If you’re a fan of the HBO show Game of Thrones, your first instinct might be to take a trip to Croatia. Dubrovnik after all serves as the setting of Kings Landing, the legendary capital of Westeros. Others will opt for the scenic landscapes of Iceland; but for those eager to relive a variety of critical moments in the show, the diverse lands of the Iberian Peninsula is where they will go. Experience Game of Thrones in Spain and explore filming locations in a motorhome or campervan rental. You’ll relive scenes with a number of key characters within the Seven Kingdoms.
Game of Thrones in Spain: Real Life Filming Locations
Las Bardenas Reales
At first glance, it’s hard to see why anyone would want to come here. It’s an isolated land with no cities or towns nearby. Its arid climate makes it almost uninhabitable; but what makes this semi-desert uninviting to some is exactly what drew the producers to shoot parts of the show here. It was a fitting set for the Dothraki Sea; where Daenerys Targaryen proved once again why she was a force to be reckoned with.
Bardenas Reales Natural Park sits in Navarra, along the southeastern part of Spain, bordering the Pyrenees. Its topography is akin more to the deserts of North Africa than that of Iberia. Hiking, four-wheeling, biking, and bird watching are some of the common activities available for travelers. Should you decide to visit, it’s highly recommended that you hire a local guide or take part in an organize tour during your trip. Travelers unfamiliar with the terrain might find themselves lost in the desert.
San Juan de Gaztelugatxe
It was a pivotal point in the series when Daenerys finally made her way back to Westeros and landed on Dragonstone, the castle where she was born. Despite the lack of the actual castle; the pathway that Daenerys takes from the beaches to the top of the hill is one fans can also take. The 45-minute hike to San Juan de Gaztelugatxe comprises of 241 steps and includes stunning sceneries of the Bay of Biscay. As you approach the zenith, you’ll find a church whose origins date back to the 9th century. Visitors can pop in and make a wish. Legendary folklore says that ringing the bell three times increases the likelihood of it coming to fruition. The island is an easy hour’s drive via rental campervan from Bilbao.
Castle of Zafra
Fans of the show might be keen to explore the vast and distinct landscapes of the country through a rental camper van in their quest to relive Game of Thrones in Spain. Many will visit the likes of Seville, where the Alcazar served as the stand in for the Water Gardens of Dorne; or in Girona, whose cathedral represented the Great Sept of Baelor; but only a few devoted fans will make it to the remote Castle of Zafra, which stood for the Tower of Joy. It was here that viewers learned about Jon Snow’s true parentage; revealing that not only was he a Stark, but also the rightful heir to the Iron Throne.
Located some 200 miles east of Madrid, getting to the castle itself is no easy task. Unpaved roads unsuitable for most vehicles make hiking the best option. Despite its location, the castle is worth visiting. Not only is the castle meticulously restored, the surrounding area also is full of archeological treasure. Also a bonus — stunning sceneries of the Guadalajaran province.