This Country Has Europe’s Best Movie Locations. Here’s How To Visit


The European Film Commissions Network (EUFCN) has unveiled its shortlist for Europe’s best filming location of 2023. For the first time, a single country dominates the list.

With what was termed ‘one of the biggest stunts in movie history’, epic mountains that come alive, and the rugged mountains that provided the backdrop to a rich family’s struggles, Norway took three of the five nominations.

“These nominations once again confirm Norway’s status as a premier filming destination, with dramatic and spectacular nature, fantastic infrastructure, and the strength of our professional suppliers and crew base,” said Meghan Beaton, national film commissioner at the Norwegian Film Commission.

Although the winner won’t be revealed for several months, the shortlist is sure to drive tourism interest in the three Norwegian locations, two of which are easy to access.

Helsetkopen in Mission: Impossible

Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One highlighted the beauty of Norway’s ‘Møre og Romsdal’ region to the world. Scenes supposedly taking place in locations as diverse as the Austrian Alps and the high mountains of Kashmir were filmed in Norway, showcasing the country’s diverse landscapes.

But amid all the remarkable scenery, it was the mountain Helsetkopen that stole the show. Regarded as the biggest production ever filmed in Norway, the scene involved a daring motorcycle jump from Tom Cruise off the 4,000-foot peak.

Hundreds of Norwegian professionals were involved in the scene, which involved transporting scaffolding, platforms, and generators up to the top of the mountain plateau.

Writer and director Christopher McQuarrie believes it was worthwhile: “Norway’s scale and beauty have left an indelible and defining imprint on our film and reminded us that anything is possible.”

62 Nord Adventures runs a guided group hiking experience from Hellesylt, allowing visitors to follow in the footsteps of Cruise. The 7.5-mile roundtrip hike passes through green forests, beautiful waterfalls, and an old summer farm on the way up to Helsetkopen.

Jotunheimen National Park in Troll

This 440-square-mile national park in Central Norway is home to Norway’s highest peaks. It’s long been a popular site for adventure tourism with glacier hiking, cycling, rafting, and mountain climbing among the activities on offer.

In 2023, the stark beauty of the Jotunheimen mountains, and in particular the region’s mythology, were presented to a much broader audience in the Netflix creature-feature Troll. Filming actually took place in multiple locations across Norway, but it’s the most iconic scenes shot among the mountains that secured the nomination.

To visit Jotunheimen, consider basing yourself in Lom. The so-called ‘national park village’ boasts several good accommodation options, eateries, an impressive stave church, and knowledgeable locals to help you plan your forays into the mountain trails. You’ll need a car to make the most of your time in Jotunheimen.

Romsdalen Gondola in Succession

Åndalsnes has long been a favored destination among Norwegian mountaineers, so much so that it’s home to the Norwegian Mountaineering Center. The spectacular views offered of the town of Åndalsnes, the lush Rauma valley, and the surrounding fjords were only available to keen hikers, until recently.

Although first talked about in the 1960s, it took until 2021 for the Romsdalen Gondola to open. The stunning cable car ride and views at the summit lured producers of hit TV drama Succession to base an episode of the final season there.

According to producer Scott Ferguson, the production team thought the dramatic setting of Norway would be the ideal place for the family drama to unfold: “Norway is a glorious, natural setting. It immediately seemed like a perfect place for a family gathering in the series. We studied different countries, but we realized Norway just has this exceptional landscape—like nowhere else in the world.”

Taking the gondola is straightforward. It’s open year-round and the lower station is just steps from Åndalsnes railway station, which connects to the Oslo-Trondheim line at Dombås. The train journey known as the Rauma line, featured in the Mission: Impossible movie mentioned earlier, is widely considered one of Norway’s best.

Some scenes in Succession were also filmed at the Atlantic Ocean Road, and the iconic Juvet Landscape Hotel, a location previously nominated for its role in Alex Garland’s Ex Machina.

Competition From Portugal, Ireland

These three Norwegian locations are up against stiff competition to be crowned Europe’s best filming location for 2023. Portugal’s Hotel Parque de Rio, and Inis Mór, the largest of Ireland’s Aran Islands, are the other shortlisted locations.

Last year’s winner was Chiliadou Beach on the island of Evia in Greece, which featured in Ruben Ostlund’s film Triangle of Sadness, winner of the Palme D’Or at Cannes 2022 and four European Film Awards.



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