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While in Canada we are actively trying to forget about the snow, Jon Snow is alive and well in the world that everyone is talking about this week - the Seven Kingdoms. That’s right, Game of Thrones (GoT) fans I’m talking to you.

First things first, there is a global Game of Thrones Scavenger Hunt (yes, it’s a real thing)

Croatia - Where you can leave with your hands intact, unlike Jamie Lannister

The real Kings Landing is located in Dubrovnik, Croatia - so if you want to put your tush in the Iron Throne (as comfy as it must be - being made of swords and all) it is a must visit. Beautifully located on the Croaitian coast, take in the stunning views and enjoy the GoT vibes all around you.  Grab a local dish such as black risotto and walk around this lovely city - no doubt you’ll feel like a peasant born and raised in Flea Bottom.

Remember that sexy scene with Jon Snow and his beloved Ygritte, as they swam and frolicked in a beautiful cave filled with crystal blue water? Well, that place actually exists. It’s a lava cave and thermal spring located in Grjótagjá in northern Iceland. Although it is rumoured that only the exterior of the cave was used for filming purposes, and not the interior of the cave (that was filmed on a soundstage elsewhere), the famed springs are now a popular tourist spot. Whether it is or isn’t the real deal, it is stunning no less. So grab your friends, new travel buddies, or travel solo to this magical natural wonder.

The ruin is a symbol of the interwoven history of the Moors and Christians resulting in a historical burst of strength, colour, and culture.

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How to Make your Travels as Epic as an Episode of Game of Thrones

Spain - A slice of Targaryen royalty in Basque Country

Portugal - How to feel like you’re in Westeros

While this spot is not actually used in the filming of Game of Thrones, this Castelo dos Mouros (the Moors Castle) in Sintra, Portugal has all the trimmings of a Westeros castle - complete with an intricate path along the top of its stone walls, and flags at various intervals delineating historical Portuguese dynasties.  When I was in Sintra, I had the pleasure of spending a day exploring this magical town and was mesmerized by its beauty, lush forests, and historic landscapes. An ancient ruin, the Castelo dos Mouros was built by the ruling North African Moors in the 9th century to guard the town of Sintra. But following the Christian seizure of Portugal, the castle fell into disuse and disrepair. In the 19th century, King Federdinand II restored the castle to the romantic ruin it is today. The ruin is a symbol of the interwoven history of the Moors and Christians resulting in a historical burst of strength, colour, and culture.

April 17th, 2019

By Chelsea Sauvé

BOOK RARE TRAVEL EXPERIENCES AROUND THE WORLD OR MEET YOUR IDEAL TRAVEL BUDDIES BY DOWNLOADING OUR APP

Much to the delight of Game of Thrones fans, HBO has hidden various thrones around the world. These are life size, made out of swords thrones. Four of the six thrones have been found, meaning that YOU can still find one of the last two. Thrones have been found in Björkliden, Sweden; Puzzlewood, England; Atienza, Spain; and Beberibe, Brazil.

For more information, check out this great article and photos of the thrones!

Northern Ireland is home to many sheep, but it is also home to GoT filming spots including Trees Road otherwise known as Dark Hedges - a beautiful street that the HBO show uses for its dramatic scenery. This tunnel of trees offers a very instagrammable moment that will have you relishing in its beauty and recalling scenes from your favourite episodes of GoT.

And finally, an awesome tunnel in Ireland

And so get traveling, because winter is coming (or actually, for those of us North of the equator, summer is coming but I couldn’t resist)! As you get traveling, I need to get watching GoT. I last left off at the Red Wedding (traumatized). Looks like I have some great binging ahead. Tea? Check. Blanket? Check. Game time - here I come Westeros.

Iceland - A chilly love affair

Once you’re in Iceland, check out other popular Game of Thrones spots including Thingvellir National Park near Reykjavik as well as Hengill mountain (a large volcanic mountain) also close to Reykjavik. Check out this website for all of the GoT filming locations in Iceland. And once you’re there, try out some of the country’s famous thermal pools, the spectacular Northern Lights, and glacier hiking adventures.

Whether it’s the dragons, the gore, or the wWhite Walkers, everyone wants to enjoy a little bit of the magic. And the wonder. And the stunning landscapes (and people, oh Jon Snow). As I sit around the Wandure meeting table writing this blog post, the team is excitedly chatting about this week’s season premiere, and trying to convince those who don’t watch the show to begin… immediately. As in, leave the meeting and get watching...now.

When you travel, you find the wonder in all things. But if you are looking to explore castles and live like a Lannister for a day (minus all the death), check out these must-visit spots.

Located outside of the beautiful port city of Split, the Fortress of Klis is a Dalmatian limestone structure that was a house of Croatian kings and used as a means to defend the Ottoman Empire. It was most likely built in the 3rd century BC. Game of Thrones scenes shot in this location were filmed inside the Diocletian’s Palace, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The city is now known as Meereen city or the greatest city in the Bay of Dragons. That’s right - dragons. Ah, now it all makes sense.

Courtesy HBO

When you arrive in Spain, get ready to be astounded by its history, culture, scenery, and general relaxed energy. When you stumble across San Juan de Gaztelugatze within Basque Country, along the coast, you will find stunning beaches. Connected to the main-land by a man made bridge, this islet is also home to GoT’s Dragonstone Island. While in the fantasy world of Winterfell and dragons, the Island is home to the castle of Dragonstone, House of Targaryen and the current seat of Daenerys. In real life, however, the island was home to an ancient monastery where witch trials were hosted during the Spanish Inquisition. It also served as an important defensive outpost throughout history. Only an hour drive away from Bilbao, this is the perfect day getaway for a little natural beauty, historical insight, and Game of Thrones itch! For more information about where to go in Basque Country check out this great guide, and for more information about the unique identity and history of Basque Country, check out this succinct travelers explanation.

When I arrived at this grand ruin, I was struck by its grandor. A friend of mine who is a tour guide in Lisbon, provided us with the royal treatment allowing us to explore the castle with abandon, relishing in the sights and the history beneath our feet. We posed with flags with the wind in our hair, and for a moment I felt like Daenarys, minus the dragons.