In Depth

Holiday in style at these James Bond locations

Enjoy the beauty of the world's top destinations without the villains, the car chases or the intrigue

For more than half a century now, Bond movies have delighted cinema audiences worldwide with their thrilling mix of action and great storytelling. But for some 007 aficionados, it's the glamorous locations that really stand out.

Bond's job isn't without risks, but nor is it without rewards and travel certainly has to be up there as a perk for the spy with a licence to kill. The franchise has brought many of the world's most desirable destinations to our screens and it's a crying shame 007 wasted so many golden opportunities to enjoy them and decided to chase criminals instead.

If you're more drawn to the film locations than the smooth spy himself, then these are the places for you:

The Bahamas 

The Bahamas has featured in so many Bond films that the islands have become as associated with the franchise as the UK itself. Thunderball, The Spy Who Loved Me and Never Say Never Again all have scenes in the Caribbean archipelago, perhaps most memorably when Daniel Craig's Bond emerged from the sea in 2006's Casino Royale.

The Daily Telegraph calls The Bahamas' beaches "spectacular attractions" and "stunning, with pink coral fragments creating a blushing effect on the soft, white sand".

Siena, Italy

Quantum of Solace shows the famous Palio di Siena, a horse race held twice a year (2 July and 16 August) at the Piazza del Campo, the historic centre of Siena. When director Marc Forster first filmed the scenes, he wasn't 100 per cent sure how they were going to fit into the film as the script had not been completed. It's testament to Siena's unique charm that he tailored the film to include it.

The Palio is "wildly exciting and dangerous", a "Renaissance Rollerball", says The Guardian. Bond gets too distracted chasing criminals to pick a horse and cheer on the race, but hopefully that won't get in your way. Come for the Palio and stay in the beautiful city of Siena in the heart of Tuscany.

Jamaica

Jamaica is "the island that defined James Bond", says the Daily Telegraph. Dr No, Live and Let Die and The Man with the Golden Gun were all set there, while Ian Fleming's estate, "GoldenEye", is based in the small town of Oracabessa. Now open for bookings, you can enjoy a stay at the Fleming Villa and make use of its satellite cottages, pool house and private beach.

Udaipur, India

Several palaces in and around Udaipur in India were used in Octopussy, most notably the impressive Shiv Niwas Palace that featured as Bond's hotel. The town is set around Lake Picchola in the Aravalli hills so finding somewhere to stay on the waterfront won't be too much of a challenge.

Conde Nast Traveller recommends the Taj Lake Palace: "The marble palace appears to float on the shimmering surface of the lake."

Khao Phing Kan, Thailand 

Thailand is already one of the world's most desirable holiday destinations and the beautiful backdrop it provided for The Man with the Golden Gun and Tomorrow Never Dies shows why. Khao Phing Kan is now popularly referred to as "James Bond Island". You'd be better off staying in or around nearby Phuket, which is just a short boat ride away, and dropping in when you feel like secret agent action.

AnotherTraveler recommends arriving by speedboat. which is "much faster and a lot more fun" and, of course, the 007 thing to do. The fishing villages, caves and limestone cliffs are reminiscent of Ha Long Bay in north-east Vietnam, but there's more to offer here in the way of beaches and blue skies.

Paris, France 

Paris is a popular tourist destination, with some of the world's most celebrated museums and galleries, as well as countless restaurants and bars. But it also has its own stake in Bond history, featuring in Thunderball and A View to a Kill, in which May Day dramatically jumps off the Eiffel Tower to flee 007.

The Daily Telegraph recommends the Hotel Mathis, praising its "mythical four-star address", "glamorous Art Deco past" and "sophisticated hotel bar and restaurant, [which is] a legend in its own right".

Recommended

Santo Maris: rest and renewal in Santorini
Santo Maris Santorini
The big trip

Santo Maris: rest and renewal in Santorini

Sleep in style: new hotels and places to stay
Orchard Hideaways
The big trip

Sleep in style: new hotels and places to stay

The Bond market: 007’s economic impact
Daniel Craig and Ana de Armas in No Time to Die
Expert’s view

The Bond market: 007’s economic impact

The new simplified UK travel rules explained
Heathrow arrivals
Getting to grips with . . .

The new simplified UK travel rules explained

Popular articles

Insulate Britain: what do they want?
Insulate Britain protesters
Profile

Insulate Britain: what do they want?

The tally of Covid-19 vaccine deaths examined
Boy receiving Covid vaccine
Getting to grips with . . .

The tally of Covid-19 vaccine deaths examined

‘Missing’ man joins search party looking for himself
Turkish police
Tall Tales

‘Missing’ man joins search party looking for himself

The Week Footer Banner