Beware winter is coming… and so is the next season of the HBO TV series, Game of Thrones!
To celebrate the start of three of our favourite things: summer, the European sailing season and the sixth series of Game of Thrones, we’ve put together a Game of Thrones guide to exploring Croatia. Because why pay for a walking tour when you can do it all yourself?
Warning: This post contains spoilers…
Dubrovnik – Kings Landing
For any Game of Thrones fan, the walled city of Dubrovnik should be the first place on your quest to discover Westeros. Although Malta was the original location for Kings Landing in Season One, they moved the Capital of Seven Kingdoms filming to a far more fitting Dubrovnik in Season Two.
The world-famous ‘Pearl of the Adriatic’ is located in the Dalmatian region of Southern Croatia. Even after a quick visit to Dubrovnik, there is no question the fortifiedcity makes for the perfect King’s Landing filming location with its seaside location, craggy cliffs, imposing city walls and iconic terracotta roofs.
Dubrovnik’s Old Town dating, back to the 16th century, provides the perfect narrow and winding streets for some Lannister scheming.
Stradun – Stadun is the main street in Dubrovnik’s Old Town and passes directly through the centre of the town from Pile Gate to the Old Port. Stadun is unique in that the street is made entirely of white marble. This street features in many scenes involving the people of Kings Landing from Season Two onwards.
St. Dominika Street – You’ll probably remember this iconic street from when Cersei Lannister (played by Lena Headey) embarked on her ‘walk of shame’ in the Season Five finale where she was shaved, stripped naked and forced to walk past angry citizens hurling insults and rotten food after she admitting guilt of adultery.
St. Dominika Street, just outside the Dominican monastery was also a common set for scenes in Seasons Two and Three. Because of the monastery’s hard-line stance on public nudity, negotiations resulted in the filming the ‘walk of shame’ scene costing $50,000 a day.
Ethnographic Museum Rupe – A 16th century former granary and another Old Town site, the Ethnographic Museum was used for the scenes in Littlefinger’s brothel when Oberyn Martell (played by Pedro Pascal) meets with Tyrion Lannister (played by Peter Dinklage). This is also a great museum to visit to learn more about the people, culture history and heritage of Dubrovnik and surrounding regions.
Gradac Park - Situated just outside Old Town, this pine reserve was the filming site of the ‘Purple Wedding’ in Season Four where, post ceremony, King Joffrey (played by Jack Gleeson) gruesomely dropped dead after being poisoned. Gradac Park is a great place for a walk to take in the magic of Dubrovnik and offers some excellent views of the city.
Rector's Palace – Formerly the palace of Dubrovnik's governing body, Rector’s Palace features halfway through Season Two when Daenerys Targaryen (played by Emilia Clarke) visits the trading city of Qarth and asks the Spice King to supply her with ships, only to be rejected.
There is a Cultural Historical Museum located inside the beautiful building and will help you discover the history and culture of Dubrovnik when it was the Republic of Ragusa and governed by a Rector.
Minceta Tower – Minceta Tower is the site of House of the Undying in Qarth. This is where Daenerys seeks to free her stolen Dragons in the finale of Season Two. A UNESCO Wold Heritage site, the tower itself is a well-recognised Dubrovnik site and took almost 150 years to complete construction, with no wonder as the walls are 6m thick.
St. Lawrence Fortress (Lovrijenac) – Commonly known as "Dubrovnik's Gibraltar", Fort Lovrijenac has played host to a number of GoT scenes, predominantly as the Red Keep. Although the exterior of the Red Keep is all thanks to computer-generated imagery, the fortress made for the perfect interior setting. Some scenes you may recall include King Joffery’s naming ceremony and Cersei and Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen’s) ‘power is power’ confrontation in Season Two. You will find Fort Lovrijenac outside the western wall on Dubrovnik perched 37m above sea level.
A bay at the foot of Fort Lovrijenac was also used to shoot the scene of the Gold Cloaks killing King Robert Baratheon's bastard children Season Two.
Bokar Fortress (Zvjezdan) – Constructed in the 15th Century, Bokar Fortress’s main purpose was to protect Pile Gate and bridge from Western attacks. The fortress makes its GoT debut in Season Two when Tyrion and Lord Varys (played by Conleth Hill) planned the defence of Kings Landing from Stannis Baratheon (played by Stephen Dillane).
Pile Gate – Situated between the Bokar and St. Lawrence Fortresses, Pile Gate is the main entrance to Old Town Dubrovnik. A number of scenes were shot both inside and outside Pile. External scenes are most recognisable as ‘Blackwater Bay’ including when Myrcella ‘Baratheon’ was sent off to Dorne to marry Trystane Martell and in Season Three and then in later Season Three when Shae (Sibel Kekilli) and Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) watch the ships sailing around Kings Landing and when Littlefinger and Sansa plot Sansa’s escape from the city.
The riot in the Red Keep post-Myrcella’s send off in Season Two that saw King Joffrey not only cop abuse but also human faeces to the face a was also filmed from inside Pile Gate.
Easily access all of the Game of Thrones Dubrovnik sites on a Bareboat or skippered yacht charter out of Dubrovnik.
Split (15NM from Marina Agana)
Used predominantly for more scenes set in Kings Landing, Split is situated on the Dalmatian Coast and is Croatia's second-largest city. Other scenes shot in Split include those involving Daenerys and her exploits in the city of Meereen.
Another UNESCO world heritage site, Split is an excellent city to visit on any Croatian adventure with unique edifices, tombs and towers, brilliant bays and fresh seafood galore. It is particularly easy to access by boat, car or plane.
Diocletian Palace – the catacombs of the 1700 year old Diocletian Palace in the centre of Split is where Daenerys kept and trained her dragons in Season Four. This is also where the slaves debated joining Daenerys’s rebellion against the Masters of Meereen and the site of her throne room.
The Palace, constructed in the 3rd Century, occupies 30,000 square metres and is considered one of the oldest and most imposing Roman ruins in the world.
Klis Fortress – Not far from Split, in the city of Klis you will find the Klis Fortress, or the city of Meereen, this is where Daenerys fought to free the slaves of the city and answer ‘injustice with justice’ in Season Four. Follow in the footsteps of Kahlessi and hike the stony path to the top, but keep your eyes peeled for rogue dragons. The Klis fortress also offers excellent views of Split.
Trogir – A mere 6 nautical miles from Marina Agana and another site hosting various scenes of Qarth is the Monastery of St. Dominic in Trogir. The Old Town of Trogir is an oval-shaped island squeezed between the mainland and the larger island of Ciovo. The city is unbelievably picturesque with a seafront promenade and numerous landmarks including palaces, churches and towers.
Kaštel Gomilica – Located between Trogir and Split, Kaštel Gomilica is one of the seven Kaštela (or castle) settlements. This is where some of the exterior scenes of Braavos were shot in Season Five including the scenes where Arya Stark (played by Maisie Williams) is selling oysters from a cart. Kaštel Gomilica is 17 nautical miles east of Marina Agana.
Žrnovnica – further east of Split than Klis, the small town of Žrnovnica was used for the bathing scene of the unsullied and Missandei, Daenerys’s advisor/handmaiden, in Season Four.
Explore the Game of Thrones sites around Split on a bareboat or skippered yacht charter out of Marina Agana.
Krka National Park
Consistently used in Season Four to shoot the landscapes of the West, Krka National Park is a beautiful network of lakes, rivers and waterfalls that represent some of the most spectacular scenery in all of Croatia including the stunning Krka Falls.
Located 6 hours sailing north of Split, the Krka is a river is 73 kilometres long and covers a basin area of over 2,000 square kilometres.
Old Town, Šibenik – Known as ‘The Kings City’, Šibenik set the scene for Braavos, one of the Free Cities in the series. Old Town Šibenik made its GoT debut in Season Five when Arya arrives in Braavos seeking the House of Black and White.
Šibenik is 31 nautical miles from Marina Agana and a great place to enjoy traditional Dalmatian dishes and great views. A visit to Šibenik is not complete without exploring the four fortresses protecting the city; the Fortress of St. Nicholas, St. Michael, St. John and the Šubićevac Fortress.
St. James Cathedral, Šibenik – This UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the site of the mysterious face changing House of Black and White in Braavos where Arya arrives looking for Jaqen H'ghar in Season Five. The Façade of the cathedral is extremely unique in that is has multiple faces the around entire edifice, thus making it the perfect location for the temple of the God of Many Faces.
Combining the Renaissance and Gothic styles, the St. James Cathedral will have you in awe of its architecture and design and is a must-see in Šibenik.
Recreate the scenes from Game of Thrones in Krka National Park on a Krka Flotilla sailing holiday departing from Marina Agana.
Well there you have it, Croatia really does have it all – Game of Thrones, excellent food, culture, people and world class sailing – what more could you want?
Use this guide to visit Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast with Sunsail and chart your own course to conquer Westeros. With charters departing weekly, you’re sure to find a holiday to suit your group size and budget.