Spoiler Alert: If you are not up-to-date with all the seasons of Game of Thrones and wish to remain unspoiled, this post is not for you.
Welcome to the captivating realm of Game of Thrones in Iceland, where the majestic landscapes of this Nordic island became the stunning backdrop for the epic saga. Prepare to be swept away on a thrilling adventure as we uncover the iconic filming locations that transported us to the fantastical world of Westeros. We'll explore where the series was filmed, what seasons were shot there, and why it was chosen as a filming destination.
We'll also discover two itineraries with stops at all the key locations for both southern and eastern Iceland. Whether you simply want to get a sense of the captivating beauty that made this TV show so iconic, or if you're looking for a deeper connection to the story by literally walking in the footsteps of your favorite characters, this guide is perfect for any show fan who wants to experience first-hand some of its most memorable moments!
Where Was Game of Thrones Filmed?
Game of Thrones was filmed in various countries and regions to bring the expansive world of Westeros to life. Here are some of the prominent filming locations:
Iceland: Game of Thrones used Iceland as a filming location for many scenes in the North, such as Beyond the Wall and Brienne & the Hound.
Northern Ireland: The majority of the series was filmed in Northern Ireland, with locations like Castle Ward (Winterfell), Dark Hedges (Kingsroad), and Ballintoy (Pyke), among others.
Croatia: The coastal city of Dubrovnik served as the backdrop for King's Landing, with iconic locations such as Fort Lovrijenac (Red Keep) and Dubac Quarry (Dragonpit).
Spain: Several Spanish cities and regions were used for filming, including Seville (Water Gardens of Dorne), Girona (Braavos), and Osuna (Meereen's fighting pits).
Malta: In the earlier seasons, Malta was used for filming various scenes, including the Dothraki wedding and parts of King's Landing.
Scotland: Some scenes, particularly those set in the North, were filmed in Scotland, including Doune Castle (Winterfell's courtyard) and the Isle of Skye (the journey of the Hound and Arya).
Which Seasons of Game of Thrones Were Filmed in Iceland?
Game of Thrones in Iceland started to be filmed in Season 2 and onwards. Iceland became the primary filming location for scenes set North of the Wall, with its stunning natural beauty providing the perfect backdrop for the epic fantasy series.
Iceland's stunning landscapes and unique geological features added a sense of grandeur and otherworldliness to Game of Thrones, making it an unforgettable filming location for several seasons of the show.
Why Was Game of Thrones Filmed in Iceland?
The show runners chose Iceland as a shooting location due to its accessibility and remarkable scenery. In addition to its stunning scenery, the island offers a wide range of activities for visitors who want to explore the same places where Game of Thrones in Iceland was filmed.
From horseback riding along the black sand beach of Iceland in Game of Thrones to glacier tours of Svínafellsjökull, there are plenty of ways for fans to experience the beauty that inspired this beloved show.
Can I Visit All Game of Thrones Filming Locations in Iceland?
While it is possible to visit many of the Game of Thrones filming locations in Iceland, it's important to note that not all of them are easily accessible. Some locations are situated in remote areas and can only be reached through F-roads, which are unpaved mountain roads that often require a 4x4 vehicle.
These F-roads are not open year-round and are typically closed during the winter months in Iceland due to harsh weather conditions and safety concerns.
Before embarking on your journey, it is crucial to familiarize yourself with our Guide to Roads in Iceland to understand the road conditions and requirements. To navigate the Icelandic terrain and access these remote locations, renting a suitable vehicle is essential. Larger rental car sizes, such as 4x4 SUVs, are recommended for tackling F-roads and ensuring a smooth and safe journey.
Refer to our Guide to Rental Car Sizes to choose the right vehicle that suits your needs and adheres to the road regulations in Iceland.
Having a reliable and appropriate vehicle will allow you to reach the filming locations that are off the beaten path. It's also crucial to consider the weather conditions in Iceland, as they vary throughout the year.
By understanding the Iceland weather by month and season, you can plan your visit accordingly. The weather can greatly impact the accessibility of F-roads and the overall safety of your journey. Make sure to check weather forecasts and road conditions before setting off to ensure a successful and enjoyable trip.
Full List of Game Of Thrones Locations In Iceland
Have you been wondering which Game of Thrones episodes are filmed in Iceland? Here is a full list of the most iconic Game of Thrones Iceland filming locations:
Svínafellsjökull Glacier, located in Skaftafell National Park, featured in Game of Thrones Season 2, representing the snowy landscapes Beyond the Wall. This 'Hollywood Glacier' has also appeared in movies like Batman Begins. To reach Svínafellsjökull, visitors can access Skaftafell National Park via Road 1 and explore the stunning icy scenery on foot or with ice climbing guided tours.
Myrdalsjokull Glacier, featured in Game of Thrones Season 2, portrayed The Fist of the First Men, a defensive position used by the First Men. Located north of the Wall, it showcased the vast and frozen landscapes of Northern Westeros. To reach Myrdalsjokull Glacier, travel to Iceland's southern coast near Vik and access it through a South Coast guided tour.
Lake Myvatn, known to Game of Thrones fans, has been featured in multiple episodes under different appearances. In Season 3, the Dimmuborgir lava field near the lake was the setting for Mance Rayder's camp and a scene where Samwell Tarly and Lord Commander Mormont faced White Walkers. Located in North East Iceland, Lake Myvatn offers stunning landscapes and can be reached by car or a guided tour from Akureyri Port.
Grjotagja Cave, known as the Iceland cave in Game of Thrones, was the romantic setting for Jon Snow and Ygritte's love scene in Season 3. While the actual filming took place in a studio, the cave served as inspiration. Located in North East Iceland, Grjotagja Cave is a popular tourist attraction. However, swimming in the cave's hot water is not advised. To reach the cave, take a short 16-minute drive from Lake Myvatn.
Thingvellir National Park
Thingvellir National Park, a stunning location in Iceland, was featured throughout Game of Thrones Season 4. It gained prominence in scenes depicting Arya and The Hound's journey to the Eeyrie. The park also served as the backdrop for the unforgettable sword fight between The Hound and Brienne of Tarth. To visit Thingvellir National Park, take a 47-minute drive from Reykjavik.
Hverir, located close to Lake Myvatn nature baths, is a captivating geothermal area renowned for its sulfur springs and boiling mud pits. In Game of Thrones, Hverir was featured in Season 3, where the mist and bubbling mudflats were used to create an illusion of an impenetrable blizzard that Samwell Tarly navigated.
To experience Hverir's fascinating geothermal wonders, visitors can venture to Lake Myvatn in the North East of Iceland and explore this otherworldly location.
Kirkjufell Mountain is referred to as Game of Thrones Mountain in Iceland. The mountain appeared in Season 7 of Game of Thrones.
It served as a majestic backdrop when Jon Snow and his group ventured north to confront the army of the dead. A fun fact about Kirkjufell is that it is one of the most photographed mountains in Iceland. To reach Kirkjufell, you can drive to the Grundarfjörður area, where it is located, and hike to the mountain for breathtaking views.
Dyrhólaey, one of Iceland's picturesque locations, was the stunning backdrop for Eastwatch-by-the-Sea in Season 7 of Game of Thrones. In Episode 5, Jon Snow, Jorah Mormont, and Gendry landed on the black beach of Dyrhólaey, setting off to meet the Brotherhood Without Banners.
To visit Dyrhólaey, travelers can drive along Iceland's southern coast, reveling in the beauty of this Game of Thrones filming location in Iceland.
Stakkholtsgjá Canyon, featured in Game of Thrones, was the setting for the Wight ambush scene in Season 7, Episode 6. To visit, head to Þórsmörk in Iceland, where you can explore this stunning canyon known for its role in the series. Þorsmork is also a good spot to see some of Iceland's animals, including the Arctic fox.
Gigjökull, a breathtaking glacier in Iceland, provided the backdrop for memorable Game of Thrones scenes. In Season 7, Episode 6, Jon and his comrades ventured through the barren expanse of Gigjökull in pursuit of a captured Wight. To reach Gigjökull, head to the southern region of Iceland and marvel at this stunning glacial location.
Hengilssvæðið, also known as Hengill Mountain, is a volcanic mountain located south of Thingvellir. It was the location for Game of Thrones Season 4, Episode 10, where the epic fight between Brienne of Tarth and the Hound occurred. To visit, you can hike to Hengillssvæðið, enjoying its picturesque landscapes and challenging trails.
This Game of Thrones scene in Iceland offers a range of natural and cultural attractions. Game of Thrones fans can visit Þjóðveldisbærinn Stöng, a Viking Age farmhouse reproduction featured as Olly's house in Season 4, Episode 3. The Viking Village is open from June to August and can be reached via the paved road from Route 32.
Gjáin is a breathtaking small valley within Þjórsárdalur Valley in Iceland. This Game of Thrones in Iceland location was featured in Season 4, Episode 5, where Arya and the Hound had a sword fighting practice. To reach Gjáin, you can access it via an F-road during the summer months.
Skogafoss is the famous Game of Thrones waterfall in Iceland, where Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen rode dragons and landed near the stunning cascades. Skogafoss is located on the South Coast and appeared in the first episode of Season 8 of Game of Thrones. To reach Skogafoss, drive along the Ring Road and find the waterfall easily accessible.
Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach
Reynisfjara was the black sand beach in Iceland featured in Game of Thrones. This stunning attraction on Iceland's South Coast was used as a filming location for Game of Thrones Season 7, representing Eastwatch-by-the-sea. The beach is easily accessible by car, located near Vik, with a large parking lot available for visitors.
Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon is a stunning location on Iceland's South Coast. It was featured in the first episode of Game of Thrones Season 8, where Jon and Daenerys flew their dragons together. To get there, follow the South Coast route and be aware of potential closures for wildlife protection.
Dimmuborgir is a landscape of remarkable lava formations known as the 'Dark Fortress.' It appeared in Game of Thrones in Season 3, featuring Mance Rayder's camp and the scene where a White Walker attacked Sam Tarly and Lord Commander Mormont. To get to this Game of Thrones filming location in Iceland, follow the hiking trails accessible from the area and enjoy the cafe and WC facilities near the entrance.
Höfði is a rocky area on the edge of Lake Myvatn, known for its fascinating lava formations. It was a filming location for a scene in Game of Thrones in Iceland where Jon Snow confronts Orell. To get there, park at the designated parking lot off the road and follow the marked trails.
Visiting Game of Thrones Locations in Iceland
Exploring the iconic filming locations used in Game of Thrones in Iceland is a must-do for fans of the show. Here are a few tips for planning your Iceland Game of Thrones tour:
Plan your itinerary: Get an Iceland Game of Thrones location map to help you plan your route and the stops along the way. Remember that the filming locations are spread around south and east Iceland.
Rent a car: Having a car allows you to explore the locations at your own pace. Renting a car in Iceland will allow you to reach more remote sites and enjoy the stunning Icelandic landscapes along the way.
Research accessibility: Some locations may require hiking or off-road driving, so make sure to research the accessibility and difficulty level beforehand. Additionally, check for any seasonal closures or restrictions to avoid disappointment.
Respect the environment: Remember that many of these locations are natural wonders, and it's essential to leave them as you found them. Follow designated paths, respect any signage, and avoid littering or damaging the surroundings.
Be prepared for the weather: Iceland's weather can be unpredictable, so dress in layers and bring waterproof clothing. It's also a good idea to check our Iceland summer guide for more tips.
Game of Thrones 4 Days Itinerary in Southern Iceland
To help you on your quest for the best Game of Thrones filming locations in Iceland, here's an itinerary to explore some of the iconic spots in southern Iceland:
Start from Reykjavik and drive to Kirkjufell Mountain.
Visit the iconic Kirkjufell Mountain and capture the breathtaking scenery.
Continue the journey to Þórufoss and witness the beautiful waterfall.
Explore Hveragerði, a volcanic mountain known for its stunning landscapes.
End the day at Thingvellir National Park, where you can walk between two tectonic plates and admire the natural beauty.
Begin the day by visiting Gjáin, a picturesque valley with waterfalls and lava formations.
Explore the magnificent Stakkholtsgjá Canyon and its hidden beauty.
Head to Skogafoss, a stunning waterfall that played a role in Game of Thrones.
Continue the adventure to Myrdalsjokull Glacier and marvel at its icy expanse.
Start the day by visiting Dyrhólaey, a promontory known for its dramatic cliffs and rock formations.
Explore Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach and witness the unique basalt columns and crashing waves as you watch the midnight sun.
Embark on a journey to Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon and admire its breathtaking beauty.
Visit Svínafellsjökull Glacier, where you can take a guided glacier walk or enjoy the stunning views.
Conclude the itinerary by exploring Gigjökull, a glacier tongue with magnificent landscapes.
Game of Thrones Itinerary Around Myvatn Lake
Explore some of the most iconic Game of Thrones filming locations in eastern Iceland on this 2-day itinerary:
Start the day by exploring Lake Myvatn, known for its stunning beauty and unique geological features.
Visit Grjótagjá Cave, a natural hot spring cave that served as a filming location for Game of Thrones.
Enjoy the surrounding landscapes and take in the picturesque views of the lake.
Begin the day by visiting Hverir, a geothermal area with bubbling mud pots and vibrant hot springs.
Explore Dimmuborgir, a landscape of incredible lava formations and caves that are featured in Game of Thrones.
Finish the itinerary by visiting Höfði, a rocky area near Lake Myvatn that served as a filming location for memorable scenes.
Game of Thrones in Iceland: Where Fantasy Meets Reality
Visiting the Game of Thrones filming locations in Iceland is an unforgettable experience that allows fans to step into the mythical world of Westeros.
From the stunning landscapes of the South Coast to the mesmerizing beauty of Lake Myvatn, these locations bring the epic series to life. Exploring iconic spots like Skogafoss, Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach, and Dimmuborgir provides a unique connection to the beloved show.
However, Iceland has much more to offer beyond Game of Thrones. For those seeking longer adventures, consider these recommended itineraries: