All the money, murder and compromising situationships you could imagine, plus the incredible backdrop of Spain to tie it together!
Elite, Netflix’s Spanish teen drama, was released October 5th, 2018. Since then, it has been dubbed by fans as their “guilty pleasure” show. Think The Haves and The Have-Nots with a Spanish background. The series main stars include: Itzan Escamilla as quiet good guy Samuel Garcia Dominguez, Mina El Hammani as the sassily-educated Nadia Shanaa and Miguel Herran as boisterous troublemaker Christian Exposito. They are described as the “scholarship kids” of the series. Their wealthier classmates are: Miguel Bernardeau as golden boy Guzman Nunier Osuna, Danna Paola as Guzman’s girlfriend and resident overachieving mean girl Lucrecia “Lu” Montesinos Hendrich, Alvaro Rico as lover-boy Leopoldo “Polo” Benavent Villada, Ester Exposito as Polo’s girlfriend and devious socialite Carla Roson Caleruega and Aron Piper as the principal’s son Ander Munoz.
After their school collapsed, the “Have-Nots” became the “scholarship kids” of a prestigious prep school on the richer side of town. They were not exactly welcomed with open arms by their new and wealthy classmates. That changed, however, once Samuel met the beautiful and spirited Marina Nunier Osuna – Guzman’s sister, who was revealed to be dead at the end of episode one. So that leaves the audience with the questions of who killed Marina and why?
Caution: some spoilers ahead…
Even though all the chaos of Marina’s murder has tensions running high with her former classmates, there is no denying how stunning Spain is. According to Oprah Daily, the series was filmed on the outskirts of Madrid. Due to its status as the capital of many other Netflix shows, production most likely wanted some separation from shows such as La Casa De Papel.
The exterior shots of fictional Las Encinas – the prestigious prep school – are of a real-life university. But the classroom scenes were all filmed on a set.
Many of the exterior shots of houses in the series were located in theses three small towns: San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Collado Villalba and Sierra de Gaudarrama. These towns are full of wonderful parks, landmarks, and other activities to make a day trip in Madrid as thrilling as the show.
A trip to a monastery in San Lorenzo de El Escorial might not sound as exciting. But just as when it was revealed that Samuel’s brother Fernando “Nano” Garcia Dominguez (played by Jaime Lorente) got Marina pregnant, the building also has layers to its story. Not only is this a burial site for a Roman emperor, but it is also a church, palace, college, and library. The plan for the building was conceived by King Phillip II, who wanted to make the ediface a multi-purpose complex.
Collado Villalba is a municipality known for its incredibly-aged architecture and expansive parks with lagoons and waterfalls. This is probably the best place to relax and let the children play on the swings for a bit while taking in the view. Ander and Nadia’s older brother-slash-drug-dealer Omar Shanaa (played by Omar Ayuso) had their first of many makeout scenes in a park like this.
Sierra de Gaudarrama is home to many attractions for adrenaline seekers, such as ziplining. Located 30 minutes from Madrid, visitors can fly through the sky and see the panoramic views of reservoir “Las Encinillas.”
For those looking to stay closer to the ground, there is always horseback riding in Guadarrama National Park. There are also photography classes that allow visitors to take action shots of the horses. Elite fans can practice getting the perfect Instagram post like Marina did.
Elite star Jorge Lopez, who appears in Season 2 as Lu’s troublemaking half-brother Valerio Montesinos Rojas, posted this picturesque balcony view of Madrid.
Season 4 of Elite is set to arrive on Netflix on June 18th, 2021.