As the original international man of mystery, James Bond’s escapades have taken him far across the globe, and beyond. With 6 different actors across 24 films, the most iconic super-spy has soared into space, surfed on an avalanche and galloped across the Afghani desert on horseback. With the 25th film ‘SPECTRE’ hitting the big screen this month, we take a look back at seven locations where Bond has loved, thrilled, kissed and killed.
Bikini clad with a knife by her side and a shell in her hand, Ursula Andress emerging from the waters of Ocho Rios in Jamaica remains one of the most iconic scenes in the Bond franchise. This beach resort, near the aptly named James Bond Beach and Goldeneye Resort is situated on the north coast of the island and its clean sand and crystal blue water are bordered by a lush and exotic tree line that’s just as picturesque today as it was when gracing our screens in 1962. Bask in the Caribbean sun, swim with dolphins or arise from the sea to re-enact the scene that set such a high benchmark for all future Bonds.
Whilst the ice palace of diamond magnate Gustav Graves is fictitious, the glacial lake which surrounds it is thankfully not. Jokularsarkon, on the edge of the Vatnajokul National park, is considered one of the natural wonders of Iceland and saw a spectacular car chase in Die Another Day. Bond and his adversary Graves sped across the frozen lake dotted with milky white and striking blue icebergs. You may not be able to flip an Aston these days, but a host of other ice-related activities are on offer here, from glacial walks to boat rides, which ensure that this mysterious lake can be enjoyed to the full.
The focal point for many scenes in ‘From Russia with Love’, Hagia Sophia in Istanbul makes for the perfect rendezvous between James Bond and Soviet defector Tatiana Romanova. This towering cathedral, once the largest in the world, served as the seat of the patriarch of Constantinople of nearly 1000 years. We can see why. Considered the epitome of Byzantium architecture, light flickers across the interior of the nave creating the illusion of a hovering dome – an architectural feat in its own right. Nestled in the oldest part of ‘Ian Fleming’s favorite city’ Hagia Sophia should be reason enough to take the trip to experience the ancient grandeur of Istanbul.
The 1970’s ushered a new era of Bond with Roger Moore filling the shoes in a light and lively manner. This 007 was replete with more one liners and wit than ever and the Louisiana city of New Orleans matched this perfectly. In pursuit of the drug smuggler Dr Kananga, Bond finds himself on Bourbon Street, in the heart of the historic French Quarter. Live and Let Die showcases the swinging jazz funerals and soulful musk that New Orleans is famed for and the spirit of the city lives today in its yearly carnival season, culminating on Shrove Tuesday for the cultural explosion that is Mardi Gras.
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service- Piz Gloria, Switzerland
The shortest lived double-oh concluded ‘On her Majesty’s Secret Service’ at Piz Gloria, atop the Schilthorn mountain in the resort of Murren, Switzerland. Once the clinic of perpetual super-villain Blofeld this revolving restaurant offers sensational views of the Bernese Alps. If skiing is the thing for you, the 1,300m decent from the top stretches across a range of runs that meander through the Swiss mountainside. For off-piste adventures there is plenty of challenging terrain that will test advanced and expert skiers alike.
After a particularly torturous scene, Bond in ‘Casino Royal’ is sent to the Villa Balbianello on the shores of Lake Como. We can think of no better place for rest and recuperation that this peaceful Italian paradise. Available for weddings and viewings, the villa has no accommodations, but Lake Como has plenty of options. Escape the crowds and seek out a quieter place like Molstrasio – after all, given the tranquil charm of the lake, why settle for less?
Goldeneye- Casino De Monte Carlo, Monaco
Ever the smooth gambler and suave dresser, Bond fits right in at the Casino De Monte Carlo in Monaco. This luxury establishment played host to voltaic meeting with Georgian renegade Xenia Onatopp, and would be an ideal location to fulfil adolescent playboy fantasies. The streets of Monte Carlo glitter with wealth, and the Casino is at the center of such opulence. Explore the jewel of the Riviera through the glamour and prestige of the Monaco Grand Prix or take out a boat and drift your well-earned winnings, and time, away.
Octopussy- Lake Taj Palace, India
An Island populated only by beautiful women is the lair of Octopussy, in the eponymous Bond film, the 6th to star Roger Moore. The height of Bond gadgetry we see James approach this floating paradise in a crocodile submarine in pursuit of a priceless Faberge Egg. Lake Taj Palace in Udaipur floats on the tranquil Lake Pichola and is only accessible by boat- making it the perfect Bond escape from the hustle and bustle of India.