The route of our trip in Spain was planned so we could visit places where Game of Thrones was filmed. Yes, that’s true. We love the series to the point that we had to see its real locations. It turns out that in Spain there are many places to see. We didn’t manage to visit them all but at least some. Several of them were on our way, to see others we had to change the route.
1. San Juan de Gaztelugatxe in the Basque Country
Game of Thrones: the Dragonstone, season 7
The most spectacular location of the series from all that we have seen. The name Gaztelugatxe comes from the Basque and means “dangerous castle” (gaztelu is a castle, and gaitz means difficult). You can associate it right away with the GoT story, right? 🙂 Gaztelugatxe is an islet connected to the mainland by a bridge. To get to the top you have to go up 241 stairs and there is a small church which dates from the 10th century.
There is a custom between those who climb to the church that once they reach the top they ring the bell three times as a symbol of effort they made on the way. We didn’t do it because we decided to go there early in the morning when the path is empty and the church opens at 11 am. Trust me that now because of the series, Gaztelugatxe is really crowded with tourists. However it’s still a beautiful and charming place. Just go there early.
2.The Roman bridge of Córdoba
Game of Thrones: the Long Bridge of Volantis, season 5
Do you remember the moment when Tyrion and Varys escape from the King’s Landing and walk on the market in Volantis? This market was on the famous Long Bridge. In reality it’s a bridge above Guadalquivir which was built in the 1st century during Roman times. Nowadays it’s a part of historic center of the city registered as the World Heritage Site. The bridge is huge! The construction is impressive especially when you look at it at night.
3. Alcázar of Seville
Game of Thrones: Water Gardens, season 5
A magnificent palace in Seville which you can’t skip when you visit a city. Several palaces, rooms, chambers, lavish decorations, patios and gardens… You can easily get lost between all the corridors and passages. Visiting takes few hours and you leave with the feeling that you haven’t seen it all.
Especially when you walk around the Alcázar looking for places you know from “Game of Thrones”. Conversations between prince Doran and Ellaria Sand after Oberyn’s death, Myrcella walking with Trystane Martell in the gardens and Jaime and Bronn trying to save Myrcella from Dorne, all those scenes were filmed in the palace.
4. Castle of Zafra in Guadalajara, Castile–La Mancha
Game of Thrones: Tower of Joy, season 6
The castle is located in the backwoods, 5 km away from the closest village. You could think that no one is going to go there but I was really surprised seeing many tourists there. I guess it’s the TV series that made them see the castle. The castle of Zafra is a private property and it’s closed for visiting. That’s a shame, I would really like to see it from the inside. The location is actually an advantage. Actually the vast landscape around creates a perfect atmosphere and it looks exactly the same as the place we know from the episodes. Contrary to other places that were modified for the filming, here everything looks identical.
In GoT the castle is located in the Red Mountains of Dorne. This is where Ned Stark goes to find his kidnapped sister Lyanna and where we later find out who Jon Snow really is in Bran’s retrospection.
5. Girona: the Cathedral and nearby streets
Game of Thrones: the Great Sept of Baelor, streets of Braavos, season 6
We didn’t plan going to Girona but finally we did for one day. It’s amazing how many places from such a small city appeared in the series. First of all the Cathedral of Saint Mary (Catedral de Santa María), and to be precis the façade and the stairs are the Great Sept of Baelor. If you remember the scene when Margaery, Tommen and High Sparrow stand on the stairs in front of the sept and Margaery avoids her walk of atonement, that’s the moment when you can see the cathedral.
Apart from that Bisbe Josep Cartaña street next to the cathedral is one of the streets of Braavos where blind Arya meets Waif. Later on, Arya’s escape through the streets of Braavos was also filmed in Girona. One of the places she runs through is a market street which is Pujada de Sant Domenec.
In Spain there are much more places that appeared in the series. Roman ruins of Italica near Seville where in the last season Cersei talks to Daenerys and Jon, St. Florentina’s Castle in Catalonia and the bullring in Osuna. Not mentioning locations in other countries 🙂 We will have to go back to Spain to see more too. Anyway, the places we have visited were really amazing. Seeing them is a huge attraction for Game of Thrones fans but I believe those who don’t like the series will enjoy those places too 😉
Who of you watches Game of Thrones? Have you seen any place that appears in the series? 🙂