Need more House of the Dragon? Here are 7 holiday destinations inspired by the hit show

Daemon and Rhaenyra on the beach at Driftmark in HBO's House of the Dragon.
Image courtesy of HBO.

HBO’s House of the Dragon made huge waves across its sensational first season. But if the finale still has you shook and you can’t wait two years for season two (sobs), here are seven ideas for your next dragon-themed holiday to tide you over. 

Dracarys!

Warning: minor spoilers for House of the Dragon season one and two.

1. England

A tidal island with a castle atop a sunset sea.
Saint Michael's Mount in Cornwall, England. Image courtesy of Getty.

Given George R.R. Martin’s love of mediaeval Britain, the UK makes an obvious travel bucket list item for House of the Dragon fans. 

London plays host to Leavesden Studios, where they filmed on the infamous Volume Stage and erected the glorious Red Keep. (They’ve even kept the sets intact for season two!)

If you’d rather go on location, the southern county of Cornwall served as the stunning beaches and Blackwater Bay islands featured on the show. Catch a tour of Saint Michael’s Mount before the high tide floods the walkway and imagine yourself as a Velaryon, proud as the sea. Alternatively, stroll down the golden Holywell Beach with your Daemon or Rhaenyra and conspire to take the Iron Throne. 

You could also head north to Castleton, Derbyshire, to get lost in the craggy Vale, or to Aldershot, Hampshire, to roam the wilds of the King’s Wood – snap a pic if you see the White Hart!

2. Spain

A red brick and cobblestone bridge and tower in Spain.
Caceres, Spain. Image courtesy of Getty.

Red-roofed cities, thriving historical architecture, and perfect coasts – no wonder the Iberian Peninsula was used as the backdrop used for King’s Landing. Get lost amongst the winding cobblestone streets of Cáceres and Trujillo while the summer sun beats down in time for an afternoon siesta. 

However, if you’re more after the smoking, brooding atmosphere of Dragonstone, hike the famous island walkway of Gaztelugatxe. (Watch out for dragons).

3. Portugal

Craggy mountain village in Monsanto, Portugal.
Monsanto, Portugal. Image courtesy of Getty.

Cosplay as the Prince of Pentos at the legendary Penha Garcia Castle, where Daemon and Laena briefly entertained the idea of living free of the game of thrones. The crew revamped the whole place specifically for the shoot (even patched a few holes while they were at it).

Monsanto also provided many of the rocky, dramatic vistas of Dragonstone – no spoilers, but we can thank this epic landscape for one particular tear-jerking scene from the finale.

4. New Zealand

The Lion Rock formation on the black sand Piha Beach at night in New Zealand.
Piha Beach, New Zealand. Image courtesy of Getty.

Sweeping coasts, black sand beaches, and a thriving appreciation for all things fantasy – don’t miss New Zealand if you’re heckin’ into House of the Dragon. The spectacular South Island in particular has everything glorious and cosy you could possibly imagine. 

Sure, they filmed “rival” fantasy series The Rings of Power there, but for sheer majesty worthy of Old Valyria, the wilds of Aotearoa are unmissable. And accessible, too – for Australian fans keen to get amongst it, a quick flight to New Zealand is a surefire summer adventure.

5. Japan

A towering snow-capped mountain hued in blue on a wheat and water Japanese landscape.
Mt. Fuji, Japan. Image Courtesy of Getty.

For an eastern twist, visit Japan and get amongst the ancient dragon lore and history in the Land of the Rising Sun. Eastern dragons tend to symbolise water, wisdom, and the heavens, as opposed to the chaotic fire-breathing monsters of European tradition. What a different show that would be!

As another archipelago set along the Pacific ring of fire, Japan’s sweeping volcanoes and shining seas evoke the wonders of Westeros. It even has one of the world’s rare Dark Sky Reserves in Iriomote-Ishigaki National Park, drawing stargazers from around the world.

6. Ireland and Northern Ireland

Wild moors in Belfast, Ireland.
Belfast, Ireland. Image courtesy of Getty.

OG Game of Thrones fans will recognise Belfast and the misty hills as the backdrop for Winterfell and the North, the ancient home of House Stark. While this legendary family barely made an appearance in season one, we can expect them to return in their full, icy glory in season two. Have a pint in a classic Irish pub and rug up for some wet weather: winter is coming. 

Meanwhile, in the actual north, Banbridge in Northern Ireland hosts the Game of Thrones Studio Tours, where visitors can explore a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the era-defining show. Costumes and dragons up close? Yes, please.

7. The USA

Adobe desert house in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA. Image courtesy of Getty.

Hawaii features some stunning beaches and volcanoes – peak dragon vibes – while California hosts Hollywood and the home of HBO. Find your favourite stars on the Walk of Fame while touring magnificent beaches and museums.

RELATED: Travel insurance for the USA

If you’d prefer something unusual, the author himself, GRRM, calls the red and turquoise deserts of New Mexico home. He owns the Jean Cocteau Cinema in Sante Fe, which regularly hosts book signings, screenings, and even cabarets. We’re definitely not encouraging stalking, but if you want to soak up some bonafide Westeros inspiration, there’s nothing quite like visiting the place it all started.

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