There’s a fascination with romantic stories about life of early settlers in the United States as well as Europe. In the case of the Vikings production, it was so successful that the spin-off series Vikings: Valhalla was created. But where was Vikings filmed? The term ‘vikings’ would lead you to believe that this is a story about Norsmen. But the term is actually Scandinavian. These people were the early settlers of not only Norway, but also of Denmark and Sweden. The backdrop could be in many European countries. Most of the filming took place in just one country that is not part of the Scandinavian countries.
Where Was Vikings Filmed?
Vikings was filmed in several locations, primarily in Ireland. The show used Ashford Studios and many other surrounding areas as filming locations for its first four seasons.
Locations included County Meath, Louth, Wicklow, Dublin and Wexford. For the fifth season, scenes were also shot in Norway at the historical Viking sites of Avaldsnes, which is said to be the birthplace of Viking king Harald Fairhair, and Gudvangen, a beautiful valley nestled between majestic mountains.
In addition to these locations in Ireland and Norway, Vikings was also filmed in Morocco. The Moroccan cities of Ouarzazate and Ait Benhaddou were used as filming locations for the show’s fifth season. These locations provided a perfect backdrop for Viking battles, giving the scenes an authentic feel. Ultimately, Ireland and Norway served as the main backdrops for Vikings, providing some stunning visuals of Nordic landscapes.
What Was Vikings All About?
Vikings was a historical drama television series that aired on the History Channel from 2013 to 2020. It followed the adventures of Ragnar Lothbrok, a charismatic Viking warrior and farmer who rose through the ranks of Norse society to become a legendary ruler. The show had many elements of fiction but also drew from historical facts from books like The Saga of Ragnar Lodbrok and Beowulf.
The series explored themes such as family, faith, power struggles, politics and human relationships in a period of great social upheaval—the Viking Age. Over its six seasons, viewers watched Ragnar’s tale unfold as he led daring raids against England and France while also struggling to maintain his personal relationships.
Who Was In The Cast of Vikings?
The main characters in the series are:
- Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel)
- Rollo (Clive Standen)
- Bjorn Ironside (Alexander Ludwig) and Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick).
They are joined by other great actors such as Gustaf Skarsgård as Floki, Moe Dunford as Aethelwulf and Maude Hirst as Helga.
Who Directed Vikings?
Vikings was directed by the acclaimed Canadian filmmaker Michael Hirst. Over the course of its six seasons, Hirst wrote all episodes and served as executive producer and showrunner of the series. With his deep understanding of history and storytelling talent, he crafted an epic tale that captured audiences around the world.
Hirst is a veteran filmmaker who has worked on many hit shows and films, including The Tudors and Elizabeth. With Vikings, he managed to create an immersive world that felt both authentic and captivating for viewers. He was also praised for his attention to detail in the costumes, scenery and locations used throughout the show.
Did Vikings Receive Any Awards?
Yes, Vikings was a highly successful show that earned numerous awards and nominations. It won three Satellite Awards in 2013, 2014 and 2015 for Best Television Series – Genre. In 2015, the series was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Music Composition For A Series (Original Dramatic Score).
The show has also been praised by critics who have given it high ratings and positive reviews. The performances of Travis Fimmel, Katheryn Winnick, Clive Standen and Alexander Ludwig were particularly noted for their authenticity and power.
This series was produced using the Arri Alexa Plus, Arri Alexa XT Plus, and the Arri Alexa XT camera. Lenses used are the Panavision Primo lenses.
Fun Facts About Vikings
- The name “Ragnar”’ means “Keeper of the fort.”
- All the jewelry used in the show was made by a South Carolina artisan at The Crafty Celt.
- The accent used in the series is based on the Swedish accent.
- The Vikings didn’t have a written language. Their communication was through interpretation.
Can You Visit the set of Vikings?
Yes, you can visit some of the sets used in Vikings! Filming primarily took place at Ashford Studios in Wicklow, Ireland. Other scenes were filmed in County Wicklow and on the island of Malta.
The studio is open for tours which offer a unique opportunity to visit some of the show’s most iconic locations. You can also explore the actual sets used in Vikings and learn about the history of the show.
What is Ireland Famous For?
Ireland has what I would call a rugged beauty. Since it’s an island, it is surrounded by three oceans. The Atlantic Ocean on the west coast, the Irish Sea on the east coast, and the Celtic Sea to the south.
Ireland is famous for its Celtic folklore, traditional music, and writers such as James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, Brendan Behan, and William Butler Yeats. Riverdance helped to put Ireland on the map as a popular tourist destination.
Ireland is also the backdrop for another awesome film in which I wrote about the film location of The Banshees of Inisherin.
Unique Places in Ireland
If you’re looking to explore all that Ireland has to offer, here are some of the most unique places to visit:
The Rock of Cashel:
This stunning fortress is located in County Tipperary and offers breathtaking views. It was once home to a powerful medieval dynasty and is now a popular tourist attraction.
The Cliffs of Moher:
These majestic cliffs rise over 700 feet above the Atlantic Ocean and offer stunning views. It is one of Ireland’s most famous natural attractions and a great place to take in the beauty of the Irish countryside.
Glendalough National Park:
This ancient monastic settlement is located in County Wicklow and is full of history and beauty. There are several trails for hikers to explore, as well as a beautiful lake surrounded by forest.
The Ring of Kerry:
This breathtaking coastal drive will take you around the Iveragh Peninsula in County Kerry. You can stop at villages along the way and enjoy stunning views of the Irish countryside.
Dingle Peninsula: This peninsula is located in County Kerry and offers stunning scenery. It’s full of amazing wildlife, pubs and traditional Irish culture.
Things to Do in Ireland
There are 15 islands off the coast of Ireland that are definitely worth visiting. If you are a Star Wars fan, be sure to check out the Skellig Islands.
Newgrange: a 5,200 year old tomb that is quite the tourist attraction. It’s just a short drive from Dublin. Going inside this tomb is an amazing experience. But these days you have to buy tickets first.
Book of Kells: If you love history, you’ll love the Book of Kells. These books reside at Trinity College in Dublin. They contain the four gospels from the New Testament of the Christian Bible. The illustrations and graphics are believed to have been created in 800 AD.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where is Kattagat in Vikings filmed?
Kattegat was filmed at an Irish lough (pronounced ‘lock’). Just an hour or so south of Dublin in the Wicklow Mountains, Lough Tay, or the ‘Guinness Lake’, on the Luggala Estate.
Did Ragnar Lothbrok go to Ireland?
According to Saxo Grammaticus, Ragnar raided Ireland and killed King Melbricus. This has been identified with a raid on Conaille Muirthemne in 831 in which the king Máel Brigte was abducted by Vikings.
The Final Cut
Ireland is a very special place that is worthy of a visit. And if you can work in a tour of Ashford Studios, you’ll get the best of the Vikings series and the country. You’ll find that the people are very friendly and love to help out tourists who get lost or need recommendations on local events. The best time to visit is between May and October. That’s when the weather is the best.
Have you ever been to Ireland? What was your visit like? Let me know by leaving a comment below.
Other Fantasy Based Films and Locations
- The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring Film Locations
- Game of Thrones Film Locations
- The Wheel of Time Film Locations