Iron mighty Game of Thrones will soon be back on our screens.
And as well as lashings of violence, naughty words, nudity, general mayhem, intrigue and fiery dragons, the telly titan has also introduced us to many worldly wonders.
Many of the spectacular locations featured on the show aren’t just a product of green screen.
The Seven Kingdoms of Westeros are in fact shot only a matter of hours from the UK – and make ideal holiday destinations for Thrones fans.
And while our favourite characters are getting ready to face winter this series, we’re still very much thinking about our summer holidays – so Mirror Travel has compiled a round-up of brilliant deals at epic filming locations you can go and explore.
Ideal for those interested in a trip Beyond the Wall, across the Narrow Sea, or for anyone who reckons the only way is Essos…
Which locations are included?
Each destination guide includes the best film sets to visit, the hotels closest to the action, and even a deal for a cheap holiday!
- Northern Ireland
Game of Thrones Season 7
A lot of Game of Thrones is filmed inside Belfast’s Titanic Studios so it comes as no surprise that Northern Ireland’s sweeping landscapes have also played host to a wide array of Seven Kingdoms locations.
For example, Winterfell’s forests where Ned Stark first found the direwolves (but let’s not talk about that too much) are actually part of the breathtaking Tollymore Forest Park, while the jaw-dropping Dothraki Sea landscapes are from the Glens of Antrim.
It’s not just the stunning backdrops that have featured in the show – there are some hotspots that fans will no doubt recognise – check out some of the best ones below.
GoT there: Expedia currently has a three-night stay at the Malmaison Belfast with prices from £282pp, based on two people sharing. Includes return flights from London with an August departure. Click here to book.
The dramatic rocky coast of the Iron Islands sits in this picturesque Ballintoy Harbour, a small fishing harbour between Larrybane and Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge.
It’s where Theon Greyjoy returns after his ordeal with Ramsay Bolton to reconnect with sister Yara.
Once you’ve taken in the scenery, the village is just one kilometre away where you can find a variety of quaint shops and local restaurants, as well as plenty of accommodation if you need an overnight pit stop.
Dark Hedges Road
This mystical archway of intertwined trees is one of Northern Ireland’s most photographed locations, and its popularity has only continued to soar since it appeared in the hit series.
Fans will know the natural phenomenon as the Kingsroad, the giant highway that runs from King’s Landing to The Wall, including a stop at Winterfell.
Back in the real world it makes for a very scenic drive, but be wary – nowadays there are lots of tourists doing the same so it’s worth heading out early if you’re after some amazing photos.
40,000 pieces of interlocking volcanic rock columns make up the area of Giant’s Causeway – the result of an ancient volcanic eruption in the days of yore, whose ominous mood is only complemented by the crashing waves of the coastline.
The vast area is home to numerous memorable Game of Throne’s moments, so make sure to book out a whole day to squeeze in all the sights.
Start with a visit to the caves of Cushenden where Red priestess Melisandre gave birth to her Shadow Assassin baby, then head over to Ballycastle, where Varys was born as a slave in the Free Cities.
Where to stay: The Marine Hotel
If you’re hoping to beat the crowds to get that Instagram-worthy snap of Dark Hedges Road then this 3-star hotel could be ideal, thanks to its close proximity to the hotspot (it’s a 14-minute drive).
Expect cosy bedrooms with comfortable beds and picturesque views of the sea, the hotel also boasts a restaurant and lounge serving up hearty dishes to fill you up after a busy day of sightseeing.
How much? Prices start from £105 a night. Book your stay on Hotels.com.
This 17th castle-turned luxury hotel’s offering includes a themed Afternoon Tea, a tour of a whole host of filming locations, and then a special banquet dinner to finish off the day – and of course, a stay in one of their comfortable rooms, with breakfast in the morning.
The Game of Thrones® Tour Package starts from £140 per person in a superior room on a BB basis. Package includes banquet dinner and Game of Thrones® Afternoon Tea. The tour will run on Friday 11 August and Friday 8 September.
Aït Benhaddou, Morocco
Essaouira on Morocco’s West Coast has made a great backdrop for plenty of TV and cinema gold, which is hardly unsurprising considering that the French-inspired fortress port looks straight out of a fantasy novel.
Game of Thrones fans will recognise the scenery as the dilapidated Astapor, home to the Eunuch slave soldiers known as the Unsullied, where Daenerys is almost assassinated.
You can see the land in all its peaceful, natural glory, rather than behind the drama of the famous Siege of Astapor.
GoT there: easyJet Holidays currently has a seven-night stay at the 4-star Riad Al madina on a bed and breakfast basis, with prices from £639.15 based on two people sharing. Includes return flights from London with an August departure. Click here to book.
Where to stay:
This luxury 5-star Riad is just 500m from where filming of Astapor took place, and boasts beautiful traditional Moroccan design with a modern stylish flare.
It’s perfect for an indulgent break, not only because of its spa and roof terrace for spectacular views, but also because it’s just a 12-minute walk from the beach.
How much? Prices start from £66 per night. Book your stay on Hotels.com.
Dar El Haja
Feel like a true desert wanderer as you roam the ancient streets of Aït Benhaddou, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, before heading back to this cosy home away from home that sits just 500m from where filming took place.
The 3-star hotel has just nine rooms so it makes the ideal peaceful getaway, not to mention it has an outdoor pool and offers spa services.
How much? Prices start from £44 per night. Book your stay on Hotels.com.
With its glorious weather, picturesque cobbled streets and eye-catching landscapes, it comes as no surprise that Croatia has provided many a backdrop throughout the series.
Most notably, the cities of Split and Dubrovnik have served as King’s Landing, where the Lannisters currently rule – and fans are eagerly awaiting to see what will happen now that Cersei has been crowned as queen.
We take a look at the cities that need to be on your radar for a true GoT experience…
The filming site for King’s Landing, this gorgeous city is the backdrop to the capital of the Seven Kingdoms.
It’s the site of betrayals, a beheading, the fateful Purple Wedding, and Cersei’s very public humiliation by the High Sparrow.
Dubrovnik should be at the top of any GoT fan’s bucket list.
It is a UNESCO world heritage site and renowned for its historic port and walled old town. It also boasts elegant Baroque churches and aristocratic palaces, as well as impressive fortresses – including the Mincenta Tower which served as the House of Undying that Daenerys faces to get her dragons back.
Despite being one of the more expensive parts of Croatia to visit, you can get a great deal if you plan your trip around the quieter months of May and June or September and October.
GoT there: Lastminute.com is currently offering a four-night stay at the 4-star Villa Paradiso 2, on a bed and breakfast basis, from just £319pp. Based on a September departure with return flights from London. Click here to book.
This picturesque city sits on the Adriatic Coast, and provided the perfect setting for Braavos, where Arya Stark was trained by the Faceless Man at the House of Black and White, before setting off to avenge her family.
Serving as a gateway to the Kornati Islands the city doesn’t boast the giant statues that fans have come to recognise from the show, but it does have plenty of amazing sights including a host of ancient cathedrals nestled amongst its streets.
Oh, and make sure to check out the Cathedral of St. James which is decorated with 71 sculpted faces – it’ll make you feel like you’re in the Hall of Faces with Arya.
Where to stay:
Heritage Hotel Life Palace
Situated just outside the centre of Sibenik, this 4-star hotel offers old world charm with all the decadent trimmings.
It’s just a two-minute walk to the famous Saint James Cathedral, and in a vibrant neighbourhood so you can make the most of the city’s nightlife after a day of exploring!
How much? Prices start from £144 per night. Book your stay with Hotels.com.
Pucic Palace, Dubrovnik
This 5-star beach hotel is in the heart of Dubrovnik Old Town, and just a short stroll through the surrounding streets will leave you feeling like you’ve stepped into the Seven Kingdoms and are a stone’s throw from the Lannisters.
The hotel’s location is brilliant for sightseeing with Rector’s Palace, the Church of St. Blaise and Orlando’s Column all less than one minute’s walk away.
How much? Prices start from £343 per night. Book your stay with Hotels.com.
Spain has provided many a backdrop across the Seven Kingdoms, including Dorne, Meereen and the Dothraki Sea.
It’s been host to some seriously dramatic scenes – for example the Seville Osuna Bull Ring which served as the Great Pit of Daznak where Daenerys escapes an attack from the Sons of Harpy atop of Drogon.
Spain is great if you’re on a GoT fan on a budget, as there are plenty of cheap flights and packages on offer – for example easyJet has direct flights to Seville from just £30.49.
A key location for GoT’s fifth and sixth series, the versatile province of Almeria is in south-eastern Spain and was used for scenes in the cities of Meereen and Dorne and the Dothraki Sea (not a sea of course, a vast steppe).
It’s no stranger to blockbusters anyway. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Exodus: Gods and Kings, and Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade were shot in its rugged landscape.
The Costa de Almeria boasts more than 60 miles of untainted coastline, with hidden coves and soft sandy beaches. In Roquetas de Mar, there are beachside cafes and plenty of water sport activities, but venture a little further afield and you’ll find empty stretches.
The best time of year is July and August, though for the best prices avoid school holidays. And Dothraki horsemen.
GoT there: Thomas Cook offers a host of all-inclusive packages in Almeria from just £510pp – and you can easily incorporate a day out of exploring to see the filming locations. Click here for more information.
Seville is the flamboyant Andalusian capital and home to the Moors’ serene Royal Alcazar, one of the country’s most beautiful royal palaces which doubles as Dorne’s palace.
One of the most dramatic scenes of the fifth series – Meereen’s gladiatorial games in Daznak’s Pit which saw Jorah save Daenerys, and Drogon the dragon swoop down to attack the Sons of the Harpy – was filmed an hour outside Seville in the little whitewashed Andalusian town of Osuna. Around 550 extras piled in for the shoot.
The Royal Alcazar has around 700 visitors a day, so plan ahead and visit early for a more tranquil experience.
The cast stayed at the iconic Alfonso XIII hotel during filming in Seville – a place favoured by Hollywood’s elite and renowned for its baroque-style courtyard, decorative brickwork and wrought-iron features. There is no truth in the rumour the hotel bar has a Harpy hour…
GoT there: British Airways is offering flights to Seville and a three night stay at the Alfonso XIII Hotel from £560, based on two adults sharing, with a London Gatwick departure. Click here to book your trip.
Where to stay: Hotel Boutique Elvira Plaza
Step into the lavish world of Dorne in this charming boutique hotel. It’s just 300m from Seville’s majestic Alcazar, also known as the private palace residence of House Martell.
There are just nine guestrooms so you won’t be left queuing for breakfast or battling crowds at check-in, not to mention the hotel has a roof terrace that’s ideal for soaking up the rays and unwinding after a busy day of adventure in the Seven Kingdoms.
How much? Prices from £78 per night. Book your stay on Hotels.com.
- Grjotagja – Jon and Ygritte’s cave
You want Wildlings and White Walkers? This is the place, with Iceland used for filming scenes at the Wall and beyond.
It’s an essential part of any GoT pilgrimage, and you can join plenty of local tours where guides happily point out filming locations in Reykjavik and the surrounding region.
For example, there are plenty of tours including a trip to the Grjotagja cave, where Jon Snow and Ygritte had their first romantic encounter.
While visiting in the winter is a magical (and chilly) experience, the brief summer gives you access to the untouched parts of Iceland.
However, spring and autumn are the seasons to aim for if you want to enjoy less hostile weather at more reasonable prices.
It’s a haven for sightseers and nature lovers, and there is a tour for everyone – from walking to whale watching and volcanoes. Many can be booked in advance and some even include overnight camping. But check the weather. Prepare for anything. Dragonglass at the ready…
GoT there: Lastminute.com is offering a three-night stay at the 4-star Centerhotel Midgardur on a room only basis, from £299pp. Includes return flights from London on a September departure. Click here to book.
Bonus hotel: Fosshotel Myvatn
For the adventurous at heart, a stay at this trendy 3-star hotel is a must – and it’s just a stone’s throw from Lake Myvatn, the location used for filming Beyond the Wall.
Also nearby are Myvatn Nature Baths and the dramatic Hverfjall Crater – perfect for an immersion into the wilderness that the Wildlings and White Walkers roam.
How much? Prices from £217 per night. Book your stay with Hotels.com.