Renowned for its iconic opening titles, scantily clad women (not to mention Daniel Craig in those blue shorts) and rousing theme tunes, James Bond has been an icon on our screens since the sixties.
And with the release of the latest film, No Time To Die, fast approaching, we’ve been getting itchy feet to travel to some of the film’s locations. From exotic beaches to regal palaces, cityscapes to Alpine views, the Bond films offer no shortage of wanderlust.
You want to make sure your trip leaves you stirred, but not shaken, so if you don’t quite have the same financial means as Bond, work out your finances before you book anything. A fee-free credit card to use abroad is a good place to start.
Ocho Rios, Jamaica
It’s no secret that Ian Fleming loved the Caribbean. GoldenEye, his villa in Jamaica, eventually lent its name to the resort where you can now enjoy your own slice of luxury, complete with outdoor showers, butler service and private outdoor dining. And it was his love of the glorious beaches, sunny days, and laidback atmosphere that provided the perfect setting for Dr No.
While the film is the first time we get to see 007 in the flesh, it’s the image of Ursula Andress wading out of the ocean onto the deserted beach that lingers in most peoples’ memories.
Cote d’Azur, France
James Bond has long been associated with the Cote d’Azur, heading to Juan-Les-Pins to recuperate after a particularly difficult mission. Situated between Nice and Cannes, the sleepy Juan-Les-Pins is the chicest place to stay. As the sun sets, take the winding coastal roads to Monte Carlo for a night at the decadent Casino.
Make like Bond in GoldenEye and play a game of baccarat, or take turn around the dancefloor à la Never Say Never Again. If a trip to the casino isn’t your thing, you can wander around the harbour of Villefranche-sur-Mer and follow in Sean Connery’s footsteps.
Bernese Oberland, Switzerland
Containing perhaps one of the most iconic backdrops in the series of spy films, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service sees James Bond come face-to-face with his arch nemesis, Ernst Blofeld. And in one of cinema’s most memorable chase scenes, Bond escapes the clutches of Blofeld and his henchmen by skiing through the stunning Swiss Alps.
With so many ski resorts to choose from, you’re sure the find the perfect one that inspires you to ski like Bond.
Khao Phing Kan, Thailand
If you’re looking for the ultimate exotic escape that encapsulates all the Bond vibes, look no further than James Bond Island, also known as Khao Phing Kan. The view from the beach, where the rock formation Koh Tapu pierces the water, is one of Thailand’s most iconic images. It’s also the setting for one of the most legendary scenes in the film’s franchise − the nail-biting pistol dual between Bond and Scaramanga takes place in The Man With The Golden Gun.
Located to the northeast of Phuket, you can catch a boat and enjoy a day trip to the island from either Phuket or Krabi – but choose an early tour to avoid the crowds.
A list about iconic Bond locations wouldn’t be complete without London. If you’re a real Bond fan but you’re on a budget (or perhaps you’re saving for a DB7), and you still want to follow in the spies footsteps, then a trip to the city Bond calls home is a must.
Head to Somerset House along the Thames, and discover the scene from GoldenEye or take the tube to St Pancras Station, another location from the GoldenEye film. And of course, the real MI6 HQ can be seen in many of the later James Bond films, situated on the south bank next to the Vauxhall Bridge.