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EXPLORING THE WORLD OF GAME OF THRONES.

Tom Ricketts   By Tom Ricketts  - House of Travel Content Specialist


One of the most popular TV shows of our time is Game of Thrones. Its unpredictable and scandalous storyline, outrageous characters, and stunning scenery have captivated audiences the world over. Considering the effect Lord of the Rings has had on New Zealand, it should come as no surprise that fans are now flocking to famous Game of Thrones film sites across Europe. If you’re a fan, here’s the low down on the must visit destinations.

 

Kings Road - Dark-Hedges in Northern-Ireland

Dark Hedges in Northern Ireland

 

NORTHERN IRELAND

The majority of the show is filmed in Northern Ireland, and you’ll instantly notice the landscape of Westeros and the Seven Kingdoms. Belfast is the main city in Northern Ireland and Game of Thrones aside for a moment, it has some great attractions such as the new Titanic Belfast where you can learn all about the Titanic (which was built here) and her notorious maiden sailing across the Atlantic.

 

Winterfell - National Trust Castle Ward in Northern-Ireland

National Trust Castle Ward in Northern Ireland

 

But back to Game of Thrones now. Just south of Belfast is Strangford Lough and Castle Ward which were used in many of the scenes of Winterfell. A little further down the road is Inch Abbey where Hoster Tully’s funeral was filmed, and Tollymore Forest Park, the site of the famous scene where the three Night’s Watchmen encountered the White Walker.

 

Hoster Tully - Inch-Abbey in Northern-Ireland

Inch Abbey in Northern Ireland

 

North of Belfast you’ll drive through Shillanavogy Valley, aka the Dothraki Grasslands, and onto the famous Dark Hedges where ancient crooked trees enclose Kings Road, the setting of many ambush scenes. The coastal road between here and the city of Derry is home to many scenes including Dragonstone, the Iron Islands, Cushendun Caves (where the Shadow Baby was born) and Murlough Bay where a certain scene involving Theon, Yara and a horse took place. Of course, while you’re up here, a visit to the World Heritage listed Giant’s Causeway is a must, as well as many other sights along the way.

Learn more about Northern Ireland with our Holiday Planning Guide

 

White Walker sighting - Tollymore Forest Park in Northern Ireland

Tollymore Forest Park in Northern Ireland

 

CROATIA

Kings Landing is the capital city of the Seven Kingdoms and home to the Lannisters. For the infrastructure required, the city scenes were filmed in the historic cities of Mdina, Malta and Dubrovnik, Croatia. Only the first season was filmed in Mdina, so Dubrovnik will be the more recognisable of the two.

 

Kings Landing - Dubronik in Croatia

Dubrovnik, Croatia

 

The beautiful World Heritage listed city of Dubrovnik has long been a destination in itself, but now Game of Thrones fans can explore the historic buildings, walk the cobbled alleyways and climb the city walls on dedicated day tours. A highlight is a visit to Lovrijenac Fortress, home of the notorious King Joffrey. North of the city is Trsteno Arboretum which was used as the palace gardens, complete with stunning views over the Adriatic. And south of the city is Marken Island, the setting of Qarth.

 

Joffreys Lannister-Baratheons Castle - Lovrijenac Fortress in Basque Northern Spain

Lovrejenac Fortress in  Croatia
Learn more about Croatia with our Holiday Planning Guide

 

SPAIN

Dragonstone is San Juan de Gaztelugatxe in Basque Spain

San Juan de Gaztelugatxe in the Basque region of Northern Spain

 

ICELAND

It’s not hard to guess which scenes were filmed in Iceland, they are of course, the scenes ‘behind the wall’. Most of the scenes here were filmed in Vatnajökull National Park, a huge park which covers approximately 13% of Iceland. Here you’ll witness the battle between fire and ice as active volcanoes and massive glaciers carve up the landscape.

North of the Wall - Vatnajokull National Park in Iceland

Vatnajökull National Park in Iceland

 

Another site was Lake Mývatn, a crater studded lake in the north of the country. The scenes in Iceland were shot in winter, but much of the snow covered mountains and all glaciers are able to be seen in summer, the preferable season to visit.

Learn more about Iceland with our Holiday Planning Guide

 

North of the Wall - Lake Myvatn in Iceland

Lake Mývatn in Iceland

Go on a pilgrimage to Winterfell and Kings Landing or even go beyond the Wall. With our Europe deals and packages, the perfect Game of Thrones holiday can become a reality.


Tom Ricketts

ABOUT TOM RICKETTS

Tom started working at House of Travel straight after leaving high school and has held a number of positions including Retail Travel Consultant at one of our stores, and most recently, Content Specialist. He has lived in Canada and Australia, backpacked through Cambodia, self driven the length of Cuba, trained across Russia, and comes in very handy during the geography round at pub quiz!

More about Tom >

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