Whether they’re documentaries or epic Hollywood movies, travel and adventure films feed our wanderlust like nothing else can! A great film about traveling and exploring the world can give you that inspiration you need to leave your comfort zone and head out on your own journey. These are some of our favorite travel films and movies that will inspire you and make you dream of distant horizons. If you’ve got a favorite travel film you don’t see listed, let us know about it in the comments!
An instant classic for everyone bitten by the travel bug and filled with the urge to wander, Into the Wild tells the true tale of Christopher McCandless — a graduate of Emory University who abandons his savings and possessions and hitchhikes to Alaska to live in the wilderness.
An inspirational documentary film, 180º South follows adventurer Jeff Johnson as he retraces the epic 1968 journey of Yvon Chouinard and Doug Tompkins to Patagonia. This is a beautifully filmed documentary that will make you seriously consider quitting your job on the spot, packing up your car, and taking the trip of a lifetime.
7 Years in Tibet recounts the true story of Heinrich Harrer, an Austrian mountaineer who befriended the young Dalai Lama, becoming one of his close friends and tutors, remaining in Tibet until the Chinese invasion in 1950. Filled with breathtaking views of the Himalayas, 7 Years in Tibet is a beautiful and historically accurate film.
In A Map for Saturday, Brook Silva-Braga explores the world of long-term travel, staying in hostels around the globe where he meets numerous travelers who recount their unique stories. Forced to pack only five pounds of clothing to save space for his 30 pounds of video equipment, Silva-Braga captures the allure of travel and illustrates how it changes an individual. You’ll find yourself yearning to venture to new horizons after watching this film!
The Motorcycle Diaries is a biopic about the motorcycle journey across South America taken by 23 year old Ernesto Guevara and his friend Alberto Granado in 1952. Shaped by his experiences while traveling, Ernesto later became an infamous part of history as the Marxist guerrilla and revolutionary Che Guevara.
Adventurers Josh Thomas and J.J. Kelley build their own kayaks and set out on a kayaking adventure, paddling for 97 days through the wilderness from Alaska to Seattle through the 1,300 mile Inside Passage. They encounter torrential rain, dangerous wildlife, and colorful locals along the way, in this outstanding documentary film.
In this spectacular documentary, acclaimed filmmaker Werner Herzog travels to Antarctica to film its natural beauty and meet the people who live and work there. This film offers a unique perspective on life at the South Pole, profiling the community at McMurdo Station on Ross Island, situated amongst some of the most inaccessible and amazing scenery on the planet.
A beautiful surf documentary, Castles in the Sky was filmed in five countries over three years. The film explores these locations as the surfers travel through them, finding new surf breaks and incredible scenery.
An Ecuadorian film, Que Tan Lejos follows a student and a Spanish traveler as they unexpectedly end up traveling together after a strike prevents them from traveling by bus.
A father flies overseas to recover the body of his estranged son who died while making a pilgrimage along the legendary “El camino de Santiago,” and ends up deciding to make the pilgrimage himself, meeting many travelers along the way.
A powerful documentary about the thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail, Beauty Beneath the Dirt is “filled with personal stories of romance, betrayal, love, and loyalty, director Katherine Imp paints a raw and uncensored picture of how one journey can challenge, strengthen, and destroy the soul.” This is not a how-to guide for completing the Appalachian Trail, but rather an exploration of how the difficult adventure changes the lives of those who devote several months of their lives to hiking it.
In this moving documentary, young men and women in a rapidly evolving China take up employment on a cruise ship sailing the rising waters of the mighty Yangtze River.
The Wildest Dream features breathtaking visuals which tell the stories of George Mallory, the first man to make a summit attempt on Mount Everest and Conrad Anker, the climber who finds his frozen remains 75 years later.
A charming German comedy, In July focuses on the journey of Daniel, a teacher who sets off on a road trip in search of his dream girl. He meets Juli, a beautiful street vendor, and the pair travel from Hamburg to Istanbul, falling for each other as they travel.
A visually spectacular collection of fascinating scenes of human life and religion, Baraka was filmed in 24 countries. From secluded mountain tops to crowded factories, Baraka finds the beauty in the human experience that connects us all.
An amazing account of friendship, tragedy, and the sheer willpower of humans, Touching the Void chronicles the journey of two mountaineers who set off to climb Peru’s formidable Siula Grande.
Abandoned in the rugged and harsh Australian outback, a young brother and sister learn to live on their own in the natural world, encountering a young aborigine on his walkabout, the traditional rite of passage where adolescent boys venture into the wilderness alone.
Eight people journey into the depths of the Amazon rainforest to live in seclusion from the outside world for one month in search of natural answers to common illnesses.
A year after their father’s death, three American brothers who haven’t talked to each other since the funeral set off on an adventure into the heart of India while riding the Darjeeling Limited.