Stunning Game of Thrones filming locations you can visit with Norwegian
It’s all over. Game of Thrones has finally graced our screens for the last time. With its plot twists, gripping storyline and shocking deaths, the show has kept millions of viewers coming back for more, season after season.
*WARNING: SEASON 1 – 7 SPOILERS AHEAD*
With season eight wrapping up the show in true, epic GoT style, we’re left wondering, along with the rest of the world, how in Lord of Light’s name do we fill the dragon-shaped hole in our evenings now?
It’s hard to imagine life without Daenerys Targaryen and the gang. But you can keep the magic alive by visiting the stunning locations where all the action took place. Want to see the real city that plays the role of King’s Landing? The actual Water Gardens of Dorne? The ravine where Brienne of Tarth took on The Hound? You can visit them all and more with Norwegian.
Here we take you to some of the many filming locations of Game of Thrones in our Seven Kingdoms destination guide.
With its dramatic landscapes and natural beauty, Northern Ireland was a key location for a lot of the Game of Thrones action based in Westeros and Essos. About 80% of the show was filmed in Belfast’s Titanic Studios or on location in the region. Highlights include:
The Dark Hedges
One of the most popular locations for GoT fans to visit is the Dark Hedges, a row of beech trees that form a haunting tunnel in Antrim. Looking like something out of a Brother’s Grimm fairy tale, it featured prominently in season two as the Kingsroad, when Arya Stark escaped from King’s Landing disguised as a boy.
Remember when Robert Baratheon went to see his old buddy Ned Stark to ask him to be the King’s Hand? You might not recognise it from the picture, but Castle Ward in County Down doubled as Winterfell Castle, home of the Starks. It provided the beautiful backdrop for what was essentially the beginning of the end for poor old Ned.
Between the moorlands, forests and beaches, there’s plenty of the Seven Kingdoms to discover across Northern Ireland’s 25 (approximately) Game of Thrones filming locations.
You can Fly to Dublin, hire a car and go on a road trip, ticking as many sites off your list as you can, such as Dunluce Castle in County Antrim, aka, Castle Greyjoy, and Downhill Beach in County Londonderry, the site of the ‘burning of the seven’.
If you want someone else to do the driving, why not book yourself onto a tour? This one-day Game of Thrones trip will take you from Dublin to the Dark Hedges, Ballintoy Harbour, another popular GoT landmark, and the spectacular Giant’s Causeway, which, while it wasn’t used in filming, is a must-see on any trip to the Emerald Isle.
Reward Tip: You’ll earn CashPoints on car hire if you book your rental through Norwegian Reward.
When the producers of Game of Thrones started looking for a location to depict the harsh conditions of life beyond the Wall, Iceland was an obvious choice. The country’s wintry landscape was the perfect setting for Wildlings, White Walkers and Crows to roam.
Ever since glimpses of Iceland’s incredible landscapes began to be shown in season two of the series, the country has seen a boom in GoT-tourism, with more and more fans heading north to check out the many spectacular filming locations.
One such location is Grjótagjá cave, the ideal place for Jon Snow and Ygritte to have a romantic watery moment and pledge an oath to each other… one that Snow later broke. Rest in peace, Ygritte.
Other GoT Icelandic landmarks include the Almannagjá gorge, also known as the passageway to The Bloody Gate at the Eyrie; the lava fields of Dimmuborgir, where Mance Rayder set up his camp in season three; Lake Myvatn, where the Night’s Watchmen were attacked by White Walkers; and Þingvellir National Park, the setting for many, many scenes.
To get there, fly to Reykyavik, and if you’re heading to Iceland in summer, then hire a car and explore the many Game of Thrones filming locations on your own, making time to stop for the other spectacular wonders that the land of ice and fire has to offer, of course.
But if you’re travelling to Iceland in winter, you’re better off leaving the driving to the experts, as the roads can be treacherous due to high winds and low visibility. There are plenty of guided GoT tours on offer in Iceland.
Even if you’re not a Game of Thrones fan, Iceland should be on your travel bucket list. This land of steaming volcanoes, colossal fjords, bubbling hot springs and jet black sands is worth a trip at any time of year.
It takes a special city to play the capital of the Seven Kingdoms, and you couldn’t ask for a better location than Dubrovnik. This gorgeous walled city, with its terracotta roofs, was the site of plenty of GoT drama, from betrayals and a beheading, to Cersei’s public humiliation by the High Sparrow.
Thankfully there’s a lot less drama in real life. A UNESCO world heritage site, Dubrovnik is packed with elegant churches, palaces and fortresses, such as the Minceta Tower, which served as the House of the Undying that Daenerys faced to get her dragons back.
There are other Game of Thrones locations scattered across Croatia. Split (Meereen) and Šibenik (Braavos) are both worth a visit, the latter being just a short drive from Split. While in Split you can take a Game of Thrones tour which will take you to many location sites, including the cellars of Diocletian’s Palace, where Daenerys kept her dragons in season five.
Croatia is one of our recommended summer 2019 destinations. So, plan an extended stay in the country and explore until your heart’s content.
Did you know that the original location of King’s Landing was the ancient city of Mdina in Malta? The island’s forts served as the Red Keep. Mdina Gate, the old city’s main entrance, was the spot where Cat and Ned said goodbye for the last time. Sob.
The natural arch known as the Azure Window in Malta’s neighbouring island of Gozo was the setting for Khal Drogo and Daenerys Targaryen’s wedding. Sadly, the arch was lost to the sea in 2017 during heavy storms.
While you’re in Malta, check out the prehistoric temples, wander the honey-coloured streets of Valetta, and take a dip in Comino’s stunning Blue Lagoon. The best way to get around is by car. You’ll earn 10% CashPoints if you rent one through AVIS.
A small medieval town in southwestern Morocco is one of the most iconic sights in the world. You just don’t know it by name.
UNESCO-listed Aït Benhaddou has featured in many Hollywood blockbusters, from the 1999 action movie The Mummy to the 2000 classic Gladiator. It also played the slaving city of Yunkai in Game of Thrones, where Daenerys Targaryen went on her slave-freeing spree.
It’s hard to believe this city, made entirely of clay, has remained in place for centuries. It’s a breathtaking sight.
Doune Castle near Stirling is no stranger to on-screen action, having appeared in Monty Python and the Holy Grail and time-travelling TV series Outlander. But GoT fans will recognise it from way back in the pilot episode, when King Robert Baratheon and co. are seen arriving at the fortress for a slap-up Winterfell feast.
To see it for yourself, you can fly to Edinburgh with Norwegian and book yourself on this 9-hour Castles and Lochs tour. You’ll visit Doune Castle and other historic castles and lochs in the scenic Western Highlands.
With its elaborate Moorish palaces, fairy tale gardens, and grand medieval castles, the Spanish cities of Girona, Seville and Osuna (amongst other landscapes in-between) made ideal shooting locations for Game of Thrones.
Fly to Bilbao or Barcelona, hire a car and make your way to Navarra to pay your respects to Khal Drogo at Bardenas Reales Natural Park. This striking semi-desert region has an almost lunar landscape and was used to film parts of the Dothraki Sea, home of the horseback Khalasar warriors.
Known as the Spanish Badlands, the 104,000-acre park is made of clay, chalk, and sandstone that’s been moulded by centuries of water and wind. As one of the few deserts in Europe, it’s well worth a visit.
And if you do opt to fly to Bilbao, make sure to plan time for a trip to the island of Gaztelugatxe, just off the Bay of Biscay, where you’ll find Daenerys Targaryen’s ancestral home of Dragonstone.
Located in the heart of Seville, the Real Alcázar is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a top tourist spot for GoT fans. The beautiful 700-year-old Andalusian palace appeared as the Water Gardens of Dorne, seat of the House Martell of Sunspear in season five.
With more than a millennium of history dating back to Moorish times, this ornate palace has earned a claim to fame as the oldest royal residence still in use in Europe.
Norwegian flies to various airports in Spain, and from Málaga you can tour the south of Spain by car, hitting the Real Alcázar of Seville, as well as the Roman bridge of Córdoba, which doubled as the Long Bridge of Volantis, and Almería, where you’ll find parts of the Dothraki Sea and Meereen.
Fly Norwegian, earn CashPoints
If you haven’t done so already, sign up to Norwegian Reward, and every time you book a flight to one of the Seven Kingdoms with Norwegian, or book a hotel, you’ll earn CashPoints. These can then be used towards future flights.
Hurry up and book, though – winter is coming!