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Game of Thrones Filming Locations in Morocco

Updated: Jun 23, 2023

Game of Thrones enthusiasts make the voyage year-round to Morocco to visit the filming locations used in the long-running series. Season 3 of Game of Thrones has been lovingly referred to as “The Morocco Season” by its fandom because of the many filming locations held within the Kingdom. Many of the locations are true historical sites that can be visited in person, and can offer a more authentic feeling than visiting a filming studio lot. This guide will help you with finding the Game of Thrones filming locations in Morocco.


Ait Ben Haddou

One of the most recognizable locations within the remote parts of Morocco was the fictional city of Yunkai, which is actually UNESCO World Heritage site Ait Ben Haddou. Yunkai was one of the cities located on Slaver's Bay that Daenerys seized early in Season 3. The drive from Marrakech takes you through amazing landscapes (and depending on the time of year, potentially different weather patterns!) from winding mountain roads with amazing vantage points to green valleys and clay villages.

Ait ben Haddou with embellished clay wall fortress and graphic of dragon
City of Yunkai in Game of Thrones

Keep in mind it is around 4 hours one way if you make a stop half way for a rest, or to take photos at vantage points along the way. It is suggested to take this journey in a 4-wheel-drive vehicle or with a tour group and driver. It’s very easy to visit this fortified village. It’s very popular for tourists not only because of its unique appearance but also due to it being a very popular film location for over 20 movies. So if you’re a big fan of film, you’re going to love visiting Ait Ben Haddou.


Ouarzazate

Ouarzazate, just beyond Ait Ben Haddou, is a developing city in the middle of the desert whose growth is attributed to being the home to Atlas Studios, known to be the largest studio in the world. This is an attraction where you can have the chance to tour sets of shows and movies such as Cleopatra. It was also a part of the filming location for GoT as well. The old sets in the studio were used for some shots of Pentos in Slaver's Bay. While this little town is in the middle of nowhere, it’s right on the gateway to the Sahara Desert. So this allows you to see this Game of Thrones filming location while also getting to experience the beauty of the desert. There are several hotel options within this area, and after an overnight stay you can continue your journey towards Merzouga to view the Sahara desert or return to Marrakech.


Essaouira

castle wall with citizens walking past criminals on stakes in Game of Thrones show
Essaouira ramparts as shown in Game of Thrones

The peaceful seaside city of Essaouira is the real-life location used to film scenes from the fictional city of Astapor. Located just two hours west of Marrakech, Essaouira offered its ramparts and winding streets as a perfect castle location for the show.


Essaouira is an amazingly charming place to visit for reasons beyond it being a Game of Thrones location, and should be a must-visit-destination on your itinerary.

castle wall at the sea with tower
Sqala du Port as seen in Game of Thrones

The Bastion Nord is one of the more recognizable spots in Game of Thrones and it’s free to visit in the city, and it is also possible to walk the walls by the Sqala du Port although there is a fee for access. Essaouira can either be an all day road trip from Casablanca or Marrakech, though we suggest you spend a night there if possible and enjoy the sunset on the beach and take a slow morning walk along the ramparts as depicted in the show.



Tazentoute

Tazentoute isn’t entirely known as being a Game of Thrones filming location, but just outside the area, a scene was filmed for the show. During season 3, Daenerys is in her tent discussing the terms of Yunkai surrendering to her. This scene mostly focuses on her being inside the tent, but you can catch a quick glimpse of the outside surroundings of the tent.


Book a unique private tour with Native Morocco today and visit all of these amazing locations and create an adventure of a lifetime!




Photos: Ait Ben Haddou, @karine.monet

All Game of Thrones photos: **all the property still images were taken directly from the Game of Thrones show belong to HBO and the Game of Thrones production company**




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