Iceland’s natural beauty is as breathtaking as it is diverse: roaring volcanoes sit behind gigantic glaciers, jet-black beaches lead to thundering waterfalls, and geysers shoot into skies aglow with the northern lights. Consequently, the array of stunning backdrops make it a director’s paradise. Scenes from James Bond, Star Wars, Batman Begins and many others have all been filmed here. However, few have showcased Iceland to the world as much as Game of Thrones. Here we bring you the must-visit Game of Thrones filming locations in Iceland.
Six Game of Thrones filming locations in Iceland
Meaning dark castles in Icelandic, Dimmuborgir is an area in Northern Iceland peppered with dark lava formations. These ominous towers jutting out of the ground serve as a backdrop for Mance Rayder’s army camp in Season 3 of the series. As this scene is near the freezing Wall, filming took place in winter. So, if you want to visit the landscape in all its GoT glory, head here in the later months. However, we have to admit that this Game of Thrones filming location is far more pleasant in summer. Located near Lake Myvatn, Dimmuborgir can be accessed by car or foot from the main road.
Still feel like braving the sub-zero temperatures? Then combine your Game of Thrones sightseeing tour with our top picks of things to do in Iceland in winter.
Even for haters of Game of Thrones, Thingvellir is unmissable when on a trip to Iceland. Not only is it teeming with natural marvels such as Gullfoss Waterfall and the Geysir geothermal park, but it is also where Iceland’s open-air parliament was held from 930 to 1798. Due to its incredible natural beauty and historical significance, this area is a UNESCO protected site.
Head here to literally see where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates meet; various visible separations are scattered throughout the park. One of these, Almannagjá gorge, featured as the Gates of the Moon in Season 1 and Season 4 of the show. Just a stone’s throw away from here is the famous scene where the Hound has the famous scrap with Brienne of Tarth. Also, the ship scene of Arya leaving Westeros for Braavos, was filmed on the park’s stunning Þingvellirvatn lake.
3. Black Sand Beach at Vik
Making an appearance in Season 7, Eastwatch-by-the-sea is where Jon Snow docks with the suicide squad before heading inland in search of wights. Here geometric columns pierce through lively waves that spill onto coal-black sands. As you approach this sinister landscape, you can’t help but feel a sense of impending doom.
This bizarre beach is eerily beautiful all year round. In winter, it is usually draped in snow; in summer, puffins, guillemots fill the shores. Located just over 112 km from Reykjavik, a trip here is a must when travelling to Iceland.
4.Þórsmörk & Stakk holtsgjá
The craggy peaks strewn across Þórsmörk are where Jon Snow and the suicide squad march through on their mission to catch a wight in Season 7. In fact, the close-by canyon of Stakk holtsgjá, is where a wight is eventually ambushed. Retrace the steps of the show’s heroes by meandering through this area laced with bubbling brooks and gigantic caves before arriving at the mesmerising waterfall at the trek’s end.
5. Svínafellsjökull Glacier
The largest ice cap in Europe first features in Game of Thrones Season 2 in scenes beyond the Wall. Svínafellsjökull is an outlet glacier of Vatnajökull, and due to its incredible formations and excellent views, is one of the country’s most popular places for glacier hiking. This protected nature reserve is open throughout the year and is located just off Iceland’s ring road. Visit here to march across this huge frozen river in guided groups, or simply drink in the vast expanses of light blue ice from the land.
This cave in Lake Mývatn, is possibly the most emblematic addition to our list. This is where the actors Jon Snow (Kit Harington) and Ygritte (Rose Leslie) have their oh-so-steamy moment in Season 3. Rather unsurprisingly, the steam actually disrupted the shooting and, as a result, most of the scene was later shot in a Northern Irish studio. Aside from its fame from GoT, the outlaw Jón Markússon hid out here in the 18th century. Today, this a popular spot for tourists, but beware: the waters here can sometimes reach unsafe temperatures, so be careful before taking a dip.
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