Island sunsets, sun-washed ruins, azure shorelines, olive oil and feta. Yes, Greece is all those things. But with more than 5,000 years of myths and history, Greece is also the prime location to fulfill all your Game of Thrones dreams. Let us walk you through it, one iconic GoT location at a time. From Nafplio, Meteora and Thessaloniki to Crete and Rhodes, Greece is awash with places that have the same spirit as The Seven Kingdoms and beyond.
King’s Landing: home of the Iron Throne, capital of the Crownlands and all of the Seven Kingdoms, and the seat of ultimate power. And for fans of the series, one of the most-seen on-screen locations.
When in Greece, GoT to Go to: Nafplio
As if ripped straight out of the pages of George R. R. Martin’s book, Nafplio, in the northeast Peloponnese, has a storied history that puts King’s Landing to shame. For starters, after Greece gained independence following 400 years of rule by the Ottoman Turks, it became the first capital of the Hellenic Republic. The first prime minister, progressive John Kapodistrias, ushered in a new era by establishing schools and foundations for young women to work, and inaugurated the first university. But like Ned Stark, he was assassinated. One of the bullets that missed him can still be seen in the walls of the church of Saint Spyridon to this day. And like King’s Landing has the Red Keep, Nafplio has the striking fortress of Palamidi. It’s a stunning feat of military architecture, and from the top of the vast citadel you’ll have panoramic views of the city and bay beneath. Squint your eyes just so and you could be Cersei planning your next coup. Similar to the bustling town of King’s Landing, Nafplio’s attractive, narrow streets are packed with Venetian mansions, restaurants, posh shops and quayside cafes, a nearby beach and more importantly: No Flea Bottom.
Remember that time when Winterfell fell? Of course you do (#neverforget). Formerly the HQ of the Starks, as of this writing the secluded castle is in the hands of psychotic Ramsay Bolton. Located in the center of the North, Winterfell has stood in the same spot for millennia.
When in Greece, GoT to Go to: Heptapyrgion
Throw your support behind Sansa Stark and Jon Snow by visiting The Heptapyrgion in Thessaloniki. Sometimes referred to by its Ottoman Turkish name Yedi Kule, this fortress has all the quintessential characteristics of Winterfell. Located in the Upper Town of Thessaloniki, northern Greece’s biggest city, the Heptapyrgion was built by the Byzantines (so, like, seven centuries ago) and used by the city’s military guard and as a safe retreat for the population. The structure consisted of a main castle protected by walls and towers. But like Winterfell, they had some bad luck. In the 1400s, the Ottoman Turks took over and you can still find remnants of their influence today. To get there, climb up to Ano Poli through a labyrinth of lanes and you’ll find the fortress in the northeastern corner of the Acropolis. From there you’ll have views of the city center, and on a clear day you’ll even be able to see as far as Mount Olympus, the mythical home of the Greek gods. Not clued up on religious studies of the Seven Kingdoms? The North is the only region still practicing the First Men, a religion that worships the Old Gods of the Forest.
The Eyrie, The Vale
While we haven’t seen much of the The Vale, one of the Seven Kingdoms, who can forget the breathtaking images of its stronghold? Crowning the top of a peak in the Mountains of the Moon sits The Eyrie several thousand feet above the valley floor below.
When in Greece, GoT to Go to: Meteora, Thessaly
Meteora, in the Plain of Thessaly, is the real deal. By which we mean it’s literally the inspiration for the Eyrie. But as it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site, producers could not get permits in time to film atop the iconic rock pinnacles. So some scenes (think: Tyrion’s sky cell) were digitally altered to include this otherworldly landscape. Located four hours from Athens, Meteora once contained 24 monasteries, although only six remain today, seemingly suspended in the air. This place is still relatively unknown to international tourists, but if Game of Thrones is life for you, this is a pilgrimage you should make. You’ll feel just like Tyrion, Sansa and Arya on your approach. Is it worth the steep climb? Er, does Daenerys Targaryen have dragons? Put another way: Absolutely.
Real talk for a minute: After that gruesome ending for poor Oberyn Martell (still can’t unsee that), we pitied the Dornish. But once Game of Thrones actually transported us to Sunspear, replete with palm trees, exotic gardens and sunny skies, and we witnessed the ninja skills of the Sand Sisters, we concluded that you never mess with Dorne.
When in Greece, GoT to Go to: Crete
As with the Dornish, you do not mess with a Cretan. One of the most fiercely independent people in Greece, the Cretans have a strong identity. (We’re pretty sure that the dark and brooding Dornish are direct descendants of the Minoans.) On Greece’s the largest island — with a stunning landscape of towering mountain ranges, lush forests and endless shores — you won’t only fulfill your Dornish fantasies but all your Game of Thrones fantasies as well. But for strict Dorne vibes, visit the Palm Forest of Vai on the eastern tip of the island. Not only is it the largest natural palm forest in Europe, but at its foot you’ll find the curving Vai Beach. Gold sand, clear waters and, if you’re lucky, a spot beneath the shadows of leafy palm tree. No straw umbrella needed.
Braavos has featured heavily in the last two seasons of Game of Thrones. As one of the Free Cities, it is the richest (all hail the Iron Bank) and most powerful. Its most identifying character is the giant statue, aka the Titan of Braavos, guarding the harbor entrance to the city.
When in Greece, GoT to Go to: Rhodes
Perhaps the best thing about Rhodes, unlike Braavos, is that no one is going to repeatedly ask you to confirm, “Who are you?” And whereas Braavos’ climate is foggy, rainy and even foggier, Rhodes is blessed with year-round sunshine. So what do these two cities have in common? Just like the Titan of Braavos, Ancient Rhodes was guarded by a massive bronze statue known as the Colossus of Rhodes. Although no traces of it remain today, you can visit the Old City of Rhodes (one of the most well-preserved medieval towns in Europe), and with a little imagination you’ll be transported to Game of Thrones. Thanks to landmarks like the Palace of the Grand Master of Knights and the Street of Knights, you’ll get your fill of fantasy and then some.