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A Westerosi vacation: Head to these real-life Game of Thrones destinations

The destinations that feature most heavily throughout the seasons, and those anticipated to appear in season 7 of GoT, are becoming must-visit hotspots.

travel Updated: Jul 24, 2017 10:50 IST
The super popular fantasy series has put many a unique, scenic destinations on the global map.
The super popular fantasy series has put many a unique, scenic destinations on the global map. (HT file photo)

The world eagerly anticipated Game of Thrones season 7 but fans aren’t waiting for winter to come to enjoy Seven Kingdoms-inspired vacations, as Hotels.com reports a dramatic hike in searches to the stunning destinations featured in the series.

Among the world’s most popular shows, it has inspired the imaginations of millions of ‘Thronies’ across the globe since it first aired in 2011. Last season, over 23 million viewers worldwide tuned in to each episode.

The destinations that feature most heavily throughout the seasons, and those anticipated to appear in season seven, are becoming must-visit hotspots. Travel expert Hotels.com reports huge increases in searches to destinations in Iceland, Spain, Croatia and Northern Ireland.

1) Going Beyond the Wall: Iceland, which plays host to arguably the series’ most iconic landscape, Beyond the Wall, has enjoyed the most dramatic surge in searches. The scenic destination is up over 285% since 2014, when the show mania truly began to take the world by storm. The upward trend continues for the destination as year-on-year (2017 vs 2016) data shows a 30% surge for those eager to walk in the frosty foot-steps of heart-throb Jon Snow, where he famously battles Wildlings and White Walkers.

Iceland, which plays host to arguably the series’ most iconic landscape, Beyond the Wall. (YouTube )

2) Landing in Croatia: A number of destinations in Croatia, another key filming location, have also enjoyed a tourism boom. The ancient city of Split on the Dalmatian coast has seen an uplift of nearly 120% in searches. Fans of Daenerys Targaryen enjoy touring the city’s walled Diocletian’s Palace, the site of the Mother of Dragons’ throne room. The less well-known Croatian city of Sibenik, the site for the famous city of Braavos, has enjoyed a similar lift with hotel searches up 60 percent.

A number of destinations in Croatia, another key filming location, have also enjoyed a tourism boom. (Tourism Croatia/Facebook )

3) The City of Dorne: Seville: Fans are also looking to the warm climes and epicurean lifestyle of Seville in Spain, with searches to the destination up 145%. Seville was used for scenes set in Dorne, the most exotic of the Seven Kingdoms, where the ornate private estate of the House Martell stands.

To experience Dorne, fans are looking to the warm climes and epicurean lifestyle of Seville in Spain. (YouTube )

4) The North: In the lead up to the much-anticipated season seven premiere, Belfast has been on top of fans’ wish lists. Having featured in almost all seasons, the wild and ragged northern end of the Emerald Isle is rumoured to become the jewel in the latest season’s crown. With searches for Belfast hotels up nearly 120 percent ahead of the season premiere, the destination is set to welcome thousands of fans in 2017.

Belfast has been on top of fans’ wish lists, having featured in almost all seasons. (YouTube)

“As experts in accommodation and enthusiasts for travel, we’re thrilled to be able to facilitate memorable, rewarding stays for those who want to get close to the action. Along with so many around the world, we look forward to season seven and to enjoying the stunning locations in which it’s filmed,” said Hotels.com Director Regional Marketing Greater China, SEA and India at Hotels.com brand, Jessica Chuang.

Follow @htlifeandstyle for more.