Missing Game of Thrones this year? Whether or not you are a fan of the hit show, you would certainly be a fan of the inspiring destinations where much of it is filmed.
Kings Landing was often located in a popular tourist destination in Croatia, within the walled city of Dubrovnik (until it later moved to Spain). The kingdom of Dorne and Highgarden, the seat of House Tyrell, is based in medieval Spain and filmed in various castles and manors throughout. Daenerys and her army were victorious at Slaver’s Bay in Morocco. Iceland is home to the areas beyond the Wall—the Wildlings and Whitewalkers.
While all these destinations are wonderful places for your next vacation, this month of March we want to concentrate on the Irish Connection and all things Green!
Journey through the beautiful country of Ireland, with its 40 shades of green. GoT fans can begin their trip near Belfast, Northern Ireland, where the forests, mountains, and moorlands are the stage for some of the show’s most memorable moments. It was here that Brienne clashed with the Hound, Sansa passed the Bloody Gate, and Robb Stark was proclaimed King of the North. Not all the action takes place in real-world locations, so you can visit Titanic Studios in Belfast, one of Europe’s largest film studios.
While in Belfast, visit the magnificent Titanic Belfast, a state-of-the-art attraction that will immerse you in the story of the iconic ship. Driving north where many popular scenes were filmed, stop for photos at the sprawling ruins of Dunluce Castle, aka the House of Greyjoy, then on to visit the natural wonder that is Giant’s Causeway, hexagonal columns formed by volcanic activity over 60 million years ago.
Take a walk across the hanging Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, which was a death sentence for Theon’s father Balon. Spanning a chasm some eighty feet deep, you cross by holding a double hand rail to Carrick Island on the other side. The reward is seeing the diverse birdlife and an uninterrupted view across to Rathlin Island and Scotland. There is only one way off the island – back across the swinging bridge; don’t look down!
Visit Dunluce Castle for a truly great photo opportunity. This heritage gem is dramatically situated cliffside, dropping into the sea on the Causeway Coastal Route, a must see! Then visit Cairn castle, home of GoT’s very first episode. Visit the Dark Hedges, or the King’s Road, a beautiful avenue of beech trees planted in the eighteenth century. Next, a stroll through Derry, a medieval city where you can stop for tea and scones and some good Irish tales.
The next day, travel through rugged countryside with magnificent scenery to Donegal town. Visit Belleek Pottery and see how craftspeople shape and decorate the world-famous china.
End your week in Dublin. Tour Trinity College, Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, then pull yourself up to the almighty Gravity Bar on the seventh floor of the Guinness Storehouse for the most scenic complimentary pint in Dublin. Walk the elegant Georgian townhouses with brightly painted doors and the wide thoroughfare of O’Connell Street. Spend an afternoon on an independent open-top bus tour or visit the cobblestoned pedestrian area to shop and spend your time like the true Irish, socializing in the pubs! Sláinte (cheers to your health)!