7 Stunning James Bond Locations ...


7 Stunning James Bond Locations ...
7 Stunning James Bond Locations ...

Did you ever stop to think about the particulars of the James Bond locations in the films? I find it totally amazing that 2012 is the 50th anniversary of James Bond. It is certainly the longest running film franchise, and it shows no signs of fading. As well as the high octane chases, beautiful women, murder and mayhem, for me, the James Bond filming locations are also part of the movies’ appeal. Not only does 007 get to stay in the very best 5-star hotels, travel by private jet, eat in the finest restaurants, and wear the best clothes from the finest tailors, but the filming locations are simply stunning. If you want to follow in the footsteps of the iconic spy, enjoy some of the luxury, and feel like a Bond Girl, here are 7 Stunning James Bond Locations.

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Jokulsarlon, Iceland

Jokulsarlon, Iceland The places associated with James Bond aren’t always the streets of iconic cities and stunning tropical beaches. Ice and snow are very often prominent features. One of the most beautiful James Bond locations is Jokulsarlon in the north of Iceland. Translated from Icelandic, the name means glacial river lagoon – pretty apt! The location was used for the icebergs in A View to a Kill and then again in Die Another Day, for that amazing car chase. If you visit in summer (May-September), you can take boat trips out onto the unfrozen water, which is 600m deep.


Himeji Castle, Japan

Himeji Castle, Japan UNESCO World Heritage listed Himeji castle as the setting for the Ninja training camp mastered by Japanese agent Tanaka in You Only Live Twice. The stunning castle is the largest in Japan and one of its most visited tourist attractions. Built way back in 1333, it underwent some remodeling in the late 1600s, and also managed to survive the bombs of World War II. Surrounded by 3 moats, and built in brilliant white, the castle is a network of more than 80 buildings. Filled with heritage, a number of its constructions and contents are designated National Treasures.


Ao Phang-Nga Marine National Park, Thailand

Ao Phang-Nga Marine National Park, Thailand This is surely one of the most stunningly beauteous of all the locations in James Bond movies. Now known locally as James Bond Island, Ko Phing Kan was the reclusive home of Francisco Scaramanger (Christopher Lee), the Man with the Golden Gun. The island is one of a few in the shallow bay that is simply paradise on earth. There are also 42 limestone monoliths that rise out of the crystal clear, turquoise waters. Take a boat tour but if you want to avoid the mass crowds (it’s a very popular trip), don’t go in December or January.


Udaipur, India

Udaipur, India Fancy lying around on a sun-kissed terrace shaded by mango trees? A stroll in a manicured courtyard? A dip in a cooling lake? Or unraveling your sari to scale the marble walls of a fantasy castle just like Maud Adams in Octopussy? By the way, in 50 years of James Bond did you know that Ms. Adams is the only Bond Girl to have appeared in 3 movies? But, that’s going off track. Octopussy’s famous female retreat is actually the luxury hotel, Taj Lake Palace on Jag Niwas Island in Udaipur, Rajasthan Province. And, it definitely has a James Bond price tag; rates start at $650+.


Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic

Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic The very fancy casino, the setting for a great deal of the action in Casino Royale, is in the movie, billed as being in the delightful small country of Montenegro. It is however, actually in Karlovy Vary, in near neighbour Czech Republic. The casino is in the Grandhotel Pupp, a grand Saxony hall, the construction of which began in 1701. Karlovy Vary (aka Karlsbad) is a wonderful spa town in a gorgeous mountain valley setting, brimming with history and culture. The town isn’t just used as locations for James Bond movies; it features heavily in home grown movies as well as The Last Holiday (Queen Latifah), Shanghai Knights (Jackie Chan) and Hostel II.


Vaux-Le-Vicomte, France

Vaux-Le-Vicomte, France The homes of Bond villains have been a pretty mixed bag – inside extinct volcanoes, luxury yachts, stealth boats to name a few – but no imagination or set dressing was needed for the most sumptuous of James Bond locations. The mansion that was used as the home of Hugo Drax in Moonraker, is the magnificently opulent Vaux-le-Vicomte chateau in Maincy, about 55 kms east of Paris. It is widely accepted as being the first example of the Louis XIV style. The chateau was built for Nicholas Fouquet, a senior French politician, and they actually demolished 3 villages to make his grand estate. Guided tours of the chateau are regularly available.


Goldeneye, Jamaica

Goldeneye, Jamaica If you are going to choose but one of the places associated with James Bond, it should be Goldeneye – the estate of the late creator of the super spy, Ian Fleming. Did you know that Ian Fleming also wrote Chitty Chitty Bang Bang? Turned into a luxury hotel by Chris Blackwell, the founder of Island Records, the Goldeneye estate is on the north coast of Jamaica, near to James Bond Beach in Mammee Bay. This is the location for the scene that put James Bond on the movie scene forever more, being the beach where Ursula Andress and her white bikini had men everywhere drooling, setting the pattern for a string of stunning women in 50 years of James Bond movies.

I really could go on for a long time. With it being the 50th anniversary of James Bond, there are rather a lot of movies - 22 actually – and a lot of places associated with James Bond. I can’t wait to watch Skyfall and see which wonderful locations they chose this time. My personal favorite is the beach on Paradise Island, The Bahamas - you know, the one where Daniel Craig comes out of the water! Have you visited any James Bond locations?

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