cher
If this magnificent movie was mostly shot in Chambord you still have the choice between almost 3 000 monuments spread all along the Loire. Ranked « world heritage » by UNESCO (again!), Loire Valley will fulfil your needs for a royal runaway according to your architectural taste. It is not sure however that you’ll meet a fairy godmother.
Harry Potter : Etretat, Seine-Maritime
Okay here you’ll need a bit more imagination but it could work! Of course, no Hogwarts in Normandy (or maybe there is one but our muggle eyes are deceiving us) but gigantic cliffs reminding the ones in Half-Blood Prince. Add to this a city full of cute little picturesque houses and you’re almost in Hogsmeade. You could always try to visit everything on a broomstick but it would probably take a while…