© Copyright Kenneth Allen
By Gretchen Kelly
Icelandair’s low-cost stopover fares that allow passengers to fly to 26 destinations in Europe and stay 7 nights in Iceland are a boon for Game of Thrones fans.
The HBO hit series, which is gearing up for a new season this April and creating a lot of buzz in advance as the network features binge watching opportunities of prior seasons, features destinations in Iceland’s pristine wilds (mostly used for the Wilding/Wall sequences).
Fans who book the airlines’ stopover package can spend some of those days exploring the ice world of “The Wall” seen in the show: the lava fields of Dimmuborgir; Grjótagjá, the cave where Jon Snow and Ygritte consummate their love; and “The Haunted Forest” where White Walkers appear.
Grayline Iceland does day bus trips from Reykjavik for 92 Euro per person to some of the major filming sites.
Fans can then fly on the low cost airline’s route to London/Heathrow (we found fares in April from $718 roundtrip) and grab a Ryanair flight (from the ridiculously low fares of $20 before taxes and baggage) to Belfast, the site where Game of Thrones massive studio lives (sorry, not visits here—yet, but the Titanic Museum is nearby so you can get in another cinematic experience on your way).
Belfast’s surrounding areas on the Antrim Coast like Cushendun Caves (the Shadow Baby scene) and the Dark Hedges are all locations that you can see on day bus tours with companies like Game of Thrones Tours for 40 Sterling Pounds per person. Stopovers on the way include Irish pubs for a pint or two (would Tyrion do no less?) and shops that sell GOT-inspired jewelry, swords and every possible Game of Thrones souvenir and sigil-stamped merchandise you can imagine.
Then it’s back to the US via Iceland (you can take two stopovers, if you please) and home to regale your fellow GOTers with all the derring do that you’ve done.
This season promises to have more Northern Ireland locations and the tour companies are bound to showcase them as soon as they appear on screen. Die-hard fans who would like to see more via their London trip can plan a short jaunt to Dubrovnik, Croatia (which doubles as Kings Landing in the show). A walk along the city’s ancient walls will make you feel like a member of the ruling Lannister family yourself.