The HBO fantasy TV series, Game of Thrones, may be loved and hated in equal measures for their plot twists and unsympathetic killing off of beloved characters, but what everyone can agree on is that the producers always select the most spectacular sites to film this hit show. Fans may mourn the end of Season 4 but to curb GoT withdrawals, why not pay a visit to Essaouira – a beautiful town in Morocco, and one of the most stunning backdrops to the show?

essaouira-2Essaouira is no stranger to movie stars and film crews, with movies like 2004’s Alexander and 2005’s Kingdom of Heaven having filmed scenes within its medieval walls.

A late-18th-century fortified town, Essaouira is a major international trading seaport, linking Morocco with the rest of the world. The strong winds that blow through the town are too harsh for sun and sand seekers but that just adds to the charm of a town not usually overrun with tourists.

Photo credit: Roquai

Photo credit: Roquai

Spend a leisurely day traipsing the narrow winding streets within the UNESCO Heritage Site-certified medina (the walled-up, old part of the town), watching craftsmen hard at work on intricately carved boxes and curios; or take advantage of the wind and kitesurf! Dubbed the “Wind City of Africa”, Essaouira is a magnet for wind- and kite surfers alike. For the uninitiated, this town is the perfect place to learn with plenty of kitesurfing schools to choose from.

At sunset, head to the wave-beaten ramparts that surround the medina for gorgeous views out to sea as well as of the maze of streets below.