Are you a die-hard James Bond fan mourning the death of the original movie actor? Are you tired of waiting for the next film in the franchise, which has been delayed again by the pandemic? In honor of Sean Connery, who played the neat secret agent on screen seven times and died in the Bahamas on October 31, and while you wait for No Time To Die, take a virtual tour of the locations where classic Bond movies have been shot over the years. Known for his tuxedos, rattle-proof martinis, Aston Martin luxury cars and gadgets (courtesy of Q), the British secret agent, starting with Connery in 1962, has consistently thwarted villains on adventures in far-flung, exotic locations.
Dunn’s River Falls
Ocho Rios, Jamaica
In almost every adventure the secret agent finds himself on a beautiful tropical island with an equally attractive woman. Many remember Sean Connery in the first Bond movie, Dr. No (1962), with Ursula Andress and her famous white bikini. The place is a popular vacation spot, but when you visit it, don’t expect to find it quite as secluded as James and his Bond girl did.
Practicing martial arts is important to keep 007 in fighting form, and he visits a dojo in You Only Live Twice (1967, Sean Connery) to keep his skills sharp. In reality, the castle, which is located outside Kyoto, is not used as a dojo, but visitors can visit the historical site and tour the grounds.
Battle scenes in places where blood is pumped are an integral part of the Bond films. Skyfall (2012, Daniel Craig) begins with a motorcycle chase through Istanbul, and the scene reaches its climax with a fistfight on a moving train crossing the Varda Viaduct, a stone bridge 320 feet above a rocky gorge. Take a train over the bridge along the Baghdad railroad line, but be sure to stay in the train car.
Tsing Lung Tau, Hong Kong
In The Man With the Golden Gun (1974, Roger Moore), Bond infiltrates these gardens at night, which were intended as the private residence of Hai Fat, and takes out guards in the process. In fact, the place is a private garden founded by Dr. Lee Iu-Cheung and now owned by Lumina College, which occasionally offers guided tours, probably with less security than 007.
The Alps, Switzerland
In the film classic Goldfinger (1964, Sean Connery), Bond races along these precarious cliffs in pursuit of the villain. The sharp curves and breakneck speeds in vintage cars make this an adrenaline-fuelled scene. You can drive the same road (at a much slower pace), but it’s a region known for snow, so be careful!
Cerro Paranal, Chile
The villains of Quantum of Solace (2008) meet in a hotel in the desert to complete their plans, and Bond (Daniel Craig) is there with his Bond girl (played by Olga Kurylenko) to foil their plans. In real life, the hotel is located in the Paranal Observatory in the Atacama Desert, in an area known for amazing stargazing and breathtaking landscapes. Just don’t get stranded in the desert like Dominic Greene.
Casino of Monte Carlo
Monte Carlo, Monaco
What would Bond be without a well-fitting tux and an extravagant casino? Visit the same hotel and casino that the secret agent visited both in Never Say Never Again (1983, Sean Connery) and GoldenEye (1995, Pierce Brosnan). High rollers can participate in tournaments for Texas Hold’em, Roulette and Baccarat (a favorite of Bond’s) with prizes up to 500,000 Euros.
Giza Pyramid Complex
The pyramids serve as a beautiful and eerily lit setting for the murder of an informant by the henchman Jaws (the man with the steel teeth) in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977). This iconic destination outside of Cairo didn’t need any help from Bond to put it on the map, but fans can enjoy the added bonus of exploring the area in preparation for this Roger Moore movie.
Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum
Key West, Florida
In the lesser known film Licence to Kill (1989) starring Timothy Dalton, Bond chases his enemy into Mexico, with a stopover and collision with his boss M in Key West. The building – known for its beautiful architecture and the nearly 50 cats that live there – was also the home of Ernest Hemingway’s author.