Who doesn't like the world's most famous spy? He gets to wear fancy suits, drive even fancier cars and cavort around with the world's most beautiful women. And, he gets to travel to all sorts of incredible places all around the world in the process.
As a traveler, James Bond definitely has bragging rights.
But you know what? You can actually visit a lot of the memorable places featured in your favorite James Bond films. Here are seven you definitely shouldn't miss:
James Bond is a spy for Mi6, meaning the character automatically has a tie to London not to mention that Bond author Ian Fleming was English, too. There are entire James Bond-themed tours in the city, with many that focus on locations featured in the latest Bond film, Skyfall. The London Film Museum also currently has an exhibit on called Bond in Motion, which shows off a bunch of original James Bond vehicles.
One memorable city that has been featured in a few Bond films is Istanbul: the East-meets-West hub of Turkey. In Skyfall, there's a motorbike chase through Istanbul's Old Town, including a chase on the roof of the famous Grand Bazaar. Istanbul also featured heavily in From Russia With Love, with memorable scenes taking place inside the Hagia Sophia and the underground basilica cistern.
We can all picture the scene of a dripping Ursula Andress emerging from the sea in a white bikini. The scene from Dr. No is one of the most famous Bond scenes of all time. And you can re-enact it where it was filmed, in Ocho Rios, Jamaica.
Heading to Thailand? Well be sure to book a day trip from Phuket or Krabi to Phang Nga Bay to see Ko Tapu, usually just referred to as James Bond Island. Featured in The Man With the Golden Gun, this tiny island served as the hideout of hitman Francisco Scaramanga (played by the always-impressive Christopher Lee). It's surrounded by equally impressive limestone rock formations for which this region of Thailand is so well known.
In Octopussy, Bond sneaks into the villain's lair on a floating palace filled with beautiful women. This place can be found in real-life on Lake Picchola in Udaipur, India. And it's actually a hotel the Taj Lake Palace. (And yes, it welcomes both women AND men in its ornate rooms.)
In the most recent Bond film, Skyfall, Scotland and its moody-looking Highlands feature heavily in the second half of the movie. Bond's family estate is located in Glencoe, surrounded by some of Scotland's best scenery. In the past, other locations in Scotland have also been featured in Bond films most notably Eilean Donan Castle, which was cast as the Scottish headquarters of Mi6 in The World is Not Enough.
Meteora translates to suspended in the air and that's exactly what's been done to the ancient monasteries here. Meteora and its cliff-top monasteries are worth a visit on their own. But, for James Bond fans, a visit to the Holy Trinity Monastery is a must it was featured in For Your Eyes Only, when Bond climbed up the cliff face and into the villain's hideout.
Which Bond location would YOU most like to visit?
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Graduate student by day and avid traveler and blogger by night (and on weekends and during holidays), Amanda is just a small-town Ohio girl trying to balance a "normal" life with a desire to discover the world beyond her Midwest bubble. Amanda's adventurous nature and inability to say "no" have led her to some pretty amazing adventures all around the world. But she has no desire to stop exploring anytime soon. Read Amanda's blog, A Dangerous Business, or follow her on Facebook, Twitter or Google Plus.
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