Film locations in Granada + Almeria
Film locations in Granada and Almeria chosen by Hollywood directors. Over the last 100 years these locations have hosted many famous actors. 212 films are made in Granada province. Filming in this western area of Andalusia began in 1913.
In fact, in its heyday the region was making about 50 films each year.
North of Granada
The shoots were often located around Guadix and La Calahorra, North of Granada. By the 1960´s this area was an established location for Hollywood filmmakers. The main attraction being lower production costs.
The dramatic scenery offered an attractive Film locations, alternative from other locations in USA or Europe. Being able to have so many different settings in a relatively small distance is a huge advantage to film producers and directors.
Spanish Spaghetti Western
The provinces of Almeria & Granada have an immense geographical variety. Tabernas desert is a perfect set for Western films. Especially as it has rugged landscape and rock formations. These locations make an ideal backdrop.
Because of the amount of daylight hours in this area. This helps with long filming days.
Cabo de Gata
The beautiful Cabo de Gata beaches have also appeared in some films as well. Indiana Jones filmed by Steven Spielberg was shot along the coast. The stretch from Caboneras across to Rodalquilar.
Alcazaba de Almeria
The Alcazaba fortress in Almeria was used for a scene in ´Conan the Barbarian´ recreating an Arab bazaar. Sean Connery played James Bond in Never say never again. Almeria city was the set for some scenes in this 1983 film.
Films made in Granada & Almeria
- 1988 Indiana Jones & the last Crusade directed by Steven Speilberg starring Harrison Ford
- 1982 Conan the Barbarian starring Arnold Schwarzenegger
- 1975 The Wind & the Lion starring Sean Connery
- 1974 Stardust starring David Essex & Adam Faith
- 1970 Patton won 7 oscars. The main square in Almeria was one of the locations.
- 1967 Navajo Joe directed by Sergio Corbucci Starring Burt Reynolds
- 1966 The Good, the Bad & the Ugly with Clint Eastwood
- 1965 Dr Zhivago starring Omar Sharif
- 1962 Lawrence of Arabia starring Peter O’Toole and Anthony Quinn. The film won Oscars in 1963.
- 1933 Duck Soup by the Marx Brothers
Duck Soup had Film locations in the town of Loja. This balcony ´Mirador de Sylvania´ is in the Marx Brothers film. Although it appears for just 15 seconds in the film.
Earlier this year (2012) the mountains of Sierra Nevada in Granada were chosen as the location for snowy scenes of a film about the Venezuelan Simon Bolivar.
Casa del Cine
If you want to know more about this golden age of Andalusian Hollywood visit the Almeria film museum. The Casa del Cine de Almeria. Check opening times and guided visits as you need to book in advance.
So if you are a fan of Westerns, visit Tabernas Desert just outside Almeria. The only desert in Europe has been the location for many films and adverts. Such a unique scenery. Surprisingly it feels like you are in Arizona or Atacama rather than in Almeria.
Hi, Molly, In Navarra, they claim that Bardenas Reales is a desert, so Almeria may not have the only desert in Europe. I enjoy reading your posts.
I am writing about an adventure in Granada. Do you know the history of Isabella’s collection of Flemish paintings in la Capilla Real. I have heard that they were lost for quite awhile, stored behind an altar (?) and were re-discovered in the 20th Century, but I can find nothing on it. Best Regards, G
Thanks for reading!
The Bardenas Reales has desert landscapes although TurEspaña describe it as Semi Desert
Spain.info Bardenas Reales
The geographical description of Deserts is an arid ecosystems with less than 25 centimeters (10 inches) of precipitation a year. That is the key.. of course as things with global warming change the climate the Spanish landscape may alter and there maybe more desert in Spain. (sadly)
Exciting to hear about your writing. I am working on a new blog article about Queen Isabella´s life. Funny that this question crops up right now.
About the paintings in la Capilla Real, I havent been able to find anything specific about that.
I do know that Antonio Gallego Burin wrote a book in the 1950s about The Royal Chapel documenting in great detail all the artwork inside. He was an Art Historian and also Mayor of Granada too.
I also found this interesting piece about the Queens painter: https://jhna.org/articles/juan-de-flandes-and-his-financial-success-in-castile/
Best wishes from Granada
Apart from the top obvious sets which are now tourist attractions, my partner and I are keen to find the sets which are still totally abandoned. There is something about places where very few people go. You wouldn’t happen to know where any of these sites are?
I know the province of Almeria extremely well, usually the film sets are barely visited. This is not such a touristy region of Spain.
In the Tabernas desert and around Nijar there are plenty of film set locations that you can visit and probably no one else will be there.
There are also many film sets which are on private property so permissions would be required.
Thank you. Will try and search them out. 🙂
Hi Molly – I am looking for a tour in Spain that includes a visit to Mini Hollywood.
Do you have any suggestions?
Of course, I will send you all the details on email, Thanks
Does anybody know what the name of the castle is that David Essex filmed Stardust . Thanks Tina.
Of course, its La Calahorra which is in Granada province.
In the Marquesado area, near Gorafe.
They have used it more recently in the filming of the new Robocop film due out early 2019
Recently they have been filming game of thrones ! Love Almeria !
Yes the Alcazaba was a perfect location to film the 6th Series. I visit Almeria twice each year. Love the place
Congratulations for your interesting posts about Spain and Granada!
Almuñécar was also set in many movies, for example, “Action of tiger” with Van Johnson, Martine Carol and Sean Connery.
Thankyou! There are so many filming locations used in Granada & Almería provinces.. Almost too many to mention. Great for reminding about that film too!
I knew that some Westerns had been filmed in Almeria, but that is quite an impressive list of movies, Molly.
Do you happen to know why there hasn´t been much filming since the heyday of the Indiana Jones in the late 80s?
There have been many other films since the eighties made in and around Andalusia. This website has a massive wealth of information http://www.silver-screen-spain.com/ about English films made in Spain. You can see the titles by year & by City/province.
Ooh I think my husband would love “Mini Hollywood”, though I would rather visit that beautiful castle!
I just love Almeria! the hidden gem in western Andalusia.