Top 8 Game of Thrones filming locations to visit by boat

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Barrika, Northern Spain

Fictional setting: Currently unknown

True location: Northern Spain

The much anticipated seventh season of Game of Thrones sees its film crew return to Iceland and Northern Ireland, but for the next chapter in the story, it is rumoured that some north-east coastal towns in Spain will also be appearing on our television screens — including Barrika, San Juan de Gaztelugatxe and the Port of Bermeo. It is suspected that the incredible Muriola Beach in Barrika will be the landing site for Daenerys and her fleet of Dothraki soldiers.

How to visit: Superyachts can moor at the Maritime Museum at the heart of nearby Bilbao, a port city famed for its museums, contemporary art galleries, rustic restaurants and architecture. Alternatively, it can be arranged for superyachts of any length to berth in the Port of Bilbao's cruise quays or commercial docks. Take a private car to the filming locations, which are approximately an hour's drive away.

Picture courtesy of Shutterstock.com / imagestockdesign

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Iceland

Fictional setting: North of the Wall, Wildling territory

True location: Various spots across Iceland was used to portray the icy stretches past the Wall at the border of the Seven Kingdoms. Many scenes were filmed on the Vatnajökull glacier at the heart of the island and at the Thingvellir National Park. Fans will recognise the glacial planes of Höfðabrekka as the 'Frostfang Mountains' from season two as well as Grjótagjá, a spring cave near Lake Mývatn that played host to Jon Snow and Ygritte in season three.

How to visit: Moor up in Reykjavík just outside of the old harbour, which is capable of berthing some of the world's largest yachts —  in fact,126 metre Octopus was been spotted here both in 2010 and 2015. There are a huge number of tours and excursions that can be organised from Reykjavík, so be sure to select your favourite spots to visit in advance.

To visit more northern locations such as the Grjótagjá cave, moor up at Akureyri, where 119 metre motor yacht A was spotted in May 2016.

Picture courtesy of Shutterstock.com / Alexander Erdbeer

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Game of Thrones filming locations to visit by boat

Fictional setting: Qarth

Located on the south coast of Essos, Qarth is a trading city and is also sometimes known as the “Garden of Bones”.

True location: Trogir

One of many hidden gems in Croatia, Trogir is a UNESCO World Heritage site with strong Venetian influences, as it was taken over in the 15th century for almost 300 years, though it was founded long before that. In the series it portrays the trading harbour of Qarth, while Split and the Fortress of Klis are nearby and well worth a visit, as they were used for many of the scenes featuring the fictional town of Meereen. There are a number of incredible historical sites in Trogir such as the 13th century Cathedral of St Lawrence, as well as some beautiful eateries at which to enjoy dinner, such as Capo in the old town or Konobo Trs. The latter sports traditional wooden benches, old stone walls and a courtyard with a ceiling of sprawling grapevines and serves delicious seafood dishes.

How to visit: There are a number of beautiful superyacht anchorages in Croatia — the nearest is just outside the Trogir bay by the island of Drvenik.

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Game of Thrones filming locations to visit by boat

Fictional Setting: King’s Landing

The capital of George R. R. Martin’s mythical world of Westoros is a walled city that sits by a sparkling blue ocean, where the current royal family live in the Red Keep — home of the iconic Iron Throne. Not dissimilar to the likes of medieval London, the slums of the poor surround the walls.

True Location: Dubrovnik

The Old City area of Dubrovnik was used for large portions of filming after season one production emigrated to the UNESCO World Heritage site from Mdina in Malta. The Old Town of Dubrovnik was founded in the 7th century and features an intricate tapestry of narrow streets with beautiful gardens, coffee houses, galleries and designer boutiques. There are some incredible things to do while visiting Croatia on a luxury yacht — The Stradum is a must for a relaxed evening cocktail, otherwise the world-famous cliff bars are a short walk away. The nearby island of Lokrum was also used as a filming location for the city of Qarth.

How to visit: There are excellent superyacht facilities in the city, making it perfect for a luxury yacht vacation in Croatia — the Adriatic Croatia International Club (ACI Dubrovnik) can accommodate yachts measuring up to 60 metres. Amenities include luxury shops, restaurant and bars as well as a tennis court, swimming pool and hairdresser.

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Game of Thrones filming locations to visit by boat

Fictional setting: King’s Landing

True Location: Mdina

Before filming moved to Dubrovnik for season two, Mdina was the main filming location for King’s Landing. Known as the Silent City, Mdina’s history stretches back more than 4,000 years, and is home to many historical places of interest, such as the Roman Villa, catacombs and the Knights of St John cathedral. Aside from the museums and religious relics, there are some wonderfully quirky spots to sit back and relax. The Crystal Palace bakery is famous for its pastizzi and the Fontanella Tea Garden is renowned for its homemade cakes, pies and pastizzi.

How to visit: Valetta sports a vast natural harbour, the Grand Harbour Marina, which is set against a UNESCO World Heritage site and offers berths for superyachts measuring up to 135 metres, so it's definitely worth spending some time exploring Malta by superyacht.

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Game of Thrones filming locations to visit by boat

Fictional setting: Pyke, The Iron Islands

In the Game of Thrones books and television show, The Iron Islands are a group of seven islands just west of Westeros. Ruled by House Greyjoy from the island of Pyke, it is cold, rugged and barren.

True location: Ballintoy Harbour

Ballintoy is a quintessentially rural Irish village and a lovely stop over for those exploring the rugged coastlines. It’s quaint and rustic, with a handful of shops and restaurants, as well as the famous Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. The harbour was featured in Game of Thrones as the port in The Iron Islands. It’s here where Theon Greyjoy first meets his sister Yara and admires his own ship. The Dark Hedges are also close at hand, which is a famous avenue of 18th century beech trees, where used as a location for the King’s Road.

How to visit: It may be a little off the beaten track for superyachts, but with the Giant’s Causeway and the Bushmills Distillery so close by, it’s definitely worth the trip. Larger vessels can moor in a number of locations in Belfast, but another option is to anchor out and then tender in to Ballycastle Marina. Unfortunately it can only accommodate yachts up to 20 metres but it is just a short drive to the Ballintoy Harbour and other attractions.

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Game of Thrones filming locations to visit by boat

Fictional Setting: Meereen

The largest of the three slaver cities, Meereen is home to the Great Pyramid and a number of temples. Daenerys Targaryen conquers the colourful city and resides here as she makes her plans.

True Location: Peñíscola

Peñíscola (Castellón) was used in season six for the streets and gardens of Meereen, including the Door of Felipe II, Artillería Park and Plaza de Armas, Santa María Square. Peñíscola Castle was built between 1294 and 1307 by the Knights Templar, and the town itself is a beautiful fortified seaport that’s well worth exploring.

How to visit: Spain enjoyed a bumper superyacht charter season last year, but there are no superyacht facilities near to Peñíscola. However, it is possible to tender into the picturesque Peñíscola Marina. Alternatively the Valencia Yacht Base is just under a two hour drive away, and they have berths for boats up to 120 metres with a huge range of superyacht services for those either on private boats or on a yacht charter around Spain's sunny coast.

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Game of Thrones filming locations to visit by boat

Fictional setting: Sunspear, Dorne

Sunspear is the capital of Dorne, one of the seven kingdoms of Westoros ruled by House Martell. Dorne is connected to the rest of the continent through the Red Mountains and is bordered in the north by the Sea of Dorne.

True Location: Alcázar of Seville

Seville’s beautiful Alcázar was built in the 14th century and was made a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1987. It’s a popular tourist attraction with a number of high-end eateries — Abantal is one of two Seville restaurants with a Michelin star and offers an intricate tasting menu. On the way to the Alcázar of Seville be sure to wander through the Parque de Maria Luisa to the Plaza de España, which is a striking landmark featuring architecture from the 1920s.

How to visit: There are a number of marinas for smaller vessels along the Guadalquivir river, but the closest to the Alcázar of Seville is Club Náutico Sevilla, which hosts 150 moorings for boats with a maximum length of 36 metres.

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