007 ways to see the world like James Bond

007 ways to see the world like James Bond

Published: 26 October 2012 Editor: Alex Stewart

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Bond is back. The release of Skyfall sees 007 back in action with some familiar trademarks. Guns? Check. Car chases? Check. Creepy villain? Check. Cool gadgets and glamorous girls? Check and check. There's also the obligatory tourism and country-hopping we've become accustomed to.

In the past, Bond's gambled in Monte Carlo, watched pesky Plenty O'Toole thrown out of a hotel window in Las Vegas, joined a jazz funeral in New Orleans, raced his Aston against a Mustang through the Alps, escaped down a ski jump in the Dolomites, duked it out with an adversary on the Orient Express, variously seduced his enemy's girlfriend and faced off with a shark in the Bahamas and seen Grace Jones parachute from the Eiffel Tower.

This time the action unfolds in London, Istanbul, Shanghai, Macau and Scotland. To celebrate the launch of the 23rd outing of everyone's favourite secret agent, we round-up how to see the world like James Bond. Whilst we can't guarantee you an exploding pen or Ursula Andress, we can show you where to head to for the prefect martini.


Istanbul Turkey

The high-octane opening sequence of Skyfall sees James Bond causing chaos in Istanbul. Bond film producer Barbara Broccoli claims it was Ian Fleming's favourite city and it's been the backdrop before in both From Russia With Love and The World Is Not Enough.

In the latest instalment, motorbikes tear across the roof of the Grand Bazaar, whilst Eminonu Square and the New Mosque also take a battering at the hands of Bond. The film does showcase the Old Quarter beautifully though.

In previous films, the Byzantine Hagia Sophia mosque was the focal point for From Russia With Love; Sean Connery sailed beneath the Basilica Cistern in Sultanahmet Square to eavesdrop on the Russian Consulate in the same film.


Siena Italy

Quantum of Solace bursts into action as Bond races through the streets and tunnels close to Lake Garda in an Aston Martin before chasing down a double-crossing bodyguard amidst the chaos of the Il Palio horserace, which takes place in Siena city centre twice a year (July and Aug), with brightly costumed riders cantering around the ancient Piazza del Campo.

The Italian capital, Venice, with its atmospheric canals and air of romance and mystery also makes several appearances in bond films, including Casino Royale, where Bond and Vesper Lynd cruise into the city on board an elegant yacht that moors up at Cipriani, one of the finest hotels in town. Predictable chaos ensues though, featuring the collapse of an entire palazzo and the death of Vesper.


Taj Lake Palace Hotel India

The iconic white-marble Taj Lake Palace Hotel doubled as Octopussy's stronghold in the film of the same name. Since fearsome, lithesome women kitted out in spandex and sporting blue octopus tattoos defended the eighteenth century maharaja's palace, which appears to float on Udaipur's Lake Pichola, Bond was forced to sneak into the palace disguised as a crocodile.

These days access is easier and the welcome warmer but the hotel, remains a picture of elegant sophistication. For spectacular views over the city at sunset head up to exiled Afghan prince Kamal Khan's hilltop lair, the Monsoon Palace, also known as Sajjan Garh.


Phang Nga Bay Thailand

Sean Connery flies over spectacular Phang Nga Bay and its sliver-shaped limestone pinnacles in The Man With The Golden Gun, as he tries to track down Scaramanga; the assassin, who uses golden bullets to kill his targets, had a lair on Ko Tapu, an island in the Bay that's now known as James Bond Island.

See the site of Scaramanga's solar power plant, where he tried to harness the power of the sun for destructive purposes, but avoid the beach where Christopher Lee's triple-nippled hitman challenges Bond to a duel, unless you're a sharp shooter.


Sugaerloaf Mountain Rio de Janeiro Brazil

In the rather cartoonish Moonraker, Roger Moore asks the Bond girl of the moment 'How do you kill five hours in Rio...if you don't samba?".

Later, having spied on Hugo Drax's mysterious cargo planes from the summit of Sugarloaf Mountain, Bond battles the 7' goliath Jaws, he of the lethal orthodonture, on the roof of a cable car strung high above Rio de Janeiro's Guanabara Bay. He makes his spectacular escape by sliding down the cable with high-heeled astrophysicist and CIA agent Holly Goodhead, as you would.


Himeji-jo Castle Japan

In You Only Live Twice, the Japanese secret service leader Tiger Tanaka hosts a secret ninja training camp at Himeji-jo Castle in Hyogo Prefecture. The stunning 16th century castle makes an excellent backdrop.

Sean Connery disguises himself as Japanese and discovers the location of Blofeld's hideout, which turns out to be hidden in a hollowed-out volcano in Kirishima National Park, on Kyushu. Along with Tanaka's ninjas he attacks the hideout, which is destroyed, although Blofeld escapes.


Agia Triada Monastery Greece

For Your Eye's Only featured an extraordinary villain's lair; Aristotle Kristatos looked to take over the world from the Agia Triada Monastery, built in 1483 atop a high rock tower north of Kalambaka in central Greece.

Roger Moore climbs the vertical cliffs whilst Bond girl Melina Havelock is hoisted up in a basket before offing the bad guys with a crossbow. Although the Greek orthodox monks traditionally ascended this way, you can in fact stumble up 140 vertiginous steps in order to tour the monastery these days.

Or, to see where the books were written and to take in the setting for one of the most iconic moments...


Laughing Waters Beach Jamaica

Ian Fleming used to retreat here to write his novels and unsurprisingly Bond is a big fan of Jamaica's white-sand beaches, coffee, crocodile farms, phosphorescent caves and jungle waterfalls. The spectacular seafront house at Oracabessa Bay that features in Goldeneye, was in fact built by Fleming and is now part of the exclusive Goldeneye Resort.

More iconically, in Dr No Ursula Andress emerges from the Caribbean in that bikini, conch shell in hand and singing 'Underneath the Mango Tree', on Laughing Waters Beach near Ocho Rios, which stood in for Crab Key, the island hideaway of the eponymous baddie, whose base was at the Kaiser Terminal cruise port; later, Bond gets up close and personal with Honey Ryder under a waterfall at Dunn's River Falls before escaping with the girl and destroying the lair.

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