Things to Do in Iceland: Quest for 5 Game of Thrones Filming Locations

May 13

24 min. to read

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This guide provides information on Game of Thrones locations, includes the country’s top tourist spots, and describes how to take breathtaking Iceland pictures.

It’s hard to find someone who doesn’t know that Season 8 of Game of Thrones was broadcast last month. It’s impossible to hide from all the spoilers and discussions, and the spectators have also problems with the resistance to ask a question, Where is Game of Thrones filmed? Those breathtaking scenes leave you no choice.

Though we don’t know how to stop thinking about this year’s most popular series, we have an answer to the latter question. To find all Game of Thrones locations, you’ll need plane tickets to Europe. Once on the continent, visit the British Isles, Malta, Spain, and Croatia. Moreover, go to the Titanic Museum in Northern Ireland to understand how the TV series is produced.

In short, you’ll need a whole Eurotrip.

Things to Do in Iceland: Quest for 5 Game of Thrones Filming Locations Image1
Photo by Laura Redeker

However, when it comes to those breathtaking Game of Thrones filming locations with snow and ice, you’ll find them on the map of Iceland. The incredible nature of this land is the backdrop for many Game of Thrones scenes, and Iceland has many beautiful spots. Naturally, the country attracts a lot of tourists.

Joining a Game of Thrones Iceland tour is among the most exciting things to do in Iceland.

We couldn’t resist the temptation to follow the crowd. Our photographer went on a trip to chase down the Game of Thrones locations and find other great things to do in Iceland. You can see the results below.

This overview is useful for both Game of Thrones fans and those who have never seen the series. The aesthetic beauty of Iceland pictures can turn anyone’s head! This country is surely a must-visit, and seeing Game of Thrones locations is one of the best things to do in Iceland.

Things to Do in Iceland: Quest for 5 Game of Thrones Filming Locations Image2
Photo by Jon Flobrant

Game of Thrones on the map of Iceland: How it happened

Starting from Season 2, Game of Thrones filming locations included various spots on the map of Iceland. In the first season, the series’ producers thought it would be easier to use artificial snow in Northern Ireland for shooting winter scenes.

In the series, most Game of Thrones locations in Iceland are located to the north of the wall. For example, the Dimmuborgir lava fields are featured in Season 3, when the scenes features the campsite. Other popular shooting areas are Vatnajökull and Svínafellsjökull — glaciers that appeared in almost all of the last episodes of Season 2. Later on, the series included numerous other attractions including waterfalls, mountains, and caves.

Even Season 1 includes Iceland attractions: Thingvellir national park is where Catelyn Stark’s sister lives. So Iceland can confidently be considered one of the homelands for the Game of Thrones series.

Tour or self-planned: How to get to Game of Thrones filming locations

Things to Do in Iceland: Quest for 5 Game of Thrones Filming Locations Image3

Since the quest for Game of Thrones filming locations is among the most popular things to do in Iceland, it’s not hard to get to them. For your convenience, you can join one of the complete Game of Thrones Iceland tours that were specially put together after the series became popular. These tours are offered by several local travel organizers and are very useful, especially for checking out those Game of Thrones locations that require 4x4 access. For example, Finding the Universe offers a complete Ring Road Itinerary tour that allows you to see all the attractions across Route 1 (the Ring Road) in one week. Iceland Travel has designed a thematic Game of Thrones - Iceland: Beyond the Wall tour exclusively with Game of Thrones locations. If you have other preferences in your list of Iceland attractions, you can easily join any other tour for your inquiry. The choice is truly huge.

At the same time, an independent journey has its clear advantages. Chiefly, you can dedicate as much time to each of the Iceland attractions as you want. Moreover, you can’t get lost when checking these sites. Game of Thrones filming locations are popular, and the majority of tourists consider visiting them one of the best things to do in Iceland. So just follow the crowd and you’ll see everything even on your own.

If you value comfort, choose a tour. If you want creative freedom, don’t hesitate to go alone. If you do, your chances of finding some unusual things to do in Iceland will increase.

Things to Do in Iceland: Quest for 5 Game of Thrones Filming Locations Image4Photo by Iurie Belegurschi 

Useful tips to make the most of visiting Game of Thrones locations

Here are several things you should know before joining a Game of Thrones Iceland tour:

  1. Some Game of Thrones locations may look different depending on the season and weather conditions. So don’t have strict expectations for them. Just remain open-minded and you’ll get awesome Iceland pictures under any circumstances. If you dream to get the most accurate images of Game of Thrones filming locations, visit Iceland in the snowy winter.
  2. Some Game of Thrones locations are inaccessible in winter. We recommend preparing several other ideas of things to do in Iceland in advance so you don’t waste any spare time. Even better, check the accessibility of places before you go.
  3. If you visit Iceland attractions with a tour group, request acting out key scenes of the series on the spot. Tour managers will gladly do this to show how Game of Thrones locations look in the deep winter when traveling becomes too dangerous.
  4. Enhance your photography skills before taking Iceland pictures. Check out our recent overview on taking beautiful landscape photos and read about the basics of travel photography.
  5. Prepare in advance: buy warm and tight clothes, create a plan of all the things to do in Iceland, and get the best gear. Consider not only in-field camera settings but also post-processing software. Check out Luminar 3 — a photo enhancer specially designed to work quickly and professionally with high-quality shots.

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Now let’s look closer at the top five Game of Thrones filming locations you should visit.

#1 Mýrdalsjökull, Fist of the First Men: Chasing glaciers is one of the best things to do in Iceland

Things to Do in Iceland: Quest for 5 Game of Thrones Filming Locations Image5
Photo by Ruslan Valeev

Mýrdalsjökull glacier, the exclusive location for shooting Fist of the First Men, is a wonder by itself. There’s a natural complex around the glacier with caves and a park. To provide the most accurate representation of Fist of the First Men, which is initially a fort on the hill, the shots for Game of Thrones featured the entire huge territory.

What was Mýrdalsjökull in Game of Thrones? This location became a natural defensive position used by the First Men. Hofdabrekka, a hiking spot situated nearby, turned into the Northern Westeros residence. As the Fist of the First Men, Mýrdalsjökull appeared frequently during Season 2.

Useful information for travellers: Don’t miss the chance to visit Svinafellsjokull glacier nearby! Another one among Game of Thrones locations, this glacier is titled the “Hollywood glacier” as so many movies have used it. It’s the largest ice cap in Europe. A guided walk following the path of the Dark Crusaders is also available for tourists.

Mýrdalsjökull contains more attractions than just the place where Fist of the First Men was filmed. Don’t miss the chance to see the incredible caves hidden in the glacier — all made of ice! In addition, nearby is the surreal Maelifell volcano in a perfect cone shape you should definitely see.

Possible dangers: Be careful while walking on the ice!

#2 Kirkjufell, Arrowhead Mountain: One of the most recognizable Iceland attractions

Things to Do in Iceland: Quest for 5 Game of Thrones Filming Locations Image6
Photo by Iurie Belegurschi 

Being among the most popular places in the country to photograph, Kirkjufell captures the hearts of tourists with its dreamy vibe. It’s a must-visit place for all visitors, not only those passionate Game of Thrones fans who want to see Fist of the First Men and Eastwatch-by-the-sea.

What was Kirkjufell in Game of Thrones? This is the iconic mountain for learning about White Walkers. Bran Stark sees it in the context of their creation, while the Hound sees it in flames in his vision. However, it doesn’t gain any special title in the series — it’s simply referred to as “the mountain shaped like an arrowhead.” To get the full picture of how this amazing sightseeing spot looks, watch Season 7, Episode 6 of Game of Thrones, where Jon Snow and the Wight Hunters search for this mountain.

Useful information for travellers: To get to Kirkjufell, head to Snaefellsnes peninsula. It’s easy to get there and stay for a while thanks to the parking lot 10 minutes away. However, public transport is not a convenient way to get here.

To capture some awesome Iceland pictures at Kirkjufell, consider putting a lovely waterfall in the foreground.

Possible dangers: Repeating a picture somebody else has already taken. Photographing Kirkjufell mountain is among the most popular things to do in Iceland. To be unique, use its variety of angles wisely. Also, prefer the places not occupied by other photographers.

#3 Hverir: The great starting point for tracing Game of Thrones filming locations of Season 3

Things to Do in Iceland: Quest for 5 Game of Thrones Filming Locations Image7Photo by Matt Palmer

Hverir, or the Hverarond sulphur springs, is a must-visit place for Games of Thrones fans and all tourists. Hverir is a geothermal field of mud, mystically covered by steam vents. Creating an unforgettable atmosphere, this place is frequently used as a movie set for thrillers and fantasy movies.

What was Hverir in Game of Thrones? Season 3 starts with a scene where Samwell Tarly is walking through a storm. That’s Hverir!

Useful information for travellers: Once you get to northern Iceland, don’t miss the chance to see all the interesting places nearby. Among them is Myvatn Lake, the setting of the battle between the Night’s Watch and White Walkers. There’s also the Dimmuborgir lava field where the camp of the Free Folk and Mance Rayder were situated. And, of course, the meeting place of Jon Snow and Ygritte’s date — Grjótagjá cave! As you can see, there are lots of interesting things to do in Iceland related to Game of Thrones even within the area of one location.

Moreover, you can walk in Hverir by yourself and experience the feeling of standing inside a snowstorm!

Possible dangers: Carelessly walking in this area may entail serious risk both to you and to the fragile natural environment. Beware that the storm that resembles snow is actually hot and smells like sulfur. In short, take care!

#4 Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach: The residence of Eastwatch-by-the-Sea

Things to Do in Iceland: Quest for 5 Game of Thrones Filming Locations Image8Photo by Maxime GauthierTo see the incredible natural habitat where Eastwatch-by-the-Sea was filmed in Season 7, head to Reynisfjara Beach. The landscape will make you feel like Jon Snow and his warriors mooring on the northern shore. Supplemented by a mountain of a fantastic tower-like shape, this beach may be the most impressive sightseeing spot you’ve ever visited.

In fact, the beach is outstanding even without being one of the Game of Thrones locations. Its sand is as black as night! Reynisfjara is easily accessible from the main road, which turns it into a top place to visit on the map of Iceland. And of course, the mysterious atmosphere guarantees you’ll capture outstanding Iceland pictures even without special preparation.

What was Reynisfjara in Game of Thrones? Eastwatch-by-the-Sea was mentioned several times in the series but appeared only in Season 7 Episode 5, since the Night King was seen for the last time in that area. Later, Jon Snow started his journey in search of a White Walker (to bring him back to King’s Landing).

Useful information for travellers: There’s a huge parking lot nearby, so you can plan a stopover at this Eastwatch-by-the-Sea place. However, the weather is usually rather gloomy, so having picnics here isn’t among the best things to do in Iceland.

Possible dangers: Waves. They appear unexpectedly and are huge enough to spoil your tour, though they may make for outstanding Iceland pictures. Take care!

#5 Dyrhólaey Peninsula: A spot offering numerous things to do in Iceland

Things to Do in Iceland: Quest for 5 Game of Thrones Filming Locations Image9
Photo by Iurie Belegurschi

Another Eastwatch-by-the-Sea filming spot, Dyrhólaey offers many things to do beyond searching for the answer to the question, Where is Game of Thrones filmed?. It’s a habitat for the island’s birdlife, and its southern shore is a perfect place to get amazing Iceland pictures. A 120-meter promenade, Dyrhólaey offer the view of the whole landscape of southern Iceland, including a marvelous view of a castle-shaped lighthouse and a pleasant beach.

What was Dyrhólaey in Game of Thrones? Dyrhólaey represents the landscape of Eastwatch-by-the-Sea in Episodes 5 and 6 of Season 7.

Useful information for travellers: Consider spending several hours at Dyrhólaey to feel its atmosphere to the fullest.

Possible dangers: From May 1 through the end of July, this area has limited access and the higher part is closed to car traffic.

Things to Do in Iceland: Quest for 5 Game of Thrones Filming Locations Image10Photo by Jonathan Auh 

Is there something in Iceland beyond Game of Thrones Iceland tours?

The great news is that there are numerous other things to do in Iceland after you’ve completed this basic Game of Thrones Iceland quest. Thanks to the wealth of nature, the list of Iceland attractions includes more places then just five Game of Thrones filming locations.

  1. Try snorkeling in Silfra. Situated in Thingvellir, this fissure offers unexpected things to do in Iceland - you can appear between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates, swim in the clearest glacial water possible, and see the incredible colors of the underwater world. Who said that Iceland attractions are only snow and ice?
  2. Visit Jökulsárlón lake. To see the fantastic connection between glaciers and still water, head to the edge of Vatnajökull National Park. The locals title this spot the “natural crown jewels,” and its breathtaking beauty is totally worth the trip. Global warming is at work here: the size of the glacial lake is steadily increasing, and the spot changes its appearance day by day. Plus, you can see seals in the lagoon!
  3. Head to Hvítserkur. A marvelous sea stack hidden in northern Iceland, Hvítserkur is a rock that resembles a rhino. Because of that, it’s titled Rhino Rock. According to legend, the sea stack is a troll who ended his journey as a stone because he was too late to get back. But it’s not the only interesting thing there. At the sightseeing spot, you can meet seagulls, shags, fulmars, seals, and colorful jellyfish.
  4. Visit waterfalls. Iceland offers at least 25 incredible waterfalls for you to choose from. Check out Thorufoss, a waterfall that appeared in Season 4 as the place where the Children of the Forest lived and Drogon ate the farmer’s goat. Or visit Aldeyjarfoss, a remote waterfall in northern Iceland that creates a perfectly symmetrical pool designed for perfect Iceland pictures. Or stop at any other waterfall on your way.
Things to Do in Iceland: Quest for 5 Game of Thrones Filming Locations Image11
Photo by Jeremy Bishop

General information to take awesome Iceland pictures

Iceland is an incredible place for travel photography due to its unique lighting conditions. In particular, it’s so close to the Arctic Circle that the sunlight is soft, as it is during the Golden Hour. Because of that, practicing photography is among the best things to do in Iceland.

However, this fantastic sunlight has a short life, especially in November and December. Because of that, there are some rules for taking Iceland pictures:

  1. Prepare everything possible in advance. Since the twilight passes really fast, you can’t waste a second.
  2. Get ready for different weather conditions. Iceland is known for extreme contrasts, from storms to soft sunlight in a cloudless sky. Make sure that your gear is protected from all kinds of weather conditions.
  3. Show respect for nature. As the mistakes in Justin Bieber’s video show, tourists often neglect their safety. They can destroy the delicate nature, decide to swim in cold water near glaciers, or forget to take warm clothes. Prepare properly before your trip to Iceland. To take photos in certain places, you’ll even need permission from the Environmental Protection Agency.
  4. Don’t miss the chance to add other places to visit in Iceland. The unique nature of the country hides many more treasures than Game of Thrones filming locations! At the same time, the complete list of the series’ attractions goes beyond these top five spots. To explore all 17 Game of Thrones Iceland filming locations, visit this map created by Finding the Universe curators for fans of the series.
  5. And, of course, make sure you have enough space on your memory cards to capture everything!

When the trip is over and you’re home, add the finishing touch: post-processing! In Luminar 3, the best photo editing software for both novices and professionals, you can use RAW editing capabilities to adjust exposure, color, contrast, and many other important aspects of your images. Your Iceland memories will be truly ultimate with Luminar 3!

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