If you're reading this article, then it’s fair to say that you’re probably a fan (or mega fan) of the worldwide TV smash that is Game of Thrones.
You know your Starks from your Lannisters, and we’re willing to bet that, like us, you were totally blown away by the locations used to depict the fantasy worlds envisaged by George. R. R. Martin. Of course, you might also know that a number of scenes across the show’s 8 seasons were filmed in Iceland.
Visiting Game of Thrones filming locations in Iceland has become a popular activity. You can easily travel to them yourself whilst on a self-drive tour of Iceland, and you won´t need a super jeep to get there.
To venture to these spots, a small 2WD car will easily suffice, though getting to certain places "North of the Wall" will require specialist guides and vehicles.
So here is our guide to some of the best Icelandic locations used in the filming of Game of Thrones. While some are more iconic than others, all of them are incredibly beautiful in their own right. In fact, regardless your intensity of fandom towards the series, you won’t want to miss these gorgeous sights.
Game of Throne's Iceland filming locations
Immerse yourselves in the world of the popular HBO TV series with these epic filming locations:
Þingvellir is one of Iceland’s most famous and historic sites and lies on the “Golden Circle”. A trio of classic beauty spots in South West Iceland, it’s a mere 60-minute drive from Reykjavík. Here's our guide on how to self-drive the Golden Circle.
It’s also the site of the Bloody Gate that guards the Eyrie in the Vale of Arryn. Season 4, Episode 5 sees treacherous Lord Baylish (boooo!!) escort Sansa Stark to the gate.
As they approach it, the characteristic canyon walls of Þingvellir are clearly visible. The actual path they walk along is close to the Oxararfoss waterfall and is clearly signposted.
Pingvellir a Game of Thrones filming location in Iceland twice! It is also where the gruesome meal was offered to Ygritte and Tormund in the rather unpleasant company of Thenn. Don’t worry, Icelandic food isn’t nearly as bad as it was depicted in this scene.
This is a gorgeous valley that runs along the Þjórsá river in the South Highlands. Getting to Þjórsadalur is easy, a cool 45-minute drive from the southern town of Selfoss. Þjórsadalur served as the location for two famous scenes in season 4 of Game of Thrones in Iceland.
The first is the reconstructed farmhouse Þjóðveldisbærinn, which doubled as Olly´s village in episode 3. Some of these names are harder to say than High Valyrian! In the show, the village and its inhabitants met a rather violent end at the hands of a gang of marauding Thenns.
In real life, the village upon which the reconstruction is based was wiped out by an 11th-century eruption from the nearby Hekla volcano. One thing’s for certain-we'd definitely prefer to deal with a volcano eruption than a group of vicious Thenns!
The second is an Icelandic hidden gem that few people know about. The beautiful gorge of Gjáinn is just a short hike from Olly´s village and consists of cascading waterfalls surrounded by basalt caves and walls.
It was at Gjáinn where Arya Stark performed her water dance routine in front of a distinctly unimpressed Hound in episode 5. The scene wasn't digitally embellished in post-production either, so what you see in the show is what you get!
Remember when Dænerys and Jon Snow flew a couple of dragons through a huge canyon in the opening episode of Season 8? That majestic canyon was in fact Fjaðrárgljufur in South Iceland, not far from the town of Kirkjubæjarklaustur.
While it looks particularly amazing in the summer, the scenes were shot in winter, so you may have to visualize the snow and ice yourself!
After their little dragon joyride through the canyon, Dænerys and Jon land their dragons in front of Skogafoss waterfall. Situated just off the Ring Road about 100 km west of Fjaðrárgljufur, this is one of Iceland's must-see waterfalls.
However, the producers felt the waterfall wasn't good-looking enough, so this Game of Thrones filming location in Iceland got digitally enhanced in post-production. We happen to think that was totally unnecessary, and with one sight of the masterpiece, we're sure that you'll agree!
The final episode of season 4 saw a brutal, no-holds-barred fight between Brienne of Tarth and The Hound. The action sequences were filmed in Hengilsvæðið, a popular hiking area that is dominated by the Mount Hengill volcano.
Characterized by boiling mud pots, fumaroles, and geothermally heated rivers, Hengilsvæðið is only a short distance from Reykjavik, not far from the town of Hveragerði. It is definitely worth adding to your itinerary.
Unfortunately, the fight was filmed across several locations within Hengilsvæðið, so there is no definitive spot to head for. But if you’re a big fan of the show, then the distinctive landscape will certainly look familiar to you!
In Season 4 Dany´s dragons are fully grown and, well, out of control. Episode 6 sees a shepherd boy get the shock of his life when a dragon suddenly appears from nowhere and barbecues one of his lambs right in front of him.
This Game of Thrones Iceland scene was filmed close to Þórufoss, a beautiful waterfall just outside the capital area on the way to Þingvellir.
6. Reynisfjara Beach
Another Game of Thrones filming location in Iceland was one of Iceland´s most beautiful black sand beaches, thousands of visitors make their way to Reynisfjara annually to marvel at the huge basalt columns that rise up from the beach´s famous black sands.
The view out to sea is also pretty impressive thanks to the huge sea stacks that dominate the coastline. With a bit of imagination, it kind of resembles the Iron Islands.
In fact, it was the filming location for Eastwatch by the Sea, one of the last few occupied forts on the Wall. Reynisfjara can be most clearly seen in episode 5 of season 7, entitled "Eastwatch". This is where Jon Snow arrives at the fort to meet with the imprisoned members of the Brotherhood without Banners.
Reynisfjara is located on the South Coast of Iceland, very close to the town of Vík. It is stunning, but also potentially very dangerous. While you won’t see White Walkers, there are deadly waves and very strong undercurrents, so pay close attention to the warning signs when you visit.
One look at Kirkjufell and you will see why it is one of the most photographed mountains in Iceland. This iconic mountain was simply begging to be used as a Game of Thrones filming location in Iceland, and the producers duly obliged.
Kirjufell (church mountain) is in a town called Grundarfjörður on the Snæfellsness peninsula in the west of Iceland. You can easily reach it and return in one day from Reykjavík. Here's its location.
Kirkjufell actually makes two appearances in the show. It most famously served as Arrowhead mountain – the mountain that appeared in the Hound's visions as a place where the Army of the Dead can be found.
This vision proved to be most useful information in the second episode of season 7 when Jon Snow and his gang embark on a daring mission to capture a White Walker.
Kirkjufell also made a brief but not insignificant appearance in "The Door" (seasoon 6 episode 5). In a flashback scene, we see the Children of the Forest sacrifice an early man, thereby giving birth to the Night King. Kirkjufell and its pretty waterfalls can clearly be seen in the background.
An outlet glacier of the mighty Vatnsjökull glacier in South East Iceland, Svínafellsjökull´s incredible ice formations made it a perfect Game of Thrones filming location in Iceland for several "North of the Wall" scenes.
The fact that it sits right off the Ring Road certainly helped its appeal – you can basically just drive right up to it. Since it’s a long drive from Reykjavík, it’s probably best to visit as part of a self-drive tour of Iceland.
Svínafellsjökull first appeared as far back as episode 6 of Season 2, when members of the Nightwatch captured the wildling Ygritte. More recently, it was the scene of the epic battle that immediately followed Jon Snow’s mission to capture a White Walker (Season 7 Episode 9).
9. Lake Myvatn
Lake Myvatn and its surroundings is a stunningly beautiful area situated in the heart of Northern Iceland, not far from the town of Akureyri.
There are two places in the vicinity that were used to depict Mance Rayder’s camp in Season 3 of Game of Thrones. Höfði, which is on the shores of Lake Myvatn is one (Episode 5), but our favorite and easily the most recognizable is Dimmuborgir.
Dimmuborgir is an area characterized by large pillars of lava that were formed thousands of years ago when lava from a nearby eruption flowed into a deep lake.
These strange formations resemble abandoned castles. In fact, Dimmuborgir loosely translates as Dark Castles or Dark Fortress – and the whole area certainly has a magical feel about it.
It first featured in the opening episode of season 3 when a captured Jon Snow was brought before Mance Rayder, but it is more clearly seen in episode 2.
Because the scenes were shot in winter, a visit during this season could give you a feeling of extra authenticity. But as beautiful as a snow-covered Dimmuborgir is, we think it’s even better in the summer.
The Game of Thrones experience
Obviously, there is so much more to visit than just checking out Game of Thrones filming locations in Iceland. However, if you are a big fan of the show, then viewing these sites will certainly add a bit of fun to your journey.
Having your own car is the easiest way to reach these sights, so check out some of the vehicles we offer over at Reykjavik Cars.