Set a 1000 years before Dani ever batted her eyes at Jason Momoa, HBOs prequel series House of the Dragon aired its debut episode in August 2022. And as the tv show continues, we expect HoTD to have all the same sex, swords, intrigue and incest as George RR Martin’s first TV adaptation (but with hopefully better writing than season 8).
But really, as always, at Contiki we’re in it for the epic travel porn (as opposed to, you know, the actual porn). Game of Thrones famously took us across Northern Ireland, Iceland and Croatia. But where is the new kid on the block filmed? Though some of the show was filmed at Warner Bro’s Leavesden Studios, there’s still plenty of beautiful backdrops you can visit yourself. So stay tuned, dear reader, for the House of the Dragon filming locations soon to be on everybody’s bucket lists.
All the Spanish Game of Thrones filming locations you need to add to your travel bucket list
Season 1 filming locations
With some familiar locations returning as well as a few new ones entering the mix, viewers of House of the Dragon are not only in for a spectacular story but also some spectacular views.
1. Cáceres, Spain
Game of Thrones famously shot most of its Kings Landing scenes in one of our fave cities, Dubrovnik in Croatia. But it also occasionally used a lesser known city: Cáceres in Spain. Well, this time around, Cáceres looks like it’s taking it’s spot in the limelight as one of the main House of the Dragon filming locations.
And it makes sense. This really is one of Spain’s most beautiful cities, with all the medieval charms that makes it perfect for GRRMs fantasy world. We’re talking cobbled streets, ancient walls, turrets flanked by creepy gargoyles. If you want to step back in time (and visit one of the prettiest Plazas in the world), look no further than Cáceres this summer.
2. Cornwall, England
For all the House of the Dragon filming locations on this list, some of the more fantastical shots will be done in Warner Bros studios, Watford (you might recognise the studios. They also hosted a little-known indie series called Harry Potter). So it makes sense HBO are also making good use of all the natural splendour England has to offer.
And if you’re looking for dramatic coastal shots, you can’t do much better than Cornwall. HBO kicked off filming here back in April 2021, using an island castle called St. Michael’s Mount, as well as Holywell beach and Kynance cove. If you’re after scenery, surfing, and delicious food (Cornish pasties and ice cream are legit), then you should check it out before fantasy-lovers across the world catch on.
3. Peak District, England
Another epic English destination. For its next House of the Dragon filming location, HBO headed northwards (not quite to the wall), to use the dramatic rolling hills of the Peak District. If any locals were taking a walk last May and thought you spotted Matt Smith (that’s Prince Daemon Targaryen to you and I), with a ridiculous blonde wig walk past, you probably weren’t going crazy. The Peak District is also home to Cave Dale, where the gruesome crab kings acolytes take shelter.
Even if you’re not Targaryen spotting, this huge National Park packs in moorlands, lush hillsides, valleys and lakes, and is a great place to get some fresh air and soak in all that natural beauty. Gets a bit windy though. Must have been a ‘mare in that wig, Matt.
4. Trujillo, Spain
Another gorgeous medieval town, Trujillo boasts some of the best Roman ruins in Spain. Tourists don’t tend to flock to these parts, but those that do will be rewarded with some seriously authentic Spanish food, from some top quality jamon monesterio, to Torta del Casar. The stunning medieval castles that adorn the hilltops make it easy to see why HBO singled it out as a House of the Dragon filming location.
5. Surrey, England
Back to the UK, this time the quaint charms of the Surrey hills. This place has history (it was where the magna carta was signed around 900 years ago), but it’s also pretty scenic, with natural woodlands, thames-side meadows and charming country houses. This is where HBO filmed the absolutely epic tourney in the first episode, so keep your eyes peeled during those bloody melees.
6. Monsanto, Portugal
In the early 20th Century Monsanto was named the ‘most Portuguese village in Portugal.’ So that’s probably why it’s been so well protected by the government. The Unesco Heritage Site town is set against giant boulders (that sometimes form parts of the buildings themselves) and spills down a steep hill in an impossibly charming, colourful tumble.
Potentially the spot for the ancestral seat of house Targaryen at Dragonstone, the famous mountain-top Castelo is a huge stone fortress that is said to even predate the Romans arrival, so it’s easy to see why HBO scouted it out. Expect a dragon or two swooping around its crumbled walls during House of the Dragon’s breathtaking runtime.
7. Catalonia, Spain
Making a return to Spain and hitting the northern most part of the country, House of the Dragon took their lucky, lucky cast to Catalonia! Lloret de Mar more specifically, which is a quaint seaside town with a blooming secret. Wondering where that beautiful botanical garden featured in the episode titled ‘The Rogue Prince’ was? Well, it’s none other than the regal botanical gardens of Santa Clotide.
With tall hedges and winding gravel paths, it’s no wonder the show runners chose this spot to pose as the Red Keep’s walking grounds. Stuh-ning!
Image source:Jordi Vich Nararro / unsplash
Season 2 filming locations
Season 2 technically hasn’t aired yet, though we’re all anxiously waiting for the return of Daemon and Aemond and Aegon and Rhaenyra and Rhaenys (god these names are confusing!). Some whispers have been spread, no doubt by Larys and his fireflies, and we’ve got a list of a few returning and new filming locations for House of the Dragon season 2.
1. Gwynedd, Wales
Many noble exteriors have found their home in the quarries and valleys of Gwynedd. Filled with that fabled and wild beauty that’s so quintessential to the United Kingdom, Gwynedd makes a fantastic home for the rugged Dragonstone exteriors in Trefor Quarry, and the open rolling planes of the Vale where many horsemen will be passing through.
A trip to Gwynedd is like stepping into a fairytale, and it’s also only about a 20 minute drive from our next House of the Dragon filming location. These locations are separated only by a narrow strait called Menai, which is also a beautiful site to see.
Image source:Craig Davis / unsplash
2. Anglesey, Wales
This beautiful island just off the coast of Wales boasts many stunning beaches that are just begging to be taken over by glorious CGI dragons. Alas, they’re pleas have been answered! Penmon, Beaumaris, Llanddwyn Beach, and Porth y Cwch are all grounds for the new and returning cast to carry out the deeds of the Blacks and the Greens.
Dunes, beachgrass, and rolling frothy waves will serve as the stunning backdrop for a few battle scenes – reports have shown cavalry wearing Aegon’s golden-dragon sigil – as well as some dragon riding, and perhaps even a little tragedy (or a lot, we all know Mr. Martin…).
Image source:Marta S / unsplash
3. Surrey, England
Surrey returns as a House of the Dragon filming location, but they’re taking us to new and magical lands this time. Bourne Woods is alleged to be the real life location for what’s gearing up to be a fiery and epic battle scene in true Westerosi style. All will be revealed when the show airs in 2024, but for now you can waltz through the woods and try to smell that sweet scent of prop-smoke and blood.
Image source:Julia Fiander / unsplash
This is all we know about season 2 so far, but keep an eye out for updates as more info gets released to the general public soon!