Ok, die might be a bit of an over-dramatisation, but Valar Morghulis...and it is Game of Thrones and drama is rife!
So Winter is here, and if you’re anything like us and are counting down the days ‘til Season 7, then we can pretty much assume you’re also a ‘GoT-is-life’ kinda person. We like you. As an early Christmas gift we’ve put together a selection of places around the world where ‘Thrones was actually filmed, and you can actually visit. You are well and truly welcome. Explore Westeros, travel across the Narrow Sea and lap up the delights in the Free Cities, just watch out for those Stone men in Old Valyria! (Be warned, insurance policies do not cover attacks from White Walkers, dragons or Wildfire).
Where better to start than where it all began (near enough), Winterfell. Winterfell and other locations in ‘the North’ are mostly filmed in Northern Ireland, with places such as Castle Ward, Audley’s Field and Inch Abbey being available to wander round.
There are also a range of packages from various tour operators, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the land of the Starks, and even dress up in replicas of their costumes! Doune Castle in Scotland was also used to originally depict this infamous Northern Stronghold, but we‘re personally more drawn to these dress-up tours.
Let’s head further north now, beyond the wall even (ooh how daring). Think mountains, copious amounts of ice and snow…Iceland obviously. Experience the breathtaking scenery where the Night’s Watch men actually stood and were attacked by the White Walkers; Walk in the footsteps of the Free Folk as they tried to reach the legendary ‘Ice Wall’; The cave where Jon and Ygritte y’know…Oh it’s all getting too much for us.
Locations include Thingvellir, Hvalfjordur, the Gullfoss waterfall and Geysir hot spring, again tours with a professional guide are available to book.
The capital city of King’s Landing is portrayed by cities in the Eastern European country of Croatia; Split, Ston, Dubrovnik and Lokrum to be exact. Dubrovnik and Ston provide the perfect sea-side cityscapes for the home of the iron throne, with the bays at the latter being the scene of the Battle of the Blackwater.
Dubrovnik and Lokrum were also used for settings of the city of Quarth, so visit the House of the Undying, aka the Minceta Tower (Dubrovnik), and the lush botanical gardens of the ‘Queen of Cities’ in Lokrum – but beware not to linger, the land itself is said to be cursed! Split was also used in scenes of Daenerys’ rise to power over Slaver’s Bay, Sibenik is used for Braavos, the home of the Iron Bank and Trsteno Arboretum doubles as the beautiful gardens of King’s Landing’s elite. Basically, visit Croatia for all things GoT.
Across the Narrow Sea, there are many Spanish destinations also used in the filming throughout the series: Girona, Catalonia brings Oldtown Braavos to life, the Dothraki Sea spans across the rocky desert of Bardenas Reales and Alhamilla mountains in Pechina, Almeria. Navarre Peniscola, Valencia is used for both Dorne and Meereen, and the Plaza de toros de Osuna, Seville, is the fighting-pit arena in Meereen – also location of the most expensive scene ever in television (Drogon wreaking havoc on the sons of the Harpy).
One that’s definitely worth a visit, the beautiful Water Palaces of Dorne, home of the late Doran Martell, represented by Alcazar de Sevilla, Seville, just beware of Sand Snakes.
Of course, these are just a few of the places you can visit, we’d love to list them all but we’d be here as long as it took Dany to get her ships and army together…
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