Lava caves and formations at Gjáin

The Game of Thrones TV-series is my favourite TV-series and I know that the same goes for many other viewers around the world. Game of Thrones has been filmed in many locations around the world, many of which are right here in my country, Iceland.

I, being an Iceland travel-blogger, have visited all of the Game of Throne locations on my travels in Iceland and written travel-blogs about most of them. There are for sure some spectacular Game of Thrones locations here, which are well worth a visit.

Photo above: Gjáin

Gjáin - Arya and the Hound - the Water Dance

Rauðá river and waterfall

Gjáin and the waterfall in the Game of Thrones scene

Gjáin is a breathtakingly beautiful oasis hidden away in Þjórsárdalur valley upcountry in South-Iceland. I call it one of Iceland's hidden pearls of nature,  a delicate beauty which looks like a fairytale world.

Here we find ourselves right by the central highlands of Iceland in Viking country right next to the excavated ruins of the old Viking longhouse Stöng.

The Extraordinary Game of Thrones Locations I have visited on my Travels in Iceland

Gjáin & my friend Jórunn at My Iceland Guide

This beautiful oasis was a fitting filming location for the Water Dance. I was in awe when I watched this episode as Gjáin is such a favourite location of mine. And nothing was digitally added to it, as in some other locations, as its beauty is just magical.

Since the Game of Thrones scene was filmed at Gjáin there has been an increase in visitors, so let's tread lightly here to keep Gjáin intact.

Some years ago I wrote a travel-blog about Gjáin, where you can see many more photos and information about this beautiful place. This is a summer visit only.



The location of Gjáin in Þjórsárdalur

Commonwealth Turf Farm - Wildlings attack Village

The Extraordinary Game of Thrones Locations I have visited on my Travels in Iceland

The Common Wealth farm and the turf church

Close to Gjáin, you will find a turf house reconstruction of the excavated Viking longhouse Stöng, and a turf church. It is called Þjóðveldisbærinn in Þjórsárdalur valley - the Common Wealth farm - and is open as a museum in the summertime. It is such a lovely place.

These surroundings were ideal for filming a Game of Thrones scene.

The Extraordinary Game of Thrones Locations I have visited on my Travels in Iceland

The Common Wealth farm

Wildlings attack village was shot here at the Common Wealth farm, where all the inhabitants of the farm were killed by the Wildlings, apart from the small boy, Olly.

I was startled when I watched this episode as I know this place so well, having first visited it when I was 10 years old. And to watch such a violent scene in these serene surroundings had quite an impact on me.

But then my ancestors were the Vikings, and our Sagas are filled with stories about bloody Viking battles. I have written a travel-blog about the Reconstructed Saga-Age Farm and Stöng, the ruins of the original Viking turf longhouse with many more photos, also of the inside of the farms:



The location of the Reconstructed Saga-Age Farm Þjóðveldisbærinn

Stakkholtsgjá canyon - John Snow and co capture WightThe Extraordinary Game of Thrones Locations I have visited on my Travels in Iceland

Stakkholtsgjá

Stakkholtsgjá canyon is one of my favourite canyons in Iceland as it is so majestic and mysterious. And when I reach the waterfall hidden way at the end of the canyon, I always feel like I am in the middle of a Game of Thrones' scene, as nature here is amazing.

And sure enough, you can see this canyon in one of the episodes of Game of Thrones, not the waterfall though as it takes some doing reaching it, but a view into Stakkholtsgjá canyon.

The Extraordinary Game of Thrones Locations I have visited on my Travels in Iceland

Parts of the waterfall in Stakkholtsgjá canyon - this canyon is for sure straight out of Game of Thrones :)

Stakkholtsgjá canyon is around 2 km long and up to 100 m deep. And you will have to wade some small rivers and climb on wet rocks to reach the end of the canyon. But it is so rewarding.

The Game of Thrones scene is shot in the snow, but in my opinion, Stakkholtsgjá canyon is more majestic in the summertime.


From what I gather, then Gígjökull glacier can also be seen in this scene, although I didn't recognize it from the video.

Gígjökull glacier is a part of Eyjafjallajökull glacier, remember the glacier with the hard to pronounce name which caused havoc in air traffic back in 2010!

The Extraordinary Game of Thrones Locations I have visited on my Travels in Iceland

Gígjökull

I have visited Gígjökull 4 times; in 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2018, so I have seen it shrinking right before my eyes. It is all but gone now :(

But I add a photo from my 2013 visit so you can see how majestic it was back then.


I have written a travel-blog about the beautiful Stakkholtsgjá canyon, which I would recommend visiting during your Iceland visit. A large 4x4 jeep is needed here so I have only visited this area on guided tours.



The location of Stakkholtsgjá

The location of Eyjafjallajökull and Gígjökull glacier

Þórsmörk

The Extraordinary Game of Thrones Locations I have visited on my Travels in Iceland

Inside the Singing Cave

Parts of the snowy scenes of Game of Thrones are filmed in Þórsmörk, where Stakkholtsgjá is located. I find this place to be so beautiful in the summertime that I add some photos to show you.

The photo above was taken in Sönghellir - the Singing Cave in Þórsmörk, which is one of the magical locations in this beautiful place.

The Extraordinary Game of Thrones Locations I have visited on my Travels in Iceland

Þórsmörk

The contrasts here are extraordinary, so I  highly recommend a summer visit, either on a guided tour or by renting a car; a large 4x4 jeep is needed to visit this area. You can also catch the Þórsmörk bus.



The location of Þórsmörk

South-Iceland - Game of Thrones locations

Skógafoss waterfall - Jon Snow rides a dragonThe Extraordinary Game of Thrones Locations I have visited on my Travels in Iceland

Skógafoss waterfall and the troll

Several Game of Thrones scenes were filmed in South-Iceland, one of which includes Skógafoss waterfall. Skógafoss is one of Iceland's most majestic waterfalls and my favourite waterfall in Iceland.

This beautiful waterfall has got a drop of some 62 meters and a width of 25 meters and it is very easily accessible.



Skógafoss waterfall featured in the opening scene of the last Game of Throne series.

The Extraordinary Game of Thrones Locations I have visited on my Travels in Iceland

Skógafoss waterfall often sports beautiful rainbows

You will see the majestic Skógafoss waterfall in the video below on minute 3:23, but another waterfall has been added above it to make it even more majestic.

I think it is majestic as it is, but must admit that I loved the addition made in the scene :)

You can find out more about Skógafoss in my two travel-blogs on this majestic waterfall:



The location of Skógafoss waterfall

Dyrhólaey - Eastwatch by the SeaThe Extraordinary Game of Thrones Locations I have visited on my Travels in Iceland

Dyrhólaey promontory

Dyrhólaey island - Door Hill island is a black promontory in South-Iceland with a huge rock arch. And it is the location where Eastwatch by the sea and the wall was filmed.

Behind me, in my photo below, you will see the black beach and the rock in the scene where they landed. Of course, it was digitally altered and the wall added. But you will recognize the rock in the scene.

The Extraordinary Game of Thrones Locations I have visited on my Travels in Iceland

Dyrhólaey

Most of Iceland's beaches are black beaches, as here we are in volcano territory with glacial outwash from massive eruptions in the volcanos in the vicinity.

Here we will find both Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull glaciers beneath which the notorious Katla volcano hides. Katla volcano last erupted back in 1918, and we locals think that it might be due to erupt anytime now.




Be careful when visiting Dyrhólaey as landslides have been known to happen here. So let's always respect closures in this location:



By Dyrhólaey you will find the dangerous Kirkjufjara beach, where fatal accidents have happened, and east of it is Reynisfjara beach, about which I have written a travel-blog. Be very careful when you visit these beaches. 



Location of Dyrhólaey

Höfðabrekkuheiði - Mýrdalsjökull glacier

The Extraordinary Game of Thrones Locations I have visited on my Travels in Iceland

Hjörleifshöfði promontory in the distance

The road Kerlingardalsvegur just north-east of Vík village will take you to Höfðabrekkuheiði heath, where the Frostfang mountains are supposed to be filmed.

It was shot in the snow, and I am awful with recognizing snow-covered landscape. But I have heard that it was shot in this area. And I noticed that Jon Snow was looking at the same scenery as in the photo above in one of the shots in the video below.

I have visited the area further up this road, where you will find some extraordinary hidden pearls, which I have always considered to be something that could be straight out of the Game of Throne series.

These pearls of nature are called Þakgil and Remunargil canyons and are so worth a visit.

The Extraordinary Game of Thrones Locations I have visited on my Travels in Iceland

Remundargil canyon

Here is my travel-blog about the canyons, and you be the judge of whether or not Remundargil looks like a Game of Throne location :)



The location of Þakgil and Remundargil canyons

The Extraordinary Game of Thrones Locations I have visited on my Travels in Iceland

The Katla Ice Cave also looks like a location in Game of Thrones, don't you agree?

In Mýrdalsjökull glacier the volcano Katla lies lurking; here can visit an ice-cave in Kötlujökull glacier all year round. I have written a travel-blog about my visit to the ice-cave:



Fjaðrárgljúfur canyonThe Extraordinary Game of Thrones Locations I have visited on my Travels in Iceland

Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon

Fjaðrárgljúfur is a magnificent serpent-shaped canyon in South-Iceland. This canyon was made famous, so to speak, when Justin Bieber visited it back in 2015 and shot parts of his music video "I'll show you". 

I think it will become even more popular since it was featured in Game of Thrones.

The Extraordinary Game of Thrones Locations I have visited on my Travels in Iceland

A serpent-like rock in Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon

Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon is 2 km long and at its deepest, it is 100 metres deep. Fjaðrá river runs through the canyon and you can visit the canyon either from the top (stay on the paths), or wade the river in the summertime. The canyon is sometimes closed due to the preservation of the delicate vegetation.

The name of this canyon, Fjaðrárgljúfur, is a mouthful even for us locals :)

Recent Game of Thrones scenes were filmed in Fjaðrárgljúfur, and in the official trailer where you will see the dragons flying in the canyon. The scene starts at 1:08.

I recently wrote a travel-blog about Fjaðrárgljúfur where you will see many photos and information about this strangely shaped canyon:



The location of Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon

Svínafellsjökull glacier - North of the Wall

The Extraordinary Game of Thrones Locations I have visited on my Travels in Iceland

Svínafellsjökull glacier

Jon Snow and Ygritte met for the first time at Svínafellsjökull glacier, an outlet glacier of Vatnajökull, Iceland's largest glacier.

It is a beautiful location, especially on sunny days. In front of the glacier, you will find a glacial lagoon on which icebergs, which have calved from the glacier tongue, float.

Be aware though that there might be potential rockslide on Svínafellsjökull, so travellers are advised to stop only for a short time in this location.


The Extraordinary Game of Thrones Locations I have visited on my Travels in Iceland

Svínafellsjökull glacier

There are many rocks and I haven't got a photo of Ygritte's rock as I visited Svínafellsjökull before the scene was aired. 

I visited Svínafellsjökull glacier on the following tour of the south coast of Iceland, which took us all the way to Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon:



The location of Svínafellsjökull glacier

Next to Svínafellsjökull glacier, you will find the beautiful Skaftafell oasis. Skaftafell should not be missed while visiting this area, as a relatively easy hike will take you to an elegant looking waterfall; Svartifoss - the Black Fall, which is heart-shaped and set in black basalt columns.



The Extraordinary Game of Thrones Locations I have visited on my Travels in Iceland

Svartifoss waterfall in Skaftafell

You can also go on a glacier hike here with glacier guides. Never go unaccompanied on a glacier, as it can be very dangerous with deadly crevasses, and only trained glacier guides know which areas are safe enough to hike in. 



Þingvellir - Stekkjargjá - The Bloody Gate

The Extraordinary Game of Thrones Locations I have visited on my Travels in Iceland

Þingvellir

Yet another beautiful location which Game of Throne used as a filming location is Þingvellir national park, one of Iceland's best-known historical places and a sacred place to us Icelanders. Here the Vikings established their first parliament back in 930 and it is a UNESCO Heritage site.

And here the Mid-Atlantic ridge passes through and the Eurasian and North-American tectonic plates can be seen above ground, so it is quite a unique location. And a perfect location for shooting a scene from the Game of Thrones.

The Extraordinary Game of Thrones Locations I have visited on my Travels in Iceland

Þingvellir

The Bloody Gate was filmed here in one of the fissures at Þingvellir, Stekkjargjá. I took my photos on my last birthday in March when a beautiful thick white carpet of snow made this spot even more mystical.

Two scenes were shot at this location.


Here you can see the scene and what it looks like without snow when Arya and the Hound arrive at the Bloody Gate. It looks quite different, both because of the lack of snow and also because it has been digitally altered.


Þingvellir is on the Golden Circle, which is Iceland's most popular route. I take all my foreign guests on the Golden Circle tour, and  I have written a travel-blog about a Golden Circle tour I joined, if you want to see which locations the Golden Circle includes:



The location of Þingvellir national park

Nesjavellir - Brienne of Tarth vs the Hound

The Extraordinary Game of Thrones Locations I have visited on my Travels in Iceland

Dyrafjöll

Close to Þingvellir national park and Lake Þingvallavatn you will find the Hengill lava field. There the scene Brienne of Tarth vs the Hound was filmed.

My photo above is taken at Dyrafjöll, which leads to the area below where the scene was shot at Sporhelludalir.

The Extraordinary Game of Thrones Locations I have visited on my Travels in Iceland

Sporhelludalir

This area is just a stone throw from Reykjavík, so I visit it from time to time but have only got photos taken in the dusk. 

I have written a travel-blog about a hike through the colourful Hengill geothermal area at Nesjavellir, if you want to include a beautiful mud pot and hot spring hike to your Game of Throne locations' visit to this area.




And on the other side of Hengill, you will find Reykjadalur valley, where you can bathe in a warm river:



The location of Dyrafjöll and Hengill

Þórufoss waterfall - Drogon eats the goat of the farmer 

The Extraordinary Game of Thrones Locations I have visited on my Travels in Iceland

Þórufoss waterfall

Þórufoss waterfall is a lovely little waterfall in the salmon river Laxá in Kjós, which I always include it in the Golden Circle tour. Þórufoss is 18 m high and much less visited than the other attractions on the Golden Circle. It is located west of Þingvellir national park.

Þórufoss waterfall is featured in the scene where Drogon appears in the canyon and grabs one of the goats and flies away with it.

The Extraordinary Game of Thrones Locations I have visited on my Travels in Iceland

Þórufoss waterfall

It is well worth it including this little waterfall in your Golden Circle tour, especially if you are an avid Game of Thrones fan. It is but a small detour and doesn't take long to visit. The Golden Circle tours take 8 hours on the average, so you can add an extra half an hour to visit this beautiful location.



The location of Þórufoss waterfall

Now, these are the Game of Throne locations I have visited in South-Iceland, but there are several other locations. Let's now visit West-Iceland.

Game of Throne locations in West-Iceland

Kirkjufell - the mountain shaped like an arrowheadThe Extraordinary Game of Thrones Locations I have visited on my Travels in Iceland

Mt. Kirkjufell and Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall

Mt. Kirkjufell - the Church mountain (463 m) is the most photographed mountain on the Snæfellsens peninsula in West-Iceland, if not the whole of Iceland. This free-standing prominent mountain is the landmark of the fishing town Grundarfjörður.

I call Mt. Kirkjufell my grandfather's mountain as Grundarfjörður is the fjord where my grandfather was raised. And for decades now I have had a large painting of Mt. Kirkjufell hanging on my living room wall :)

The Extraordinary Game of Thrones Locations I have visited on my Travels in Iceland

Mt. Kirkjufell

Not so long ago it became a tradition to photograph the waterfall Kirkjufellsfoss with Mt. Kirkjufell in the background.  

While everybody else is taking the traditional photo of Mt. Kirkjufell, my traditional photo of the mountain is the one above away from the crowds. I have such a photo taken every time I visit Grundarfjörður.

I have written a whole series of travel-blogs in 5-parts about things to see and do on the Snæfellsnes peninsula, and I dedicated one of the side-blogs of that series to Mt. Kirkjufell and Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall.



Mt. Kirkjufell and Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall were first featured in the Game of Thrones scene below. Here you will see what the mountain looks like in autumn without the snow.


If you want to follow my travel-guide of the Snæfellsnes peninsula, then I have added a link to the first part of the series here below:



Kirkjufell mountain in Grundarfjörður on Snæfellsnes peninsula, west Iceland

Mt. Kirkjufell

The location of Mt. Kirkjufell

Now, let's move over to North-Iceland where you will see many of the Game of Throne locations.

Game of Thrones Locations in North-Iceland

Kálfaströnd and Höfði cape

The Extraordinary Game of Thrones Locations I have visited on my Travels in Iceland

Lava pillars at Kálfaströnd

At Kálfaströnd by Lake Mývatn, you will lava pillars in all shapes and form. They are called Klasar or St´rípar. While watching Game of Thrones I spotted these beautiful lava pillars in the background of one scene.

These lava pillars are the landmark of the Mývatn area, depicted on many a postcard and on assorted chocolate boxes. So we Icelanders grew up with this image from Kálfaströnd as being the icon for Mývatn.

The Extraordinary Game of Thrones Locations I have visited on my Travels in Iceland

Lava pillars at Kálfaströnd

Only a few years ago it was still allowed to walk between the lava pillars, but access has now been restricted due to the preservation of vegetation, as too many visitors wanted the visit this area since the airing of the Game of Thrones scene. But you can still get very close to them.

You can see the lava pillars in the video below. And also the love scene, which was linked to Grjótagjá cave, a little bit further in my travel-blog.


Another Game of Thrones scene was filmed right opposite from where my first photo was taken; the scene on Höfði peninsula. 

Höfði peninsula used to be barren, but the proprietors of the peninsula planted thousands of trees while staying at Mývatn for their summer holidays, creating this beautiful little haven for us to visit now.

Höfði peninsula in the Mývatn area in northeast Iceland

Photo taken from Höfði cape

The Höfði scene where Samwell Tarly was too tired to walk was shot in the snow, but all my photos from the Mývatn area are summer photos.

I have visited Mývatn countless times through the years, as my husband's family owns land here, but I have yet to visit Mývatn in the winter time. But on a September night one year when the Northern Lights become visible, I saw the most spectacular Northern Lights I have ever seen; and they lit up the sky for hours on end!

I took one of the Northern Lights photos in my travel-blog below on that beautiful night at Mývatn.



I tell you about both these locations, Kálfaströnd and Höfði peninsula, in my first part of my series of Mývatn travel-blogs, where you can see many more photos and information about this lovely area:



The location of Höfði and Kálfastrandavogar

Grjótagjá - Ygritte's and Jon's love cave?The Extraordinary Game of Thrones Locations I have visited on my Travels in Iceland

Grjótagjá cave

Game of Thrones shot several of their scenes in the Mývatn area up in North-Iceland and I can understand why as this part of Iceland is just amazing. I think that the best-known Game of Thrones location here at Mývatn must be Grjótagjá lava cave, which is half-filled with hot blue water. Or was this cave depicted in the Game of Thrones series?

Grjótagjá is the supposed location of Jon Snow and Ygritte's cave and love scene. Although it was apparently filmed in a studio. The cave is privately owned by the farmers at nearby Vogar farm. It is forbidden to dip into the hot water, as it is way too hot to bathe in.

The Extraordinary Game of Thrones Locations I have visited on my Travels in Iceland

Grjótagjá cave

It doesn't look like the cave in the scene, but it is a beautiful cave all the same and well worth a visit.

The difference between the two photos of Grjótagjá above is that I used flash in the first photo and skipped the flash in the second photo, which gives the water the most amazing blue colour.

Unfortunately, since the cave became so popular, some people started treating it like it was their own, trash has been left behind and the no-bathing sign was not respected so the farmers were forced to shot one of the two entrances to the cave.

The photo below was taken back in 2014, when both entrances to the cave were still open. I tried dipping my feet in, but the water is extremely hot. 

The Extraordinary Game of Thrones Locations I have visited on my Travels in Iceland

Grjótagjá cave

Let's treat this beautiful little cave with respect and take only photos of it and leave this little gem intact, so it doesn't have to be shut down.

I have written many travel-blogs about the spectacular Mývatn area, one in particular about the geothermal hot pools:



The location of Grjótagjá cave

Dimmuborgir - Mance Rayder's campThe Extraordinary Game of Thrones Locations I have visited on my Travels in Iceland

Dimmuborgir

Dimmuborgir - the Dark Fortress at Mývatn is one of the best-known and most visited wonders of nature in this area. It is believed that such geological formations as can be seen at Dimmuborgir, can nowhere else be seen in the world, i.e. above ground.

Stepping into this area is like stepping into a world of fairy tales, so it was used as the location for one of the Game of Thrones scene where Jeor Mormont leads a group of Night Watchers through the snow north of the wall (info from Ferðamálastofa - the Icelandic Tourist Board).

The scene is filmed in the snow, but the photos in my travel-blog are taken in the summertime. As I told you earlier in this travel-blog, then I have such a hard time recognizing landscape in the snow, but somewhere around Dimmuborgir, this scene was filmed.

I have written a travel-blog about Dimmuborgir lava field, where I show you both the lava church formation and the hidden Cave of the Yule Lads.



The location of Dimmuborgir 

Hverir - Hverarönd - Corner of the Haunted Forest

The Extraordinary Game of Thrones Locations I have visited on my Travels in Iceland

Hverir geothermal area

The orange mountain Mt. Námafjall hovers over Hverarönd or Hverir, which is a large high-temperature geothermal area. Here the ground is hissing, bubbling and boiling with steam rising from the ground in several places.

This area is often referred to as "eldhús djölfulsins" or the Devil's Kitchen and this whole area smells of strong sulphur, which can overwhelm you at times. This is the only place where I have experienced sulphur poisoning when I inhaled too much of the steam in strong wind. I had nausea and headache for days afterwards :(

The Extraordinary Game of Thrones Locations I have visited on my Travels in Iceland

Hverir

I haven't been able to locate the scene, but have heard that the steam at Hverir was used to create the illusion of a blizzard in Season 3.

I have written a travel-blog about the Krafla geothermal area and recommend a visit to all these geothermal areas, as they are so colourful and otherworldly. 



The location of Mt. Námafjall


The Extraordinary Game of Thrones Locations I have visited on my Travels in Iceland

Do you see the feet of the person to the left, totally covered by the sulphurous fumes?

Here you can see what the actors and the crew thought about shooting the scenes at Mývatn:


I have by now shown you all the Game of Thrones locations I have visited on my travels in my country.

This travel-blog of mine is only a short description of the Game of Thrones locations I have visited through the years on my travels in Iceland, many of which I wrote about before they were chosen as locations for the Game of Thrones.

I thought I would just link them all in this travel-blog as so many people are asking me if I have written a travel-blog about the Game of Thrones locations in Iceland. There are many other articles and travel-blogs written about the locations which are way better than mine, f.ex.:



    In the video above the Iceland location manager of Game of Thrones, Einar Sveinn Þórðarson, shows you some of the Iceland locations, which I have shown you in my travel-blog.

    There are many more locations in Iceland, which are like out of this world and could fit perfectly in a Game of Thrones scene. I have by now written 260 travel-blogs about different locations in Iceland, including many elves- and trolls locations. You can check them out to add some extraordinary locations to you Game of Thrones quest in Iceland.



    The Extraordinary Game of Thrones Locations I have visited on my Travels in Iceland


    Here are all the available Game of Thrones tours: 



    Laurence and Jessika Norah made a map with the Game of Thrones filming locations in Iceland:


    You can also rent a car and visit the Game of Thrones locations out on your own. For Stakkholtgjá and Þórsmörk you will need a large 4x4 jeep.

    Have a lovely time visiting the wonderful Game of Thrones locations in Iceland :)

    Contact Regína