The final series of our beloved Game of Thrones has left us all exhausted. Winter has come and gone. It’s over, that’s it… But fret not young squire, there is hope for you yet.
Today we’re going to revisit some of the amazing destinations the GoT producers morphed into the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros. They also happen to be great holiday destinations – look at how that worked out ay…
If, like Arya, you’ve finished the 8th season with a continuing thirst for exploration then ‘ring the bells’ because this travel guide is the milk to your poppy, the ice to your fire and the moon to your stars.
In this blog, we’ll ride with the Dothraki, sail with the Iron Borne, strut like a Lannister, freeze our butts off with the Northerners and drink in the sun like the free-living Dornish.
Noble Northern Island
Northern Island is a recurring destination that stands fast as the key filming destination for many of the northern goings-on throughout the series. Here you can find the beaches of Dragon Stone, the stoned and ancient port leading to the Iron Islands as well as the forests of Winterfell and of course Winterfell itself (Tollymore Forest Park).
The part of Northern Island we’re going to focus on is a naturally stunning area called the Dark Hedges in Ballymoney. This truly magical area was used as the Kings Road throughout the seasons and served a great purpose on tracking the characters as they flitter between the North and South of Westeros. Most notably when Arya escapes Kings Landing in Season 2 after the wrongful beheading of her noble and honourable father Ned Stark. It’s on this very road that she meets her future fling and heroic hammer-wielding-hunk Gendry as well as her hilarious and memorable travels with the Hound.
This is a major hot spot for Game of Thrones enthusiasts. The magical trees encapsulate the long and winding roads making it perfect for long and reflective walks. With loads of charming Irish pubs and stately homes kicking around you can defiantly make a weekend of it. Watch out for roaming Lannister soldiers though! Oh, and if you spot Ed Sheeran in the woods make sure to tell him never to do a cameo ever, ever again. Thanks in advance.
The Crown of Croatia
Croatia is home to many great scenes from the Game of Thrones era a great place to kill two ravens with one stone and strike another GoT epic destination off your kill-list.
Dubrovnik is the main influence and location behind Kings Landing the home of the deceptive and ever-cruel Cersei Lannister or whoever happened to be on the Iron Throne at any point in time through the series. The old towns stone walls pose as the entrance to the port of Kings Landing while the towers (pre-dragon fire) were succinctly CGI’d into the frames, completing the epic shots of Kings Landing we’ve seen over the years.
Lets start of with this well known travel gem… Lokrum Island
The island of Lokrum is a luscious forested utopia, located only 10 minutes away by ferry from Dubrovnik Old Town. While you’re there not only can you sit on a replica of the Iron Throne (OMG, take me now) but you get the best view of Old Town and all its majesty. Its surrounded by turquoise waters and is a truly unique and popular travel destination.
So, to Dubrovnik itself… so much was filmed here, we couldn’t possibly tell you each filming location within the Old Town walls. Oh, wait, yeah we can!
Jesuit Staircase, St. Dominika Street, Ethnographic Museum Rupe, Ploče Gate, Rector’s Palace, Lovrijenac Fort, the famous Walls of Dubrovnik Old Town, Minčeta Tower, Bokar Fort, Pile Gate and Belvedere Hotel’s Atrium.
Wow, that’s loads of places how can I possibly find all of those I hear you cry? It’s not as hard as you think. You can honestly have a gentle stroll (not of atonement) and see all of the famous archways and pretend brothels without having to run around like you’re getting chased by Drogon. Old Town is a lovely mesh of intertwining stone streets and corridors, use our list or just have a roam and see what you can recognise.
Iceland again is a key destination in the GoT history. This is where all of the ventures ‘beyond the wall’ and all the Knights Watch shenanigans were filmed as well as the setting for Castle Black and East Watch. It’s here that we fell in love with John Snow/ Aegon’s honorouble-curls!
Our pick of the lot has to be this beautiful ice waterfall called Skogafoss. Come summer or winter (we obviously recommend winter) this gorgeous waterfall is visited by many a tourist because not only can you get some amazing views of the Northern Lights (these puns write themselves) but there is actually gold to be found behind the waterfall. The only reason it hasn’t be dug up by those greedy Lanisters is because of course ( like most of Iceland) its a protected natural area.
If you’ve got a keen eye you may notice that this waterfall was where John and Daenerys had a little smooch after a ride on their dragons in Season 8 (John’s second collusion beyond the wall, the cheeky oath breaker). That Targaryen’s really know how to pick a spot.
Our final destination is Morocco, home to some of the lesser known yet ever stunning filming destinations from Game of Thrones.
Firstly Ouarzazate, or Bravos as you will know from the series. The homeland of one of the shows most beloved characters and the best smuggler in Westeros, Sir Davos the Onion Knight. This is also where Arya trained to be a faceless man. Morocco is hot, with great food, amazing hotels and Riads and even better architecture. A hot-spot (literately) for travellers in 2019.
Secondly, Essaouira or as we know it, Slavers Bay. You’ll remember this from when Daenerys was the breaker-of-chains and not the burner of cities (just ships at this point). A truly beautiful and ancient part of the world, that is an absolute must visit for any Game of Thrones fanatics passing through. The old stone ports a beautifully complimented with artisanal ships and boats moored to its side.
So, there you have it Winter has come and gone, Westeros is united and the North is free.
We hope we’ve filled you full of inspiration for your travels, bend the knee and take it all in folks.
Let us know what you think or if you have any cool places to visit that we may have missed. We always love to hear from our loyal subjects!
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