Tourism in Iceland has grown exponentially in the last decade, thanks mainly to its tourist attractions but also to its major appearances in films and TV series. Thanks to its spectacular natural landscapes, the country has become a favourite location for film production companies.
The Vatnajökull Glacier, for example, has starred in a number of movies, including Tomb Raider and the James Bond films View to a Kill and Die Another Day. Jökulsárlón, the lagoon next to the glacier, has also been used as a filming location for one of the films in The Dark Knight trilogy, Batman Begins.
Other Hollywood blockbusters like Thor: The Dark World and Prometheus, the prequel to Alien, have also used Iceland's natural scenery as film settings. Both films shot some of their most memorable scenes in Dettifoss, the impressive waterfall hidden between Akureyri and Lake Myvatn.
As for series filmed in Iceland, the national favourite is Trapped, a crime thriller shot in Siglufjördur that has kept Icelanders on tenterhooks since its release in 2015. And because of its link to Icelandic history, the series Vikings also used various places in the country as a backdrop to season five, when Floki first sets foot on Icelandic soil.
Game of Thrones in Iceland
Of all the films or series shot in Iceland, Game of Thrones takes the lead in terms of impact and importance. The HBO series chose Icelandic nature as a recurring theme from its second season onwards. In addition, Icelandic weather has proved perfect for the latest episodes of Game of Thrones, when winter and the threat of the White Walkers came to the Seven Kingdoms.
Any trip to Iceland is bound to bring you face to face with emblematic filming locations from the popular series. Not far from Reykjavik, you can visit the Vale of Arryn, or Thingvellir National Park as you'll find it on the maps, through which Arya Stark and the Hound travelled in the fourth season. Very close to Thingvellir, you'll find Thorufoss, a beautiful waterfall where Daenerys Targaryen's dragon Drogon went to hunt goats in season four.
Also relatively near to the Icelandic capital are Kirkjufell, the country's most photographed spot, and Arrowhead Mountain, where Jon Snow and his army went out in search of White Walkers. Skógafoss, located just two hours from Reykjavik, is not only one of the most impressive waterfalls on the island, it was also the perfect backdrop to a romantic scene between Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen.
Continuing east on the Ring Road from the capital, two more spectacular GoT filming locations can be found: Vatnajökull Glacier, or "Beyond the Wall", and Reynisfjara, the black beach at Vík that appears in the seventh season. Finally, the Myvatn region was one of the favourites of the Game of Thrones production team. Dimmuborgir, Godafoss and Hverir all represented the lands of the Wildlings, and the nearby Grjótagjá is probably the most visited Game of Thrones location in the country, as the site where Jon Snow and Ygritte had their first love affair.
If you're a true fan of George R.R Martin's books and want to experience the real Land of Ice and Fire, don't miss out on doing our Game of Thrones Tour of Iceland.