It’s taken the world by storm just like so many other great TV series’ before it, but the most impressive thing that the mighty Game of Thrones has managed to do is draw our attention to just how beautiful parts of Europe actually are. Isn’t it nice to see locations that aren’t New York, London or some endless Australian beach taking the limelight in such a predominant, global show…especially when many of the locations are so close to home! Even better is that they’re all available for you to explore on your very own short break. So, what are you waiting for? Go and discover your inner Stark, Lannister or Targaryen…
The majority of ‘The North’ is shot in our very own Northern Irish back garden, with Scotland helping out with some of the pilot shots for Winterfell. Key locations included the eerie Dark Hedges in Co. Antrim, lining the route of The Kings Road with its eighteenth century tunnel of trees, now one of Northern Ireland’s most photographed natural phenomena. Other areas include Castle Ward as Winterfell, Tollymore Forest as The Haunted Forest, Cushenden Caves as The Stormlands and Downhill Beach as Dragonstone. Undoubtedly, the UK definitely stands out as a natural beauty throughout every series.
Malta was the choice for the first series’ scenes of ‘The South’. After filming the pilot episode in Morocco, the city of Mdina became the new home of King’s Landing and the small island of Gozo the location of the Dothraki wedding. The stunning terracotta buildings and medieval feel to the area made for the perfect setting. Scenes featuring the Red Keep were shot in Fort St. Angelo and Fort Ricasoli, both located on the island’s Grand Harbour.
From the second series onwards, filming of ‘The South’ moved to Croatia, with the capital city of Dubrovnik taking the spotlight. This beautiful, walled, coastal city was the ideal place to shoot King’s Landing and the Red Keep, using the abandoned Hotel Belvedere and Fort Lovrijenac for key scenes in the latter episodes. The city is in fact a UNESCO World Heritage Site, so for a cultural short break in the sun you’d be lucky to find a better destination.
One of the most impressive landscapes in Europe, the rugged lands of Vatnajokull National Park in Iceland was the first choice setting for ‘North of the Wall’. With vast expanses of glacial mountain ranges and desolate plains, season two’s scenes in the Frostfangs and at the Fist of the First Men were produced to perfection. It’s no wonder that Iceland is one of the destinations on the rise for 2014 after such an epic display of natural beauty.
If you would like to experience the Game of Thrones locations for yourself, we currently have three amazing tour packages in Ireland, giving you exclusive access to Westeros, Winterfell and beyond. Visit the most popular destinations from the show; including Dunluce Castle, the Cushendun Caves and the Dark Hedges.
Have you visited any of the locations mentioned above before? If not, make sure you do sometime soon!