WINTER IS COMING: GAME OF THRONES INSPIRED TRAVEL.
Game of Thrones is a masterpiece of moving travel , with filming in six countries and on two continents.
It has inspired wanderlust for so many of us loyal viewers.
In fact, it’s possible to see all seven kingdoms for a little over $2000 in flight costs and a whole lot of flight time. Plenty of companies have created your packages in each location but we’ve put together the grand tour of every country. We’ll start our tour in Iceland and circle down through Europe, with a brief stop in northern Africa:
Major scenes in this stunning frozen country begin in Season 2 and continue through Season 7. We chose to start here because we’re warm-natured and by the end of this trip we’ll be too tired to fully enjoy the stunning landscape in the cold, but you can change up this itinerary as you wish, even reversing it to finish here. Plan to be here in summer so you can access all locations.
Iceland is arguably the most gorgeous part of this trip and you won’t want to miss a thing. This one diverse country houses magical waterfalls, blue glaciers, black lava fields, and continent-dividing tectonic plates that create giant canyons.
Starting in Reykjavik, where you’ll have already crossed the lava plains of Reykjanes Peninsula just to get from the airport, spend a day acclimating to the new landscape. If you’re there during winter, you can see the Northern Lights, but year-round you can climb Solheimajokull, the glacial tongue known as The Wall for Game of Thrones fans, and on the way back stop at the waterfall Skogafoss.
From here you’ll go to Akureyri, just 100 kilometers below the Arctic Circle, which will take you North of the Wall into the free territory of Lake Myvatn. You’ll see Godafoss, the waterfall of the gods, on the way, alongside volcanoes, mudpools, and hot springs. Visit the lava cave Grjótagjá, Jon and Ygritte’s love nest, with another thermal pool.
You’ll want about two days exploring here and then you can head back to the capital for more Game of Thrones sites like Thingvellir, Gullfoss, and Geysir. Thingvellir is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is depicted on the show as the path to Eyrie. Nearby, a farm near yet another Game of Thrones-featured waterfall, Porafuss, homes horses who achieved celebrity status as Westeros garrons. In the Thjorsárdalur valley, you’ll relive the quiet farming village attacked by Wildlings and Thenns.
After this it’s back to the capital to rest up for an evening. With about a week in Iceland completed, you’ll head to Belfast.
Northern Ireland features most of Westeros.
At Old Castle Ward you’ll see Winterfell Castle and 30 other filming sets, take archery lessons on set, and hold one of Walder Frey’s falcons. Visit the Mountains of Mourne, which also inspired The Chronicles of Narnia, for many Game of Thrones memories that will feel like you’re walking right into scene.
The Dark Hedges and its surrounding area are the gorgeous setting for Kingsroad and Winterfell, among others. On the shores of Loch Larne, you’ll find the fishing village of Hardhome, used also for the Battle of Blackwater and Castle Black. Downhill Beach and Mussenden Temple are must-sees for Stannis Baratheon fans.
From Northern Ireland we’re crossing Europe to Croatia! A long flight will give you a chance to relax before hitting five days of touring.
From the capital of Dubrovnik, you can see King’s Landing, then Fortress Lovrijenac and island of Lokrum, the set for Qarth. Check out the labyrinthine St. Dominica Street, for many daily life scenes and other events.The ethnographic museum is a gorgeous piece of Croatian history but in the show, it’s a brothel. Pile and Bokar Fortress are must-sees as well. From there, head to the coast and on the way to Split, check out more scenery. Such as the red and blue lake in Imotski and Trsteno.
Then to the Split peninsula! You can do swimming, sightseeing, and snorkeling in Bisevo, Stiniva Bay, and Green Cave, then Hvar. After a full first day, rest up because in the next you should see Sibenik and the Krka Falls National Park. Then you’ll want to do the Diocletian palace and surrounding old town, where the Meereen slave revenge was filmed. Check out the water mills and quarries, and the Klis Fortress. Don’t miss the Church of St. Ignatius.
To see all Croatia has to offer Game of Thrones-style, you’ll want five days and maybe a week!
From Croatia we start heading back westward and the first stop is Malta. First you’ll want to see Fort Ricasoli, in Valletta. This is the Red Keep and is recognizable from several other movies as well. When in use, you won’t be able to enter, but you have a great view across Grand Harbour from the Upper Barrakka Gardens. You can get close on a dghajsa, which is a 200-year-old gondola.
Take the ferry from Malta to Gozo and see Manikata, where you’ll see the ruins that served as Lhazareen. This is on the way to the Azure Window, a rock formation surrounded by honeycomb-like structures filled with perfect pools and a larger lagoon. You’ll recognize where Daenerys and Drogos wed – not-so-fun trivia is that filming here got the show banned from filming beyond that first season. Because they covered the area in mesh and sand to look like a desert. Thankfully the crew has gotten more responsible.
From there go to Rabat. You should see the area in general, especially the Catacombs, but St. Dominic’s Priory will be recognizable as the Red Keep courtyard where Cersei tells Ned, “[w]hen you play the game of thrones, you win or you die.” Then head to San Anton Palace and the gardens in Balzan, in real life the President’s home (and home to roaming peacocks) and in Game of Thrones the courtyard and stables of the Red Keep.
The last stop is the best – you must see Mdina. You’ll recognize the original brothel in the winding streets as well as various other locations, and invite the inevitable moment you find yourself lost in the maze.
From Malta, we’ll just take a brief jaunt to another continent and see stunning Morocco in Northern Africa. First, see Ait Benhaddou, another UNESCO World Heritage site that was once a slave-trading site. It served as Yunkai, the Yellow City, which has the same purpose on the show. Then there’s Essaouira, or Astapor, Home of the Unsullied. You’ll especially recognize the Scala, Portuguese fortifications where the Walk of Punishment took place.
Morocco is a short but stunning Game of Thrones stop-off. From here is a short flight but a big finale for the grand world tour, back into Europe to the country of Spain.
You should take a week in Spain; it’s the end of your trip, it’s warm and you’re tired! Relax – but there’s a lot to see too. Start in Madrid, then head south to see where most of the Spanish locations are, in Seville, Fort Alcázar, Osuna, and Granada.
In Seville, you’ll need about three days to see all the filming locations. These includ the world’s largest Gothic cathedral, yet another UNESCO world heritage site. The fort is an ancient Mudejar site and the oldest palace still in use, and also a UNESCO site. It serves as the Water Palace, getaway for the Princes of Dorne onscreen. Osuna holds an enormous bullring which is Daznak’s Pit. The day trip to this small city can be filled with filming locations but this is a fan favorite.
Other can’t miss sites include the Castillo de Almodóvar del Río in Córdoba on the River Guadalquivir, site of Highgarden, ancestral home of House Tyrrell. Dragonstone is unforgettable but might require a guide, it’s accessible by a walking trail with high tides along Playa Itzurun in Zumaia. Not far is a gorgeous footbridge featured prominently in the show, at a hermitage in San Juan de Gaztelugatxe.
If you want to really explore all of the Game of Thrones locations in one trip, it will set you back several thousand dollars. If you do it right a month of time. But that month is an unforgettable summer vacation that will end up being the trip of a lifetime. If that’s too much cash or too much time, choose your favorite season or country, and just do one or space it out. Iceland in the summer, Spain in the winter, and so on.
But this isn’t just a trip for diehard fans of Game of Thrones either. History buffs, travel junkies, culture connoisseurs, and foodies will beg to tag along!
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Also, if the though of a cold winter does not sound appealing check out Palawan, voted best Island in the World.