You’ve watched the show week in, week out, cheered your favourite characters’ successes (and villains’ downfalls) and cried when the Gods have been cruel.
Maybe you’ve read the books and despite knowing what lies ahead you still come back to see the world expertly created by George R R Martin (and your imagination) brought to life.
Now into its third season, HBO’s Game of Thrones has captured the hearts and minds of audiences around the globe and fans just can’t get enough of the award-winning fantasy series.
Part of what makes the series so engaging, and really brings the story to life, are the spectacular filming locations chosen by the show’s producers.
From the sun-kissed Mediterranean to the wind-swept Artic, Game of Thrones shows off some of the most beautiful locations around the world.
If you fancy living out your own Game of Thrones fantasy, pay a visit to these destinations…
With volcanoes, glaciers and an otherworldly landscape, Iceland is the perfect setting for the land North of the Wall.
Hofdabrekka Heath and Svinafellsjokull glacier in Skaftafell National Park stood-in for the frighteningly jagged peaks of the Frostfangs mountain range.
To venture where even Wildlings (sorry, Free Folk) fear to tread, take the easy 4km, 1.5 hour round trip to Skaftafellsjökull from Skaftafell Visitor Centre in the National Park.
Iceland is truly a land of Fire and Ice.
Just watch out for White Walkers…
The famous Doune Castle in Stirling, Scotland, made an appearance in the original pilot episode for exterior and interior scenes at Winterfell.
Originally built in the thirteenth century, Doune Castle is an hour from Edinburgh and Glasgow and is packed with history.
It’s not the castle’s first time in the spotlight; you might recognise it as one of the castles featured in Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
The real star of the series so far has been the beautiful Emerald Isles.
Most of the shooting for Game of Thrones was done in Northern Ireland, and it provides a fantastic backdrop for the series.
Not only is Giant’s Causeway one of the most unique and beautiful places on earth, it was also the setting for several important scenes in Game of Thrones.
The remote Ballintoy Harbour served as Iron Islands, the salty, bleak and inhospitable home of the seafaring (and traitorous) House Greyjoy.
Ballintoy doubled as Lordsport Harbour (The Iron Islands) and the beach at Ballintoy is where Theon Greyjoy was baptized into the faith of the ‘Drowned God’.
The caves at Cushendun, easily accessible on foot, are where the crew filmed the rather frightening scene of the sorceress Melisandre giving birth to the infamous Shadow Baby.
The eerie Dark Hedges became the Kingsroad; the Hand’s Tournament in honour of Ned Stark took place at Shane’s Castle; Inch Abbey near Downpatrick was used for the Twins at Riverlands; while Downhill Beach became Dragonstone for the burning of the seven Old Gods in honour of the Lord of Light.
Rural and scenic, Gozo is the second largest island in the Maltese archipelago and is famous for its natural beauty.
The island’s natural arch – the Azure Window – provided the setting for the wedding between Daenerys Targaryen and Khal Drogo.
The Azure Window was created thousands of years ago when two limestone caves collapsed into the sea. The stunning geography of the area and the nearby scuba diving sites of Blue Hole and Inland Sea make Gozo a popular spot for travellers and locals alike.
Gozo is believed to be the site of legendary Ogygia, the mythical home of the nymph Calypso who holds Odysseus captive in Homer’s Odyssey.
The island is also famous for its annual February carnival in the village of Nadur complete with feasts, costumes, fireworks and music.
The Dothraki would surely approve!
The charming port town of Essaouira, Morocco was transformation into exotic Astapor – home of the fearless Unsullied warriors and where Dany shows off her true strength as the Mother of Dragons.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Essaouira is an artsy, cultured destination, with a cool sea breeze and a real bohemian feel and it’s just 2.5 hours from Marrakesh by bus.
Nicknamed the door of the desert, on edge of Sahara lies another Moroccan World Heritage Site – the fortified city Ait Benhaddou.
Aït Benhaddou was part of the former caravan route between the Sahara and Marrakech. It doubled for city of Yunkai on the eastern coast of Slaver’s Bay and as the as the free city of Pentos in the pilot episode.
High in the Atlas Mountains at an elevation of 1160m, Lawrence of Arabia, The Mummy, Gladiator and Salmon Fishing in the Yemen were also filmed here.
The Pearl of the Adriatic, the Dalmatian city of Dubrovnik has been attracting intrepid travellers for centuries and its grand outer walls provide the perfect setting for Westeros’ capital city – King’s Landing.
While the ancient port city Qarth might be far removed from the politics of King’s Landing, its filming location on island of Lokrum is a mere 600m from the city of Dubrovnik.
A popular daytrip destination, Lokrum is easily reached by ferry from the city’s port. Austrian archduke Maximilian once had a holiday home on the island and a monastery and a botanical garden survive.
Northwest of Dubrovnik, Trsteno Arboretum was built by the Gozze family in the 15th century and in the series it’s a favourite spot for the gossiping highborn ladies of King’s Landing. This Gothic-Renaissance park holds a collection of over 300 exotic and decorative trees and shrubs.
Main Image by BSkyB