Here’s how to visit Iceland’s stunning Game of Thrones locations

Go beyond the wall

Winter is finally here, both in the sense that it’s freezing, and in the sense that Game of Thrones season 7 is soon out on DVD and Blu-ray (December 11). To mark the occasion, here’s our guide to Game of Thrones‘ wintriest location – Iceland – produced with a little help from our friends at Inspired by Iceland. Read on for info on the locations, what was shot there, and how you can visit them yourself. 

1. Hverir

Features in: Season 3, episode 1: ‘Valar Dohaeris’
Coordinates: 
65.6409° N, 16.8093° W

At the start of season 3, we see Sam wandering through an impenetrable blizzard. This is a clever illusion created on the bubbling mud flats of Hverir: the ‘blizzard’ is actually a thick mist emerging from geothermal vents. When you stand in the mist that emerges from the ground here, you almost feel like you’re in a snowstorm – but, though it’s wet, it’s also warm, and it stinks of sulphur: once you’ve been here you’ll feel sorry for actor John Bradley, who must have had to spend hours in it.

Steam vents at Hverir, geothermal mud flats east of Lake Myvatn in Iceland

2. Dimmuborgir

Season 3, episode 5: ‘Kissed by Fire’
Coordinates: 
65.5778º N, 16.9591º W

This is the landscape used for an exterior shot where Ygritte steals John’s sword from him and lures him into a cave. In the show, you’ll see the grassy knolls below covered in a blanket of snow, and at the end of the scene Ygritte disappears into the hole in the rock, which in the show is disguised to look like a cave entrance.

3. Grjótagjá Cave

Features in: Season 3, episode 5: ‘Kissed by Fire’
Coordinates: 
65.6271° N, 16.8816° W

This was the location in mind for the interior shot of Jon and Ygritte’s ‘love cave’ scene, which carries directly on from the Dimmuborgir location above. Because of the quite literally steamy water temperature, it became impractical to shoot the whole thing here, so most of the scene was shot in a Northern Irish studio. Still: it’s become a big tourist spot, and you can see why.

4. Thorufoss (þórufoss)

Season 4, episode 6: ‘The Laws of Gods and Men’
Coordinates: 
64.2607° N, 21.3724° W

In the middle of season 4, a goatherd’s son is throwing rocks into this waterfall (which is near Meereen in the show) when Drogon flies past and burns up a lot of the flock; the goatherd later goes to complain to Daenerys. This sweeping valley is where that scene was shot.

5. Öxarárfoss Trail

Features in: Season 4, episode 8: ‘The Mountain and the Viper’
Coordinates: 64.2712º N, 21.1095º W

One of the most bitterly funny scenes in season 4 finds Arya and the Hound ending months of travel to find Arya’s aunt Lysa in the Vale, only to discover at the Bloody Gate (the entrance to her kingdom) that she has died. Below, you can see the real-life Bloody Gate – it’s a rocky path leading to the Öxarárfoss waterfall, and when you come here you can almost hear Arya’s laughter echoing off the walls of the gully.

Thingvellir National Park, where Arya and The Hound’s ‘Bloody Gate’ scene was shot in Game of Thrones

6. Thingvellir National Park

Features in: Season 4, episode 10: ‘The Children’
Coordinates: 64.1833° N, 21.3333° W

Brienne and the Hound’s fight scene is one of Game of Thrones‘ best, most gruelling fight sequences ever, and by that standard it also stands out as one of TV’s best too. This location near Hengill is the jaw-dropping mountain scenery where it was shot.

7. Þórsmörk

Features in: Season 7, episode 6: ‘Beyond the Wall’
Coordinates: 63.6823º N, 19.6331º W

In season 7’s penultimate episode, Jon and his ‘suicide squad’ trek across the lands beyond the Wall to try and catch a wight. Below is part of the water-carved landscape they traverse, at a less snowy time of year.

Thorsmork

8. Dyrhólaey

Features in: Season 7, episode 5: ‘Eastwatch’
Coordinates: 
63.3996° N, 19.1269° W

The black beaches on Iceland’s south coast, near Vik, are used for scenes at Eastwatch-by-the-Sea in season 7. In the first photo (facing east) you can see Dyrhólaey, two arches that jut out into the sea. The second (facing west) is the coast where Jon and co. land when they arrive at Eastwatch.

9. Stakkholtsgjá

Features in: Season 7, episode 6: ‘Beyond the Wall’
Coordinates: 63.6749° N, 19.5574° W

In season 7’s penultimate episode, the team ambush a group of wights so they can catch one of them. This towering, moss-covered canyon near Þórsmörk is where that sequence was shot. Because of the formation of the canyon, it’s deathly quiet, with little wind, and it’s therefore a roosting spot for the ptarmigan – a snow-camouflaged bird that’s eaten at Christmastime in Iceland.

Game of Thrones Season 7 is released on Blu-ray and DVD on 11 December from HBO Home Entertainment.