May contain spoilers.
The sixth season of HBO's critically acclaimed Game of Thrones is set to air on Sky Atlantic this April and fans are eagerly awaiting the return of some of television's greatest characters. Just one reason for the series' enormous success is that it has been shot using some of the world's most stunning locations as a backdrop to the action. From the freezing cold of Iceland to the scorching heat of Seville, here are the top ten Game of Thrones filming locations.
Hverfjall Volcano, Lake Myvatin, Iceland
Though it faces a lot of stiff competition, Lake Myvatin is perhaps the most jaw-dropping of all the Game of Thrones locations. The Icelandic lake, which was formed from a lava eruption 2400 years ago is home to stunning caves that you can spend hours exploring. Fans of the show will recognise the cave from the scenes featuring Jon and Ygritte in season three.
The Dark Hedges, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
The line of beech trees that line Bregagh Road make it one of the most atmospheric country lanes in the world. It's for that the road was chosen as the shooting location for Kingsroad, the road leading to and from King's Landing. The road has been the backdrop for many famous scenes but perhaps not as iconic as Arya's escape from King's Landing.
Castle Ward Estate, Stangford, County Down, Northern Ireland
Castle Ward's farmyard is used as the filming location for Winterfell, the castle at the heart of the Kingdom of the North. This National Trust property was built in two iconic architectural styles, Gothic and classical, that both contrast and compliment one another. Activities at the castle include a Game of Thrones tour, children's farmyard and six walking trails. Nearby, drive over to Downpatrick to see the supposed burial place of Irish patron saint, St Patrick, at the town's cathedral.
Murlough Bay, Northern Ireland
Situated on the north-eastern tip of Northern Ireland is Murlough Bay, used as a filming location for the Iron Islands. The area notably features in season two as Theon and Yara ride on a horse together. A short drive west along the coast will lead you to Giant's Causeway, one of the United Kingdom's greatest natural wonders.
Doune Castle, Scotland
Another spectacular British castle used as a filming location for Winterfell was Doune Castle, situated just north of Stirling. The castle dates back to the 14th Century and given its impressive appearance it comes as no surprise that the Castle has featured in a number of famous films.
Minceta Tower, Dubrovnik, Croatia
Stunning natural beauty as well as an ancient walled old town has led to the Croatian city of Dubrovnik becoming one of the principle filming locations for Game of Thrones. Not only has the old town served as King's Landing throughout the series but Minceta Tower, built in 1464, is also used as the House of the Undying in the trading city of Qarth, Essos. Split, Sibenik and Ston are all other Game of Thrones settings within driving distance.
Azure Window, Gozo, Malta
One of the many memorable moments from season one of Game of Thrones is the wedding of Daenerys Targaryen and Khal Drogo. Azure Window, a limestone arch situated on the Maltese island of Gozo serves as the backdrop for the wedding, and anyone who has seen the show will certainly agree it's a wedding location fit for a queen. Thanks to its crystal clear waters the area is extremely popular amongst scuba divers so there's plenty to do on this small island.
Mdina City Gate, Malta
As mentioned previously, the majority of filming for King's Landing takes place in the old town of Dubrovnik, however there are some other beautiful locations around Europe that are also used, one of these is Mdina, the ancient Maltese capital city. It is the Baroque style gate, built in 1724, which fans of the show will recognise.
Though the sixth season is yet to hit our screens yet, rest assured the stunning backdrops are set to continue, this was all but confirmed when news broke that filming for the new season was taking place in the beautiful Spanish city of Almería. Though we can't say for sure, the tenth century castles and sun drenched mountain ranges would suggest that Almería is set to double as the Kingdom of Dorne.