Vikings movie cover Movie Locations Guide

Where was Vikings filmed?

About Vikings

Vikings is an action-packed, historical drama TV series that first aired in March 2013 on History in Canada. The Vikings series, written and created by Michael Hirst, ended after 6 seasons in December 2020, with the second half of the final season aired on Amazon Prime Video. The entire series is now available on Netflix.

Vikings is set on the tales of the early Norsemen in medieval Scandinavia. It primarily follows the life, conquests, family, descendants, and crew of famous Viking Chief Ragnar Lothbrok (portrayed by Travis Fimmel). To get his life and story as accurate as possible, historians and production teams relied on the Gesta Danorum, Ragnarssona pattr, and Ragnars saga Lodbrokar. Since most Norse tales of the Viking heroes were passed down orally from generation to generation, many believed them to be fiction until they were recorded as part of the region's history.

The producers also had to rely on other treatises and books from conquering lands like the 10th-century Varangian account by Ahmad ibn Fadlan and the record of the Viking raids on the Holy Island of Lindisfarne.

The Vikings TV Series follows the life of Ragnar, his first wife Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick), who later becomes Queen, their children, and Ragnar's children with his second wife. Ragnar became known as the scourge of the Anglo-Saxon region of England and West Francia. Ragnar starts his life as a meager farmer and rises to fame as a Viking Warrior, till he eventually becomes a Scandinavian king.

As the series progresses, the focal point shifts from Ragnar and goes on to his six sons and their conquests, lives, families, and raids. His sons continue Ragnar's legacy of raiding, conquering, and increasing Viking riches in Scandinavia, England, Kievan Rus, North America, North Africa, and the Mediterranean.

City Locations

County Wicklow, County Kerry, Dublin, Ireland, Vik, Norway

Location Types

Beach, Cabins, Rustic, Studios, NatureScapes

Location Styles

Beachfront, Mountain Huts, Sail

Vikings Locations

Most Vikings locations were shot in and around Ireland for the first few seasons. As the TV series became more popular, the Vikings production team also started looking at other international venues like Vik in Norway, Morocco, Iceland, and more. Most people presumed the film shoot location was somewhere in Scandinavia, but all the Norsemen and their wives, girlfriends, conquering, and more were based in Ireland initially.

Considering the old-world Middle Ages feel of the show, the crew and scouts did a fine job of finding apt venues that would fit with the overall theme. Most of these locations had to be kept private since the fan-following of the series kept growing over the years. Thankfully, if you want to visit the Vikings locations, you do not have to travel far in Ireland.

Initially, the entire town of Kattegat was at location (during the first two seasons) but was then moved to Ashford Studios in Ireland to keep the filming contained and easy to get to for the cast and crew. Visitors can quickly get to Ashford Studios and also see the man-made lake used in several scenes in Vikings. However, you may need passes to get into the studio.

Fun fact:

Vikings was supposed to be a nine-part mini-series to be aired only on the History Channel. However, once the popularity rose to astonishing heights, additional seasons were added to keep audience interest intact. Did you also know that Katheryn Winnick, who plays Lagertha, has a 3rd-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do, 2nd-degree Karate black belt, is a licensed bodyguard and a skilled martial artist?

Ragnar takes his son trekking to get to the thing scene in Vikings

Luggala Estate, County Wicklow, Ireland

In this scene, Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel) takes his son, Bjorn (Nathan O'Toole), and their family dog, Frodi, on a trek to the city. Ragnar wants Bjorn to meet the Earl, get used to the Viking way of life, get his arm ring, and become a man. Ragnar's son Bjorn has turned 12 years old, which in the Viking way means he is nearly an adult and should learn to fight and conquer.

Bjorn asks his father, "What will happen at the thing?" Ragnar responds, "The Earl will deal with some criminal offenses, and then, we'll discuss the summer raids." Bjorn, ever inquisitive, wants to know where his father will go for the summer raiding.

Ragnar tells Bjorn, “The Earl decides… He owns the ships. He'll send us to the East, as always, to the Baltic lands. But I want to know what's to the West. What cities and Gods are over there. See, I'm not satisfied… with this!"

Many of the filming locations of Vikings are shot at the Luggala Estate in County Wicklow, Ireland since the surrounding areas are excellent for shooting, trekking, forest, or hiding scenes. The Estate is privately owned by the Guinness family, and you may need permission to view it. You will have to drive via R759 towards the Wicklow Way and turn onto the private road towards Lough Tay.

Ragnar and Bjorn meet the Rollo scene in Vikings

Lough Tay, County Wicklow, Ireland

Ragnar and Bjorn reach Kattegat (which is hustling and bustling with activity). There is a marketplace with people selling sheepskin, fruits, animals, hens, weapons, and more. Ragnar carefully maneuvers his son around the people and guides him through the market. While they are passing through, Bjorn and Ragnar run into Rollo (Clive Standen) – Ragnar's younger brother.

Rollo looks at Bjorn and says he's grown quite a bit. Once Bjorn greets his uncle, they all go to get a drink. Bjorn gulps down an ale at the tavern, and Rollo and Ragnar smile knowingly at him. Rollo says, "Looking a little pale, Bjorn. Are you ready for a woman?" Ragnar laughs, wipes his son's lips to take off the excess ale, and says, "Can't even grow a beard, can you, boy? Why don't you go lie down?"

This Vikings filming location is the set created as the town of Kattegat at the banks of Lough Tay at the Luggala Estate. Not far from the main road, it is also part of the private Estate belonging to the Guinness family. However, you can go to the Lough Tay Viewing Point and see the shoreline and banks. Keep driving on R759 N till you see a signboard for the Lough Tay Viewing Point.

Ragnar and Floki discuss the state of the missing anchor scene in Vikings

Powerscourt Waterfall, Ireland

Ragnar Lothbrok and his brother Rollo manage to convince their other Viking friends (who also are in service to Earl Haraldson) to join Ragnar to sail West and discover what is on the other side of the water. They fill the ship with provisions, ravens, hens, ale, and other essentials.

While the men are filling up the provisions, Ragnar sneaks up on Floki (Gustaf Skarsgard), holds a knife to his neck, and asks him, "Where is my anchor?" Floki has a lock of blonde hair and says, "It was promised for today." Ragnar gets upset and says, "Maybe your blacksmith is a liar," to which Floki laughingly responds, "Oh, I don't think so. This hair is from his daughter's head. I promised him that if he went to Earl Haraldson, I would find a way to kill her." Floki keeps chuckling like he's made a great joke instead of talking about killing a young girl.

This scene is shot at the foothills of the Powerscourt Waterfall at the Powerscourt Estate in Ireland. It is a popular tourist destination with its 400-ft drop and Italian gardens nearby. To get here, take the exit to R755 and a left turn onto R760. Continue for 2 kilometers, and turn right.

The Vikings warriors leave for the West in the new ship scene in Vikings

Blessington Lakes, County Wicklow

As Rollo, Ragnar, and Floki get on their new ship, the men start talking about the breeze and how useful it will be for the sails. In this scene, other Vikings are in the background, and you can hear the order being thrown their way, "Ready the oars! Feel that wind! That breeze is up!"

Ragnar is carrying the sunstone and the sundial with him to help navigate. The sunstone is a white, milky flattish stone that helps concentrate the sun's rays to help with the sundial.

This filming is considered one of the best scenes in Vikings because it shows Ragnar's will to explore new lands, find riches, and search for new Gods. The 'sea' that the Vikings set sail on is the Blessington Lakes area in County Wicklow in Ireland. These lakes are flanked by the superb Wicklow Mountain range (also featured in many shots in the series), and the majestic water bodies cover nearly 500 acres of land. They are young lakes and were formed approximately 50-ish years back. The Blessington Lakes area is about a 35 minutes drive from the Lough Tay Viewing Point via the R759 to N81 and finally onto Blessington Greenway.

The great heathen army arrives on the shores of Northumbria in Vikings

Nuns Beach, County Kerry, Ireland

Bishop Unwan and King Aelle (Ivan Kaye) set out to the shores to meet with the heathen army of the north. As they near the battleground, they see only a few Vikings in front of them. King Aelle starts smiling, thinking his victory is assured, and says, "Not such a great army, after all, my Lord Bishop." The Saxon forces ready their archers to take out the Vikings in one fell swoop, as they can quickly dispose of the heathens.

However, as the King and the Bishop are watching, Bjorn Ironside (Alexander Ludwig) – son of Ragnar, with his brothers and allies, comes to the frontlines of the battlefield. As the King and the Bishop look on, more and more Vikings join their leaders, forming a mighty army.

This one was probably the most picturesque of all the Vikings action scenes. The battle scene is shot at Nuns Beach in stunning Count Kerry on the West Coast of Ireland. The battlefield is shot slightly away, but the ships dock on this stretch of beach land. The way to the beach is very steep, and the whole strip is narrow, ill-accessible by road, and usually best to reach by boat. To get here, it is best to catch the R551 all the way to the coast.

Ivar tells his companion to kill someone because he is annoyed scene in Vikings

Vik, Norway

Ivar the Boneless (Alex Hogh Andersen) travels to the East after losing the Kattegat throne to his brother Bjorn Ironside. While traveling, they halt at Kievan Rus, and Ivar is freshening up. While doing so, he notices a one-eyed man staring at him. Ivar asks Vigrid (Martin Maloney), "Why is that one-eyed idiot staring at me all the time? He's been on the road with us for weeks. I don't like it. Tell one of our boys to find a quiet spot and get rid of him." Vigrid replies, "They're just mercenaries. I wouldn't trust them to do anything." Ivar gets annoyed and tells Vigrid, "Well then, maybe you should do it." Vigrid agrees to kill the one-eyed man, and Ivar returns to cutting bits of his beard out.

To capture the cold and snow, the Vikings production team chose the area of Vik in Norway. Vik is gorgeous throughout the year and is accessible for tourists via driving by the E16 or via bus number 200. It has plenty of sightseeing spots, hotels, resorts, and entertainment options. However, the sets for Vikings are no longer available.

Conclusion

The 6-season run of the Vikings saw a huge fan following, with global fans waiting eagerly for each new season. Blood, gore, war, battle, relationships, deceit, and love were intrinsic parts of the characters in Vikings, and the actors did a brilliant job portraying individual emotions.

Considering that the entire series is set in another time, with zero access to technology, medieval weaponry, and basic concepts of life rife with religion, zealous beliefs, and invading forces, the producers managed to please audiences with several of the scenes (which were historically accurate). However, as with any show, many fans also had issues with some parts (which is pretty unavoidable)!

The places, locations, modes of transport (ships, horses, camels, palanquins), sets, CGI, and speech patterns are to be applauded. The Vikings production team did a fantastic job finding locations that made the series so real and believable.

Fans of the Vikings series will be happy to know the sequel, Vikings Valhalla, which is based 100 years later with new heroes, is also out on Netflix.