Deep breaths, Star Wars fans. The new film in the epic franchise comes out next month, and just like you, we have Star Wars and weddings on the brain. Sure we've seen our share of beyond creative, force-filled Star Wars weddings, but what about a Star Wars honeymoon? Honeymoons are no longer limited to time spent on the beach, basking in the sun, and toes in the sand. Honeymooners are looking for a different kind of adventure and your love of cult-favorite movie franchises is a great way to put a new twist on your travels. And you don't even have to go as far as the Dagobah system. We did the guesswork for you and rounded up the Star Wars filming locations ideal for a romantic honeymoon. Just bring the Han to your Leia.
“Star Wars fans have plenty to see in the United States and abroad,” says Lisa Iannucci, author of the upcoming book The Film & TV Lover's Travel Guide.
Bring a fun angle to your international travel plans and see the places where Star Wars filmed, such as Italy, Ireland, and the United Kingdom, among others. “There are websites that keep a running list of places where the films were shot. Putting together a film-inspired honeymoon is an awesome twist on the same-old, same-old beach honeymoon vacation. With a little research and planning, the force will be with the couple as soon as they say ‘I do’, says Iannucci.
The UK is home to some of the most romantic locations in the world, perfect for any couple that’s looking for historic charm and romance. “For those staying in London, take an easy day trip out to Puzzlewood Forest in Gloucestershire, which was the location for some of the most notorious Kylo Ren scenes in The Force Awakens,” says Kylie Carlson, International Academy of Wedding and Event Planning.
Couples that are looking to road trip their way through Scotland for their honeymoon should consider ending their travels at the tip-top of the country at the Isle of Skye. “This magical place boasts some of the most breathtaking landscapes you’re likely to see and is a rumored filming location for The Force Awakens. While it was reported that Scotland was used as a backdrop for the movie, the exact location was never revealed. However, rumors have always swirled that the Isle of Skye was the spot!” says Megan Velez, Destination Weddings Travel Group.
Donegal is like the hidden county of Ireland. One of the most northerly and (on paper) hard to reach, it is part of the Wild Atlantic Way. The Inishowen peninsula is the most northerly part of Donegal and it is here that Lucas FIlms decided to base the latest Star Wars installment. “The scenes from Star Wars were filmed directly opposite a little hidden gem of a beach called Tra Breaga, which is a sheltered bay with a beach that has the whitest, powdery sand you have ever seen,” says Tara Fay of Xena Productions Bespoke Events.
On a clear bright day, it is more magical than any beach in the Caribbean. “The beach is part of a peninsula called the Isle of Doagh and there is a replica famine village-based directly at the entrance to the beach. Even at the height of summer, the beach is fairly empty and you can walk and walk. The sea is the Atlantic Ocean so it is rather cold for swimming (all year) and there are also very strong currents,” says Fay. The ruins of a 16th-century castle called Carrickabraghy Castle are the perfect picture backdrop.
Kerry is the scene of another Star Wars epic—particularly, on Skellig Michael, a Unesco World Heritage site since 1996. Kerry is probably one of the most-visited counties in Ireland, but there are still some hidden gems and hotels that Irish people keep well-guarded for fear of not getting a booking themselves. “The Hotel Europe may not be the prettiest on the outside, but walk around the other side of it and you will see that it’s all glass down one side. You can enjoy views across the lakes of Killarney where you can take a day trip on a small private boat or relax in the outdoor heated pool, which overlooks the lake. Aiming for a really laid back honeymoon? Then you can simply laze about in the garden and take it all in,” says Fay.
Luxury travel service Zicasso hosts an 8-day tour of Ireland that is inspired by Star Wars and will include stays in Killarney, Galway, Donegal, and Dublin, including a night at the secret hotel in which the cast and crew stayed in during their time filming in Donegal. Traveling around the Ring of Kerry and over the Northern Atlantic waters, guests will reach the secluded island of Skellig Michael, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where Rey unites with Luke Skywalker at the end of Episode VII: The Force Awakens.
Lake Como, Italy
We may be visiting Lake Como in an attempt to stake out George Clooney’s villa, but there’s so much more to enjoy there. “Surrounded by hills and snow-capped mountains, Lake Como is considered one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. Consider a Star Wars-themed destination wedding at the Villa del Balbianello, which was used as the filming location for Anakin and Padme’s secret wedding in Attack of the Clones. Follow it up with a luxury honeymoon at one of the palace-turned-hotels that ring the shore—you may even spot a few celebrities,” says Alanna Smith, editor at TravelPirates.
The Maldives are known for extreme luxury and gorgeous backdrops, but there’s also a really fun Star Wars tie-in to enjoy. “Everyone wants to visit the Maldives, and for good reason. The cast and crew of Rogue One certainly enjoyed their paradisiacal stay while filming a climactic battle sequence at the Laamu Atoll. There is only one resort in the Laamu Atoll—the Eco Luxury Resort Six Senses Laamu—and with its overwater bungalows and private location, there’s no better place for a honeymoon,” says Smith.
Croatia is the backdrop for more than one epic fantasy series. “In addition to representing King’s Landing from Game of Thrones, the city of Dubrovnik also doubled as an unknown planet for the newest Star Wars film. Plan a honeymoon in Croatia before it becomes overrun with tourists. You can easily find cliffside hotels with beautiful ocean views for less than $150 a night,” says Smith.
An alternative option, also via tour group Zicasso, is a 9-day tour of Croatia that includes overnight stays in Dubrovnik, Korcula, Hvar, Brac and Split, the city of Dubrovnik especially serves particular importance to the Star Wars universe as the setting for the new fantastical casino city of Canto Bight.
From Blue Lagoon Spa to the Northern Lights, there’s a lot to appreciate in Iceland. “Iceland was already heating up as a destination before it appeared in a Star Wars film, but it remains an extremely budget-friendly honeymoon destination. Grab round-trip flights from the East or West Coasts for under $300, and rent a car so you can get up close and personal with the country’s many natural wonders—and with Rogue One filming locations,” says Smith.
Go for the sights and opulence, stay for the nerdy Star Wars fun. “Take a break from your cityscape honeymoon in Abu Dhabi and head to the Rub’ al Khali desert for a sandy adventure. Heroine Rey and her home planet of Jakku were introduced here when The Force Awakens filmed here,” says Carlson.