Ahoy Pentoshi pirates!
Now that winter has come, and subsequently gone, we have rounded up the most amazing filming locations from all seasons of Game of Thrones so you can continue to live in the longest winter seen for years. And also fill that massive hole in your life! So kick back, pour a glass of Dornish red and get ready for some serious Westerosi wanderlust.
Oh and just to point out, this post is dark and full of spoilers (well just a few, but better safe than sorry!).
1. Ballymoney, Northern Ireland
In what feels like a lifetime ago, back when we were all sweet summer children, Ned Stark (RIP) and his daughters travelled along the Kingsroad to King's Landing.
You'd have thought that the perfect tunnel of twister trees was a CGI marvel, but alas it is real! Known locally as the Dark Hedges, the stretch of beech trees in County Antrim really exists and leaves many a visitor in awe of its photogenic spookiness!
2. Bardenas Reales, Spain
If you want to experience the delights of Dothraki culture, such as sampling horse heart or trying on a custom-made gold crown, you'll want to head to the Bardenas Reales badlands!
The semi-desert landscape was one of several filming locations for the Dothraki Sea; others include the Tabernas Mountains in Spain and the Mourne Mountains in Northern Ireland. Just don't forget your riding boots!
3. Almodóvar del Rio, Spain
Home to the sassiest person in Westeros (Lady Olenna), Highgarden made its highly anticipated introduction to our screens in season 7, and is portrayed by the medieval castle of Almodóvar del Rio in the Spanish province of Córdoba.
Whilst House Tyrell may be renowned for its beauty - the lush lands of the Reach, walls covered in vines and courtyards filled with music - the real reason this place will forever be remembered by fans is for the slickest mic drop in Westeros history!
4. Klis, Croatia
Set amongst the mountains northeast of Split, the medieval fortress at Klis is an impressive sight. For Game of Thrones fans, it will be familiar as the exterior shot location for the city of Mereen - you know, where Daenerys (or Dany as we like to call her now) demonstrated her critical thinking skills by crucifying the masters and setting into motion that tiresome Sons of the Harpy shadow war and subsequent collapse of Mereen's economy.
It's a lovely fortress though!
5. Dubrovnik, Croatia | 6. Mdina, Malta | 7. Girona, Spain
No Game of Thrones list would be complete without mentioning Dubrovnik, which has sprung to fame amongst fans as the primary filming location of King's Landing, with familiar sites like the Red Keep gardens (Trsteno Arboretum) and the castle walls (For Lovrijenac) found throughout this coastal city.
Please note that locals are a fickle bunch, fond of forming angry mobs and hurling vegetables at downtrodden noblewomen. Please exercise caution.
You may also witness weird behaviour, as shown below.
Despite Dubrovnik being the filming location of choice after Season 1, the walled city of Mdina, Malta will always have a place in our very broken hearts as the King's Landing of Ned Stark..
Visitors can relive some of the season's most memorable moments, from Ned and Catelyn's farewell to his little brawl with Jaime Lannister in Mesquita Square... and that moment we don't want to mention (like seriously, don't make us say it) on the rampart of San Anton Palace...
The Sept of Baelor, located in the heart of King's Landing, has been the backdrop to some of the series' most iconic moments.
It has actually been represented by three different locations throughout the years: Ned's fate was sealed on the steps of Fort Manoel in Malta; Jamie demonstrated some fancy equestrian skills on the steps of Girona Cathedral in Spain (picture below) in season; and how can we forget Cersei's shameful walk through the city beginning on the steps of the Jesuit Stairs in Dubrovnik.
8. Alcázar of Seville, Spain
Despite the superfluous and sometimes disappointing Dorne plot line, one thing we can praise is the choice of the Alcazar of Seville as the location for the palace of Sunspear.
This beautiful southern Spanish palace was built by Moorish kings and is the oldest European palace that is still in use. Just watch out for the Sand Snakes in the gardens.
9. Castlerock, Northern Ireland | 10. San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, Spain
The ancestral home of House Targaryen may not be the cosiest looking palace in all of Westeros, but who needs tapestries and cushions when you have dragon fire to keep you warm?
Back in the day, when Stannis was still lecturing people by day and defiling tabletops by night, Downhill Strand in County Londonderry, Northern Ireland served as the set of the island of Dragonstone. It was here Melisandre brought a little religious intolerance to the party by burning statues of the seven gods.
With Dany's long-awaited return to Westeros, we finally got a better look at the Targaryen stronghold. Gaztelugatxe on the Basque coast of Spain was a fitting choice for the exterior shots of the castle, with its crooked coastline and dramatic, winding stone pathway that connects it to the mainland.
11. Girona, Spain | 12. Šibenik, Croatia
The Free City of Braavos - known for its canals, religious tolerance and Swiss banking practices - was the location of Arya's seasons long Karate Kid montage/harrowing gap year.
Its heritage of medieval wealth and a multicultural history makes Girona the perfect filming location for the bustling Braavos. The tangled cobblestone lanes look like they were made to play the part of the twisting alleyways of this "labyrinth of illusion and deceit".
Šibenik appeared onscreen in Season 5 (which seems like forever ago), when Lord Tyrell was sent to negotiate with the Iron Bank and Arya began her unpaid 'internship' at the House of Black and White, portrayed by St. James Cathedral.
13. Cushendun, Northern Ireland
If you're into demon babies or just want a weird location for a pregnancy announcement photoshoot, then the location where Melisandre gave birth to her demon shadow baby is the place for you! You'll find the Cushendun Caves near the charming coastal village of Cushenden in Northern Ireland.
Note: we do not recommend giving birth here, for the love of R'hilor.
14. Aït Benhaddou, Morocco
Remember the first Daario Naharis? You know the sleazy long haired one, who you kinda fancied buy you know shouldn't have like? If so, you'll recall that Dany and her bedmate first met outside the walls on Yunkai before the city opened its gates to the Mother of Dragons.
The scenes were shot outside the red-hued village Aït Benhaddoi near Ouarzazate in Morocco, which has also been used in other classics like The Mummy and Gladiator.
15. Trujillo, Spain
Let's be honest, we expected Casterly Rock to be a bit taller, like "three times taller than the Wall" taller or "I have a crick in my neck from straining to see the top of this unreasonably massive cliff and equally massive castle" kinda taller.
But tallness aside, Castillo de Trujillo in Spain is a pretty impressive castle, boasting seventeen square towers and four standing gates.
The Iron Islands
16. Ballintoy, Northern Ireland | 17. Murlough Bay, Northern Ireland
If the Iron Islands were a real place, we suspect its tourism board would have a hard time selling the grey weather, barnacle-encrusted inhabitants and an economic system based on pillaging to prospective tourists.
Luckily it isn't, but the filming locations in Northern Ireland are, and they happen to be lovely (but also slightly grey). Ballintoy Harbour, which stood in for Lordsport, Pyke in Season 2 when pre-Ramsey Theon returned home to warm welcome from his father, is a charming little place full of friendly locals.
Speaking of warm welcomes, remember the horse ride Theon shared with his sister Yara? That scene was shot along the picturesque cliffs of Murlough Bay, which lies just 12 miles from Ballintoy Harbour.
Tower of Joy
18. Campillo de Dueñas, Spain
The impressive 12th century Caste of Zafra, in Spain's Guadalajara province, appeared in Game of Thrones as the Tower of Joy - a.k.a. the scene that had every book reader hyperventilating in anticipation.
Although the castle's appearance in the series was brief, it was hugely important. Not only did the Tower of Joy scene reveal a game changing secret, it also gave viewers a glimpse of Lyanna Stark and master of hide and seek Howland Reed. If you missed the importance of this scene, it is definitely worth checking out. If not, just smile, nod and pretend as though you know exactly what we are talking about.
Beyond the Wall
19. Vatnajökull National Park, Iceland | 20. Mývatn, Iceland
Small wonder that the creators of Game of Thrones chose Vatnajoökull National Park to stand in for the lands Beyond the Wall (and the backdrop to some for the finest, windswept moments of Jon Snow's hair). This stunning landscape is filled with geothermal rivers, ice caves, snowy mountain peaks and massive glaciers.
Its the perfect place to live out all your wildest wildling fantasies. But you might want to pack a few shards of dragonglass just in case.
Talking of wildling fantasies, time to get hot and steamy in the cave where Ygritte discovered that Jon Snow actually knows something (mainly female anatomy) in Season 3. It was filmed in the beautiful Grjótagjá hot spring near lake Mývatn, a popular local bathing spot and respite from the freezing Icelandic winters.
21. Strangford, Northern Ireland
Last on our list (but certainly not least) is Castle Ward in County Down, Northern Ireland, which served as the set of Winterfell. The beloved Stark stronghold is where it all started, way back when we were all innocent, happy and playing the game of thrones seemed like a jolly good time.
You'll be happy to know, Castle Ward now offers a variety of Game of Thrones tours and activities, including archery, direwolf meet and greets and medieval banquets. Just try not to sob into your venison as you remember Arya happily flinging food at Sansa's face or Ned's fatherly smile. Oh how times of changed...
Can't wait to go and explore the Seven Kingdom's? Head to our Flight Finder to start planning the ultimate Game of Thrones getaway!