Where was The Holiday filmed? The Channel 5 drama gripping Netflix viewers

The gripping series was filmed at this popular holiday hotspot

a promotional shot of Jill Halfpenny for The Holiday on Channel 5
(Image credit: Channel 5/Future)

Channel 5 drama The Holiday - that's just landed on Netflix - is sure to make you think twice about who you decide to take a vacation with.

The 2019 novel The Holiday became a huge success and was also featured in the Richard and Judy Book Club and now you can see the story come to life in this gripping new drama. Jill Halfpenny, who plays detective Kate, leads the cast for this thriller when she takes her family - 'seemingly perfect' marriage to husband Sean, daughter Lucy and son Daniel to a luxury villa for their annual family getaway but they get more than they bargained for as four families take the break together and the revelation of a dark secret ends in murder.

It joins Stranger Things season 4 part 2 (opens in new tab), The Umbrella Academy season 3 (opens in new tab) and film Spiderhead (opens in new tab) in Netflix's top 10 trending bar this July.

Where was The Holiday on Channel 5 filmed?

The Holiday on Channel 5 was filmed in Malta, an island South of the Italian island of Sicily. Filming started back in April 2021 and transported the cast and crew to the Mediterranean for five weeks.

Due to the lockdown restrictions at the time - with Malta being in the middle of a lockdown - those working on the show were forced to spend 14 days in isolation before starting production.

The Holiday, Where is The Holiday on Channel 5 filmed?

(Image credit: Channel 5)

Jill explained how filming was far from relaxing, she said, "Malta was in a pretty strict lockdown when we were there, so we were in complete isolation for 14 days, doing fittings and read throughs on Zoom.

"And then we were working six day weeks, so we had to just go to set, film, and go back to our hotel rooms. There was a beach right outside the hotel, but police were patrolling it, making sure people wore masks, so it wasn’t very relaxing!"

“However, we would rather work in those conditions than not work at all, so we were all very happy to be there. However, it was a shame we couldn’t go to a good local restaurant, we knew the hotel! I took the menu off memory at the end and I couldn’t face another curry!”

It is not yet known which Maltese town exactly the series was filmed in - but Jill explained how it was freezing on set.

She said, ""It was April when we were filming and I think you can tell in some of the shots that it was incredibly windy. So it wasn't anywhere near as warm as it might look - in fact, there was one day filming that was the coldest day I've ever had on set in my life.

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"We were all in summer outfits having this meal on the side of a rock, and the wind was coming in from the sea. I thought I was going to cry because I was so cold, but luckily Kate is always really tense so it didn’t show too much!"

Things heated up with filming for a huge fire scene.

She added, "There was a lot of running back and forth screaming and so much coughing. It was fun but also, after you've done it for seven hours, you just want a cup of tea."

How many episodes of The Holiday are there?

There are four episodes of The Holiday in total. The show originally aired on Channel 5 in March, but you can now stream the whole series on My5 and Netflix.

The Holiday Channel 5 cast

Jill Halfpenny who shot to fame in Byker Grove, leads the cast of four families, with Killing Eve’s Owen McDonnell playing her cheating husband Sean, Lara McDonnell as her daughter Lucy, and Aidan McCann as son Daniel.

Kate’s friend Jenny is taken on by Swedish actress Liv Mjönes (Midsommar) and her family are played by Aidan McCardle (The Trial of Christine Keeler) as husband Alistair and newcomer Shaun O’Callaghan Wade as their son Jake.

Siobhan Hewlett (Redemption) appears as Kate’s best friend Rowan, who is married to Russ played by Andrew Macklin (Doctor Who), with Molly McCann as their daughter Odette and Cat Simmons is the fourth friend Izzy.

Who wrote The Holiday on Channel 5?

The Holiday was originally a best-selling book written by author T.M Logan in 2019. T.M. Logan is a bestselling British writer of contemporary, thriller, and crime fiction stories.

Speaking about the series and the book, Jill revealed, "So many people when I said I was doing it, had said that they had read the book and that they were really looking forward to it. And it does stick fairly closely to the book. There's always changes and some characters aren't there but it's a really popular seller."

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Selina Maycock
Senior Entertainment Writer

Selina is a Senior Entertainment Writer with more than 15 years of experience in newspapers and magazines. She currently looks after all things Entertainment for Goodto.com, Woman&Home, and My Imperfect Life. Before joining Future Publishing, Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism. She is fully NCTJ and NCE qualified and has 100wpm shorthand. When she's not interviewing celebrities you can find her exploring new countryside walking routes, catching up with friends over good food, or making memories.