The 24th film in the James Bond franchise, Spectre, is just about to hit the cinemas here in the USA. Bond is a well-known spy who gallivants the world. He spends his time in exotic locals chasing the bad guys and entertaining stunning women at the same time. It all sounds great for the most part, though in real life, it’s harder to replicate. You can, however, still travel James Bond style by visiting some of these incredible spots around the globe. Here are some of the best travel destinations for James Bond fans.
Best Travel Destinations for James Bond Fans
The United Kingdom
Our first among our list of best travel destinations for James Bond fans is United Kingdom. Commander James Bond is British, calling London his home base. Naturally, there are dozens of scenes filmed around London from the imposing Lego-like MI6 headquarters on Vauxhall to exterior images of Whitehall. The franchise is also keen on highlighting the city’s most popular attractions including The National Gallery where James Bond met the new, and much younger “Q” on Skyfall and Somerset House, which stood as the Ministry of Defense building in Tomorrow Never Dies. Bond also enjoys the countryside, particularly Buckinghamshire, where you too can spend the night at the Saracen’s Head Inn and play a round of golf at Stoke Park. You can also retrace Bond’s roots by visiting Glencoe, where Bond’s father was from. To travel in true James Bond style, take a luxury rental car (preferably an Aston Martin) and drive from London to Glencoe on the A82, following the same route he and “M” took in Skyfall.
Jamaica was the winter home of Ian Fleming for several decades. The character of James Bond was conceived there in a house he named “Goldeneye.” That same house is now a luxury hotel where you can book a stay, waking up to the same views Fleming saw of Oracabessa Bay. His adoration for Jamaica was reflected when beachside sceneries from the northern part of the country were feature prominently in earlier films. Areas around Kingston were also highlighted in at least three films including The Man With a Golden Gun, Live and Let Die, and Dr. No.
The most recent memory of James Bond in the Bahamas was in Casino Royale, however, the spy’s love affair with the islands started way before the arrival of Daniel Craig. Just like Jamaica, fans of the series can travel James Bond style and recreate moments from the movies. Check-in for a night’s stay at the luxurious One and Only Ocean Club in Paradise Island just like Bond in Casino Royale then go underwater diving at Coral Harbour where you’ll likely be reminded of scenes from The Spy Who Loved Me. Finally, catch a romantic sunset on Clifton Pier and if you play your cards right, you might get more than you bargained for just like Bond did on Thunderball.
You might not be permitted to recreate the motorcycle chase on Skyfall, atop Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar, but you can certainly walk the winding and twisted streets near Eminou Square and shop at one of the several hundred indoor stalls within the bazaar. For a more panoramic view of Istanbul though, take a cruise or ferry along the Bosporus Strait where you can stop and explore the medieval structure, the Maiden’s Tower. This is where “M” was imprisoned in The World Is Not Enough, though none of the cold and haunted scenes are visible today. Visitors instead, will have the opportunity to dine at the restaurant on the first floor, or grab a quick snack at the café on top of the tower. Both locations feature excellent views.
James Bond certainly has a love affair with the Caribbean, but when it comes to a country closer to home, he’s partial to Italy. Travel James Bond style from the city of Venice, where you can ride a gondola with your significant other, to Lake Como where you can visit the villa he recuperated in after getting his balls scratched by the villainous Le Chiffre in Casino Royale. From there, head southwards to Tuscany, into the medieval town of Siena, where you can watch the infamous Palio Racehorse just like Bond did in Quantum of Solace, and finally make your way down to Rome, perusing the wide lanes of Corso Vittorio Emanuele II and stopping by The Vatican. The Eternal City features prominently in the latest film, Spectre.
One can argue that next to blowing up buildings, skiing is James Bond’s favorite activity. Ever since the first film, Dr. No, Bond is seen to be hitting the slopes and sporting fashionable outfits to boot. For skiing, one of the best travel destinations for James Bond fans is Austria — particularly Sölden, Obertilliach, and Lake Altaussee, all of which are featured in the 24th Bond instalment.