The “James Bond” franchise is way much more than just the character. So, if you really want to live the full 007 experience, here are the places you must go.
In 1962, the world got marveled at the very first James Bond movie. Dr. No, starring the one and only (and for many the best Bond ever) Sean Connery, was an immediate success that prompted the creation of a whole universe that is now celebrating 60 years.
Ever since the movies have served iconic moments, great villains, gorgeous Bond girls, amazing fashion, astounding cars, and, of course, unique destinations that have become 007 landmarks. So, if you’re looking to plan a unique vacation that will make you feel immersed in the agent’s universe, here are the best James Bond destinations you could add to your bucket list.
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Switzerland: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)
Switzerland has been used as a location for many action movies because of its impressive mountain landscapes and snowy slopes, especially for chase sequences. James Bond wasn’t the exception, and for this movie, one of the most gorgeous locations was the Piz Gloria, a revolving restaurant on Schilthorn’s summit.
The restaurant was featured as arch-villain Ernst Stavro Blofeld’s lair in the 1969 film, and the restaurant currently serves James Bond-themed menu items, has a Bond Museum, and a 007 trail.
Japan: You Only Live Twice (1967)
Ian Fleming, the author of the James Bond novels, used to travel a lot, and among his many expeditions, Japan got to influence his writing a lot. So, in 1967, they filmed parts of You Only Live Twice in really iconic parts of Tokyo where Bond set to get the bad guys.
Some of the key sceneries in Tokyo that appear in the film are the ultra-modern Hotel New Otani, the Shinmoedake volcano in Kirishima National Park (which was the villainous Blofeld’s lair), and 17th century Himeji Castle in Hyōgo Prefecture, used as the grand location for a ninja training school.
Jamaica: Dr. No (1962)
Laughing Water Beach in Jamaica was the setting for an iconic Bond scene, where Honey Ryder (played by Ursula Andress) emerges from the sea. The island has been featured many times since, including 1973′s Live and Let Die, where Jamaica doubled as the fictional San Monique.
This is because Ian Fleming wrote all 14 Bond books at his home in Oracabessa on the northeast coast. His tropical retreat is now an upscale resort where guests can stay in the author’s writing studio, currently called the Fleming Villa.
Dr. No also features the Dunns River Falls from Jamaica, spectacular rock pools and cascades that tumble down to the sea near Ocho Rios, and one of the country’s most popular sights and is featured in the movie as part of the fictional Crab Key Island.
The movie also featured the capital Kingston, where Sean Connery filmed several scenes, including at the Governor General’s mansion, King’s House.
Greece: For Your Eyes Only (1981)
The spectacular rock pillars of Meteora are one of Greece’s most unusual landscapes. Criss-crossed with ancient trails, the rocky outcrops rise out of the plains of Thessaly in central Greece and are home to one of the most important monastic communities in Europe. As well as being carved out with hermit caves, they’ve been crowned with lofty Eastern Orthodox monasteries since the Middle Ages.
The UNESCO World Heritage Site made an appearance in For Your Eyes Only when Roger Moore’s Bond scaled the sheer limestone cliff-face up to the Monastery of the Holy Trinity.
Six rock-top monasteries are still in operation, and it’s possible to visit them (without scaling the cliff, although the ascents are pretty steep). Guided hikes are a great way to discover the landscape and its old hermit caves and pilgrimage paths – and sunset is an especially magical time to take in the extraordinary “stone forest.”
Corfu’s gorgeous old town also played a starring role in For Your Eyes Only. Many action sequences were filmed around its imposing Old Fortress, a vast complex built by the Venetians that masqueraded as Albania in the movie. They were close: parts of this lush island are closer to Albania’s sandy shores than Greece’s mainland. Neo-classical mansion Achilleion Palace, just to the old town’s south, also featured as a casino; little village Pagi in the northwest was the setting for a car chase, and Corfu’s stunning coastline was a dramatic backdrop for some cliff-edge scuffles.
There are many more places to visit with this franchise, do you have any of them in mind, you’d like to know more about them? Let us know!