Where was Game of Thrones filmed? Season 3 Filming Locations Guide

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The third season of the epic series is here and this is a great excuse to explore some beautiful exotic places, where the most pirated TV show of 2012 is traveling this time.

We'll go from the extreme cold landscapes of Iceland to the sun-kissed sandy towns in North Africa.

Game of Thrones Qarth David Benioff, one of the creators of Game of Thrones, explains in the video blogs that the team prefers to spend the money on locations rather than with FX or using green screens in the background.

To make it possible, three units filmed the different plots of the story in parallel in several countries.

This HBO production is based in Northern Ireland and most of the locations for the first two seasons have been filmed around Belfast, but in this report, we are not visiting these ones.

You can find a map including the filming locations of Game of Thrones for all the series up to now at the end of the article.

Game of Thrones Locations
The historical coastal town of Essaouira in Morocco was chosen to continue the adventures of Daenerys Targaryen, this time in the warped city of Astapor.

Also, some scenes set in King’s Landing were filmed here. Look at the forest of spears in the background. It seems that The Khaleesi is finally going to get her long-expected army.
Image by Mohamed Amine Lakaab and Lukas Vermeer

Essaouira Astapor
The Unsullied are a disciplined horde of eunuch slave-soldiers for sale.

Situated on the Atlantic coast, Essaouira was also a featured location in the John Wick 3 movie. Image courtesy of HBO

Medina of Essaouira
Zoom off: Medina of Essaouira is a UNESCO World Heritage fortified seaport from the late 18th century.

Its narrow streets are a mix of North African and European styles. Tourists are coming!
Image by Alain Bachellier

Slaver's Bay
Image from the first episode of the third season, when Daenerys and Ser Jorah arrive at Slaver's Bay.
Image courtesy of HBO

Portuguese fortress
In the outskirts of the walled town, the wreck of the Portuguese fort is slowly falling apart like a giant sandcastle.
Image by Ben

Seamen flags
Are knights' banners ready for the battle? Nope, just Essaouira's fishermen flags.
Image by Fredam 83

City of Yunkai
In the 7th episode, Daenerys and her allies arrive at the gates of Yunkai, the Yellow City.
Image courtesy of HBO

Game Thrones Locations
Yunkai is inspired by the mud-brick fortress of Aït Benhaddou. The city seems out of a tale from the 1,001 nights.

That may explain why it has been used as exteriors for a long list of films since the sixties, from Lawrence of Arabia to Gladiator, including the cult movie Time Bandits.

The weather conditions at this side of the Atlas Mountains make Aït Benhaddou a perfect filming location.
Image by Alexander Cahlenstein

Game of Thrones Season 3 Atlas Studios
Just a few miles from there, the considered world's largest film studio was built in the desert: Atlas Studios.

Many sets from the filming of various movies remain in place. The complex is becoming a popular tourist destination, you can visit it on a guided tour.

The fate of the Iron Throne is being forged here, as the Mother of Dragons makes its way through the lands of Essos.
Image courtesy of HBO

Scene Location in Iceland
Now we are going North of the Wall once more, carried away by the out-of-this-world landscapes of Iceland.
Image by Viaggiatore Fantasma

Going beyond the Wall
The destiny of Jon Snow among the wildlings has been filmed near the shores of Lake Mývatn.
Image courtesy of HBO

North of the Wall
The area has a forest of bizarre rock lava pillars, known as the black castles (Dimmuborgir).

As it couldn't be otherwise in this astonishing land, there's plenty of awesome geological features around.
Image by Genevieve Romier

During the filming, it was genuinely cold, enough to get real stalactites going down the actors' noses.
Image by Slava Rodionov

Hverfjall Iceland
This is how Hverfjall, one of the nearby volcanoes, looks like in spring.
Image by Hugi Ásgeirsson

The scenery has many cones, known as pseudocraters, like this island shaped also as a triangle.

Pseudocraters are different from volcanoes as lava never erupted from them.
Image by Chris Zielecki

Cave where Jon and Ygritte engage in sex
The cave of Grjótagj is where Jon Snow and Ygritte - Spoiler Alert! - are having a splash with a happy ending in the 5th episode.
Image by HBO

Cave Set Location
As a tourist, you can also have a burning bath in this magical geothermal cave, with water at 40-60°C (100-140°F).
Image by Boreal Travel

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  1. This is awesome. Thank you very much for making this article. I hope that someday, I'll get the chance to travel at these places, and recall the scenes in the tv series. =]

  2. Thanks to you for your comment!]

  3. Beautiful photos! Thanks for the location info. Perhaps one day I'll get a chance to visit some of these. Iceland has been on the "visit-someday" list for some time.

    I pulled together my own listing of Game of Thrones location in Northern Ireland over on my blog (sadly, without such great pics), as those are the places I know and love. You can check it out at http://atriptoireland.com/2013/06/04/where-was-game-of-thrones-filmed/ if you're interested.

    I'm going to try and keep this list up-to-date as the filming progresses, so if you know of anyplace I didn't include or come across any future location info, please let me know.


    Rich / www.atriptoireland.com

  4. I stayed at the Riad Al Madina (Jimmy Hendrix Favourite Riad ) in Essaouira in Feb 2011.. And it is very special to see Game of Thrones using this Area for Filming.....:)

  5. Compare with my photos from the same locations :




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