Visit Filming Locations and experience the Beauty of Croatia’s Coast
By Dan Peltier
Imagine staring out at the glimmering sea from the walled city of Dubrovnik, Croatia and knowing that characters like Daenerys and King Joffery take in the same view. On Zicasso Travel’s Game of Thrones Tour, you’ll feel as if this these characters and more are close by.
The tour, which debuted this year, is a seven-day guided immersion tour into the places that make up the settings of the world-famous HBO show. Travelers will get to see places like Split, Krka National Park, Hvar, Ston and Dubrovnik, all places that took center stage in the show.
“This tour isn’t just about Game of Thrones, it’s a complete immersion into Croatian culture,” said Mia Salazar, an account executive for Zicasso.
Most other tours only offer one day excursions to some of these places, and that doesn’t tell the entire story of the characters see and do. Zicasso offers a holistic experience that allows you to get up close and personal with the sets, and maybe even the actors!
“Some of our travelers will plan their itineraries around when the show is filming, which is a really attractive feature of our tour. You can actually get pretty close to the sets and other tours don’t give you that kind of access,” said Salazar.
Salazar adds that information about about the new season Game of Thrones isn’t available yet. Last year, the show filmed in September and October, so Ziccasso saw a spike in people wanting to take the tour.
“As soon as we get details about the new season, we will try to incorporate any new filming locations into our tour,” said Ziccasso
Travelers first stop at Split, the new filming location added for the fourth season of the show. It’s a metropolis that dates back to the fourth century BC and boasts the oldest archeological museum in Croatia. The city is also home to the Cathedral of St. Domnius and the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Diocletian’s Palace.
The next day, the tour moves on to explore Klis Fortress, an ancient stronghold that has played a role in some of Croatia’s most legendary battles, including the struggles of Daenerys Targaryen. Nearby, visitors get to check out the suburb of Zrnovnica which will will serve as a setting for the highly anticipated upcoming battle in Season 4. Diocletian’s Palace is also on this day, and a tour of this former residence of a Roman emperor is a fitting location for Daenerys to plot her return to Westeros.
Day 3 provides a break from the urban settings of the tour to this point as travelers journey to the Krka National Park, home to more than 200 species of birds, nearly 20 species of bats and the European otter.
It’s also home to Skradinski buk, a stunning series of seventeen waterfalls cascading into a crystal clear pool, as well as the island of Visovac, home to an ancient monastery. This day includes lunch at a Croatian farm, and after the tour heads to the forest of Dubrava near Sibenik city for an expert tutorial on the ancient sport of falconry.
The four day of the tour brings travelers on catamaran boat across the Adriatic to the island of Hvar. The island is a blend of Renaissance and early Baroque architecture present in the city’s Cathedral of St. Stephen. Visitors can also marvel at the influence of Spanish, Greek, and Venetian overlords in the design of Spagnola, Hvar’s seaside fortress, and the settlement of Stari Grad, another UNESCO World Heritage Site.
A scenic drive down the Croatian coastline is in store for travelers on day five as they pass through quaint villages and enjoy lunch at the Peljesac peninsula, home to some of the best oysters in the world as well as excellent vineyards. (Read another GoNOMAD story about Croatia’s oysters.)
“The oysters are farmed throughout the year and this is often a highlight of the tour for some people,” said Salazar.
Upon reaching Dubrovnik in the afternoon, guests may enjoy an evening in the picturesque Old Town of the medieval walled city.
“Dubrovnik has some of the biggest tourist spots in Croatia and its a hotspot,” said Salazar
The tour’s last full day brings fans deep into the world of Westeros with an exploration of King’s Landing. An expert guide will lead visitors through the streets of Dubrovnik, pointing out settings from the first three seasons: the city walls served as the backdrop of the Battle of Blackwater and the Lovrijenac Fortress that witnessed the misdeeds of evil King Joffery.
They will also visit Lockrum Island, the site of pivotal Lannister moments from season two, such as Littlefinger’s meeting with Queen Cersei, Tyrion’s inspection of the Alchemists’ Guild and the riot inspired by Joffery’s tyranny.
The model for the wealthy port city of Qarth is also an included stop. The tour finishes with a visit to the serene arboretum at Trsteno, whose gardens served as the backdrop for the court intrigues of Lady Margaery Tyrell and her grandmother Olenna.
Picasso’s approach is different. They don’t plan any trips themselves. Instead, they match you with two or three travel specialists in the top 10 percent of the industry who are the most qualified to make your dream trip happen. They then compete to design your ideal itinerary.
They’re experts at finding and matching you with the world’s finest travel agents and boutique tour companies. Each travel specialist partner on Zicasso is personally and meticulously screened. You’ll only be matched with specialists who are true experts at customizing your particular trip.
Zicasso’s travel partners excel at handcrafting and coordinating complex international luxury itineraries. Their expertise and connections cover all logistics, transportation, accommodation, guides, and insider access a must – as well as 24/7 support throughout your trip.
“Zicasso is an online matchmaker, we select a destination specialist so that you definitely get the most out of the place you are visiting,” said Salazar. “We tailor the pace of our tours to each individual traveler and we also offer private tours.”
Daniel Peltier is a staff reporter for the travel news site Skift, in New York City. He began his travel writing after studying abroad, and then as an intern for GoNOMAD.com Travel. He got his journalism degree from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.