So the 3rd season of Game of Thrones came to an end with 13.6 million viewers. It became HBO's most watched series since the The Sopranos in 2004. I am not going to spoil anything for those who haven't read the books in the past 17 years … but you know what to do this summer at the beach or by the pool.
To pay homage to this amazing show and to help the fans going through Withdrawal I was thiking about taking a Game of Thrones Summer Tour. I know you can find some local tours related to GOT [like this 3 hours Game of Thrones' Walking Tour of Dubrovnik or one full day excursion in Northern Ireland] but I would love if one travel agency would organize complete trips according to the various filming locations used in the show … it would be fun and I would be in!
You could choose betwen a couple of packages. The Wolf's Package taking you to the Northen Territories, The Dragon's Package for those who prefer hot and sunny places or The King's package would have you tour it all like a real King, in all safety …
So where the King's Package would take you and where would you stay, here is my Game Of Thrones Summer Tour:
In Iceland, the Svinafellsjokull calving glacier in Skaftafell became the main filming location. Scenes were shot in winter time with limited time of daylight and other weather issues, so enjoying it during the summer would give you an idea of the locations without having to deal with blizard …
I personally would not go crazy about this first stop but Iceland Blue lagoon (below, and not featured in the series) may be worth the trip to itself. Alek and I went to Iceland … twice, on our way from Paris to Los Angeles. Two stops courtesy of medical emergencies with Air France. The only 'positive part' (besides saving the life of people by landing to the nearest airport) was that in order to empty the fuel we had to fly around the island for about 45 mns before landing, giving us some amazing views of Iceland :/
The next stop would take us to the 14th century castle of Doune in Scotland, UK (below) This was the location that served as Winterfell during the pilot episode of the first season only but still worth the detour because of the other many amazing castles around.
The Giants Causeway and its unique rock formations have, for millions of years, stood as a natural rampart against the ferocity of Atlantic storms.
Other places such as Shane's Castle or Ballintoy Harbour below have been used in the show.
For my Irish stay I think (well I am pretty sure) I would choose the Ashford Castle. It is not exactly near the GOT locations but totally worth the detour. I think it would take the hotel security to 'check me out' of this Suite below …
Dubrovnik and Lokrum Island's monastery in Croatia, this location was used for scenes that take place in Qarth. Legend says that the island was cursed by the monks, after a French general ordered the monastery closed, and all inhabitants expelled. The monks cursed the island “Whosoever claims Lokrum for his own personal pleasure shall be damned.” Soon the people who had expelled them died and for the next centuries, things just kept happening to anyone who tried to live on the island and claim it as their own. So you should be good as long as you just visit
From the Dwejra Arch (above) to Mdina and Fort Ricasoli (below) Malta has been used a lot as the gorgeous cityscape of King’s Landing.
The last stop would be Essaouira and Ouarzazate (above) in Morocco. But no need to live in a tent with your unborn dragon's eggs to enjoy Ouarzazate. You could lounge on the roof top terraces of the Kasbah Ellouze guest house (only 9 rooms) and take a dip into the pool to brave the average 103°f in the summer.
A lot of scenes from Kissed by the Dragon episode in season 3 were shot on the beautiful city of Essaouira located on the Atlantic coast.
You can check out a lot of photos from the set here.
Of course if you have a lot of time and a lot of money to spend this summer. You can make your own GOT tour. Just send me postcards
Game of Thrones is set to begin filming the fourth season this July so you may even get the chance to encounter some of your favorite characters and we should expect a Game of Thrones season 4 premiere late-March, early-April.