Insane story lines, sexy medieval folk and dragons… season seven of Game of Thrones kicks off TONIGHT and we’re finding it hard to control our excitement.
To mark the start of the seventh season we’ve scoured the world for 12 epic Game of Thrones locations you can actually visit, so take a walk down memory lane and do some travel planning all in one.
Winter epicness is coming…
Northern Ireland – Epic Level: Pretty Epic
1. The Dark Hedges, County Antrim
The enchanting forest where Arya escapes the Lannisters 📷@samira_aikas
This well-hidden country back road in County Antrim stands in for the King’s Road north of King’s Landing in season two, where Arya Stark flees from enemies after the beheading of her father.
2. Downhill Beach, County Londonderry
The beautiful Downhill beach 📷@rhiannonbhm
Also used for scenes in season two, Downhill Beach near Coleraine in County Londonderry provides the setting for the burning of the seven old gods of Westeros on Dragonstone, and is set to feature in the upcoming seventh season.
3. The Mourne Mountains, County Down
County Down’s stunning Mourne Mountains were used for location shots in the pilot episode, as well as in season one when entry to Vaes Dothrak was filmed at Sandy Brae with Mount Slievemageogh in the background. In season three, Tollymore Forest nearby was used for Theon’s failed escape from his torturers.
Download a self-drive Game of Thrones tour itinerary from Causeway Coast and Glens here, and see where to stay in Northern Ireland.
Malta – Epic Level: Hot And Epic
4. Mdina and Valletta
The former medieval capital of Malta, this 1000-year-old walled city stood in for Westeros capital King’s Landing in season one. The town gate can be seen at the moment of Ned Stark’s arrival, and other scenes were filmed in the city’s winding stone alleyways. Ned Stark’s brutal end was also filmed in Marsamxett Harbour, Valletta. See more with Viator’s ‘Game of Thrones’ Private Tour of Malta.
Spain – Epic Level: Getting Epic-er
5. Girona City
The beautiful city of Girona provided the setting for many episodes in season six, including the dramatic scene of Jamie Lannister riding up the stairs on his white horse and Arya Stark on the streets of Braavos after she is temporarily blinded. Take a tour of the filming location with the Game of Girona Experience.
Seville is another Spain location where many scenes were shot, such as the Palaza de Toros in the town of Osuna just outside Seville, used for the dramatic Meereen battle scene, as well as many scenes shot in the Royal Alcazar which doubles for Dorne Palace.
Croatia – Epic Level: Extremely Epic
In season two, filming for King’s Landing and the Red Keep switched to Croatian walled seaside city Dubrovnik and it now plays host to several settings, including nearby fortresses Minceta Tower (House of the Undying), Bokar and Lovrijenac Fortress (The Red Keep).
Sunbathe by Blackwater Bay (Pile), kayak around Qarth (Lokrum), walk the city walls or visit the setting for Cersei Lannister’s iconic ‘Walk of Shame’ scene in season five through the city on the Jesuit steps in Gundulic square.
8. Lokrum Island Monastery And Botanical Gardens
Game of Thrones set on Lokrum Island 📷@piggyboston
Lokrum island off the Dubrovnik coast stands in for Qarth, an island 10 minutes from the port, which Danaerys Targaryan visits in season two.
Morocco – Epic Level: Epicly Epic
In season three, Danaerys continues her journey on the continent of Essos and arrives at slave-trading city Astapor (where she raises her army of the Unsullied). This is actually Moroccan coastal town Essaouira, famous for its windswept beaches and definitely one of the most historic Game of Thrones locations used for filming.
10. Aït Benhaddou And Ouarzazate
Further scenes in Danaerys’ season three journey were filmed at Atlas Studios in Ouarzazate and at Berber village of kasbahs Aït Benhaddou, which provided the setting for Yunkai – a slaving city Danaerys takes with the Unsullied army. Found in Morocco’s Saharan Atlas Mountains region, Aït Benhaddou is 32km from Ouarzazate. Visit both on a day trip with Morocco Travel Exploration.
Iceland – Epic Level: Too Epic To Handle
11. Lake Myvatn
In seasons two and three, Lake Myvatn in northern Iceland provides the wild landscapes of Beyond the Wall, the land of Wildlings, the Night’s Watch and White Walkers. Here you can visit Grjotagja lava cave (which has a geothermal spring at the bottom), the entrance of which was the setting for Jon Snow and Ygritte’s big romance scene in season three. Take a GOT-themed Lake Myvatn tour with Iceland Travel.
Svínafellsjökull calving glacier (a glacier that ends with a cliff-face) in Skaftafell National Park in the south east extends from Iceland’s vast Vatnajökull glacier. Wintry Beyond the Wall scenes with Jon Snow, Ygritte and the Night’s Watch were filmed here in seasons two and three. Take a walk on Svinafellsjokull Glacier Tongue with Icelandic Mountain Guides and see hostels in Reykjavik.