We are in the grips of Game Of Thrones fever. It is undeniably a thing, whether you want it to be or not. Though if you’re not into it, you’re wrong and we can’t be friends. If you are then I’m sure you’re already aware that by the time the season ends, winter will well and truly be upon us and therefore we should do as all good Aussies do and get the hell out until it warms up again.
So why not combine those loves of epic tv-shows, sunshine, and travels? “But how?” I hear you gasp, probably. The answers, my people, is to travel to the locations of GoT sets, which luckily for us are mostly around Europe who will be in high summer and not covered in snow.
1. Dubrovnik, Croatia
Oh heyyyyy King’s Landing. Those medieval walls, limestone streets, and baroque buildings were in the ancient city of Dubrovnik long before the show was. I strongly recommend walking the fort walls and pretending you’re watching your fleets of navy sailboats bringing the elephants.
Side note, Cersei’s walk of shame was filmed on St. Dominic Street, and ends in that super beautiful spot that IRL is Ploče Gate. Also Princess Myrcella sailed on out of the city from West Harbor, which is pretty as hell.
2. Höfðabrekka, Iceland
Want to head north of The Wall and soak up Frostfangs Mountains without actually having to deal with the wall (sorry, that part isn’t real) or fight White Walkers? Then good news buddy, you can. Head on over to Iceland’s southernmost point, Höfðabrekka. Those cliffs, mountain ranges, and black sand beach are all very much real.
3. Doune Castle, Scotland
Calm yourselves nerds, but Winterfell is a real place that you can walk around. The scenes were shot in Doune Castle, sitting in the Stirling district of central Scotland. This grand structure was also the backdrop for Monty Python and the Holy Grail, which is arguably just as exciting. Just for good measure, Winterfell scenes that weren’t filmed here were filmed in Northern Ireland’s Castle Ward. So go there too.
4. San Lawrenz, Malta
The shows best romance began right here in this coastal town. Well actually at the at Azure Window, the limestone arch reaching into the ocean…but that bad boy collapsed in 2017. The town is ridic cute though. Yes, I’m talking about Khal Drogo – may his incredibly good-looking self RIP – and Daenerys. And don’t @ me, the whole relationship was FAR less problematic and Stockholm Syndrome-y in the book. Which yes, I read first, because I’m that person.
5. Krka National Park, Croatia
Remember those stunning Riverlands, where House Tully ruled from their Riverrun tower? That whole family history got dang messy, but the place is actually the beautiful, real and unsullied – see what I did there – Krka National Park in Croatia. Seriously, the Roski Slap waterfall here is just stunning.
6. Thingvellir National Park, Iceland
This national park happens to be a UNESCO World Heritage site, thanks to its extensive human history and the unique fact there’s a valley running through it caused when two tectonic plates separated. So yeah it’s pretty popular anyway, but also it’s the place where two of my fave GoT characters, The Hound and Brienne of Tarth, battle each other over Arya.
7. Navarra, Spain
When the Dothraki ran into Daenerys and did the not so nice thing of holding her captive in their camps, those camps were set in the dry countryside of Bardenas Reales in Navarra. It’s semi-desert here, so you’re going to see some super cool natural shapes that are very in contrast to the lush greenery of the rest of the park.
8. Stranocum, Northern Ireland
Besides what I still maintain is the world’s best accent, pop over to Northern Ireland and make like Arya as she escapes from King’s Landing with Yoren, Gendry, and Hot Pie. Fleeing down the Kingsroad, known IRL as the beech tree-lined roads of Stranocum. Besides being a damn good Insta shot, Arya’s basically a God now right?
9. Lokrum, Croatia
Quarth looks too good to be true, and it is for the most part, seeing as it’s digital. However, those heavenly gardens were partly filmed in Lokrum’s botanical gardens and what used to be its Benedictine monastery. As if you needed more reason to go island hopping in Croatia?
10. Seville, Spain
Say G’day to Dorne, or at least, that castle in Dorne that Prince Doran of Martell was chilling in during season five. You know, before that whole family was basically wiped off the map. He was actually gazing over the very real Alcázar of Seville. Inside the same palace is that crazy luxe great hall where Ser Jaime Lannister had a little chat with the Prince to get Ser Bronn released.
11. Girona, Spain
You know that big-arse library Samwell Tarly spent most of his time at when he was in the citadel training to be a Maester? Those stunning white stone walls are actually inside the Monastery of Sant Pere de Galligants, residing in Spain’s city of Girona. It was built alllll the way back in 992 so there’s a lot of history here.
12. Dunluce Castle, Northern Ireland
Ok look, I have mixed feeling about the Iron Islands aka the House of Greyjoy. But you have to admit they look damn impressive even if their people are questionable, which is probably because it’s located in Northern Island’s Dunluce Castle. Besides that, archaeologists actually found a whole 17th-century town here during recent excavations.