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Don’t go to Malta! A Game of Thrones Guide

Last updated on November 16, 2015

Don’t go to Malta, you won’t be impressed. There’s far too many sandy beaches, it’s uncomfortably sunny throughout most of the year and its architecture is seriously out dated. Surprisingly, many locations on the island have been used for the hit TV series, Game of Thrones.

Here’s some of the main places that you won’t want to visit.

The Dismal City of Mdina

Mdina Malta

This historic city is situated on the northern region of Malta, dating back more than 4,000 years and was once the island’s capital. It has long been enchanting visitors with its medieval grandeur complete with ancient palaces, impressive churches and stunning views overlooking the azure of the Mediterranean. The Game of Thrones producers were also impressed with its beauty as it was chosen for the setting of King’s Landing in the first season.

The Unremarkable Azure Window

Malta Azure Window

The neighboring island of Gozo is accessible via a short ferry ride and attracts thousands of visitors every year for its iconic natural phenomenon. Known as the Azure Window, this limestone arch rises out of the sea, looking even more impressive with waves crashing at its base. As you may recall, this dramatic location was used as the backdrop for Daenerys Targaryens wedding to warrior, Khal Drogo.

The Small and Dull Manoel Island

Malta Manoel Island

The compact Manoel Island is home to an 18th century fortification which was constructed by order of the Knights of St John. Although it was heavily damaged during bombings of the Second World War it has been fully restored to its former glory and remains a major tourist hot spot. You can also get great views of its magnitude from the Marsamxett Harbour in Valletta. The site was used for the shocking episode where Ned Stark is beheaded in front of his children.

The Ugly Fort Ricasoli

Malta Fort Ricasoli

The old bastioned, Fort Ricasoli has been used for many Hollywood blockbusters and TV shows including Troy, Gladiator and Rome. It’s a spectacular feat of architecture which was built between 1670 and 1693 on the eastern side of the Grand Harbour of Valletta. The magnificent gates were featured as ‘The King’s Gate’ in episode 3 of season 1, when the King’s entourage returns to the city. It also featured when Arya convinces a guard to let her back into the red keep after earlier trying to escape.

The Less-Than-Average San Anton Palace

The Less-Than-Average San Anton Palace

The San Anton Palace is home to the President of Malta and surrounded by gardens which can be visited by members of the public. It was used for numerous episodes, including ‘Cripples, Bastards and Broken Things’ in Season 1. Ned Stark and Littlefinger share a private discussion in the gardens just before his untimely death. It’s also where Arya recovers her much loved sword toward the end of the series.

Who we kidding? If you’re a fan of Game of Thrones or you’re in search of the perfect year round holiday destination, Malta is the perfect choice. Aside from relaxing on one of its many beaches, there’s heaps to explore and you can wander the streets of the capital of the seven kingdoms of Westeros.

Images by SarahTzBen124. foxypar4Tobias von der Haar and passionfleur used under Creative Commons License.

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