The world of Game of Thrones is spectacularly scenic. From rugged coastlines to open plains, from high mountains to frozen vast expanses and arid deserts, Westeros has an incredibly varied landscape that we think would be absolutely thrilling to explore by bicycle. As the world prepares for the series finale of HBO’s mega-hit series Game of Thrones, we thought it was it would be the perfect time to plan a cycling trip to Westeros. By the conclusion of the series on Sunday, May 19, we hope there will be a period of relative peace in the Seven Kingdoms. With the wars finally over, we’ll be packing our bike bag to explore the world created by George R. R. Martin. Though we have recommendations for where to sleep, please note we still aren’t sure which castles have bicycle repair rooms. Here are the insights you’ll need to explore Westeros by bike.
The North is a sparsely populated region of vast wilderness, pine-covered forests and snow-capped mountains. On a trip to the North, you will want to bring your fat bike because off-terrain riding will definitely be the name of the game and you’ll want to be able to ride the snowy expanses. With cold and harsh winters, Canadians who ride year around will feel at home traversing the snowy landscapes on two wheels. Stop for a night in Winterfell where you can huddle for warmth by a fire in the big drafty stone castle. While out for rides, keep your eyes open for Direwolves and make sure to stay clear of any Wildlings you may encounter.
The land of the Vale is covered in rivers, lakes and the gorgeous imposing Mountains of the Moon. One of the most isolated regions of Westeros, a trip on two wheels here will require traversing mountain passes and rugged high roads. On a bike trip to the Vale, you’ll want your mountain bike so you can shred the remote paths that snake there way through these beautiful mountains. A good challenge will be climbing up to the Eyrie which can only be accessed by a narrow goat trail. We can assure you the views from the castle and ride down are worth the effort. Just make sure the ruler of the castle has no reason to introduce you to the sky’s cells or moon door.
The Riverlands is a fertile region located around where the three forks of the Trident river meet. With its plains, forests, hills, farms and long winding rivers, this is a region for a cyclocross bike. The ground can be quite damp and the farmers tracks muddy so you’ll be challenged to navigate the region as you pass through small agricultural villages. The Riverlands border most of the other regions of Westeros so during a more extensive trip you will likely pass through. Beware of punctures in areas where there were battles because rusted armour and weapons can still be found in the soft ground by the Trident. Stops in the Riverlands could include at Riverrun, at the burnt out fortress of Harrenhal on the Gods Eye though the haunted castles is best to avoid if possible or The Twins where you won’t have to dismount and get your feet wet to cross the Green Fork but may want to watch what’s in the pies.
The ironborn of the Iron Islands are a seafaring people so a cycling trip to this area may be a little tricky. If you insist on venturing to the Iron Islands you can rent a pedal boat to navigate between the archipelagos 31 islands. Be aware, the seas off the rocky outcrops can be stormy and many ship captains are raiders pillaging and burning the coast of Westeros, so the best practice is to leave all valuables at home if you insist on visiting this rugged and hostile region. For a night’s stay, Pyke is probably your best option though the castle is connected by swaying rope bridges. We highly suggest you check your life insurance plan before a trip here.
The richest part of the Seven Kingdoms because all the gold and silver found in the region, the Westerlands would be a great place to bring your aero bike because the solid infrastructure that connects the areas rolling plains, fertile fields, and broadleaf forests. No trip in the Westerlands is complete without a stop at Casterly Rock, the imposing fortress on a massive hill of solid rock.
In Westeros, all roads lead to King’s Landing making it a great foothold to start a trip to Westeros from just like Aegon the Conqueror did when he landed his army to take over the continent. However, you may need to reconsider visiting the area depending on how Game of Thrones plays out. If you do make it to King’s Landing, we recommend you go with your road bike so you can take advantage of the intertwined road network that leads into the Stormlands, the Reach, the Vale, the Riverlands and beyond. The Kingsroad is the most famous of these roads and we highly suggest you spend at least a bit of time riding it. Just beware of roaming bands of vagabonds.
The most fertile and heavily populated region of Westeros, the Reach has many cities and villages. The hilly region is the most fertile of the Seven Kingdoms producing the world famous Arbour wines as well as crops such as melons, peaches and apples. There is so much to take in on a bike tour in the Reach as you can enjoy the delicious wines and fine cuisine in between bike rides. We recommend a vintage road bike for your culinary and cycling adventure here. We wouldn’t be surprised for the L’Eroica to expand here as the conflicts subside. Make sure to stop in Highgarden and visit the magnificent library in Oldtown on your trip to the Reach.
The Stormlands is a small region of harsh mountains, stony shores and verdant forests. To explore this area we recommend a gravel bike and a good rain jacket. If you need to take shelter during your trip, head to Storm’s End which is conveniently on the Kingsroad.
Dorne is a large peninsula that features the only desert in Westeros. The region is arid and dry with rocky mountainous terrain. To traverse the arid wasteland by bike, you will need to go prepared so a touring bike with panniers is highly recommended. Be sure to pack a lot of water because it’s scarce and a highly prized commodity. Once you make it to the south you can tour the coast where you’ll enjoy splendid views of the jagged cliffs, whirlpools and hidden shoals. Sunspear is the main castle so your journey can start and end here.