GAME OF THRONES TRAVEL GUIDE
The hit HBO show’s eighth and final season comes to a close on Sunday night. And while it has stirred plenty of controversy in the last five weeks, one thing remains true: the magical world it depicts is as brutal as it is beautiful. Filmed in Northern Ireland, Iceland, Croatia, Morocco and Spain, the series showcases breathtaking landscapes, frigid wastelands, lush forests and ancient landmarks you can actually explore (and Instagram, of course). So grab your passport and get planning, because winter—er, summer—vacation is coming.
THE DARK HEDGES (BREGAGH ROAD, NORTHERN IRELAND)
The 18th-century beech-tree-lined road serves as the haunting set for the Kingsroad, which connects some of GoT‘s most important locations—including Winterfell and King’s Landing.
B.Y.O.J.S. (bring your own Jon Snow) to the stunning Icelandic thermal springs, where Snow and his wildling lover Ygritte (RIP) made sweet, sweet love.
The historic, seaside city, noted for its stone walls and well-preserved churches, is an architectural marvel — and much more pleasant to stroll than King’s Landing (RIP), the city’s on-screen counterpart, where you could be roasted by a dragon at literally any moment.
ALCÁZAR DE SEVILLA (SPAIN)
The setting for the Water Palace of Dorne is every bit as sunny, bright and lush as it is in the show. The real royal palace, originally constructed by Moorish Muslim kings, is renowned around the world for its architectural beauty.
Located just southeast of Marrakech, the Moroccan location used to portray Yunkai and Pentos in Essos, is a majestic, fortified town surrounded by a seemingly endless desert.
The largest ice cap in Iceland made the perfect location for several GoT scenes shot north of the Wall (RIP). Only a few hours from Reykjavik, Iceland’s capital, Vatnajókull is prime day-trip material for those visiting the uber-popular Nordic island nation.
The dreamy medieval city – located in the country’s Dalmatia region – is the site of Braavos, home to the Many-Faced God (Arya Stark’s diety of choice in season five). The town’s most popular tourist destination is the Cathedral of St. James, a magnificent UNESCO World Heritage-listed church built in the Gothic and Renaissance style.
LOVRIJENAC FORTRESS (CROATIA)
An imposing fort within Dubrovnik served as the location for the Red Keep (RIP). This spot in particular was where a tournament was thrown in honor of the late King Joffrey during the show’s second season.
Split’s most visited attraction – Diocletian’s Palace, a crumbling (but stunning) ancient palace built by the Roman emperor Diocletian at the turn of the 4th century – played a pivotal role in the filming of season five, acting as the site of Daenarys’ throne room and the streets of Meereen.
CASTLE WARD (IRELAND)
During the show’s first season, the 18th-century mansion – surrounded by rolling hillsides and scenic walking trails – was the location for several scenes in Winterfell.
DOUNE CASTLE (SCOTLAND)
Another Winterfell location is Doune Castle, located in the pictureque Scottish countryside.
AZURE WINDOW (MALTA)
The magnificent natural arch made of limestone is located on Gozo, a Maltese island, and made the perfectly whimsical backdrop for Daenerys Targaryens’ wedding to Khal Drogo. Sadly, it has since collapsed (So… RIP).
FORT MANOEL (MALTA)
Located on yet another breathtaking island in Malta, the 18th-century fort is a popular tourist destination for its deep-blue sea views and rich architectural history. Oh, and for its significance on Game of Thrones: the fort was the sight of Eddard Stark’s unjust beheading in season 1.