Grossing nearly $748.8 million worldwide, Aquaman is officially the third highest-earning movie in the DC Extended Universe, and experts predict it’ll soon overtake Wonder Woman which earned a huge $821 million at the box office. The film deserves its high-ticket sales, however once the credits rolled, we were not just left wondering whether Black Manta would return, but also left dreaming of a holiday.
Filmed largely on Australia’s Gold Coast, Aquaman’s land adventures span from the endless dessert in Morocco to a quaint village in Italy and it gave us all the wanderlust we needed for a dreary January evening. If you too were left yearning for your passport, fear not, we’ve pulled out five completely real travel destinations inspired by Aquaman that you should visit in 2019.
The Lost Chambers Aquarium
Of course, we can’t send you to the fictional city of Atlantis (trust us, we would if we could), however the technologically-advanced underwater metropolis is synonymous with Dubai’s famous hotel. Recently celebrating its 10-year anniversary, the architecturally-pleasing Atlantis, The Palm hotel and its wealth of facilities will ignite all your underwater fantasies.
To truly experience the Aquaman effect, be sure to check-in to one of the hotel’s Underwater Suites. Featuring floor-to-ceiling windows which look straight into the Ambassador Lagoon, you’ll feel just like Mera when you awake every morning.
During your stay, be sure to check out The Lost Chambers Aquarium that features ‘ancient ruins’ of the mythical city alongside 65,000 marine animals – including 14 different species of sharks. Oh, and to truly discover the majestic underwater habitants, we highly-recommend booking an ‘encounter’ experience. From swimming with dolphins to playing with sea lions and scuba diving with sharks, it’s the closest you’ll get to feeling just like Jason Momoa.
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Taormina in Sicily Italy
Venere Castle in Erice, Sicily
Remember when Aquaman and Mera are on the quest to find the lost trident of Atlan so they can unite the Seven Kingdoms and ultimately save land and sea? Well that beautiful Italian town they almost destroy was inspired by the quaint village of Erice in Sicily.
The Italian island is brimming with cobbled streets, picturesque fountains and authentic statues of royalty and historical figures – although the figures of Marcus Agrippa, Scipio Africanus and Romulus were all CGI and created solely for the film.
However, the pretty tiled cottages stacked high on hills complete with green shutters and terracotta tiles roofs are predictable for this Italian region, so you can feel as if you’re in the thrilling fight sequence every time you leave your hotel.
Talking of hotels, Belmond boasts two wonderful Sicilian properties which combine the country’s beautiful coastline with the hotel chain’s impeccable hospitality. Choose between Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo and Belmond Villa Sant’Andrea and we promise you’ll never look back.
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The Sahara Desert
The Empty Quarter
But why are Mera and Arthur in Italy in the first place? After they rather foolishly dive out of the airplane without parachutes and land in the endless orange desert dunes, the pair hunt down the Kingdom of the Deserters searching for the armoury where the trident was forged.
But forget all that – and don’t even get us started on the plot hole on how they escape the Sahara and end up in Sicily – instead let’s focus on the stunning desert scape. The golden sand-sea set against the sapphire sky, it’s a scene from a dream… but if you visit Morocco this view is a reality.
Filmed in the part of the Sahara that it shares with Morocco, these dunes are mesmerising, and you can actually visit them with tours departing from Marrakech. From camel treks to overnight experiences, the most popular escape is embarking from Marrakech to Fes, the country’s cultural capital. Making the trip via the desert includes an overnight stay in a traditional tent surrounded by the endless orange dunes. It’s a dinner party story which you can dine off for years.
An alternative to Morocco is the Middle East’s glorious Oman. Here you can fuse beach escape with authentic Arabian living, and of course, visit the golden ‘Empty Quarter’ where you canstay with a traditional Omani tribe and hear stories and learn the history of old Arabia. It’s the perfect destination for those who want a little bit of everything… In Oman, traditional souks, sea-views, mountain explores and desert wilderness is all rolled into one.
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Koh Yao Noi
James Bond Island
The scene where young Arthur is being taught how to fight by Vulko is set on a stunning beach where limestone boulders protrude from the sea. The sequence was filmed in New South Wales, Australia, however the picturesque scenery was edited into the clip during post-production.
But fear not, you can find vistas as beautiful as this in southern Thailand, particularly in the popular resort of Phuket. This gem in the Andaman Sea has more than 30 white-sand beaches and an abundance of choice when it comes to dining and accommodation. What’s more, it’s a great spot to island hop with multiple day-tours available as well as ferry ports which will take you to nearby destinations.
However for views of limestone formations, be sure to visit James Bond Island in Phang Nga Bay. Made famous by the British intelligence officer in The Man With The Golden Gun, the best way to lap up the views is via a traditional Thai long-tail boat.
Alternatively, head to Koh Samui and visit the Ang Thong National Marine Park. Made up of 42 islands, the park features endless views so don’t forget your camera… and your GoPro. The scenes underwater will rival Atlantis!
TO DISCOVER MORE ABOUT THAILAND, CLICK HERE
Fans of the DC comic may be puzzled by this one, however here’s a little bit of movie trivia for you superhero fans. Although Arthur Curry is from the fictional town of Amnesty Bay in Massachusetts, much of the filming was located on Australia’s Gold Coast. The crew built Aquaman’s father’s home on location at Hastings Point in New South Wales, while the lighthouse itself was another CGI masterpiece. Southport In Queensland is another film location which fans of Aquaman will recognise as Amnesty Bay’s Fish Co-Op and Sunken Galleon restaurant.
Although Amnesty Bay may be fictional, the beauty of the Gold Coast is 100 percent real. Expect long stretches of sandy beach, excellent surfind spots and an array of family-friendly activities such as Warner Bros Movie World theme park and Dreamworld, an amusement park and wildlife centre.
TO DISCOVER MORE ABOUT AUSTRALIA, CLICK HERE
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