Only a few minutes away from the beautiful city of Bilbao, in the Basque region of Spain, you’ll find a stunning little island, which was the setting for Game of Thrones Dragonstone, one of the many breathtaking filming locations. If you miss the thrill of every new Game of Thrones episode, Gaztelugatxe might be the best, adventurously beautiful travel destination for you. Follow our tips to make the most of your trip to Dragon Stone!
How to get there…
Gaztelugatxe is reachable by car or public transport from Bilbao. If you plan to take the bus from Bilbao, you can find here the bus number and timetable. The price of a one-way ticket is about 2.5 euros and the trip will take about 40 minutes.
If you’re traveling by car, you should know that there is a large, free car park at Gaztelugatxe, so no need to worry about expensive fees or finding a place to park.
You need to hike to reach Game of Thrones’ Dragonstone
This is how it goes: when you arrive there, you are already on the top of a hill. That’s where the pedestrian road starts. And it starts with a path that is descending to ocean level, which takes about 15-20 minutes.
Once you descend all the way, you’ll get to this impressive, winding bridge, which will be the starting point to your hike to the little castle:
Once you’ve arrived here, you can slowly start hiking to the castle and enjoy the amazing sights left and right. If you love taking pictures, this adventure will be even more exciting for you.
And don’t forget! You have to descend and hike once again when you return to your car/bus stop. This time it will be a little more challenging. So remember to make many stops and enjoy the spectacular views!
Dragonstone from the top of the island
If you get here on a sunny day, the inspiration for Game of Thrones Dragonstone, Gaztelugatxe looks a lot more colorful and friendly than on the show. Whilst the TV series reflects its characters’ state of mind, power status and sometimes even their fate through the weather and color palette of their costumes and surroundings, the reality is quite different. However, it is quite impressive!
Even if the main reason you are here is Game of Thrones, find time to look at the nature surrounding you.
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Wear comfortable shoes and get a bottle of water
Cars are not allowed on the path to Dragonstone, and there are no shops where you can buy food or water, once you start the trail. Make sure to get a bottle of water when you arrive at Gaztelugatxe. Otherwise, you can only find water at the bridge, where there is a drinkable water source.
Lastly, make sure to wear comfortable shoes that allow you to move easily and do the hike. For us, it’s been quite an easy climb. It doesn’t take more than 25 minutes to get to the top of the island, once you descend to the bridge, and maybe another 40 minutes to 1 hour to return to the parking lot.
We’ve seen a lot of people wearing serious hiking gear, but we don’t think it’s absolutely necessary. Make sure to check out the weather before going, and make the decision that best suits you.
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Don’t get discouraged by the hike!
The path to Game of Thrones Dragonstone is not really a great challenge. Take your time to wander, take photos, take in the beauty of this wonderful destination. If you don’t enjoy hiking, allow yourself a long time at Dragonstone, even a full day if necessary.
Hunt the Game of Thrones Dragonstone scenes!
Here is a video with the GoT cast and some of the scenes filmed here, at Gaztelugatxe. If you look closely, you’ll identify some of the elements that appear on the TV series. The little house at the top of the island has been replaced, of course, with an impressive castle.
Make sure to watch it again before you get there:
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Finally, make sure to visit Bilbao
Our final recommendation, if you find yourself in the North of Spain, is to make sure to visit the gorgeous city of Bilbao. It’s such a modern, impressive-looking city. We’re working on a full post about Bilbao, which will soon be up! Until then, here’s a sneak peek of what you can’t miss:
If you loved this little guide, if you visited Gaztelugatxe or you plan to, let us know in the comments!
And check out our other guides and tips, gathered from our travels in Spain.