The madness of Game of Thrones is upon us, and starting Sunday, April 24, most of us will be discussing the lives of the characters in the immensely popular HBO series more often than our own. While its satisfyingly twisted plot lines are enough to keep us hooked, we’ve always been equally awed by the show’s choice of achingly beautiful locations. So for all the travel buffs out there, we list down the best of them, along with some handy info on what to do if you decide to go see them for yourself.

Dubrovnik, Croatia

In the show: King’s Landing

King’s Landing is the throne of the realm, and pretty much where 90 per cent of all the bad things on the show happen. Located in Croatia, Dubrovnik is where all the King’s Landing scenes, and some involving Daenarys, have been shot.

If we discount the special effects used in the show to enhance the grandeur of the capital, the place is just as awesome. There are a lot of old buildings to see here—owing to the varied history of the coastal city—and combine that with a view of the Adriatic Sea to die for, this one is high on our list.

Fly To: Dubrovnik Airport {22 kms from location}

Best time to visit: May – June, September – October

Meteora Mountains, Greece

In the show: Vale Of Arryn

Image courtesy: Jetsetta

Image courtesy: Jetsetta

Referred to by many as an impenetrable fortress, the Vale Of Arryn is a mountainous region administered by House Arryn, shot in the Meteora Mountains in Greece. The region offers plush greenery, flowing water bodies and sharp cliffs, and we advise you to go at the right time to make the best of it.

There are six Eastern Orthodox monasteries to visit, too, all of which are listed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. And with a variety of rare flaura and fauna calling the region home, this one is for culture and nature lovers alike.

Fly To: Near Anchialos National Airport {153 kms from location}

Best time to visit: July – October

Alcazar Palace, Seville, Spain

In the show: Dorne

Alcazar

Image courtesy: JustLuxe

Even though Dorne has been largely absent from the TV show’s formative seasons, it has managed to become one of the most talked about factions in the series. Most of the glimpses of life in the southernmost kingdom we saw in season five were shot in Alcazar, Seville; a grand palace originally built to house Moorish royalty.

Its evolution is reminiscent of the extensive intermixing of cultures the region has seen over the centuries, as rulers and nobles added their own influences to the constantly changing architecture of the building complex.

If for nothing else, we’d visit this palace just to see its famed, lavish gardens.

Fly To: Seville Airport {12 kms from location }

Best Time To Visit: March – June, September – November

Azure Window, Gozo, Malta

In the show: Daenerys and Khal Drogo’s wedding

azure window

Image courtesy: Brittany Trubridge

The traditional Dothraki wedding of Daenerys and Khal Drogo was so full of other, grosser things to distract us that we mostly couldn’t see the beautiful location it was shot in. Situated in Malta, the Azure Window is a natural arch of limestone with the beautiful expanse of blue of the Mediterranean forming the backdrop. This area is ideal for adventure sports lovers, as the arch makes for an ideal jumping ground for some jaw dropping cliff diving. We’d advise caution, though, it is pretty damn high.

The Blue Hole is another natural attraction nearby, which is quite literally a blue hole underwater, perfect for diving. And if you want to do none of those things, you can always sit on top of the arch, sip a beer, watch the ocean and take a nap.

Fly To: Malta International Airport {47 kms from location}

Best time to visit: May – June; October – November

Bardenas Reales, Navarre, Spain

In the show: Dothraki Sea

Spanien - Bardenas Reales

Image Courtesy: World Translation Center

Season six will be the first time the capital of Dothrak will be shown in its full glory. It lies amidst a vast barren stretch of land where the Dothraki live, pillaging on their horses and just doing general Dothraki stuff. The real location is Bardenas Reales in Navarre, Spain; a dry, hilly biosphere-reserve featuring some of the most unique terrains in the world, as well as a rich variety of wildlife. It’s soon to become a popular travelling destination, though, thanks to Game Of Thrones fans, so the right time to visit is right now.

Fly To: Pamplona {100 kms from location}

Timings: 8am – one hour before sunset

Best time to visit: September – June

Featured image courtesy: BQ Magazine