Planning a ‘House of the Dragon’ Trip? Check Out These Destinations

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7 House of the Dragon Locations You Can Visit UniversalImagesGroup - Getty Images

House of the Dragon’s beloved parent series, HBO’s Game of Thrones, quickly garnered a reputation for choosing some of the most naturally stunning locations in the world to film in after its first season premiered in 2011. From the glaciers of Iceland to the cobblestone streets of Dubrovnik, seemingly everywhere the show went, droves of Thrones fans and an accompanying tourist cottage industry were sure to follow. Not to be outdone, the Game of Thrones prequel series House of the Dragon made sure to hit just as many breathtaking stops as its predecessor.

Castillo de La Calahorra, Granada, Spain

Resting near the Iberian Peninsula’s southern coast, La Calahorra’s towering castle played the role of Pentos, a Free City located in the world's Eastern continent of Essos that also appeared in House of the Dragon season 1 and GoT. Constructed during the early 16th century, the now privately owned castle served as a prison during the Spanish reconquest of New Granada during the early 19th century.

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Monsanto, Portugal

Near Portugal’s eastern border, Monsanto is a historic village in central Portugal far from the tourist-laden streets of Lisbon or Torto. Full of old-world parochial charm, Monsanto serves as the set for Dragonstone, the ancestral Targaryen home where Rhaenyra spends much of her time throughout HoTD's first season. Known as “the most Portuguese village of Portugal” the ancient Portuguese town is one of twelve historic villages throughout the country, enforcing strict building codes and regulations to preserve its singular charm.

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St. Michael’s Mount, Cornwall, England

Nestled off England’s Southern coast, St Michael’s Mount is a tidal island that served as the set for Driftmark, the House Velaryon ancestral seat and source of much of their political clout and influence in HoTD. One of 43 unbridged tidal islands in England, the meticulously maintained castle has been the home to the St. Aubyn family, a lesser noble house that has lived on St. Michael’s since the mid-17th century. Prior to construction of the island’s castle it was rumored to be the home of a thieving giant named Cormoran, the primary antagonist of the “Jack the Giant Killer” fairy tale.

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Cáceres, Spain

While the Croatian city of Dubrovnik was famously used for shots of King’s Landing in GoT, HoTD producers instead headed to Spain to recreate the fictitious capital city of Westeros. Located southwest of Madrid, the walled city of Cáceres was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986 for its unique blend of Moorish, Roman, and Italian Renaissance architecture. Ironically, it has been so vigilantly preserved that the show's crew reportedly had issues making the Spanish city look as filthy as they needed a Westerosi urban center to be.

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Cave Dale, Derbyshire, England

Also appearing in the 1987 classic adventure film The Princess Bride, the rolling hills of Derbyshire and the steep limestone valley of Cave Dale were used in HoTD to depict the Vale, a mountainous region controlled by House Arryn. In House of the Dragon season 1, Cave Dale appears when Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith) journeys to the misty mountains of the Vale to confront his estranged wife, Rhea of House Royce. HoTD also filmed in other spots in the Derbyshire area, like the Eldon Hill Quarry and the parochial village of Castleton during the production of its first season.

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Folkestone Castle, Folkestone, England

Known colloquially as “Caesar’s Camp”, Folkestone Castle isn’t much of a castle any longer. Located in the North Downs region of England, all that remains of what was thought to be an ancient Norman castle are large mounds and embankments of earth believed to outline where the castle's motes once stood. Though the castle itself may be long gone, the hilltop used as the set of a jousting tournament early in House of the Dragon’s first season gives breathtaking views of England’s rolling hills and quaint nearby towns.

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Bourne Wood, Surrey, England

Previously used as the set for films like Gladiator (pictured here) and television series like Band of Brothers, Bourne Wood is a sprawling woodland that’s become a favorite amongst production crews in recent years. Though the exact use of Bourne Wood in HoTD's upcoming second season is yet to be confirmed, locals spotted members of the HBO show’s cast and crew preparing for what appeared to be a major battle sequence in 2023.

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