It's odd to think that a show about #Vikings doesn't contain a single scene actually shot in Scandinavia. Luckily, the rolling green hills of Ireland bear a striking resemblance to the Scandinavian wilderness— and the Irish film industry's tax cuts have certainly helped the appeal as a shooting location.
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The show has been filming there for years now, with the majority taking place amongst a plethora of props and green screens in the backyard of Ashford Studios. However, many episodes feature an array of lush Irish locations, and even a couple of overseas spots— including a change of scenery for Season 4.
Check out these 8 real-life Vikings filming locations worthy of the gods:
- 8. Lough Tay— Kattegat Village
Lough Tay is a massive lake nestled on the private Guinness Estate in Wicklow County. By far the most recognisable Vikings location, it's home to the small but iconic village of Kattegat, home of Ragnar and the Lothbrok family.
- 7. Luggula Estate— Kattegat Surrounds
You'll recognise the majestic mountains of Wicklow County from many of Ragnar's wanderings around the Kattegat wilderness. These are the same ranges that served as the setting for Floki's attempted escape after being imprisoned for the murder of Athelstan.
- 6. River Boyne- Seine River, Paris
The city of Paris shown in Vikings is somewhat of a CGI wonder. In reality, the watery siege was shot in the studio; but the journey into Francia was captured on the winding River Boyne. Ironically, the crew often film in the river by the famous Slane Castle, but not the medieval structure itself.
- 5. Blessington Lakes- Waterways
Blessington Lakes have served as the location for many a longship journey for Ragnar and his raiding crews. The eerie reflective surface of the water perfectly sets the mood for the brooding warriors' many meditative voyages.
- 4. Powerscourt Waterfall— Aslaug's Bathing Spot
The breathtaking waterfall of Powerscourt Estate served as our introduction to Aslaug, Ragnar's sassy future wife. It was her preferred bathing spot, but not entirely safe from prying viking eyes.
- 3. The Nuns Beach- Shores of Northumbria
The scene of more than one tense interaction between the vikings and the Anglo-Saxons, the dark sands of Nuns Beach provide an ominous atmosphere most conducive to anxious negotiations and bloody battles.
Alex Høgh Andersen (Ivar) is certainly a fan of this oceanside location:
- 2. Sault Ste. Marie— Scandinavian Wilderness
Alexander Ludwig accompanied a small filming crew to the isolated Northeastern Ontario forest in the dead of winter to shoot Björn's iconic bear fight scene from Season 4. Despite the temperatures reaching minus 20 degrees celsius, Ludwig insisted on jumping in to a freezing ice hole completely naked. It's a much less hostile climate in Spring, but you'll still want to watch out for those bears.
1. Morocco- Mediterranean
Vastly different to the overcast Irish mountains we've become accustomed to seeing on screen, Morocco will make its debut in Season 4 as the location for Björn's Mediterranean raid. The exact location isn't yet known, but the crew are said to have filmed in the towns of Ouarzazate, Erfoud, Errachidia, Merzouga and Rissani. Home to massive expanses of sandy desert dunes and endless sunshine, it's a big change of scenery for even the hardiest pagan. Better leave the furs at home, Björn!
Check out some of the Vikings cast discussing their favorite Irish filming locations: