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Game of Thrones' Dragonstone Island becomes tourist hotspot

The scenes were filmed on the island of Gaztelugatxe

hellomagazine.com

This is the stunning, real-life location that features in hit HBO series Game of Thrones as the mystical island, Dragonstone. While Gaztelugatxe may not have a giant castle or dragons on it in reality, this isn't stopping fans coming to visit from all around the world.

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Dragonstone Island sets the scene of the first episode of series seven, and is a location from which character Daenerys Targaryen will conquer her enemies.The real island is home to a small church called San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, where you can ring the bell three times and make a wish.

Gaztelugatxe stars as Dragonstone Island in Game of Thrones

The church is believed to have first been built over a thousand years ago, and, carries historical significance to the Spaniards and Basques, after years of wars and battles. It has since been burnt down and rebuilt several times, and is connected to the mainland via a man-made footbridge and 241 stone steps.

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On the walk, tourists can see the coast of the Bay of Biscay, which sits in the north of Spain and panoramic views of the 60 million year old surroundings. Game of Thrones has used the Basque country throughout its production, setting scenes in Muriola Beach, San Sebastian and Itzurun Beach, to name a few.

Tourism companies have seized this business opportunity, creating packages which are tailored for Game of Thrones fans, covering all the settings used in classical Spain. Last year, more than 10.6 million international tourists visited Andalucia, a Game of Thrones setting earlier in the series. This was an increase of more than two million when compared with the number of international tourists who visited in 2014.

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