- Game of Thrones is a popular television series, currently airing its seventh season
- The study has been carried out by a travel expert company, Hotels.com™
- Sudden splurge in tourism is often attributed to popular television series being shot there
New Delhi, July 24, 2017: Planning your next vacation? Why not head to the camel-colored castles at King’s Landing where your favorite character, Ed Stark was beheaded to death?
If you are a fan of present-day television series, you will be aware of a show called Game of Thrones, which has won hearts of millions across the globe, making it a cult classic. Right from the show’s inception in 2011, it has been shot at a variety of locations that are not as fictional as one may assume.
The exotic locales that have featured evidently in the series, and those that are anticipated to make a mark in the seventh season being aired currently, have sparked a new trend, making travelers pack their bags and depart for the sets.
A recent study by the travel expert, Hotels.com™ found that Northern Ireland, Croatia, Spain, and Iceland, where major segments of the series have been shot, have seen a rise in popularity in response to the TV show that has sparked the imagination of millions around the world.
If you are a member of the tribe that thrives on pop-culture, binge watches every season and episode of Game of Thrones, or are simply a curious traveler, then listed below are popular vacation spots that are bound to take you to the magical land of Sansa Stark and Jon Snow.
Having been a host to various television and motion pictures alike, Iceland has arguably seen a dramatic rise in travel searches ever since it marked its presence on Game of Thrones, making it one of the most sought after holiday destinations.
According to figures provided by Hotels.com™, the scenic destination is up over 285 percent ever since the show created ripples in the television landscape in 2014.
Places like Mývatn and the Vatnajökull glacier, where landmark scenes have been shot ‘North of the Wall’, have now come to the radar of curious travelers. One of the largest glaciers of Europe, the glacier makes 8% of the country and adds on to the chilling setting of the show.
In another year-on-year (2017 vs 2016) comparison data, Iceland continues to see an upward trend as the destination shows a 30 percent increase as fans set to visit the caves of Grjótagjá, among other places to bask in the valor of places visited by popular heart-throb Jon Snow.
Fans are now increasingly choosing to explore the many breathtaking scenes of the Croatian coastline, another key filming location, depicted in the series. No Game of Thrones’ fan would want to miss visiting Trsteno Arboretum that made for the garden of King’s Landing, where some of their favorite characters like Sansa Stark, Tyrion Lannister, and Olenna Tyrell have strolled.
Dubrovnik in Croatia is rumored to be the filming host for the anticipated King’s Landing in season 7 of the show. One look and you are sure to be mesmerized by the massive stone walls that line the city. Dubrovnik, which was the host to some scenes portraying the Red Keep, is a popular tourist attraction and is usually bustling with activity.
- Krka National Park
Another key shooting location has been the Krka National Park which makes repetitive appearances throughout the Seven Kingdoms. If you’re keen on visiting the waterfalls of Westeros, you must visit Krka National Park, which has witnessed a 46 percent rise in search traffic according to New York based Travel+Leisure Magazine.
- Split (King’s Landing)
Beyond the museums and the cathedrals of Croatia’s second largest city, stands Diocletian’s Palace and the scenic landscape that makes Split one of the fascinating places for visitors. GOT fans can instantly recognize the place featuring Cersei Lannister from season five.
The ancient city of Split on the Dalmatian coast and the city of Šibenik continue to be the most sought after locations, with both witnessing an uplift of nearly 120 percent and 60 percent respectively. If you are wondering, the city of Split is host to the Mother of Dragon’s throne room while parts of Šibenik comprise the famous city of Braavos.
- Alcázar of Seville
With searches to the destination up 145 percent, Spain has also witnessed a dramatic surge in travel-search figures. Fans are increasingly planning thought-out vacations to locations in and around Spain to set foot in some of their favorite on-screen locales like the Water Palace of Dorne which is home to the House of Martell, scenes of which were filmed at the Alcázar of Seville in Spain.
- Bardenas Reales (Dothraki sea)
This spectacular desert-like region stretching over 100,000 acres will make all Khaleesi fans feel at home. The landscape, which precisely defines the GOT universe, ranks among one of the few desserts of Europe with spectacular formations and a delicate environment.
Northern Ireland which boasts of some of the world’s most picturesque natural beauty, was bound to play host to several of the series’ iconic scenes.
Among all the other locations that Spain has to offer, Belfast has maintained a premier position at the top of the fans’ lists. With searches for Belfast hotels ranging up nearly 120 percent even before the seventh season premiere, the destination is sure to host a growing tribe of the television series’ viewers in 2017.
- Castle Ward (Winterfell)
Every GOT fan’s travel bucket-list features a visit to the forests of Winterfell that were shot at and around Castle Ward, and Downhill Stand, a beach in northern Ireland, where the burning of the Seven took place. The place will take fans back to a young Jon Snow and the beginning of this archery practices – which was filed at the historic farmyard of Castle Ward.
Among other places, major chunks of HBO’S most popular television series have also been shot at the island country of Malta. Featured in the first season, the Azure Window was essentially the site of the Dothraki wedding. Surrounded by water around the arch, the destination adds to the quintessential charm of the hit series.
Adding on to the list is another picturesque destination of Morocco. Many of the scenes filmed for cities together constituting the Slaver’s Bay were filmed at the fortified city of Ait-Ben-Haddou in Morocco.As for fans wanting to visit the ‘Greatest City That Ever Was or Will Be’, popularly known as Qarth, a trip to Lokrum Island in the Adriatic Sea will be a treat to the eyes.
This walled city can be recalled from season one, from parts of the King’s Landing. Scarcely populated, the city of Mdina may not require more than a day for your visit, with a few cathedrals, museums and pretty streets to its credentials.
“As experts in accommodation and enthusiasts for travel, we’re thrilled to be able to facilitate memorable, rewarding stays for those who want to get close to the action. Along with so many around the world, we look forward to season seven and to enjoying the stunning locations in which it’s filmed,” said Hotels.com™ Director Regional Marketing Greater China, SEA and India at Hotels.com™ brand, Jessica Chuang, as told to ANI news.
While the trend to visit places where popular television series and motion pictures have been shot is not new, it sure has witnessed a sudden surge in the commercial market with fans around the world making a pilgrimage to sets all over the globe to experience their favorite television series more closely.
We also take a look at accommodations close to the filming locations that offer comfortable experiences to visiting GOT fans-
- Seville / Spain: Water palace of Dorne
In the hit series, the city of Seville hosts the Water Palace of Dorne, parts of which were shot at Alcázar de Seville.
Popular options for stay: Hotel Boutique Elvira Plaza
Right in the center of Seville, this 3.5-star hotel makes for a comfortable stay at Dorne. Right in the vicinity of the Alcázar, the home of the House of Martell, the hotel makes for a beautiful combination of traditional flavor and modernity.
Accommodation at Hotel Boutique Elvira Plaza is available from Rs. 5,885 per room per night.
- Myvatn / Northern Iceland: Beyond the Wall
The scenes beyond the Wall have been filmed at different locations around northern Iceland, the key locations being Myrdalsjokull glacier and the Vatnajokull glacier.
Popular options for stay: Foss hotel
The trendy yet sophisticated 3 star Foss hotel is a must for every GOT fan that is adventurous, alike located at a 30 minutes walking distance from Lake Myvatn, the scene of all action. A spectacular structure with wide options in room selections and suites, it would make the right choice.
Accommodation at Foss hotel is available from RS 16,284 per room per night.
- Belfast / Northern Ireland: The Iron Islands
The rugged landscape of Belfast provides a scenic venue, attracting both, the film-makers and tourists. Another key source of attraction, which is almost always brimming with actors and fans alike is the production studio at Titanic Quarter with a replica of the Iron Throne, where major parts of the series are shot.
Popular option to stay at Melmaison Hotel
This 4-star hotel is a fine example of history meets contemporary style. Inspired in proportion by the illustrious Titanic which was Belfast’s most celebrated ships, the hotel is well well connected to prime tourist spots and stands at a stone’s throw from the most interesting commercial area, bars, and clubs of the land.
Accommodation at Malmaison Hotel is available from Rs. 7,977 per room per night.
- Essaouira / Morocco: Astapor
A large chunk of season three has been shot in Essaouira which introduces to the viewers the Slaver’s city of Astapor, where lies the home of the Unsullied army.
Popular option to stay at Dar L’Oussia
A 4-star hotel, overlooking Astapor is well connected to the beaches, fishing port, and the souks, keeping you in close proximity to the area where most of the filming took place. Some of the rooms are beautifully done in traditional Moroccan style, giving you a true experience of an African holiday.
Accommodation at Dar L’Oussia is available from Rs. 5,046 per room per night.
– by Soha Kala of NewsGram. Twitter @SohaKala
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