Hollywood in Norway

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A view over Geiranger and Geirangerfjord in Norway.

As most of the world is spending time at home right now in quarantine, we’ve spent a lot more time watching movies. Films have been a wonderful way to escape the heaviness in the world right now by providing a way to venture outside the confines of our homes. We thought it would be fun to share some movies that are filmed here in Norway. Perhaps they will provide a little inspiration for your next vacation destination once the world opens up again.

A train crosses the kylling bridge as part of the Rauma Railway.
A train on the Rauma Railway going over Kylling bridge

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

While the magical wizarding world of Harry Potter is set in the UK, Norway makes two cameos in the 6th instalment of the franchise.

The first is the scene where the Hogwarts Express travels through a magical snowy landscape. This was filmed on the Rauma Railway near the village of Bjorli. The other scene filmed here is the one where Harry and Ron are talking about the unbreakable curse of Professor Snape. This was shot inside a train owned by the Norwegian Railway Club.

It is well worth a visit to this stunning area yourself. Climb aboard the Rauma Railway and journey through the stunning Norwegian countryside. Named by Lonely Planet as Europe’s most beautiful railway journey, it will reward even those who aren’t interested in following in the footsteps of Potter.

If you aren’t planning to take the scenic journey by train, we encourage you to drive through Romsdalen to see one of the most beautiful valleys in Norway. We think traveling through the valley from east to west offers the best views. Be sure to stop at Trollveggen (The Troll Wall) to see Europe’s tallest vertical rock face, popular with climbers.

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

One of the films from the original and iconic Star Wars trilogy contains scenes filmed in Norway. In the Empire Strikes Back, the epic battle that took place on the ice planet Hoth was actually shot in the Norwegian village of Finse and the nearby Hardangerjøkulen glacier. Hoth is the home of the Rebel Alliance’s secret Echo Base. At the start of the film, Luke Skywalker, riding his tauntaun, is attacked. Skywalker escapes and is rescued by Han Solo, when the Galactic Empire discovers the base. Scenes were filmed in sub-zero temperatures.

Should you decide to visit, Star Wars fans will easily recognize the landscape. We don’t recommend going in winter without a guide that is familiar with the area and weather conditions.

If you want to stay where the crew stayed during production, be sure to book a room at the hotel Finse 1222. The hotel hosts an annual Star Wars festival for Star Wars fans from around the world. For more information: Visit Hoth

Getting to Finse is a beautiful journey in and of itself. Take the famous Flåm Railway up to Myrdal. At Myrdal board the Bergen Railway to Finse. See you in Hoth!

The exterior of the Havila Hotel Geiranger in Geiranger, Norway.
The Havila Hotel, Geiranger, Norway

The Wave

This film might not be on your radar as it’s not as well-known as the two previous films we listed.  It is however a fantastic natural disaster film that offers stunning (and admittedly terrifying) imagery of the famous Norwegian fjord, Geiranger.

The story takes place in Norway Excursion’s home county of Møre og Romsdal on the shores of Geirangerfjord, in the village of Geiranger, and inside the Havila Hotel Geiranger. The film is not only inspired by a tsunami that devastated a village in Tafjord in 1934, but also a genuine threat to the villages of Hellesylt and Geiranger. There is a crevice in Åkerneset mountain on Geirangerfjord that is constantly being monitored for movement. When the rock falls into the fjord below it will trigger a tsunami that will place Geiranger and Helleyslt in grave danger. Not to worry though, small sensors have been placed on the rock that register when the rock moves. Scientists believe that the mountain will give warning before it erupts.

The protagonist is a geologist named Kristian. It is his last day of work at the monitoring station for Åkerneset when disaster strikes. There is a massive rockslide into the fjord, triggering the tsunami Kristian has always feared. The film follows Kristian as he tries to get his family to higher ground.

The Geirangerfjord is one of the most famous and most beautiful fjords in all of Norway. We offer guided excursions in and around this special place: Geiranger excursions

A view of the natural landscape surrounding the Juvet Landscape Hotel in Valldal, Norway.
View near the Juvet Landscape Hotel, Norway

Ex Machina

The science fiction thriller “Ex Machina” was filmed in Norway Excursion’s home county of Møre og Romsdal at the beautiful Juvet Landscape Hotel. In the film, computer programmer Caleb wins a contest that enables him to stay in the private estate of his mega-wealthy boss Nathan. When he arrives, he learns that he has been chosen to be the human component in a test to evaluate the AI of robot girl Ava.

The Juvet Landscape Hotel is located in the beautiful area of Valldal, famous in Norway for its delicious strawberries. The majority of this film takes place on this beautiful property. The hotel was designed by Norwegian architects Jensen & Skodyin. The hotel’s design exploits the breathtaking scenery with minimal intervention. Small individual houses distributed throughout the terrain take advantage of the natural beauty and provide a sense of privacy.

Valldal is not far from the mountaineering capital of Åndalsnes, home of Trollveggen (The Troll Wall). We recommend that you drive the Norwegian Scenic Route Trollstigen to or from the Juvet Landscape Hotel. Passing visitors are often drawn to Valldal to see the spectacular waterfall and gorge at Gudbrandsjuvet. Although Norway Excursions does not visit the hotel itself, we do offer many guided excursions of the area that include Gudbrandsjuvet, Trollstigen, and Trollveggen. Our most popular excursion that includes . all three is our From Fjords to Trolls tour.

The famous Kon-Tiki raft on display inside of the Kon-Tiki Museum in Oslo, Norway.
Kon-Tiki raft, Kon-Tiki Museum, Oslo, Norway

Kon-Tiki

This film tells the true tale of the harrowing journey of Norwegian adventurer Thor Heyerdahl. Heyerdahl suspects that the South Sea Islands were originally colonized by South Americans and not by peoples migrating from the west as prevailing theories suggested. Heyerdahl puts his theory to the test and builds a balsawood raft using the same techniques that would have been utilized at the time. Though he himself is unable to swim or sail, Heyerdahl sets out with 6 men and a parrot from Peru to Polynesia. We recommend this film to anyone who is a fan of adventure and exploration. We won’t spoil the story, but you are able to view the Kon Tiki raft and other artifacts at the Kon-Tiki Museum in Oslo.

 

Upcoming releases to look out for:

A dramatic view of one of the bridges that make up the Atlantic Ocean Road, Norway.
Atlantic Ocean Road, Norway

No Time to Die

The release of James Bond’s latest adventure has been delayed three times already due to the Coronavirus pandemic, but it is now expected in October of 2021. This film is greatly anticipated as it will be the last time that Daniel Craig plays the role of agent 007. The film contains several locations in Norway.

In this film, James Bond has retired in Jamaica when he is given another mission to save a scientist. This instalment of the franchise also includes Oscar winning actor, Rami Malek. In the trailer, we see Rami’s villain character chase someone across a frozen lake. This is lake Langvann and is located near the village of Hakadal, just north of Oslo.

Another Norwegian location you will discover in this film is the famed, Atlantic Ocean Road. This feat of modern engineering connects the island of Averøy with the mainland via a series of islets. If you happen to be visiting on a particularly stormy day, even better! The road will be even more dramatic as waves crash against the wild and winding road. Our excursions in Molde will take you along this road in style, just like 007…well maybe a bit less dramatic.

The small village of Hellesylt, Norway not far from the famous Geirangerfjord.
Hellesylt, Norway

Mission Impossible 7

The Mission Impossible franchise came back to Norway last summer after including Norway’s famous Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock) in Mission Impossible 6. Tom Cruise and crew returned last summer under very strict Coronavirus infection control measures.

The crew stayed and filmed in the small village of Helleyslt, in Norway Excursion’s home county of Møre og Romsdal. Here they filmed many aerial stunts involving helicopters and motorcycle jumps.

With major studios using Norway as a backdrop in recent years for other films such as “Dune” and “Tenet”, we’re sure to see more of this gem of Scandinavia appear on the silver screen. While this is certainly not an exhaustive list of films with settings in Norway, it’s a good introduction to the incredible and varied landscapes of this gorgeous country.

 

 

 

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