Tabernas desert cinematic heritage

Situated in the Tabernas Desert (the only desert in Europe), 30 minutes from Mar de Pulpi-Almería, a vast area without any construction providing an breathtaking scenery, an  ideal location for the movie industry, the film studios of Tabernas have grown into the wild west tourist attraction know as Mini Hollywood.

In the 1960s the landscapes of the desert of Tabernas developed into a sought after movie location, well known productions such as King of Kings (1960), Cleopatra with Elisabeth Taylor and Richard Burton (1963), and the winner of seven Oscars, Lawrence of Arabia with Peter O’Toole, Omar Sharif et Antony Quinn (1962), all used the desert as a backdrop during filming, attracting big budget Hollywood directors such as Steven Spielberg who chose Almeria for scenes in his blockbuster movie Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) starring Harrison Ford.

Sergio Leone, the director of the famous Spaghetti Westerns, starring Clint Eastwood, also capitalised on these unique landscapes, scenes from A Fist Full of Dollars (1964), For a Few Dollars More (1965), The Good The Bad and The Ugly (1966), and A Fistful of Dynamite (1972), My Name is Trinity  with Terence Hill and Bud Spencer (1970) and the excellent My Name is Nobody with Terence Hill and Henry Fonda (1973) were filmed in the western village movie sets as well as the surrounding desert and other well suited spots throughout the remarkable terrains of the province.

More recently, in 2012, the BBC chose Tabernas to shoot an episode for the next season of the cult series Doctor Who.
In October of 2013 the landscapes of Almeria were once again in the headlines as filming began for the Ridley Scott movie Exodus – Gods and Kings, the texture and colors of the landscape, and its similitude to Egypt, being the attraction for the director and his team for some of their movie scenes.

 

October 2015 saw further filming in this location, by the worldwide famous series Game of Thrones.

Mini Hollywood has three separate itineraries, Oasys Park The original Mini Hollywood, Fort Bravo and Western Leone, all are open for visitors and each offers a different wild west adventure for all the family with western shows among the many other attractions. Western Leone and Fort Bravo are still part time working film locations where as Oasys Park, the largest of the three, is now entirely dedicated to the theme park business.