The Basque Country in Game of Thrones
There’s no doubt that Zumaia and Game of Thrones are very closely linked. In fact, this spot in the Basque Country has transported audiences from around the world to the mystical world of Westeros. Keep reading to discover one of the iconic stages of this legendary series.
Zumaia and its connection to Game of Thrones
The Zumaia Flysch in Game of Thrones, with its mighty age-old rock formations, isn’t just a geological spectacle, but it was also chosen as the setting to bring Dragonstone to life, the ancestral home of Daenerys Targaryen.
This choice was no coincidence. The stratified layers of Flysch, which represent a geological history of more than 60 million years, offer an other-worldly silhouette, perfect for creating a mysterious and powerful atmosphere that the series needed for the Targaryen home.
The naturally charming Basque town of Zumaia has earned international recognition thanks to this series. The jagged, majestic scenery of Flysch became a symbol of power, history and ancient ties in the series’ plot. The cliffs that jut out from the sea with impressive power provide the ideal backdrop for characters’ arrivals and departures by sea.
Iconic scenes in Zumaia in the series
Itzurun beach, also known as Zumaia Game of Thrones beach, became famous in the seventh series. Its ancient cliffs of Flysch breathed life into unforgettable scenes. Here, the 60 million years of geological history merged with the fiction.
This corner of Zumaia stands out for its unspoilt natural beauty. The series makes the most of every natural detail. The tides, rocks and sunset complement iconic moments. For example, Daenerys’ return to Westeros was set against this majestic backdrop.
Impact on tourism and local identity
Since Game of Thrones chose Zumaia as a setting, the area has experienced a touristic rebirth. Once quiet, the streets and beaches are now filled with fans of the show hoping to walk through the same areas as their favourite characters. Themed guided tours, souvenir shops and special events have popped up all around, significantly boosting the economy in the region.
But beyond this tourism boom, Zumaia has also experienced a transformation in local identity. The community takes pride in its connection to the series but has also successfully maintained and highlighted the richness of its historical and natural heritage.
Interesting facts about the Game of Thrones shoot in Zumaia
The experience of filming Game of Thrones on Zumaia beach consisted of more than just shooting some scenes. Although visually impressive, the beaches and cliffs posed significant technical challenges, since accessing and protecting the delicate Flysch eco-systems required careful planning.
One of the biggest challenges was installing heavy equipment in hard-to-reach areas. To do this, they used special means of transport, and in some cases, manual equipment to avoid damaging the environment. Not to mention the extra layer of difficulty added by the Atlantic climate with its sudden downpours of rain and tidal changes.
Despite the challenges, community collaboration was essential. Many local residents joined the cast as extras, and some businesses adapted to meet the needs of the film crew.
Bars and restaurants in the area also have anecdotes to tell. When you visit this town, make sure to listen to stories of the cast relaxing after a long day of filming.
Film heritage in Zumaia
In the aftermath of Game of Thrones filming in Zumaia, the city did not just gain international recognition, but also acquired precious film heritage. Conscious of this legacy, the community took measures to conserve and celebrate this chapter in its history.
One of the first steps was to create guided routes where you can tour the exact filming locations and learn not just about the series but also about the geology and history of the area.
In addition, conservation programmes were established to protect the fragile eco-systems of the beach and cliffs. Although the influx of tourists has increased, responsible tourism is promoted to minimise environmental impact and respect the natural beauty of the area.
As for the town, it has integrated this film heritage into festivals and cultural events. Every year, outdoor screenings, workshops and conferences are held that strengthen the relationship between Zumaia and the cinematic world.
And lastly, they have opened exhibition spaces and small museums which showcase props, costumes and photographs of the shoot.
Visit Zumaia and be part of Game of Thrones
If you’re a fan of Westeros, visiting Zumaia is a must. This corner of the Basque Country has become emblematic for fans thanks to its limelight in Game of Thrones. And to guarantee an unforgettable stay in the heart of the Basque Country, consider Basque Stays.