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FLIGHTS OF FANTASY From the hills of Tuscany to Greece's coves, Audrey Kane shares some wanderlust inspiring movies

With travel still something of a temporary minefield, for the moment films are the next best mode of transportation 


Mamma Mia

Mamma Mia

Mamma Mia

With travel still something of a temporary minefield, for the moment films are the next best mode of transportation

1. Mamma Mia: Greece

This sunny tribute to Abba is escapism wrapped up in a musical.

It's set on the fictional island of Kalokairi, but was actually filmed on Skopelos island in Greece. And the crystal clear Mediterranean waters that lovebirds Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) and Sky (Dominic Cooper) frolic about in will have you dusting off the suitcase from the attic in no time.

The cast also includes Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth and Meryl Streep and features the striking Agios Ioannis church where Sophie and Sky are due to be married. The quaint Chapel of St. John sits above a 100-metre cliff face with 202 steps leading to a summit boasting breathtaking coastal views - not somewhere you want to climb in a heatwave or heels.

For now we can but dream about romping on a sandy sunny beach and drinking an iced frappé (not at the same time) singing: "You can dance, you can jive, having the time of your life."



2.Wild: Pacific Northwest, USA

For some, travel inspiration comes from the sight of golden beaches on the screen, while others are more drawn towards a life-changing road trip pulling out a bloodied toenail.

If the latter is your bag, then Wild starring Reese Witherspoon as Cheryl Strayed is the perfect flight of fancy. It follows the inexperienced hiker trying to turn her life around on a trek over 1,100 miles on the Pacific Crest Trail taking in the Mojave Desert, the Sierra Nevada, and Mount Hood National Forest. While the movie topic itself is an emotional journey, the scenery is spectacular. It will make you want to pack up your middle aisle Aldi hiking boots and your emotional baggage and hit the road.



3. In Bruges: Belgium

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Bruges provides a beautiful backdrop for this bitterly funny black comedy which takes in architectural delights like the famous Belfry as well as canal trips.

The locations are so much a part of the film, it's like Bruges itself is playing a leading role. The crime caper also stars Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson as two hitman (Ray and Ken, respectively) awaiting instructions from their hard-boiled boss, Harry, played by Ralph Fiennes.

Even though Ray thinks Bruges is a "s***hole", the film still manages to flaunt the medieval city with hitmen on holiday.



4. Under the Tuscan Sun: Italy

Let's be totally honest here, it's not a great film. It is, however, pure escapist fiction providing a nice scenic getaway - something we all need.

Diane Lane plays Frances, an American divorcee who ends up in a broken down villa in Tuscany, where all the men are drop-dead gorgeous (of course). But the real star is the jaw-dropping countryside and if you can't get to see its vineyards and ancient architecture for yourself just now, this is the next best thing.



5. Lost in Translation: Japan

There's nothing quite like an epic on-screen travel adventure to get you acquainted with a far-flung destination. Set in Tokyo, Lost In Translation starring Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson does just that. Transported to a stylish hotel, the two mismatched travellers strike up an unlikely friendship and form a poignant bond that is strengthened through their shared experiences of Tokyo. Between the scenes of peaceful temples and bustling city streets, this heartbreakingly sad romance will have you longing for a change of scenery while dreaming up an enviable vacation itinerary.

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