By the Sea Movie Locations in Malta

By the Sea (2015)

By the Sea isn’t the best movie shot in Malta, that has to be said. It also isn’t Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie’s best film by a long shot. And it definitely isn’t a great film in general. Like, not at all. But the By the Sea movie locations? Dreamy AF.

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie shot By the Sea on their “honeymoon.” And if you’ve seen the film you’ll know that’s kinda sad, considering the movie follows the doomed real-life couple playing an unhappy fictional couple. Set in the 1960s, Pitt is a writer named Roland and Jolie is a former dancer-turned-trophy wife named Vanessa. They book a  stay at a beachside hotel for a change of scenery but young newlyweds in the room next door remind them of everything their marriage isn’t.

Though director Angelina Jolie filmed the movie on the Maltese island of Gozo, By the Sea is set in the South of France. The film doesn’t have too many different locations but the ones it does have are gorgeous hidden gems. They almost make-up for the melodramatic storyline and high school theatre dialogue. So, here are all the main By the Sea movie locations in Gozo, Malta!

Where Was By the Sea Filmed?

By the Sea Movie Locations in Malta

1. Triq Tal-Kanal, Gozo

The first By the Sea film location is a road that Roland and Vanessa speed down in their classy 1960s sports car. Well, technically they roll down the 3 Triq l-Għarb road first with a view of the Stations of the Cross hill in the background. Then they drive along the zig-zagged Triq Tal-Kanal road which emphasises just how remote their hotel is with thirsty vegetation and an almost desert-like landscape surrounding them. Various stretches along this road will pop up every now and again throughout the film.

Road in Gozo, Malta
Road in Gozo | Courtesy of tomasz przechlewski

2. Mgarr Ix-Xini, Gozo

The unhappily married couple arrive at their hotel in the South of France, which is Mgarr Ix-Xini. It’s a very secluded bay in the south of Gozo. This is the most prolific By the Sea filming location as Jolie shot most of the film here.

If you ever have the pleasure of visiting this bay, you might wonder where the By the Sea movie hotel, seaside bar and local shop are. Well… They were all sets! Yup, literally all sets just for the production, though some of the abandoned buildings already on the bay stood in for the exteriors. The only amenities there today are Restaurante Gozo and Harry’s Food Truck.

Mgarr-Ix-Xini Bay in Gozo, Malta By the Sea Movie Location
Mgarr-Ix-Xini | Courtesy of Pete Lanman

3. Sannat Parish Church, Gozo

“I thought we agreed we weren’t going anywhere until you wrote?” Vanessa asks Roland when he suggests they go for a drive. I’ll say! We’re 90 minutes into the movie and all they’ve done is drink and mooch around the hotel.

The pair hop into their car and go for the suggested drive. Vanessa wants to stop at a church along the way and they do. Gozo has a lot of amazing churches, but the By the Sea movie location is Sannat Parish Church which is a Catholic church in Sannat, Gozo. Roland drives past this church later in the film to find the bus stop after his bust-up with Vanessa.

4. Ta’ Frenc Restaurant, Gozo

Roland surprises Vanessa with a fancy dinner. They go to a french restaurant in Xaghra, Gozo called Ta’ Frenc, which I’m assuming is because they’re supposed to be dining in the South of France. This is one of the By the Sea filming locations that most people want to know about because it does look like a delightful and swanky restaurant. It’s also where Roland and Vanessa seem the most happy which isn’t saying much.

Gharb Church in Gozo, Malta
Gharb Church | Courtesy of Andrey Gaverdovsky

5. Victoria, Gozo

Roland camps out in their hotel suite to finally write something, so Vanessa takes Léa (one half of the newlywed couple) shopping. I have no idea where the women drive to because the vast majority of towns on Gozo have single-laned streets and the one in By the Sea is wide, cobblestoned and doesn’t scream any place in particular. I’m going to take a stab in the dark at Victoria because it’s Gozo’s biggest town and where all the shops are, probably.

And those are all the main By the Sea movie locations in Malta! Have you watched the film or visited any of the filming locations? Let me know in the comments below!


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By the Sea Filming Locations in Malta
© 2015 Universal Pictures | Courtesy of Tobias Scheck

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