“Game of Thrones” Shines Spotlight on Icelandic, Irish Landscapes

Europe_Ireland_Dunluce Castle at MoonlightHBO’s hit fantasy series Game of Thrones, which returns for its fourth season April 6, is technically set in the fictional land of Westeros. But in the real world, George R. R. Martin’s mystical world is portrayed by remote parts of North Ireland, Iceland and Croatia — many of which can now be visited by fans traveling to — or cruising in — the area.

Iceland, an increasingly popular site for film shoots, now boasts several Game of Thrones (GoT) tours where fans can get their inner “wilding” on. Guides bring guests to locations like Lake Mývatn, which stand in for the land north of the Wall, a fortification that protects the people of Westeros from the zombie-like White Walkers.

GoT enthusiasts can also visit Northern Ireland, where the the scenes involving the land of Winterfell, one of Westeros’ Seven Kingdoms, are filmed. The area — laden with crumbling castles, luscious glens and limestone cliffs — has become so well-associated with the show that Tourism Ireland recently announced plans to incorporate GoT into their newest advertising campaign and hopefully encourage the show’s global fan base to see, in person, the locations where  Arya Stark escapes Kings Landing (the Dark Hedges), Brienne beats Ser Loras in a tournament (Larrybane) and many more. Travelers can also stop in local stores like Steensons, where many of the show’s signature pieces — such as King Joffrey’s crown — were hand-crafted.

For GoT fans not headed to Iceland or Ireland, HBO is hosting a global traveling exhibit that aims to give fans an immersive experience consisting of costume displays, virtual reality set-ups and of course, opportunities to sit in on the Iron Throne. To complete the whole GoT experience, fans can also imbibe Fire and Blood Red Ale from Brewery Ommegang, whip up some honey-spiced locusts from the Game of Thrones cookbook and listen to the hip-hop mixtape.


Watch the “Game of Thrones” cast on shooting in Iceland:

The “Game of Thrones” cast on shooing in Ireland:

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