HBO's newest addictive drama is the television version of George R.R. Martin's fantasy series of novels, Game of Thrones. Without question, the lush locations where the series is set are a large part of the appeal, and no doubt many viewers will want to travel like the Lannisters and Starks. Just as New Zealand has built an entire industry around tourism from fans of The Lord of the Rings films, now Malta, Croatia, and Northern Ireland, among others, may be the new hot spots for film buffs on vacation.
If you want to pretend you're in Winterfell, home of the Starks, hit up Ireland's Castle Ward, look for the godswood forest in Saintfield Estates, stroll through Tollymore Forest, or pop over to Doune Castle in Stirling, Scotland. Continental Airlines offers flights from Atlanta to Belfast, Northern Ireland, with one stop in Newark.
King's Landing, home of the fair-haired Lannisters, was set in the first season in Malta's Mdina and Fort Manoel and in the second season in Croatia's Dubrovnik and Fort Lovrijenac. From Atlanta, Delta Airlines flies to Malta with one stop in Rome, Italy, and Delta flies to Croatia with one stop in Paris.
Just as most of the world was unaware of the wild beauty of New Zealand prior to the LOTR triology of films, many travelers will be inspired by this series to venture to the exotic, untamed landscapes of Croatia, Malta, and Northern Ireland after viewing Game of Thrones. Book your trip now, and be ahead of the travel trend!