The TV show, which centers on the life of Viking chief Ragnar Lothbrok of the 8th century, draws inspiration from Norse legends passed down over hundreds of years.
Though the real Vikings originated in Scandinavia, the TV series 'Vikings' is filmed in Ireland for its majestic, Scandinavian-like landscapes and film industry-friendly production companies.
Much of the show is shot outdoors in the Wicklow Mountains. Scenes featuring the Viking longships, for instance, were filmed at the cliffs of the Luggala mountain above the lake, Lough Tay, as well as at Lough Dan, another lake in the region. Luggala is popular among rock climbers.
Travelers, with an affinity for the outdoors, hike the area by taking Wicklow Way, a self-guided hiking trail. It starts at Marlay Park in Dublin and ends in Clonegal, Co. Carlow. The trail is not for the faint of heart, but it will take you by a few filming locations such as the vista above the Powerscourt Waterfall and down to Lough Tay.
Ashford Studios, the production company that films 'Vikings', built a sprawling set on the shore of Lough Tay, complete with a life-sized Viking village and a long boat skeleton.
In December, Avoca Tours offered an exclusive visit to the set of Vikings in Wicklow. Today, the company offers regular sightseeing tours of the town and surrounding areas for visitors. Additionally, consider a train ride from Dublin through the region for stunning views of the landscapes of the Wicklow Mountains.
Real Viking Sights in Ireland
To see a real Viking locale in Ireland, Waterford Viking Triangle, an area of Waterford City, is the site of the original Viking landing and settlement in Ireland. The Waterford Treasures complex of museums exhibits artifacts of the Vikings that lived in the region.
Viking Historic Sights in Norway
For travelers headed to Norway to experience Viking history, the Viking Ship Museum in Oslo featuring three excavated burial ships and the Lofotr Viking Museum at Borg with its reconstructed longhouse. Also, cruise line Hurtigruten offers journeys that take you to historical locations of the Vikings and provide expert information through onboard lectures.