How Game of Thrones has changed the Travel Map

Surpassing The Sopranos to become the most-watched show on HBO in the US, the fantasy epic Game of Thrones has already made not only the actors stars, but also some of its more picturesque locations, from medieval castles and wild moorlands to sensational coastlines. Fans all over the world have followed their favorite character’s footsteps and have travelled from the green forests of Northern Ireland to the charming city of Dubrovnik (Croatia), to the chilly waters of Iceland and the dusty ruins of Morocco.

The show has been recognised as a key factor behind the remarkable growth in annual visitors to many trendy destinations: from 566,000 in 2011 (the year it premiered) to more than 1 million in 2015 in Iceland, tickets to Dubrovnik (Croatia) increased between 8-16%,   to the island of Malta it also rose by 26% whilst journeys to Belfast (Northern Ireland) the closest major city for scenes shot in Winterfell, increased by 5-11%

I have a confession to make: I have never watched Game of Thrones ***Forgive me Father for I have sinned***

Not a game of thrones fan
Oopsie Daisy
Except, Game of Thrones and I have two things in common: The Fantasy World and the Filming set. For this post purpose, my interest in Game of Thrones is strictly locational. Every country the show has promoted has been on my to do list except for Malta which is on my re-to-do list (Going back in a few days)

Malta

Game of Thrones set Malta
Malta,Azure Window
Before the producers found Dubrovnik, the fortress city of Mdina (Malta), was King’s Landing.

I have been once before to Malta for two nights only, and I am planning to make up for what I missed the last time including Mdina and Fort St Angelo (Both Game of Thrones prime locations). The medieval character and the history of Malta is so impressive that even without any Game of Throne influence, Malta seems like a fantasy land out of the storybook of Camelot.

Scotland

Scotland Castle Game of Thrones
Scotland just for the Pilot

Serious fans might complete their odyssey with a trip to Doune Castle in Scotland which was used in the pilot episode and never to return.

Scotland is very high on my to do list since Braveheart, Mel Gibson to be more precise.Braveheart is not very far away from Game of Thrones spirit…I think! Neither was William Wallace and his freeeeedommmmm epic battles.

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland Game of Thrones location set
Breathtaking Landscape

Besides the rushing Game of Thrones fans to Northern Ireland, The Titanic-Belfast has been awarded Europe’s Leading Attraction in 2016 by the World Travel Award.Northern Ireland is definitely the country to visit for your next trip.

Personally, Erwin works as an export manager for the widely known Northern Irish company Tayto. Their factory is actually set in a castle, the Tayto castle, and that is just work! You can understand now why a so-called -princess would be very drawn to go to Northern Ireland?

Titanic-Europe's leading attraction  2016
Titanic Belfast

Croatia

Dubrovnik-Game of Thrones
Dubrovnik

For Game of Thrones fans, Dubrovnik is King’s Landing, capital of Westeros, and its constant presence since season 2 has only heightened the appeal of a city that already booms under the weight of tourist numbers.

As for me, Croatia has been on my radar for a few years now. I have been planning to surprise Erwin for his birthday twice already but a 4 days getaway was not quite enough. We have decided to travel comfortably to Croatia next year a.k.a to cruise around it. Any cruise suggestions are very welcomed.

Iceland

Iceland-Game of Thrones
I guess that’s where John Snow comes from

Ever since Game of Thrones first featured Iceland in season two, glimpses of the country’s frozen landscapes have seduced mega-fans from around the world to the little island in the north Atlantic. The “Game of Thrones effect” has been cited as a key factor behind the remarkable growth in annual visitors to Iceland, from 566,000 in 2011, the year it premiered, to more than 1 million in 2015. 

I have previously mentioned in a previous article about Ushuaia, that since our trip to the End of the World, my travel destination preference has shifted from seen-through-water and sandy beaches to otherworldly landscapes that can be found in destinations like Iceland, Norway, Alaska etc etc….So absofuckilutely , Iceland is definitely on my very soon Wonderland list.

Morocco

We have been talking about it for a while now, and like Croatia it has been postponed quite a few times. But we shouldn’t anymore, tic toc tic toc Erwin.

Spain

alcazar_de_sevilla

The long awaited season six of Game of Thrones introduced viewers to yet another new filming location. Series six has seen Spanish locations take a prominent role, all making debut appearances (Bardenas Reales in Navarre, Castell de Santa Florentina in the town of Canet de Mar, Castle of Zafra in the Spanish province of Guadalajara)

However, Spain was already featured in previous seasons.

Of all these spanish locations, what I fancy most is and will always be Seville. Let’s have some tapas in Sevilla my love?