From iconic Bond films to extravagant Hollywood blockbusters, superyachts have often played a starring role allowing us to imagine life aboard these luxury vessels. This time, it's the backdrop that takes the star billing as we embark on a cinematic journey, delving into some of the best superyacht destinations around the world that have featured in movies.
From sun-soaked Mediterranean havens to the exotic hideaways, here’s our top picks of some of the most popular superyacht destinations that have graced our screens over the years.
The Lost Daughter
Just a two hours’ hop from Athens lies the charming pine-clad island of Spetses. Home to a raft of pretty beaches, rustic summer tavernas and vivid blue-green waters, the island created the picture-perfect setting for Maggie Gyllenhaal’s directorial debut The Lost Daughter, starring Oscar-winner Olivia Coleman as the inscrutable Leda.
Part of Greece’s Saronic archipelago, the tiny island covers a mere 10 square miles, with most of the action concentrated on the charming black and white mosaic esplanade in its eponymous capital on the island’s east coast. Here, the town's narrow cobbled streets, awash with bustling cafes and bars that spill onto the pavements, meander around the gleaming white neoclassical red-roofed kapetanospita that line the scalloped harbor.
Sometimes referred to as the "Greek Monaco", the island has played host to a number of prominent figures over the years. From Charles and Di, who spent part of their honeymoon here to the wedding of King Constantine’s son Prince Nicholas in 2010. With its dappled, pine-scented walkways and relaxed cafe vibe that ebbs and flows with the seasons, Spetses is quintessentially Greek, yet with perceptible influences from its Venetian and Ottoman rulers.
There is a summer bus that circles the island, however most people get around by bike or on foot. There are also a number of idyllic beaches only accessible by boat, including the whimsical Zogheria Beach where the majority of the filming took place, characterized by its gentle sloping sands and cool green waters.
For those looking for a little more glamor, Paradise Beach is run by the Poseidonion, an elegant hotel modeled on Cannes’ famed Ritz Carlton Hotel, and boasts an excellent restaurant, perfect for a spot of lunch with stunning views across the water.
Italy’s largest island boasts a veritable feast of cultural gems, however it is often for its more recent, darker past that lures visitors to its shores.
High in the hills of the Sicilian countryside is where you’ll find the iconic locations made famous by Francis Ford Coppola’s Godfather trilogy, which form the backdrops for some of the movies’ most memorable scenes.
Although the real Italian don’s family came from Corleone, filmmakers deemed the town too overcrowded to shoot the classic 1972 gangster movie, choosing to foreground the beautiful hilltop villages of Savoca and Forza d'Agrò instead.
There are limousine tours that take you and your guests from the harbor to Forzà d'Agrò near Taormina where many of the village scenes took place. Here you can visit the pretty Church of Santa Maria degli Angeli and the Convent of the Frati Minori Cappuccini featuring an underground crypt.
Some of the most memorable scenes take place in the small medieval commune of Savoca, where Godfather aficionados will instantly recognize Bar Vitelli, where Michael Corleone told Apollonia’s father who he really was as he declared his intention to marry his daughter.
The now instagram-worthy backdrops where the Corleone family et al ate, drank and worshiped remain largely unchanged today as you learn all about the years of tyrannical rule under the Siciian mafia, which has mercifully ceased to exert its influence over the beautiful Italian island.
Located a mere champagne cork’s pop away from Fiji’s largest island of Viti Levu, the tiny one-kilometer wide island of Monuriki is, quite simply, breathtaking. If you closed your eyes and imagined what paradise might look like, I would imagine it would look something like this.
Forming part of the Mamanuca Island group in the South Pacific Ocean, the tiny isle is home to stretches of bone white sands and stunning natural beauty that formed the backdrop for the Robert Zemeckis film Cast Away, starring Tom Hanks (and a basketball called Wilson). Surrounded by coral reefs, the island is the ideal jumping off point for excellent snorkeling and diving opportunities.
Fiji is its own utopian getaway, made up of an array of island groups awash with palm-strewn beaches surrounded by pellucid blue waters teeming with tropical marine flora and fauna. The volcanic islands also offer up a stunning tableau of lush interiors, welcoming locals and upscale resorts for a spot of heavenly pampering.
Part of the Sporades archipelago in the Aegean Sea, Skopelos is a small island awash with lush pine-scented trails, gleaming whitewashed buildings and cool blue-green waters. It was these qualities that inspired Mamma Mia’s film’s producers, instantly catapulting the island into the limelight upon the movie’s release.
Some of the most prominent landmarks that feature in the movie are the iconic chapel perched high on a rocky precipice at Agios Ioannis, as well as the beautiful beaches at Kastani and Glysteri. There are, of course, Mamma Mia! tours on offer, however chartering your own private crewed yacht is infinitely preferable, where you can cruise the different locations at your own pace while enjoying top notch service and luxury amenities.
Quintessentially Greek, Skopleos feels a million miles away from the hedonistic party islands of Mykonos and Santorini. Instead, there is a serene, relaxed vibe, with the main hub of Skopelos Town providing the bulk of the action. Featuring scores of dazzling white dwellings topped with terracotta tiles and splashes of vibrant bougainvillea, you will be instantly charmed from the moment you step ashore.
Skopelos Town’s sleepy harbor is lined with family-run tavernas, perfect for enjoying authentic Greek cuisine encompassing the freshest seafood plucked straight from the Aegean, or simply sipping a retsina as you watch a tangerine sun slip over the horizon.
Characterized by its cloud-wrapped conical peaks and heather-strewn landscapes, Glen Coe is perhaps the best known of Scotland's Highland glens. Providing the majestic mountainous backdrop for James Bond’s ancestral home “Skyfall” in the eponymous film, the misty glens of Glen Coe are a superlative example of nature at its finest.
Offering up some of the most beautiful cruising grounds the United Kingdom has to offer, Scotland has in enduring romantic appeal with its craggy coastline, medieval castles perched on every peninsula and deserted golden beaches, and has swiftly become a go-to destination for luxury yachts venturing away from the usual Mediterranean hotspots during the summer months.
For whisky connoisseurs, there is no better destination than the shores of Scotland, home to some of the world’s finest single malts. Encompassing Glen Coe and the Hebrides, a yacht charter here will allow you to experience some of the finest historic whisky distilleries in the world, as well as the chance of getting a round in at one of Scotland's many prestigious golf courses.
For nature lovers, Scotland's coastline is teeming with wildlife, where you and your guests may spot any number of magnificent fauna; from soaring eagles and majestic stags to seals, dolphins and maybe even an orca or two.
The Weekend Away
The beautiful and historic Croatian city of Split was the location du jour for the 2022 Netflix thriller The Weekend Away, starring Leighton Meester as a new mother who embarks on a weekend retreat with her best friend, before things quickly begin to unravel after her friend is found dead and she becomes the prime suspect.
Although filmed across a number of locations throughout Croatia, the sun-kissed city of Split was the predominant scene-stealer. Featuring an array of architecture covering the medieval, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque eras, as well as a number of UNESCO Heritage Sites, including the Roman-built Diocletian’s Palace that also enjoyed a star billing on the Game of Thrones, the coastal hotspot is often known for its moniker “Croatia’s jewel in the crown” for good reason.
Abounding in historic gems – with the ancient palace forming the living heart of Split’s Old Town – Croatia’s second-largest city also offers easy access to prestigious art galleries, high-end restaurants, trendy bars and beautiful beaches to keep you and your guests entertained.
Centrally located on the Dalmatian Coast, Split is easily accessible by yacht, with a raft of itinerary options to suit your needs - whether for one week, ten days or two week-plus charters.
The Talented Mr Ripley
Locally known as Isola Verde, or the Green Isle, Ischia’s vertiginous green-topped hills, picturesque towns and bougainvillea-draped landscapes offered the perfect backdrop for Patricia Highsmith’s global bestseller turned hit movie The Talented Mr Ripley, a psychological thriller starring Matt Damon, Jude Law, and the late Philip Seymour Hoffman. The island also featured in the 1963 historical drama Cleopatra, starring Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor.
While a number of locations along Italy's famed Amalfi Coast were used in the movie, Ischia is arguably one of the prettiest.
Renowned for its thermal springs and manicured gardens, the volcanic isle of Ischia is the largest island in the bay of Naples, but with an authentic italian air that belies its proximity to its more glitzy sister Capri.
With speeding vespas, bursts of effusive greetings and arm-folding nonna's leant against door frames, Ischia’s made-in-Italy appeal is clear to see. With numerous stretches of unspoilt beaches and lively towns each with their own characteristics – from its commercial heart of Ischia Porto to the old-world vibe of Ischia Ponte – the island is a haven for anyone hankering after a true taste of Italy.
For those that prefer the finer things in life, the island still boasts an array of luxury offerings to please the most discerning traveler, with fine dining, 5-star hotels and exclusive nightlife all readily available.
The island also offers plenty of pursuits; from enjoying a gelato along the pretty marina at Lacco Ameno and trekking up Mount Epomeo to strolling across to the iconic medieval castle of Aragonese, which sits on its own volcanic rock formation, accessible via a footbridge.
For incredible sunset views, Madonna del Soccorso’s whitewashed hilltop church is the place to be. Meanwhile, a stroll through the picturesque (and carless) fishing village of Sant’Angelo is a must while visiting the island.
If you’d like to learn more about any of the destinations mentioned in our article, please check out our comprehensive destination guides where you'll find lots of useful tips and ideas, as well as a selection of itineraries handpicked by experts with in-depth knowledge of the region.
Alternatively, if you're interested in booking a yacht charter, please speak with your preferred yacht charter broker today.