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Toss a coin to your Trip Manager and we’ll take you to The Witcher filming locations

blea tarn lake in Lake District

The Witcher is almost back for a third season and June cannot come any faster. As we prepare to witness bursts of magic and whorls of battle (and of course listen to Jaskier’s iconic tunes), let’s take a look at some iconic The Witcher filming locations. 

Netflix really takes their actors all over the world for this show, and we’re so jealous! Much like Geralt, Yennefer and Ciri, we want to embark on an endless adventure of mystery and heroism. Most of these destinations will deliver just that!

So, without further ado, where was The Witcher filmed?

Various Film Studios

Starting with a reality check (sorry), many of The Witcher filming locations are fantastical but sadly not real. But, take solace in how impressive the construction is, if anything, that’s the true magic of the show.

Season 1 was filmed in and around Budapest, and the main studios used were Malfim Studios and Origo Studios. The Hall in Cintra, where Ciri’s quest kicks off was filmed in one of these studios, as well as the town of Blaviken where we first meet Geralt. Kaer Morhen, the hidden witchers’ castle in Season 2, was filmed in Arborfield Film Studios outside of London, however, just to switch it up a bit.

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Where was The Witcher season 1 filmed?

Season 1 of The Witcher took the cast travelling around lots of Europe, and they hit many of the usual suspects. For this kind of rugged and mediaeval setting, Hungary, Austria, and Poland are obvious choices, but Spain, or rather the Canary Islands, also features on the set-list. Showrunners really had the luxury of choice here!

Spoilers ahead, beware.

Cintra

Many of snowy Cintra’s exterior and establishing shots, especially the ramparts, were shot at Fort Monostor in the city of Komáron on the Hungrian-Slovakian border. The fort was built between 1850 and 1871 and was used to store ammunition during the second world war. A historical site for sure, and worth a visit.

And speaking of wars and battles, the scenes for the Battle of Marnadal were shot in the surrounding forests for that extra gloomy setting.

Aretuza Magical Academy, exterior

Sadly, a striking magical structure atop a cliff, sprinkled in sea spray, such as the academy, does not exist. The jutting towers are CGI-generated, but that doesn’t mean that the cliffs and the ocean themselves aren’t impressive. Head to Roque de Santo Domingo in the Canary Islands for a dramatic and moody backdrop which perfectly fits Aretuza’s eerie vibe.

Many of the golden dune scenes were shot on the Canary Islands as well. 

Aretuza Magical Academy, interior

The interior of the academy can be visited at the Kiscelli Museum in Budapest. The museum is filled with cultural exhibits such as contemporary art, 19th century photographs, as well as political posters and war memorabilia. 

The stony halls create a chilling atmosphere for the often harsh place that is the Aretuza Magical Academy. The exterior of the museum, unused in the show, is actually very pretty and painted a sunny yellow! Hit up the location in your free time on a Budapest trip and bask in the museum’s inviting courtyard. 

Kiscelli Museum in Budapest

Image source:Vadaro

Vengerberg

One of the coolest filming locations for The Witcher, Vengerberg, where Yennefer is from, was shot on the grounds of a Hungarian open-air museum. How wicked is that? The museum is Szentendre Skanzen Village Museum and showcases traditional Carpathian folk architecture.

I mean, they hit the jackpot on this one because it’s perfect! From windmills to thatched roofs and dirt paths leading to each house through an open hill. It’s a mixture of charming and historic which deserves to be seen and we highly recommend a stop there!

Vizima Castle

20 miles north of Vienna, in Austria, not far from the meandering Danube, you’ll find Kreuzenstein Castle. The abandoned castle has an imposing and oppressive presence in the show, largely due to the colour grading. But in reality, Kreuzenstein Castle dons red tiled roofs and looks like something straight out of a fairytale. 

Kreuzenstein Castle in Vienna

Image source:Wikipedia

Brokilon Forest

Home of the mystical dryads, the Brokilon Forest was shot in the dense jungles of La Palma island. Complete with luscious greenery, vines, waterfalls and more, this location just screams ‘Nature Spirits live here!!’

Magic or no magic, this verdant jungle is a dream location either way for those who crave some adventure and mystery in their life. 

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Battle of Sodden

As a way to honour Andrzej Sapkowski, the author of The Witcher series, showrunners wanted to film a portion of the show in Poland. What better way to honour the man who started it all than by putting his homeland at the heart of the finale episode?

The epic Battle of Sodden was filmed in the ruins of a castle in Ogrodzieniec which creates a brilliant backdrop for the intensity. You can visit the castle a little north of Krakow and walk past walls crawling with moss. It’s a true castle of olde, abandoned to time and it makes for a dramatic photoshoot! 

castle in Ogrodzieniec, Poland

Image source:777-s / unsplash

Where was The Witcher season 2 filmed?

Season 2 started filming in February 2020, but was quickly halted because of the pandemic. Because of lockdown and travel restrictions, most of The Witcher filming locations for this season are in the UK, specifically Surrey, York, and the Lake District. 

While the actors didn’t get to experience the delights of international travel, they were treated to the UK’s outstanding natural beauty. 

Spoilers ahead, beware.

Witchers’ Castle, Kaer Morhen

Sadly, the hidden castle itself was built on a set in Arborfield Film Studios and the establishing shots of the exterior are CGI… But, the striking landscape surrounding it is real and one of the most iconic filming locations in the UK!

The Old Man of Storr is a unique and daunting rock formation on the Isle of Skye in Scotland, and it has been used in many film sets. It’s a bit of a local celebrity actually, and a hike up here on Real Scotland with us will clue you into the reasons for its stardom. 

Elven Village

More and more and more forests! Though I suppose in a show about mages and monster hunters, this enigmatic setting makes sense. You never know what might be waiting to jump out at you from behind a tree. 

In this case, the Elven Village was built in Coldharbour Wood in Chichester. Follow woodland trails through archways made up of the tallest trees and get lost in the mysterious universe. Parts of the Elven Village were also shot in the quaint Bourne Wood in the small town of Farnham, Surrey.  We recommend going in Autumn, when the setting sun brushes gold streaks across the dried leaves and grass.

Kaer Morhen Cave and Lake

In an emotional scene, Geralt and Vesemir lay Eskel’s body to rest in a cave that looks like a skull. This cave is located at the Hodge Close Quarry in the Lake District, and not far from it is a lake also featured in the show. You may remember the lake for having a striking reflection of a skull in it, and that would be the cave. Quite an eerie area if you ask us. 

Aretuza Temple Ruins

The ruins have a sombre shadow looming over them. This is where a certain execution takes place in The Witcher and this scene was filmed at Fountains Abbey in North Yorkshire. The abbey feels foreboding at night, but in the day it’s absolutely stunning. Missing some pieces, but somehow that makes Fountains Abbey feel more magical and old. 

A few other areas of Yorkshire were used as filming locations: Gordale Scar, the Yorkshire Dale National Park, and Plumpton Rocks. Far up north in Yorkshire, the views are absolutely gorgeous if you like that natural rugged vibe. Our Trip Managers on England to Scotland will take you exploring there. 

Training Grounds

Blea Tarn is one of those legendary locations that people make the effort of going to see, no matter where they are. It’s a lake in the centre of a valley in the Lake District. All around are trees, mountains, plains – it’s a natural wonder! And if you’re lucky, on a really clear day with no clouds or wind, you’ll be able to catch a mirror-like reflection of the mountains and the sky. 

The area is owned by The National Trust and features scenes of Geralt training Ciri in the ice. Imagine being made to do drills on the side of a lake when you could be relaxing and taking it all in? Oof. Catch more beautiful Lake District views with us on our England to Scotland itinerary.

Jaskier’s Bath

If you, too, were wondering ‘wow, that’s a sick place to take a bath,’ then you’re in luck! The cave in which Jaskier takes a bath in the episode ‘Voleth Meir’ is actually Rydal Cave. In the Lake District, in Loughrigg Fell, the cave doesn’t jump out if you aren’t looking closely. You’ll want to keep an eye out for it though. It’s deeper than it appears, with pale blue shallow water, and a little footpath to bring you inside. A beautiful location for some exploring!

Another enticing place to take a dip (though please don’t) is the Low Force Waterfall in Teesdale, where Ciri and Yennefer attempt to cross a broken bridge. Fun fact! This area in County Durham was also featured in the film 1917…

Temple of Melitele

Loosely based on the Alhambra Palace in Granada, the Temple of Melitele is an imposing place, especially under the cover of night. Due to travel restrictions the showrunners couldn’t make the trip to Spain, so the Temple is a CGI construction with a wild Lake District backdrop. 

You could visit the Alhambra Palace on our Best of Spain trip and just pretend though… 

Where was The Witcher season 3 filmed?

The details on The Witcher filming locationsfor season 3 are still a little murky, and with the season yet to be released, in-world location names have to be made clear. But we do have some information and happy for the actors they were once again able to travel the world! (Still not as good as social travel, but what do we know…)

Laghi di Fusine

Production started in Italy, near the ice lake Laghi di Fusine. Located up way, way North in Italy, right on the Slovenian border, this lake is an absolute jewel. We mean that literally. The waters flit between shades of emerald green and sapphire blue and the surrounding pine trees make this probably one of the most beautiful areas to shoot, ever.

Follow your friends on the Vienna to Rome Trail trip for similar views all day every day for 9 days!

Predjama Castle in Slovenia

It makes sense they would shoot here, this castle nestled right into a dark cliff-face is the most Witcher vibes ever. It fits the show’s mood and aesthetic perfectly! Predjama Castle was built within a cave mouth in the mountains during the Renaissance period and holds all the flair of that time. 

With access to the castle, the caves, and even a hidden passage (!!!) you’ll be able to visit and play monster-hunter here to your heart’s pure delight!

Beach, Croatia

Vague, we know, but the official location hasn’t been named and really, is that so bad? All the beaches in Croatia are utterly dreamy and worth the hype. You’ve got clear and warm waters, white and warm sand, brilliant and warm sun, and best of all and cracking group of warm new friends! Our Croatia Island Sail trips will show you the best of Croatia and you can have fun making guesses as to which beach was walked on by the cast of The Witcher. 

European Experience - Sailing in Croatia

Image source:Contiki

Guildford Cathedral 

This unassuming cathedral in the busy town of Guilford, Surrey, underwent quite the transformation. It was transformed into the Emperor Emhyr’s royal palace and though we don’t have the visuals to prove it, we just know it isn’t anything short of opulent and dazzling. 

Thanedd Coup in the Moroccan Desert

Praised as The Witcher’s most ambitious battle sequence yet, the Thanedd Coup was filmed in Morocco in the Sahara Desert. What makes this even more special, the appearance of a unicorn! Though we don’t know in what context… 

The Moroccan desert is magical as is, truly a unique experience. You’ll discover more shades of yellow in the sand than you knew were possible! Head over for a camel ride or a spot of dune surfing on our Moroccan Adventure which promises to be just as epic as a sparring match with Geralt of Rivia. 

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