Locations of Fire & Ice: The Iconic Settings of Game of Thrones
Diabolical schemes, magic women, political pursuits, and flying dragons. Games of Thrones has not only taken the world by storm with its intriguing plot and memorable characters, it has also sparked a new love for travel for those looking to step into the world they’ve come to know and love. With a world of fantasy come some pretty fantastical filming locations, and lucky for you, we’ve rounded up some of the best. Get ready for a whirlwind adventure in some of the most breathtaking places on Earth, and most iconic locations in Westeros, Essos, and Sothoryos.
Northern Ireland’s rolling green hills, untamed landscapes, and avenues of tangled trees make it the perfect setting for memorable locales throughout the series. Follow along the path where Arya Stark found herself captured at the Dark Hedges. Step into the Dothraki grasslands in the sprawling plains of the Shillanavogy Valley. Head to Castle Ward in County Down and discover the ruins that played home to Winterfell. With so many breathtaking spots just miles from the series’ main studios in Belfast, it’s no surprise that so many filming locations can be found here.
Explore the vast wilderness beyond the Wall to where wildlings live and giants roam. From its first appearance in season 2, Iceland has drawn in fans from around the world looking to get a firsthand look at what lies beyond The Wall. Lake Myvatn and its dwarf waterfalls are home to Mance Rayder’s camp – the location they used to plan their attack on The Wall. Just east of the lake lies a magical cave housing a secret hot spring used by locals as a bathing hole. The thermal waters weren’t the only things heating up during Jon Snow and Ygritte’s famous scene in season 3. After a day filled with adventure, you can take advantage of the area’s natural hot springs. They’re much less crowded than the uber-popular Blue Lagoon, but just as beautiful.
Enter the world of kings and queens in the walled city of Dubrovnik. Countless scenes were filmed throughout the interior of this UNESCO-listed town, while the iconic medieval walls were used as the exterior of King’s Landing. The spot is so similar to George RR Martin’s descriptions, you’ll instantly feel like you’ve been transported into the very pages of the book. Head a little bit further up the coast and you’ll find Split; home to many of Danaerys’ scenes. Just north of Split lies Fortress Kliss, better known to fans as the Free City of Meereen. Its dazzling blue waters and lush mountainside will draw you in and encourage you to discover this enchanting city’s secrets.
For a look at the southernmost of the Seven Kingdoms, we must head to Spain. Seville’s spectacular gardens and medieval palaces make for a more authentic-feeling Dorne. In particular, the Alcazar of Seville, built in the 1300s, transforms into the Water Gardens of Dorne. This gorgeous World Heritage Site will take your breath away as you walk under its many arches; each more mesmerizing than the next. Another snapshot of King’s Landing, the Great Sept of Baelor is actually located a few hundred miles away from Croatia, in Spain’s Girona. The city’s colossal cathedral can be seen in season 6, though we’re not sure we’ll be seeing it again any time soon.