Thought Game Of Thrones was only about sex and dragons?
How wrong you are, because the Sky Atlantic/HBO titan boasts much more than gratuitous nudity and wall-to-wall slaying. Chiefly, some stunning European locations that serve as the backdrop for Westeros.
Ahead of Game Of Thrones’ long-awaited sixth season return on April 24, here are 10 real-life locations from the show – courtesy of Hertz – which you can actually visit. Start saving for that holiday…
Hverfjall Volcano, Lake Myvatin – Iceland
A popular escape for Jon and Ygritte in season three, this lake was formed from an eruption more than 2000 years ago. The crater also boasts caves that you can spend hours exploring.
Azure Window, Gozo – Malta
Remember Daenerys Targaryen and Khal Drogo’s wedding all the way back in season one? It happened here near this limestone arch by the Maltese island of Gozo.
Mdina City Gate – Malta
Game Of Thrones fans in Malta can’t move for recognisable locations from the show. This gate in Mdina was built in the 18th century and doubles for exterior shots for Seven Kingdoms city King’s Landing.
Alcázar of Seville – Spain
Water Gardens in the Principality of Dorne, seen in season five of Game Of Thrones, comes courtesy of this palace in Spain, the Alcázar of Seville. It’s the oldest royal palace still in use in Europe and was registered as a World Heritage Site in 1987. Perfect calm away from the madness of Westeros.
Almería – Spain
Here’s one you haven’t seen yet. Season six filmed in the stunning Spanish city of Almería. With ancient castles set against epic mountain views, could this be doubling up for the Kingdom of Dorne?
Castle Ward Estate, County Down – Northern Ireland
This imposing Gothic estate doubles as a location for Winterfell’s castle in the Kingdom of the North. A National Trust site, it offers a Game Of Thrones tour, a farmyard and six different walking routes for tourists. Nearby in Downpatrick is the reported burial spot for Ireland’s patron saint, St Patrick.
Dark Hedges, County Antrim – Northern Ireland
Another beautiful Northern Ireland backdrop, another location for Game Of Thrones. This country lane, Bregagh Road, leads to and from King’s Landing. Fans will recognise it as the location for Arya’s daring escape in season 2.
Murlough Bay – Northern Ireland
Making it a Northern Ireland Thrones hat trick is Murlough Bay, used as a filming location for the Iron Islands. Theon and Yara’s incestuous horseback ride happened right here.
Doune Castle – Scotland
A 14th century castle just north of Stirling, this has been used for Winterfell scenes on multiple occasions and has also cropped up in many Hollywood films – everything from Ivanhoe to Monty Python And The Holy Grail have used it.
Minceta Tower, Dubrovnik – Croatia
This 15th century marvel is used as Thrones’ House of the Undying in the trading city of Qarth. Home base for Daenerys Targaryen, it’s also close to other locations in Split, Sibenik and Ston, making Croatia the principle location for Game Of Thrones filming.