Here at Caribtours we’re all very excited (well at least I am) about the launch of Spectre, the 24th instalment of Bond film franchise. Growing up, I was hooked on the Bond films from an early age; it wasn’t just the fast cars, improbable gadgets and overblown villains that transfixed me. It was the impossibly exotic locations and glamourous hotels that provided a tantalising glimpse of a world far removed from the purview of a 12-year old growing up in a suburban semi-detached in Birmingham.
This is true not just of the films. Many of Fleming’s original novels read more like a travel guides than thrillers and he enthusiastically paints detailed and vivid portraits of each the regions that Bond visits.
It looks like Spectre is set to continue Bond’s globe-trotting exploits with scenes including the iconic Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebrations in Mexico City and a supercar chase through the streets of Rome. All of which lead us to think how many of the destinations in our portfolio have featured in the books or films and what an odyssey you could have if you let Bond take you on a journey…
This is where it all started with Ian Fleming, in the summer of 1952 at his estate Goldeneye, bashing out his first novel, Casino Royal, to distract himself from his forthcoming nuptials. However Jamaica was set to reappear again and again over the next 60 years. It was the key location in both the book and the film of Dr No (including the iconic scene featuring Ursula Andress emerging from the sea), it was the location for the villain's lair in the novel Live and Let Die and also doubled as the fictional island of San Monique, location of the famous double decker bus chase, in the film adaptation. It also features in the novel The Man with the Golden Gun and the short stories Octopussy and For Your Eyes Only.
See where Bond was born with a stay in The Fleming Villa at Goldeneye from £1,850 per night.
Bond's connections with the Bahamas are almost as numerous and varied as those with Jamaica. Both the novel and the film adaptation of Thunderball were set in Nassau including the famous scene involving a shark infested swimming pool and his escape through the island's Junkanoo carnival. The 1983 unofficial remake of Thunderball, Never Say Never Again starring Sean Connery, was also set on the island as was the Fleming short story Quantum of Solace. In 2006 the franchise returned with Daniel Craig staying in a stunning beachfront suite at the One&Only Ocean Club (Atlantis is also visible in the one of the scenes) and emerging from the sea in another iconic and well-remembered image. All of the scenes set in Madagascar were also shot in the Bahamas.
Live like Bond in the Beachfront Suite at One&Only Ocean Club from £3,645 per person per week.
In addition to its starring role in the latest instalment, the gritty Licence to Kill was mostly filmed in Mexico which doubled for the fictional Isthmus City. The spectacularly brash Villa Arabesque, the Aztec-styled Otomi Ceremonial Center in Temoaya and the amazing tanker chase through the Rumorosa Mountain Pass in Tecate are all particular highlights and it's well worth watching the film just for these if you've not seen it before.
Our Mexico holidays start at £1,115 per person including return scheduled flights and transfers.
Spectre may be the first outing for Bond in the eternal city of Rome, but Italy has been a popular playground for the world’s most famous spy, with Venice being a particular favourite. Appearing in no less than three films – From Russia with Love, Moonraker and Casino Royale, Bond is clearly a fan of the city’s elegant piazzas and timeless canals . Other Italian locations include the ancient city of Siena, backdrop of a chase in Quantum of Solace against the Palio di Siena horse race; and the winter playground of Cortina d’Ampezzo where Bond battles a psychotic biathlete in For Your Eyes Only.
Stay at the palatial Belmond Hotel Cipriani in Venice from £350 per night.
Fleming was a huge fan of the US and his novels, Live and Let Die, Diamonds are Forever and Goldfinger portray the vibrant, technicolour self-confidence of New York, Florida and Las Vegas in their mid-century heyday. The films also frequently visit the US with Miami starring in Goldfinger, Casino Royale and Licence to Kill, a trip to the circus in Las Vegas in Diamonds are Forever, a vertigo-inducing blimp battle San Francisco’s Golden Gate bridge in A View to A Kill and a trip through the underbelly of an unremittingly 1970s New York in Live and Let Die.
Get more Bond for your buck with a twin centre holiday exploring his haunts in the US and the Caribbean. Speak to our team for more details on their recommended options.
In an attempt to escape rain-soaked London and to solve the writer’s block with which he was suffering, Fleming took a holiday to the Seychelles where he spent his time snorkelling in the clear cobalt seas and chasing down the pirate treasure lore that is so popular among the locals. The rest-cure obviously worked as he penned his eighth Bond book whilst on the island, the short story collection For Your Eyes Only. The Seychelles made such an impression that he set one of the stories, The Hildebrand Rarity amongst the islands.
Be inspired with your own trip to the Seychelles from £1,365 per person including return scheduled flights and transfers.
For more information or inspiration call our friendly team on 020 7751 0660 or email us.