Real-life Game of Thrones filming locations every superfan should visit

Roshina Jowaheer
Photo credit: HBO/Sky

From Digital Spy

The final series of Game of Thrones is almost upon us and there’s never been a better time to time to keep the magic of the Seven Kingdoms alive than by visiting the show’s most iconic locations on a set-jetting holiday to the likes of Croatia, Iceland and Spain. Here are the most mesmerising Game of Thrones filming locations you'll want to visit in real life…

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Ait Benhaddou, Morocco

A city so spectacular that it has been used many times as a film backdrop, Ait Benhaddou was transformed into the slave-trading city of Yunkai for Game of Thrones, where Daenerys Targaryen battled the Second Sons to liberate the slaves.

You can see the UNESCO-protected fortified village by bike on Explore’s eight-day Southern Oasis Cycling holiday from £930 per person, which takes in the Sahara, Marrakech and the High Atlas. Alternatively, Viator offers day tours of Ait Benhaddou for visitors to Marrakech from £38.87 per person.

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Castle Ward, Northern Ireland

The real-life Winterfell was shot at this National Trust property in County Down, home to the 17th-century farmyard, where Robb Stark’s camp was also filmed. Stay right on set at The Potter’s Cottage, with the Whispering Wood and the clock tower on your doorstep, from £203 for two nights (sleeps four). If you’re just after a tour, Virgin Experience Days runs a guided GoT tour for two, taking in Castle Ward, for £100.

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Related: All of Game of Thrones' cities, mapped and explained

Dubrovnik, Croatia

As the most significant location on the show, the setting of King’s Landing had to be somewhere legendary and Dubrovnik was the only choice, with its UNESCO-protected baroque and gothic architecture and Adriatic views to die for.

Make like Cersei and walk the Jesuit Stairs off St Dominika Street and stroll the City Walls – one of the main reasons GoT was set in Dubrovnik in the first place. Love Holidays offers holidays to Dubrovnik from £182 per person.

TripAdvisor’s GoT tour of Dubrovnik (from £42.74 per person) takes you on a boat ride around the walled city, while Viator’s walking tour (from £53.47 per person) is a great way to explore the filming locations with an in-the-know guide.

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Essaouira, Morocco

The Slaver’s Bay city of Astapor, where Daenerys freed an army of slaves to help her invade Westeros is in fact the seaside city of Essaouira, which boasts laid-back beach vibes and a bohemian feel.

The hip surfers’ paradise’s most enchanting site is probably its old town, where you can get lost in the narrow streets. Kuoni offers three nights at the luxurious Le Medina Essaouira & Spa by MGallery from £548 per person. You can also visit Essaouira on a day trip from Marrakech with Viator, from £34.73 per person.

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Related: More Game of Thrones filming locations in real life

Vatnajökull, Iceland

The otherworldly Vatnajökull is Europe's largest glacier and features in countless scenes as the region beyond the Wall.

In fact, the Wall itself was formed using CGI shots of the glacier. Pack your layers to explore the incredible glacier you need to see to believe at the Vatnajokull National Park during a seven-night holiday with Expedia, from £227 per person, or by taking a guided tour of the glacier with Viator from £83.23.

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Bardenas Reales, Spain

Cast your mind back to when Daenerys crossed the Dothraki Sea on her path to the throne – this mesmerising desert, known as Bardenas Reales in real life, is a unique natural space filled with mysterious formations just an hour from Pamplona. It’s best seen by hiking, cycling or driving and can be explored during a ferry break with Brittany Ferries, with a stay in Estella, Pamplona or Tafalla from £184 per person.

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Dark Hedges, Northern Ireland

You’ll instantly recognise this avenue of beech trees forming an eerie tunnel as a stretch of the Kingsroad. The must-see attraction along Bregagh Road in County Antrim is one of the most-photographed natural sites in Northern Ireland.

You can see it for yourself during Trafalgar’s 10-day Shamrocks and Leprechauns holiday, which takes you to the best Game of Thrones locations and more from £2,025 per person. Alternatively, make Belfast your base (it’s one hour away), checking in to the Grand Central Hotel (from £162 per night) and taking a full-day tour of the show’s locations with TripAdvisor, from £35 per person.

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Mdina, Malta

A must-see for Thrones fans, this stunning city traces back to 4,000 years and provides medieval walls, King's Landing-style alleys and beautiful, baroque architecture. Take a walk around the courtyard outside Littlefinger’s brothel (Pjazza Mesquita) and check out Mdina Gate, where Cat and Ned said goodbye for the last time. SOB. offers three-night holidays to Malta for as little as £159 per person, including flights.

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Cushendun Caves, Northern Ireland

Remember this epic spot in the Stormlands where Melisandre gave birth to the shadow creature?

You can discover Cushendon Caves for yourself on a trip to County Antrim by grabbing a cheap flight to Belfast (from £23 one way) and hiring a car, before checking in to cosy National Trust cottage Strand House (sleeps five), from £255 for three nights, to really get away from it all while surrounded by dramatic scenery from the show.

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Thingvellir National Park, Iceland

There’s no better spot to stand in for the entrance to the Eyrie than this incredible UNESCO World Heritage-listed national park. Here, you can snorkel its crystal-clear lake, marvel at the Oxararfoss waterfall and hike through the Almannagja gorge.

Titan Travel offers a five-day escorted tour, combining waterfalls, glaciers, volcanoes and the Northern Lights, from £1,399 per person. Alternatively, TripAdvisor runs GoT tours from Reykjavik from £91 per person.

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Lokrum Island, Croatia

Daenerys may have been welcomed in Qarth but it’s the real-life Lokrum Island, just off Dubrovnik, that will take your breath away.

It’s home to pine, cypress and olive trees and offers a true sanctuary from bustling Dubrovnik during the heat of summer. (It's even got a replica Iron Throne for you to sit in. Plus free-range peacocks.)

Teletext Holidays has Dubrovnik holiday deals from £147 for seven nights. If it’s just a tour from the city you’re after, Viator has sea kayaking experiences and snorkelling adventures around Lokrum from £24.49 per person.

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Tollymore Forest Park, Northern Ireland

The lands around Winterfell, which saw Ned Stark come across the orphaned direwolves, is Northern Ireland’s Tollymore Forest, the location where the White Walkers also began their invasion into the realm of men.

The Haunted Forest offers visitors 600 hectares of ancient redwoods as well as gothic stone arches to explore. You'll find affordable weekends away in Belfast to explore Tollymore Forest on a day trip, from £250 per person with easyJet Holidays.

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Doune Castle, Scotland

You’ll recognise the thick stone walls and powerful structure of this Scottish castle as Winterfell and with its great views, it’s not hard to see why it was chosen as a filming location.

The medieval fortress is one of the best preserved in the county, with a massive Great Hall and kitchen fireplace big enough for you to stand in that are well worth checking out. has a selection of B&Bs and hotels near the castle from £40 per night.

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Seville, Spain

Doubling as Dorne, the sunnier climes of Seville were ideal as the most southernly of the Seven Kingdoms. Alcazar of Seville, one of the most captivating palaces in Spain, aka Sunspear, is a must-visit to check out House Martell’s Water Gardens and an hour away in the town of Osuna, you can visit the real-life Great Pit of Daznak, where Daenerys flew off on the back of her dragon. BA offers three-night city breaks to Seville that are luxurious and affordable, from £217 per person.

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Reynisfjara, Iceland

This black sand beach near the town of Vík, on the southern coast, is one of the most spectacular beaches you’ll find in Iceland. You’ll remember it as the beach at Eastwatch thanks to its huge basalt stacks, roaring Atlantic waves and dramatic views. Explore’s Northern Lights with Expert Astronomer holiday is a great way to visit the beach, while also visiting Gullfoss waterfalls, the Blue Lagoon and catching the Northern Lights, from £1,270 for four days.

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