Spain is once again the location of choice for Season 7 of the hit series Game of Thrones. We look at some of our favourite locations, where you can discover your own little bit of Westeros.
Whether you love or loathe Game of Thrones, Spain is a country that offers something for everyone; delicious food, fantastic beaches and awe-inspiring landscapes. It may look magical on screen, but nothing quite matches seeing these glorious locations first-hand.
The Basque Country
The rugged Basque Coast were the locations of choice for winter scenes, its untouched, medieval beauty leaping straight from 21st Century Spain to Westeros. It is no wonder that three prime locations were selected for Season 7:
San Juan de Gaztelugatxe – Bermeo
Situated on the Bay of Biscay, San Juan de Gaztelugatxe is a tiny atoll joined to the mainland by an arched bridge. Literally translated as “Castle Rock”, it is easy to see why GoT producers picked this particular spot. Travailing the 241 steps that connect the narrow bridge to the church at the top is a traditional pilgrimage for locals, but is now a pilgrimage of another kind: for those wishing to follow in the Lannisters’ footsteps. The ascent is rewarded with incredible views of the mainland and the wild coast of Northern Spain.
Muriola – Barrika
The Basque Coast is littered with secret beaches, and Muriola Beach is a real find. Located in the small town of Barrika, the cove, which is known to locals as “La Cantera”, is imposing and untouched, its jagged rock formations cutting through the sand, forming treacherous channels of water during high tide. Despite its rising popularity, thanks to GoT, you are unlikely to be joined by hordes of tourists, leaving you to in peace to speculate which characters have graced the beach before you.
Itzurun Beach – Zumaia
With its vast stretches of sand and dramatic, 150-metre high striated cliffs, you can almost see an army of the Unsullied alighting from their vessels on Itzurun Beach. Thanks to its location, the beach is a popular spot for water sports, including surfing, snorkelling, diving, and canoeing. There’s a great beach bar, too, where you can reflect on your favourite GoT moment and speculate on how this Season will end.
While the Basque region is wild, rugged and green, Extremadura, near Portugal’s border, has more of an ancient, Mediterranean feel to it, packed as it is with old cities, winding streets, and crumbling fortresses.
Los Barruecos – Malpartida
In contrast to the jagged rock formations of the northern coast, the rocks in the wetlands of Los Barruecos National Park are eerily smooth and orderly. The sleek granite formations, honed over the years by rising and falling water, can’t fail to ignite the imagination, as you glimpse outlines of people and creatures among the shadows. The wetlands are home to plenty of wildlife and, for centuries, to humans; there is evidence of human occupation from as far back as the Neolithic Period. The rumour is that Los Barruecos will host a monumental battle scene; we’ll just have to wait and see!
Trujillo Castle – Trujillo
The quaint walled town of Trujillo is presided over by a vast 13th Century castle, which sits atop the town’s highest peak. In contrast to the town’s welcoming red slate roofs and winding streets, the castle is truly formidable. The castle is built in typical Islamic military style, making it austere and imposing; it is easy to imagine it as some scene of terror in Westeros.
The rumours are that Caceres, a medieval town and UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the west of Spain, is going to be the location of King’s Landing in Series 7. With its stunning architecture, soaring turrets and ancient bridges, it is easy to see the walled city as the capital of the Seven Kingdoms.
During Seasons 5 and 6, Andalusia was a popular location for GoT and it the series has had a positive impact on the local economy, hiring hundreds of locals as extras as well as boosting tourism.
The Alcázar Real – Seville
With some of its wings dating back as far as the 11th Century, the Alcázar Real (Royal Palace) in Seville was awarded UNESCO World Heritage status in 1987, and it’s still one of the most visited monuments in the world. GoT fans will recognise the Palace as Sunspear, Dorne’s capital, and it is anticipated that the castle will reappear in the same role at some point in Season 7.
Reales Atarazanas – Seville
Constructed in 1252, Seville’s Reales Atarazanas (Royal Dockyards) were a symbol of military strength and the intent to build legions of ships to protect the city from attack. The area comprises a harbour and 17 vast warehouses, the gothic architecture of which evokes images of power struggles, battles and betrayal.
Castillo de Almodovar – Almodovar del Rio
Along the banks of the River Guadalquivir, you will find Almodovar del Rio, a small village in the Cordoba province. Built in the 740s, the Moorish castle is the crowning glory of Andalusia, presiding over the countryside like the regal gem it is. Throughout the year, the castle is home to exhibitions, which will take you through the ups and downs of the castle’s history. In November 2016, however, it was transformed into something quite different: Highgarden, maybe?
Italica – Santiponce
Santiponce is home to one of Spain’s earliest known Roman settlements: Italica, which was founded over 2,000 years ago, in 2016 BC. Much of the settlement was destroyed over the years; in the Middle Ages, stone was sourced from the ruins to build in Seville. However, the amphitheatre remains in most of its glory and is, we have been reliably informed, set to be the location of an almighty battle.
The sheer diversity and scale of Spanish landscape and culture mean that it is impossible not to fall in love with Spain. So, plan your trip now and follow your GoT dreams, so you can say that you got there first!
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