Experience Spain and Morocco

Just 8 miles apart, Spain and Morocco may be coastal neighbors, but they're worlds apart -- now's your chance to explore them both.

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generalife, water gardens, alhambra, granada, spain
Generalife Gardens (Granada)

Generalife Gardens (Granada)

Schedule some extra time to stroll through the Generalife’s High and Low Gardens. Take the 19th-century Stairway of the Lions to the High Gardens, and see water fountains, beautiful magnolia trees, scented shrubs and other flora spread across several terraces on the palatial estate. Tourists may be lucky enough to catch the Granada International Festival of Music and Dance, held each summer in the Generalife’s outdoor amphitheater, located nearby. 960 1280

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Prado Museum (Madrid)

Prado Museum (Madrid)

Open since November 1819, the Prado Museum houses several collections and more than 2,300 paintings, including El Greco’s The Flight to Egypt and Goya’s The Countess of Chinchon. The museum hosts exhibitions featuring works by well-renowned artists such as Michelangelo, Picasso and Rembrandt.
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Plaza Mayor (Madrid)

Plaza Mayor (Madrid)

Thousands of tourists converge on Plaza Mayor each year. Shops and cafes are located around the square, and it’s not uncommon to see street performers entertaining the foot traffic that’s flowing through the popular tourist destination. Grab a seat, order a pitcher of sangria and enjoy the weather and people-watching. 960 1280

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Sagrada Familia Basilica (Barcelona)

Sagrada Familia Basilica (Barcelona)

You cannot leave Barcelona without seeing the Basilica de la Sagrada Familia, a magnificent work of art that is still in progress after more than a century. In 1883, Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi was commissioned to complete the project started by Francisco de Paula del Villar. Gaudi finished the chapel of San Jose, the crypt and the Nativity facade, but after his death, different architects continued to work on and add to his original idea. 960 1280

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Gothic Quarter (Barcelona)

Gothic Quarter (Barcelona)

Take a stroll through Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter, located in the city’s Ciutat Vella (“Old City”) district. Most of the streets are closed to traffic, allowing tourists to wander from La Rambla to Via Laietana to view the city’s medieval past. 960 1280

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Horchata (Valencia)

Horchata (Valencia)

Travel to Valencia, the home of horchata. This tasty concoction — made from tigernuts, water and sugar — is a summer beverage that is usually served cold. To sample your first horchata, head to Horchateria Santa Catalina, which is located in Valencia’s Santa Catalina Plaza. 960 1280

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Valencian Paella (Valencia)

Valencian Paella (Valencia)

During the mid-19th century, paella originated near the Albufera lagoon in Valencia. Locals and tourists can try seafood paella, mixed paella or Valencian paella, which is made with white rice, green vegetables, chicken, rabbit, land snails, beans and seasoning. We recommend sampling paella at a local restaurant such as La Matandeta, La Pepica or Tridente Restaurant. 960 1280

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Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba (Cordoba)

Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba (Cordoba)

Tourists who visit Cordoba, Spain, should add a tour of the Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba — also known simply as the Great Mosque-Cathedral — to their must-do list. On the site originally was a Catholic church, which was then divided into Christian and Muslim halves after the Muslims conquered Spain in 711. Caliph ’Abd al-Rahman I purchased the Christian half, tore down the church and built the current magnificent structure, a monument to Moorish architecture, in 784. Today, it is a Roman Catholic cathedral, despite the pleas from Spanish Muslim lobbyists who want to be allowed to pray there. 960 1280

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Alhambra (Granada)

Alhambra (Granada)

Visit the Alhambra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Granada. During the 13th century, this palace and fortress was the residence of the Nasrid sultans, as well as top government officials, court servants and the royal guard. Hidden by a thick wooded area, the Alhambra consists of 4 zones: the palaces, the military zone, the city and the villa of the Generalife, located on the country estate of the Nasrid emirs. 960 1280

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Plaza de Espana (Seville)

Plaza de Espana (Seville)

Does Seville’s Plaza de Espana look familiar? The square — located on the edge of Maria Luisa Park — has been used as a filming location for movies such as Lawrence of Arabia, The Dictator, Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace and Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones. Designed by Anibal Gonzalez, the Plaza de Espana has tiled alcoves that each represent a different province of Spain. Today, it is home to museums and government buildings. 960 1280

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The Alcazar (Seville)

The Alcazar (Seville)

The upper levels of the Alcazar of Seville are home to the royal family, making it the oldest European royal palace still in use. The Alcazar was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987, and it is well-renowned as one of the most beautiful palaces in Spain. Explore the history of this amazing complex for a small entrance fee, about $10. 960 1280

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Photos

Welcome to King's Landing!

Welcome to King's Landing!

King’s Landing, or as it’s known in real life, Dubrovnik, a Croatian city nested on the shore of the Adriatic Sea. Durbovnik’s stone walls, dramatic cliffs and amazing views make it the perfect seat for the king(s) of Westeros. 960 1280

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Dubrovnik, Croatia

Dubrovnik, Croatia

Duncan Muggoch, line producer for scenes shot in Spain and Croatia, says it is sometimes hard to film around tourists in Dubrovnik. Sherpas were used to help the production crew haul equipment through the narrow and often steep streets to specific locations throughout the city. Fans will see Croatia in the first few episodes of the fifth season. A soup kitchen scene with Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) visiting High Sparrow (Jonathan Pryce) was filmed in Dubrovnik. 960 1280

Macall B. Polay/courtesy HBO  

The Alcazar, Seville, Spain

The Alcazar, Seville, Spain

In Seville, the upper levels of the Alcazar are home to the royal family, but the palatial estate’s lush gardens are transformed into the Water Gardens of Dorne in the Game of Thrones’ fourth and fifth seasons. The Alcazar’s staircases are so narrow that the production crew had to use cranes to transport equipment up to a few of the palace’s balconies. More than 8,000 visitors converge on the Alcazar each day, making it one of the most-visited attractions in Seville. 960 1280

Macall B. Polay/courtesy HBO  

Plaza de Toros, Osuna, Spain

Plaza de Toros, Osuna, Spain

Located in southern Spain, the Plaza de Toros is an old bullring and national monument that was transformed into a gladiator arena for a scene in the fifth season of Game of Thrones. Producers picked the popular attraction because the arena’s stone structure is similar to those found in Croatia, another place where scenes were filmed for the medieval-era drama. 960 1280

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Magheramorne Quarry, County Antrim, Northern Ireland

Magheramorne Quarry, County Antrim, Northern Ireland

While 1 crew was shooting scenes in Spain and Croatia, a second production crew filmed scenes at the quarry in Magheramorne, which is located on the shores of Loch Larne. This small town of 75 residents was transformed into a fishing village called Hardhome. In previous Game of Thrones episodes, the location was also used to film scenes of Castle Black (first season) and the Battle of Blackwater (second season). 960 1280

Helen Sloan/courtesy HBO  

Mourne Mountains, Northern Ireland

Mourne Mountains, Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland’s Mourne Mountains provided the scenery for Dany’s entrance into the Dothraki holy land. Of course, the Dothraki fighting horse statues are missing, so you’ll just have to imagine the iconic gate when you visit these breathtaking mountains. 960 1280

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Doune Castle, Scotland

Doune Castle, Scotland

The Lord's Tower and East Wall of Doune Castle in Scotland should look familiar to Game of Thrones fans. Poor little Bran fell (was pushed) out one of its windows in the first season, when he saw something he shouldn’t have. Originally built in the 13th century, Doune Castle features a nature walk through the grounds for visitors. 960 1280

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The Dark Hedges, Northern Ireland

The Dark Hedges, Northern Ireland

The Dark Hedges in Northern Ireland have played a major role in the Game of Thrones story, serving as the setting for the Kingsroad. But the area that surrounds the Dark Hedges should be a must-see for any fan, since it has been used to film Winterfell, Castle Black and the Stark family war encampment. 960 1280

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Downhill Beach and Mussenden Temple, Northern Ireland

Downhill Beach and Mussenden Temple, Northern Ireland

If you happen to be rooting for Stannis Baratheon, Downhill Beach and Mussenden Temple in Northern Ireland are your spots. Serving as the backdrop for Dragonstone Castle and Blackwater Bay, Downhill Beach was where Melisandre burned the old gods, issuing a new religion for Stannis’ followers. 960 1280

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Essaouira, Morocco

Essaouira, Morocco

This historic bastion in Essaouira, Morocco, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It also happens to have played the part of Astapor, the slave-trading city where Daenerys freed the Unsullied, including everyone’s favorite: Grey Worm. 960 1280

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Ouarzazate, Morocco

Ouarzazate, Morocco

Ouarzazate, a town in Morocco, is famous for the Atlas Film Corporation Studios, open to tourists for tours of the many sets left from movies like Babel and Kingdom of Heaven. Sets at this Morrocco studio stood in for the Free City of Pentos, and also served as the venue for Dany and Khal Drogo’s memorable wedding. 960 1280

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Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon, Iceland

Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon, Iceland

At the Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon in Iceland, the Vatnajokull Ice Cap -- Europe’s largest ice cap -- serves as the ideal setting for the Land Beyond the Wall. Just look out for White Walkers! 960 1280

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Skaftafell National Park, Iceland

Skaftafell National Park, Iceland

Skaftafell National Park in Iceland was the setting of Jon Snow and Ygritte’s love story, from Jon Snow and Qhorin Halfhand’s sneak attack on the Wildlings to the near beheading of our favorite red-head. The park is open year round for GoT devotees or visitors just looking for a glacier hike. 960 1280

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