In part one of two of the Game of Thrones Guide to Travel, we looked into locations and vacations that showcase and feature similar experiences to King’s Landing and Braavos, heading north of the wall to Winterfell.
In part two of my mission to adventure back through time and reality, as close to Westeros and Essos as I possibly can, we travel to Astapor and the Water Gardens of Dorne. This bring us to Morocco and Spain, where I’m sure you won’t see any dragons or meet the Unsullied, but you will be gauranteed to see some of the most beautiful locations in the world.
One of the three great city-states of Slaver’s Bay, ancient Astapor is home of the infamous Unsullied. Its moniker ‘the Red City’ is well deserved, given that every structure in the city is all constructed of the same red brick. It makes sense, then, that the real life colourful fishing town of Essaouira, Morocco stands in for this fictional slave-trading city. Dating back all the way to Orson Welles’ Othello, Essaouira’s historic medina has been a hot commodity for Hollywood producers looking for an out-of-this-world filming location. Fans who travel on Busabout (offering independent travellers a freestyle form of travel with its unique hop-on hop-off flexible coach network), the “Morocco Express” itinerary can get up close and personal with the city that gave Daenerys an army of Unsullied warriors. Here, visitors can explore Essaouira, situated within 15th century Portuguese fortifications, where great beaches and surf beckon. While real life Essaouira doesn’t have any armies for sale, fans can wander through its various souks to buy a carpet or Thuya woodcarving. For those looking to relax, there are plenty of cafés with terraces that are ideal for passing the time – you might even spot the Mother of Dragons if luck is with you.
Busabout’s 5-day “Morocco Express” journey is priced from $930; departing now through to December 2016. Visit busabout.com or consult your travel agent for more details.
WATER GARDENS OF DORNE
The sprawling home of House Martell, the Water Gardens palace is located in exotic and steamy Dorne. The real life Alcázar de Sevilla in Seville, Spain serves as the perfect stand-in for the fictional palace. It was transformed into the private residence of Martell in the capital, Lanza del Sol; an appropriate name given the amount of heat this real life Andalusian city gets. Luxury Gold by Insight Vacations, a purveyor of luxury guided vacations, offers fans looking for a piece of Dornish paradise a chance to visit the Alcázar on its new “Spain & Portugal In Style” itinerary. Discerning travellers will be introduced to the most enticing and beguiling aspects of the Iberian Peninsula, with an equally charming level of luxury. Travellers on this tour can expect to see Doran Martell roam the lush gardens and private rooms that, five centuries ago were occupied by Catholic Monarchs and, before them, the Moors who built it. With the tour’s VIP service, sumptuous hotels and cornucopia of epicurean dining experiences (part of the package), how could this holiday be any more perfect, you might ask? How about Jamie Lannister (or Ellaria Sand, whoever floats your boat) strolling around the gardens, to cap off your visit?
Luxury Gold by Insight Vacations 14-day “Spain & Portugal in Style” journey is priced from $6,128; departing May through to October 2016. Visit insightvacations.com/luxurygold or consult your travel agent for more details.
So there you have it: beauty, history and the world of Games of Thrones brought to life for the perfect setting for you to choose your own adventures. What more could you ask for, other than being in the GoT — as if any of us would survive that!
So as we gear up to April 24th and what may or may not happen in season six, feel free to join me in a world of dreams that could be right at your fingertips.