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Dubrovnik: The Real World Westeros

Look to Game of Thrones for inspiration to travel to a land rich with heritage, winding passageways and intrigue this summer.

Game of Thrones fans were this month treated to the first official trailer for Season 5 from HBO, before it airs on Monday 13 April on Sky Atlantic. This time round, the show will be simulcasting across 170 countries to avoid online spoilers. What we’re most excited about though (aside from the unsavoury and unexpected deaths of lead characters), are the stunning set locations that Game of Thrones Season 5 has in store. Travel inspiration does not come better than this.

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Such is the hype around Season 5 that HBO have released a behind the scenes documentary, filmed on set in Dubrovnik, Seville and Belfast. The short doc invites us in to glimpse at Croatia’s impressive Adriatic Coast.

The terracotta roofs and fortified city walls of Dubrovnik are once again being called upon by the Game of Thrones production teams to recreate the world of Westeros. With 2km of defensive walls and romantic architecture set against the blue of the Adriatic, Dubrovnik is every bit the magical and stately city of King’s Landing. Game of Thrones fans can even take a walking city tour themed around the show, or you can take to the streets yourself and walk Dubrovnik’s medieval city walls.

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Fort Lovrijenac, just outside Dubrovnik’s western wall is also a Thrones-fan draw. This medieval fortress on a rocky precipice was where much of Season 4’s Westeros action took place. The highest point of the city’s walls is where Daenerys Targaryen tried to find the House of the Undying, while Gradac Park, the pine forest backdrop to the fort, was where the Purple Wedding party was filmed. Offering panoramic views across Dubrovnik and the surrounding sea, Lovrijenac is well worth a visit, GOT fan or not.

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Game of Thrones aside, Dubrovnik’s an on-trend holiday destination for Europe this year, with more of us setting our sights to Eastern Europe for a sun-drenched break that offers something different to the traditional beach holiday. A UNESCO world heritage site, Dubrovnik has a rich history that extends way beyond the last couple of seasons of Game of Thrones. Founded in the 7th century by Greek sailors, this Mediterranean city is picture perfect, with its marble walkways and backdrop of baroque buildings. Unknown to many before Game of Thrones hit the small screen, it’s become quite the destination for fans of the show and intrepid travellers alike. Offering a seaside escape with all the cultural benefits of a city-break, Dubrovnik manages to perfectly meld the summer holiday with the weekend get-away.

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