As the ever-popular fantasy TV series Game of Thrones heads into its eighth and final series fans are beside themselves with excitement. Now they will finally find out the fates of their favorite fur wearing heroes and dragon mothers. But the excitement is bittersweet and we are feeling it here in Iceland. The end of the series means our beautiful country’s time as a part of Westeros has come to an end. Nevertheless, there is always an upside. Especially when living in a country that is basically a naturally occurring fantasy film set. We can warm ourselves to the thought that even after the cast and crew have gone back to their normal lives, the locations are still here.
But there is one catch. To be able to visit these fabulous spots you need to know about them. Some are quite hidden and others not so much but it is always best to have a guide. To make your Game of Thrones film location hunt a bit easier we have put together a list of all the locations. We present to you:
Game of Thrones Filming Location in Iceland
Game of Thrones filming locations in North Iceland
The imposing and mysterious landscape of North Iceland has been a favorite for the Game of Thrones crew since season one. The area around Lake Myvatn has been the dominant shooting location for North of the Wall. Its geothermal hot springs of Hverir lend a mystical feel to the scenes and some have even helped create them in ways you wouldn’t think. Now, I am referring to the beginning of season three where we see Sam braving a snowstorm. However, in reality, the “storm” was just mist coming from the surrounding hot springs.
The peculiar lava fields of Dimmuborgir are known to the locals as the home of Gryla and Leppaludi. Who strangely are the parents of the thirteen Icelandic Yule Lads. Yes, Icelanders have thirteen Santa Clauses.
But, Game of Thrones fans will be familiar with the area for other reasons. It is where they shot the Wildling camp scene in season three and it was again used as a corner of the Haunted Forest. So, if you plan on visiting you might want to keep an eye out for any roaming White Walkers.
The Cave Scene between Jon Snow and Ygrette
The complete area around Lake Myvatn is full of famous GOT spots. The most romantic of which is without a doubt the Grjotagja cave. This small cave used to be a popular bathing place for the locals but due to geological activity the water temperature increased and bathing is no longer possible. Still, that didn’t stop Jon Snow and Ygrette from falling in love at the location in season three. “You know nothing Jon Snow” ring any bells?
While we can’t promise that you’ll find your soulmate in Northern Iceland we can guarantee an authentic bathing experience in the stunning Myvatn Nature Baths. The North’s answer to the Blue Lagoon. Take a dip in the aquamarine waters of the nature baths. Surrounded by the contrasting black and reds in the geothermal area will make you feel like you entered fantasy land.
Game of Thrones filming locations in South Iceland
Where better to film the chilly lands North of the Wall than the glacial Skaftafell National park area? Home to Europe’s largest glacier Vatnajokull the filmmakers barely had to add any effects to the snowy scenes in seasons two and three. The scenes are mostly filmed on Vatnajokull itself and its outlet glacier Svinafellsjokull. Both locations offer glacial hikes and other day tours. So, you can easily join a guided excursion to get in touch with your inner Wildling.
The area around Vik, especially Reynisfjara with its distinctive black beach and rock formations has portrayed Eastwatch in season 7. Appearing again as northern Westeros. You’ll remember the imposing basalt columns of Reynisdrangar and the beautiful Dyrholaey that lend the area its mystic feel. Reynisfjara is one of the most popular beaches in Iceland and a must see for all visitors.
The reconstructed Viking-era farmstead of Stong is the setting where the massacre of the Free Folk takes place in season four. The beautiful old turf farm moment is quickly turned into a nightmare with a sole survivor, Olly left. Stong was completely unedited in the episode’s version. Which makes the experience of visiting even better. It also offers a wonderful opportunity to see how the settlers of Iceland lived hundreds of years ago.
Fun Fact: The original farm is believed to have been destroyed when the volcano Hekla erupted in 1104. Fortunately, it was rebuilt in 1974 as a part of national celebrations of the 1100th anniversary of the settlement of Iceland.
More South Coast Game of Thrones shooting locations
Next, we have Thingvellir National Park. It is a part of the Golden Circle, one of the most popular tourist attractions in Iceland. Thingvellir is the site of the original Icelandic Parliament, one of the first in the world. The park is also a geological marvel, as it sits right on top of two tectonic plates that are slowly drifting apart. This has resulted in the rough landscape of Thingvellir with its many canyons, gullies, and fissures. Which is exactly why it landed a place on the shooting locations list for Game of Thrones in Iceland and the makers of GOT have used this to their advantage. Most notably as the entrance to Eyrie. The main stronghold of the House of Arryn which is seen in season one and four when Sansa and Littlefinger arrive at Eyrie.
Thorufoss is a stunning waterfall close to Thingvellir. It’s the site of the fatal meeting between the dragon Drogon and an Icelandic goat in season four. The Icelandic goat is an endangered species. But luckily, dragons aren’t native to Iceland. Therefore, are not normally a threat to the friendly little animals. The goats who played in the episode come from the only goat farm in Iceland. You can find out more about them on our blog about farms in Iceland.
Nesjavellir is better known to Game of Thrones audiences as The Vale. It’s the location of that iconic fight between Brienne and the Hound at the end of season four. In real life, Nesjavellir is the site of the second largest geothermal power station in the country. The geothermal energy underground is evidenced by the columns of steam rising from the land as you drive through the green fields close to Thingvellir National Park. Special Game of Thrones tours are operated in the area that will take you through each shooting location. Providing you with behind the scenes information on the cast and the crews’ time in Iceland.
Game of Thrones filming locations on Snaefellsnes Peninsula
The Snaefellsnes peninsula is often referred to as “mini-Iceland” or “Iceland in a nutshell” as its landscape is so diverse. It showcases everything Iceland has to offer, from the majestic Snaefellsnes glacier to black sand beaches and gorgeous waterfalls. Mt. Kirkjufell is one of the most photographed mountains in the country. It famously appeared on Game of Thrones as the Arrowhead mountain both in seasons six and seven.
Snaefellsnes is regarded as a mystical place in Icelandic folklore and the glacier, Snaefellsjokull, is thought to have healing powers so a trip up West is a must for anyone interested in what lies beyond the physical world.
Game of Thrones filming locations in Iceland’s Highlands
The multi-colored hills and valleys of Thorsmork in the Icelandic highlands are breathtaking in the summer months and mysterious in the winter. The makers of GOT are not ones to pass up the opportunity of natural sets. They utilized the beauty of Thorsmork to enhance the scenes taking place North of the Wall. The quiet calm of the Stakkholtsgja canyon was the perfect place to film the scene in season seven when Jon Snow leads the team to ambush a pack of wights. This is again where you see Icelandic landscape being just perfect for the episode. The only unrealistic part is how Stakkholtsgja canyon and Kirkjufell mountain are seen close but are in real life hundreds of kilometers apart.
Thorsmork is a very popular hiking spot and the trail leading between Landmannalaugar and Thorsmork, known as Laugavegur, is almost a rite of passage for any Icelander. It’s the perfect way to take in the breathtaking vistas of this water-carved valleys and canyons.
Game of Thrones Tours in Iceland
There are endless ways for you to visit the filming location of the Game of Thrones in Iceland. Here you can learn all about your options, self-drive and guided:
Game of Thrones Tours in North Iceland
In the North of Iceland, we have the Myvatn, Mystery and Magic – Game of Thrones tour from Akureyri. Which is a full day tour out from the “capital” of the North Akureyri. It will take you to all the major filming locations as well as the dazzling Myvatn Nature Baths (entrance included). The tour takes you to visit the areas where Night’s Watchmen, including Samwell Tarly and Lord Commander Mormont, are attacked by the White Walkers. As well as learn all about how the Free Folk, like the ancient Vikings, lived and survived in their harsh environment. All tales told by your expert guide.
If you are looking for something a bit shorter, the helicopter version of the Game of the Thrones tours leaving from Akureyri airport might be just your thing. Do the flightseeing edition and harness the views of the birds!
Game of Thrones Tours in South Iceland/from Reykjavik
In the South of Iceland, we have the eight hour Game of Thrones day tour leaving from the city center which takes you to the closer locations. Those include Thingvellir National Park, the entrance to Eyrie, the stomping ground of the “White Walkers” and the trail of the “Wildlings” from “North of the Wall. Stong the perfectly rebuilt farmstead, home to the Free Folk and where the wildlings did horrendous things in season four. As well as stunning waterfalls and even other Hollywood locations including those of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.
And for the real fans, we have the five days, four-night package including all of the sights with a knowledgeable GOT expert guide. This tour has it all and then some. Check out Game of Thrones Iceland: Beyond the Wall for all the juicy details.