Everyone has been raging on about how this year will be youth less and unexciting without their favourite HBO period- fantasy drama, Game of Thrones (GOT). Yes, if you are a part- taker in this fandom following you would quite know what I’m talking about.
Will Bran finally confide in Jon the plethora of knowledge he part took in? or will Tyrion beat him to it, confessing that he did encounter or rather, eavesdrop on something the whole fandom was looking forward too since the beginning? If you’re wishing for this year to go by at the speed of lightning just so that you can go back to a world of dragons, white walkers, evil queens and the wildlings, worry not! We have put together a list of seven destinations, rather seven kingdoms which will take you back to the sets of GOT- Literally. Whether you’re looking for vast open landscapes, historic waterfront cities, snow-capped mountains or the roar of the thundering seas, these destinations served as the sets of the filming of your favourite TV show. Each of the Seven Kingdoms in GOT has had unique landscapes and flamboyant sets from sunny Dorne to lush Dothraki fields and icy Winterfell through the seasons. If you want the “ideal fantasy get-away” inspired by GOT this curated list of holiday destinations will not only feature breathtaking views but also, feed your hungry fanatic soul to the fullest!1.
IcelandThe volcanic yet frozen Fjords of Iceland truly make it the Land of Fire and Ice, with sub-zero climates that make up the White Walker environs, North of the Wall. Visit Lake Mývatn (Midge Lake), the Grjótagjá cave (where Jon and Ygritte finally make it official), Kirkjufell (Arrowhead Mountain) and Reynisfjara, on Vik’s black sand beach (The Eastern side of The Wall which was brutally destroyed by the White Walkers in the season seven finale- courtesy of their new toy, Viserion). This destination is also perfect for honeymooners who can find comfort in one another sighting the iridescent and renowned, Northern Lights. Travelers can book a stay at the ultra-luxe Trophy Lodge, a mountain resort nestled beneath the Langjokull glacier, close to the Geysir hot springs and Gullfoss waterfall, where celebs like Jay-Z, Beyoncé, and Gwyneth Paltrow have stayed.
For those of you are on a budget: certain airlines are now offering, subsidized and low-cost travel routes to Iceland, making it much more accessible to savour and gloat over. 2. CroatiaThe home of the iron throne – or for now if we must say, Croatia has contributed not only as the set of King’s Landing but also, as the famous city of Braavos. Battle of Blackwater Bay, general scenes like the busy streets of King’s Landing, bustling markets and sparkling bays were all shot in the UNESCO listed Old Town of Dubrovnik.
Be sure to pack a pair of walking shoes to climb the 250 steps of the Lovrijean Fortress (The Red Keep) overlooking the azure blue waters of the Adriatic Sea and, a walk down the steps of the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola, reenacting Cersei’s walk of shame. Apart from these sites be sure to visit the Split, Krka National Park, Hvar, Plitvice Lakes National Park ( inland towards the Bosnian border), Diocletian’s Palace, Museum of Broken Relationships ( a tribute to love that was lost) and most famous beach in all of Croatia – Zaltni Rat Beach in Bol, on the island of Brac which is said to change shape and colour in accordance to the wind.3.
MoroccoAromatic spice-filled air with a hint of freshly baked bread, this Middle Eastern country was the primary setting of Deanery’s conquests during season three. Essaouira, a port city of Morocco situated in the western region of Marrakesh- Safi, on the coast of the Atlantic Sea, played house to the Slaver’s Bay-the city of Astapor and Yunkai, where Deanery’s is introduced to the Unsullied army. French inspired fortresses and a popular surfing spot, Essaouira isn’t just for the beach bums but, is filled with doses of 18th Century history for the cultural buffs. If you seek the full Moroccan experience make sure to stay in a riad (a traditional Moroccan house built with interior courtyards and open terraces), visit the bustling markets, souks, tanneries and drink Morocco’s famous mint tea. For a slice of the Sahara, there’s the desert town of Merzouga, near the impressive Erg Chebbi sand dunes, accessible via camel treks. Lastly, the intricately painted mosaic tiles and stuccos of the Moroccan Mosques especially, the Hassan II Mosque that is open to Non-Muslim’s as well.
4. Northern IrelandThe patulous greens, rocky landscapes and historic structures are where most of the GOT scenes were filmed in Northern Ireland. Even though most of the magic takes place in the Titanic Studios at Belfast at the Titanic Quarter’s, one can still take a road trip down The Dark Hedges County/ The King’s Road till the Giants Causeway.
Visit the Tolley Forest Park (the Stark’s family compound), the Glens of Antrim (the picturesque Dothraki sea landscapes) and Ballintoy (the Greyjoy-led Iron Islands) for the full experience outside the Titanic Studios. If you prefer to stay put in one place that channels the show’s epic scenery, try Ballyfin, a castle hotel at the foot of the Slieve Bloom Mountains in County Laois. Other touristy destinations to visit would be The Marble Arch Cave Global Geopark, the Botanic Gardens, The Guildhall, The Peace Wall and Castle Ward.