Excited about Game of Thrones Season 4? Ahead of its premiere on Sky Atlantic on April 6th, we’ve got some pictures of the best filming locations for the new series. For anyone living under a rock, the TV show based on the hugely popular G.R.R. Martin books centres around the fight for power amongst seven feuding families who plan to win the right to the Iron Throne. Featuring the Starks of Winterfell, Lannisters of Casterly Rock, the Greyjoys of the Iron Islands nad House Targaryen it is a fantasy epic with locations that match its incredibly dramatic story lines. Game of Thrones is filmed mostly in Iceland, Ireland, Morocco, Croatia and Malta where rugged landscapes stand in for Winterfell and sun soaked streets play host to the Queen of the Dragons. Here are some of our favourite Game of Thrones locations.
The bulk of Game of Thrones filming season 1, 2 and 3 took place in Northern Ireland, where Castle Ward in Downpatrick became Winterfell and introduced viewers to the Starks, Lannisters and King Baratheon. McComb’s Coach Travel provides Game of Thrones day trips from Belfast where you can also visit the Kings Road and the Cave of Cushendun where the shadow baby was born to Melisandre. Ballintoy Harbour played host to Theon Greyjoy’s homecoming to the Iron Islands and near Bushmills is the avenue of trees known as The Dark Hedges, where Arya Stark escaped King’s Landing. There’s even a GoT exhibit in Belfast where you can take a seat on the Iron Throne.
Images via @ causewaycoastandglens
The Azure Window, Malta was scene of the Dothraki Wedding in season one, this natural beauty spot didn’t just catch the eye of filmmakers but has drawn tourists for years. Mdina on the island was also used as the streets of King’s Landing and Essos in season one. Although Malta was a chosen location in season one of Game of Thrones, cast and crew started filming in Croatia from season two onwards, but you can still do a Game of Thrones walking tour of the city.
To go beyond the Wall, you’ll need to head for Iceland. Vatnajökull National Park in Iceland is one of the locations where you can go ‘north of the wall’ and Lake Myvatn surrounded by lava stacks will be familiar as the place where Jon Snow leads Ygritte into a cave for an intimate moment together. Scenes with the Night’s Watch and the wildlings were filmed in the park and there are many tours to take advantage of. Iceland also has the added advantage of its complete natural beauty, so make the most of it while you’re there!
Once the set for the film Kingdom of Heaven, Ouarzazate in Morocco stands in for the city of Yunkai where Danaerys Targaeryan freed an army of slaves. In fact many of the Khaleesi’s scenes were filmed in the ‘Hollywood of Morocco’. The city is no stranger to famous faces as it was also the settings for Gladiator, Lawrence of Arabia and Troy and the Atlas Studios are known as the biggest in the world.
Croatia’s city of Dubrovnik is now a major filming location for Game of Thrones and it appears much of season 4 was filmed there. Fort Lovrijenac, also known as St Lawrence Fortress is an imposing site built on top of a hill, doubling as the Red Keep of King’s Landing which had many scenes featuring the ruthless King Joffrey and his family. The sea underneath the fortress filled in for the Battle of Blackwater Bay proving what a versatile location it was. The nearby Minceta Tower in the city is where Khaleesi entered the eerie House of the Undying, but most of Dubrovnik will be familiar. A tiny Island just across the harbour called Lokrum, home to a salt lake and 1000 year old abandoned monastery stood in as the port city of Qarth, although the island is said to leave a curse on anyone who stays overnight there. Viator runs some great Game of Thrones walking tours in Dubrovnik.