At the occasion of Saint Valentine’s day, I would like to list 10 of the best romance movies shot at amazing bucket list locations. Some of the travel romance movies I’ve selected are based on books that I am going to mention for all the book lovers as well. However, if you already have met your travel mate and you share the same passion for movies and travelling, just get yourself comfortable and enjoy my list.
First travel romance movie shot in Georgia and Azerbaijan is “Ali and Nino”
The story of the Georgian Orthodox Christian wealthy Kipiani descendant Nino and Azeri Muslim Ali Khan Shirvanshir has left me speechless. Their true love crosses the borders of Georgia and Azerbaijan and even beyond. Neither religion nor a public scandal has impacted their determination to be together for better and for worse until death does them part.
In the end, Ali Khan Shirvanshir died aged 24 having fought for his homeland Azerbaijan, while Nino and her daughter escaped to Paris, and never returned to Azerbaijan neither Georgia.
Therefore, I am not going to tell you the whole story based on Kurban Said’s novel of the same name as you should absolutely watch it yourself. You will get a romantic feeling of the movie if you listen to the soundtrack by Dario Marianelli.
This travel romance movie is shot between Georgia and Azerbaijan and if you want to know more about this beautiful love story, put Batumi in Georgia on your Bucket list to see the statue of Ali and Nino.
Second travel romance movie: Love me if you dare (Jeux d’enfants)
Love me is you dare if shot in Paris and is my favourite romantic movie because, on one hand, it screenplays my favourite actress Marion Cotillard playing together with her husband in real life Guillaume Canet and on the other hand the plot itself is amazing!
Sophie and Julien grow up together playing a game of dares that pushes them to do a bunch of funny and crazy things that, unfortunately (or on the contrary) cannot stop as they grow older. The game of dares puts them in situations that might even ruin their own lives. Do you think they will dare to love each other? Watch the movie till the end!
No book has preceded the movie, however, the Love theme by Philippe Rombi is worth listening.
Third travel romance movie: Call me by your name in Italy
I was really sceptical before watching the movie, but I have to say that I am really empathic to the pain both parties improve at the end of the first movie. Because I heard that this unusual love story is to be continued.
Call Me by Your Name follows the evolution of the romantic drama between the young Elio and Oliver, a 24-year-old assistant to Elio’s father who comes to spend the summer in their house in Italy while helping Elio’s father to do archaeological research.
It’s a great romantic movie about a stormy passion shot in Italy, a must-do destination to fall in love, to be in love and to heal after a breakup no matter the season.
The movie Call Me by Your Name is based on the novel of the same name by André Aciman.
The next travel romance movie on my list is the Barber of Siberia.
I have to admit that The Barber of Siberia is a sad movie with no happy end…However, this Russian classic shows how deep is the Russian soul and what is it capable of doing in the name of love.
Long story short: Jane Callahan an American lady goes to Russia together with the engineer Douglas McCracken who is looking for sponsorship for his invention.
Jane meets two men who will play an important role in her life – the young cadet Andrey Tolstoy and General Radlov. Needless to say that both of them fall in love with her. They become enemies and will fight for Jane’s love. After spending a night with Tolstoy, Jane promises to marry him. However, later on, she denies her promises in front of the General in order to make him arrange a meeting for her and Douglas McCracken with the Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovich. Furious, Tolstoy challenges the General to a duel, but the man in power sends Tolstoy to an exile in Siberia.
The movie ends showing Jane riding a horse in the endless Siberian taiga after seeing the place where Tolstoy lives with his family. She finally reveals the heavy secret of her heart to her son whose father is Andrey Tolstoy.
The fifth travel romance movie: “The Goat Horn” brings us somewhere in Bulgaria
The Goat Horn is a Bulgarian drama. The movie is set in 17th Century Bulgaria under the Ottoman empire. The main character – Kara Ivan’s wife is raped and killed by four Turkish rich locals. Kara Ivan is forced to raise his daughter as a boy and to train her to defend herself if needed. After ten years it’s time to take revenge.
Father and daughter duo find and kill three of the four criminals. At each body, they leave a goat horn as a witness of their revenge. While they are trying to kill the last one at his house, Maria sees a love scene and discovers her feminity. She starts wearing women dresses and enjoys her identity. She accidentally falls in love with a young shepherd and starts seeing him secretly. When Kara Ivan discovers that Maria has changed, it is already late. He discovers Maria’s secret affair and kills the young man. By the same token, Maria inflicts on her life afterwards.
The movie ends showing Kara Ivan holding the dead body of Maria in his arms under the emblematic Bulgarian soundtrack.
The Goat Horn is considered being a Bulgarian classic and the movie is really worth watching.
Sixth travel romnce movie: Cairo Time
This is a typical vacation platonic affair between Juliette and her guide during her stay in Cairo Tareq.
Juliette arrives in Egypt to spend few days with her husband Mark, a UN representative working at refugee camps in the Gaza strip. Busy with his job Mark asks a friend of him – Tareq to guide Juliette in Cairo and its main attractions. As Mark cannot leave his responsibilities at work, Juliette spends all her free time in Egypt with Tareq.
Although the relationship between the two of them remains platonic, Juliette admits that she will miss him once back to Canada.
Juliette and Tareq visit the Pyramids of Giza — a special moment that Mark wanted to share with Juliette. However, Juliette visits the Pyramids with Tareq. When they return back to Juliette’s hotel, they find out that Mark has finally arrived. Mark is happy to see Juliette, while for her and Tareq this is the end of their travel romance.
A Christmas love story or a travel romance story in New York? : Serendipity
During Christmas in New York, Jonathan encounters Sara while they are about to buy the same pair of gloves. They are not single, but, a “click” leads them for a coffee to Serendipity 3. Sara believes that fate plays a huge role in her life. They encounter each other again when they both return to the cafe to pick up things they have forgotten. As this is with no doubt a matter of fate, they spend more time together. Immediately after they exchange phone numbers Sara’s gets blown into the wind. She considers this as a bad sign and suggests that if they are meant to be together the universe will reunite them.
She decides to put their name and phone number on a $5 bill and the other on the end page of a book. If each finds the other’s item they are meant to be together. A few years later, both are about to get married. As their respective wedding dates approach they start to reconnect somehow.
Sara is in New York and goes to Serendipity 3 together with her friend Eve. The $5 bill given to Eve in change has Jonathan’s contact details. Jonathan gets as a gift from his fiancee the same book that has Sara’s phone number. He and his friend Dean fly to San Francisco to find her. Jonathan sees a woman at Sara’s house who he thinks is Sara but is Sara’s sister with her boyfriend. Jonathan starts doubting that he has to get married. Onboard a plane to return to San Francisco, Sara finds Eve’s wallet with the $5 bill of Jonathan in her bag. She tries to find his apartment and his neighbours inform her that his wedding has been cancelled.
Jonathan is in Central Park and comes upon a bench at the ice rink that has a jacket Sara had left beforehand. There is also one glove left. He admires the falling snow and another glove falls on his chest. Finally, he sees Sara again. In the end, Sara and Jonathan celebrate their anniversary at the same spot where they first met.
With no doubts, New York in winter is a must-do travel romance destination and having a coffee at Serendipity will be the best of it!
Twenty years, two people “One day” by David Nicholls
I watched “One Day” at least twenty times and I also have the book. I have to say that the love story of Emma and Dexter is a love story of soulmates. The movie chronicles the evolution of the relationship between Emma and Dex during twenty years. First, they are friends from college and more they endure the hardships of life and make compromises with themselves, the more they discover that they are meant one for another. The moral of the story is that very often we do not follow what our soul is telling us, but instead are searching for physical comfort.
The best quote of the movie for me remains Ian’s last words he says to Dexter while meeting him after Emma’s death:
“She (Emma) made you (Dexter) so decent and in return, you made her so happy and I (Ian) will be always grateful to you for that)”
There is a novel written by David Nicholls which end is slightly different, but nevertheless, I highly recommend the book as well. Needless to say that the movie is shot at lovely romantic locations as Edinburg, London and Paris of course.
Next on the list comes a multi-layers story of “Zuleikha opens her eyes”
Although I’ve made a complete review on the book and the series that followed, I have to say that the love story of Zuleikha that finds love at an expected place and under unimaginable circumstances proves once again that love is a matter of recognizing our soulmate. “Zuleikha opens her eyes” is a series and a book about hardships of life in a Gulag in Siberia where love comes to change the course of the grey everyday life To conclude on this love story, everyone meets his or her soulmate when one does not expect it at all.
I was born in Russia and I am dreaming about a round trip in this immense country one day.
Last travel romance movie shot between Poland and Paris: Cold War
Cold War is a movie about the passionate obsessive love between Zula and Wiktor in times of war.
According to me, the plot is extremely interesting: we see both main characters chasing one another in post World War II in Poland, East Berlin, former Yugoslavia and Paris. Both are artists – Wiktor is a talented music director and a pianist and Zula is an amazing singer. Nevertheless, their love story is more of an obsessive attraction intertwined with jealousy and alcohol. In my personal opinion, Zula does not know what she wants till the end, although Wiktor does everything for her in order to be with her, even he sacrifices his fingers (talent) to be with her.
In the end, Zula chooses suffering over happiness and convince Wiktor to get married in an abandoned church in front of God and to commit suicide afterwards to remain together forever.
If you like Polish cinema, it’s a very good travel romance movie in a post-war context.
Do you watch movies shot in amazing locations? Thanks for sharing your favourite travel romance movies!
Thanks for reading!