Skip to main content

We promise these Dune filming locations aren’t actually swarming with Sandworms…

Dune filming locations

Dune Part 2 is due to hit the big screen in March, and we cannot wait to resume Paul, Jessica, and Chani’s adventures in the vast and futuristic world of Frank Herbert’s creation. Despite it being mostly sand, Dune is filled with some genuinely stunning cinematography, in part due to the equally stunning real life locations they were filmed in.

Is it crazy to say we want to spend a few weeks wandering the desert in stillsuits searching for the ‘Kwisatz Haderach’? No, we didn’t think so, so ahead of a very exciting second instalment, we’ve rounded up the real life Dune filming locations that you can visit for a magical time away from the chaos of the Harkonnens and real life.

Feeling inspired?

Where was the Last of Us filmed? Infectious travel destinations you need to visit

Where was the Last of Us filmed? Infectious travel destinations you need to visit

Read more

Vast differences

Dune’s filming locations are a matter of polar opposites: the two major areas are Jordan, a glistening and balmy desert state, and Norway, a vast, open, and wild country that holds a substantial chill. So, it’s the best of both worlds really because if you’re not a fan of hot weather you can head north, and if the cold chills you to the bone, you can head south!

Fjords and lakes of Norway

Image source:Contiki

Dune Part 1

Caladan – Norway

Set far into the future, the events of Dune take place across many different planets in a galaxy overseen by one Emperor. Caladan, the ancestral home of the Atreides family, is a lush and overflowing nation filled with greenlands, oceans, and fjords. A particularly broody scene features Timothée Chalamet walking alongside a gloomy beach.

The real life location for much of this planet was Norway (see above), specifically Kinn Island which is only inhabited by a couple of people and herds of goats. This quiet scenery perfectly depicts Caladan’s beautiful but empty land, and would make a tranquil getaway for anyone needing some alone time. Norway’s Stadlandet Peninsula also features as a backdrop for the dramas of Dune

Fun fact, the name Caladan is very similar to the latin name for Scotland, Caledonia, and Dune’s hypnotic soundtrack actually has notes of bagpipes played throughout!

Arrakis – Jordan

On to the main bit, Arrakis, or Dune as it’s nicknamed – the planet where it all goes down (for better or for worse). Denis Villeneuve really wanted to capture the mysticism of this spice-filled land, and so the cast and crew shot in a REAL desert! You can imagine the conditions: hot, windy, dry, sandy, but very, very beautiful. And despite the potential discomfort, the shots of Arrakis and the Fremen’s terf convey the pure and utter fascination we all felt when discovering Dune for the first time.

The rocky areas where the Fremen make their home, caves called ‘sietches’, were brought to life in Wadi Rum, a protected area of Jordan. The stones are cool and smooth and bring relief from the sprawling oranges of the desert sand. You may recognise this location from other franchises, like Star Wars (which Dune inspired), as it’s a popular Hollywood filming location. 

Arrakis – Abu Dhabi

For the wider shots of Arrakis, those that really capture the sprawling hostility of the desert and the emptiness of it, these were filmed in various locations around Abu Dhabi. The most prominent locations are the Liwa Desert in the southern most parts of the UAE, as well as the Qasr Al Sarab Resort, an oasis which served as a convenient resting spot for the cast and crew.

These were especially crucial as Dune Part 2 filming locations as they created a totally harsh and immersive landscape for the world. That being said, if you’d like to head there and search for Zendaya and Timothée Chalamet’s footsteps somewhere in the sand, who are we to stop you?

Feeling inspired?

All the Spanish Game of Thrones filming locations you need to add to your travel bucket list

All the Spanish Game of Thrones filming locations you need to add to your travel bucket list

Read more

Budapest

Many of Dune filming locations are, unfortunately, not visitable destinations as they were all created on set. Many of these were practical sets, so the crew could minimise the use of CGI as much as possible – which is pretty impressive given the beautiful cinematography of the film! 

Many of the interior scenes in Dune were shot in Budapest in Hungary, specifically the Origo Studios which have been home to many other productions as well, including The Witcher and Shadow and Bone. But, a few real life locations were definitely used as inspiration, like Teotihuacan in Mexico, inspiring the exterior of the Arrakeen palace. So, while not actually Dune filming locations, you can visit them for a taste!

Dune filming locations

Image source:Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures

Dune Part 2

With the exception of Norway acting as Caladan, all the filming locations from Dune Part 1 will feature in Dune Part 2, with the exciting new addition of Italy! And, as more filming locations are revealed, we will keep you all updated. 

Feeling inspired?

One Day filming locations that you can have a beautiful, romantic time in

One Day filming locations that you can have a beautiful, romantic time in

Read more

Emperor’s Palace – Italy

In a new addition for Dune Part 2, Italy joins the legion of awe-inducing filming locations, and the cast and crew find themselves in Altivole, a small commune in the Treviso region. We don’t have much information just yet as the film has yet to be released and the trailer doesn’t show much of Emperor Padishah, Shaddam IV’s palace.

But, through our expert sleuthing skills, we believe that Florence Pugh and Christopher Walken’s characters will be strolling the halls of the real life Brion Sanctuary, as these burial grounds host architecture that fits right in with Villeneuve’s style so far.

Up next

Stop dreaming and make sh*t happen!

Simply Italy

1 country, 15 days

Simply Italy

View trip
Norway Fjords and Northern Lights

1 country, 8 days

Norway Fjords and Northern Lights

View trip
Jordan Uncovered

1 country, 6 days

Jordan Uncovered

View trip