If you know me you will know how much of a massive fan of Game of Thrones I am, the book and the TV show. So going to Croatia and knowing that scenes were filmed out here (Dubrovnik being used for a lot of Kings Landing, whereas Split was used for Meereen) I had to include the Game of Thrones tour in Split. The tour was the one thing I was looking forward to since booking Croatia and I couldn't wait to see the filming locations. Due to Split being two hours away on ferry today was another early start.
The tour is run by Game of Thrones, Croatia who usually pick up quest from their accommodation but due to use coming in by ferry we met the group outside Diocletian's Palace, a 1700 year old palace in the heart of Split town. The palace was built by the roman emperor Diocletian after he voluntary retired, apparently at the age of 25. The choice of location may have been down to the close proximity of the ocean, with Diocletian wanting to enter his place via ship, the palace was also built on a slant to allow for sewage to flow into the sea, the palace is also located next to sulphur springs which we was told aided Diocletian's health problems but I have also read that it helped in the building of the palace. Another interesting fact is that water filters through the roof, sue to the filtering system it allows the water to be completely drinkable.
Diocletian's palace was used for several scenes for Game of Thrones in particular the outside was used for the streets of Meereen, we saw locations used for the 'kill the masters' scene, the killing of the unsullied by the sons of the harpy and many more. Let me know if you recognise any of locations in the photos above, it is so hard visualising the places to how they look on the TV show due to the building of props and CGI used.
Inside the palace the most famous location would be Daenery's throne room which looks nothing like it does on TV so you have to use a lot of imagination and picture the room with a lot of light. The same room was also used for the dungeon where Rhaegal and Viserion were kept. On top of the tour being about Game of Thrones we also learnt a lot of about Croatia and its history, the guides (there was two of them) were extremely knowledgeable which made the tour that extra bit special. Diocletian's palace is stunning but if you go into the basement you will see a thick wall of mud/rock, although already enormous all of the palace is yet to be excavated, it also has a rich history. The basement etc. are all complete Roman builds whereas the outside/top layers have influences of many different cultures.
After exploring the palace we were transferred to the next part of the tour in air-conditioned cars. The next part of Meereen was filmed at Klis Fortress, perfectly disguised in the mountains. The fortress itself has an history of over 2000 years, the most famous being the its defense against the Ottoman invasion of Europe in the early 16th century. Captain Peter Kruzic led the defense of the fortress against the Turkish invasion that lasted for more than two and a half decades with the Ottomans finally occupying the fortress in 1537, we were told by the guides that they managed to enter the palace by climbing through a sky toilet. But you know if a zombie apocalypse ever happened a fortress like this could come in handy... Klis Fortress also has a money shot view of Split, even if you aren't into GOT or wanting to know about the history behind the fortress the view alone is worth the visit.
Klis Fortress was home to filming locations that I instantly recognised, used for several scenes but the most memorable for me is the road to Meereen where Daenerys freed the slaves and later crucified the masters. There also a small part filmed here for Kings Landing where Tyrion is escaping the dungeon through the tunnel then goes onto kill Tywin, the tunnel itself is quite small and banging your head can happen!
The end of the tour was at a 600 year old stone mill on Žrnovnica River, this place still makes flour ans has been in the same family for generations. Being resrourceful they grow all their food, make their own wine etc. It was here that were saw our last filming location, the scene with Missandei and Grey Worm are bathing. It was here we had traditional Croatian food, with homemade wine and water which was all delicious. Being the only vegetarian I had a whole large plate full of roasted vegetables, along with bread and salad and I somehow managed to eat it all!! At the end of the tour the guides showed us photos of all the filming locations in conjunction to how they look in the show, they also had photos from the shoot of Missandei and Grey Worm, if you have seen the scene it lasts for around three seconds, it was crazy seeing how many people were involved for such a small scene!
The tour was so much fun and if you are a fan of Game of Thrones and near by I would recommend it, the guides were amazing with a clear passion for the show and the history of the places we visited. Game of Thrones have filming locations all over the world most of which have tours, let me know if you've been to any.