Tours are sure to be followed by themed hotel packages and add-ons to create a full immersion experience, which once again highlights the power of media as a tourism driver.
Fans of the epic fantasy series Game of Thrones can visit sites made famous by the television drama on new walking tours around Dubrovnik and Northern Ireland.
The tours visit some of the most popular filming locations and have been launched this summer by tour company Viator. Guides will be up-to-date on the latest gossip and stories as the drama reaches the end of its third series on HBO and Sky Atlantic.
The plot follows the rollercoaster fortunes of various warring dynasties and these tours will take in the real-life castles, fortifications, caves and sections of countryside that formed the backdrop to some of the most memorable scenes.
A four-hour walking tour in Dubrovnik’s walled old town, picturesquely set besides the Adriatic, features a look at the city parks used by film crews and gives visitors the chance to climb the city walls that were attacked by the Baratheons in the first series.
There is also the opportunity to hear about the dastardly exploits of King Joffrey and admire the castle used as King’s Landing, capital of the Seven Kingdom’s realm, in the series. The 11th-century Lovrijenac Fortress has been used for many of the Game of Thrones battle scenes.
Another private tour takes place around Belfast, which is the series’ most permanent base. Many secnes were set along the Causeway Coastal Route. From here, fans can walk from the village of Cushendun to the caves where Melisandre of Asshai gave birth. From Ballycastle, visitors can also walk through the “The Dark Hedges” near Armoy, a path lined with gnarled, foreboding trees, which young Ayra Stark passed through on her escape from King’s Landing.
There is also a chance to see Ballintoy Harbour, used as Lordsport Harbour in the series, and Downhill Strand, a location that doubled as “Dragonstone” during the burning of the Seven Idols of Westeros.
All these sites are found near the Giant’s Causeway, a UNESCO-heritage site, which visitors can also explore.
The Dubrovnik tour costs from £46.93 per person, the Belfast tour, from £72 per person. Book at viator.com .
Photo credit: Tourists walk through the walled old town of Dubrovnik. Alexander Granholm / Flickr