Published on December 9th, 2015 | by Chris Girdler
Bond, James Bond: how to travel like 007
Read time: a bit over 2 minutes
Another James Bond film, another high-octane race around the world.
The release of Spectre has the usual trappings you’d expect from the 007 franchise: a couple of potential love interests AKA ‘Bond girls’, a near-unstoppable henchman that delivers gruesome deaths and a cat-stroking villain who tortures his victims with micro-drills. It also pulls together an eye-popping trip around the world – here’s how to do the full Spectre itinerary in style, but without the car chases and pressure of being a professional assassin.
The capital of Mexico is worth a visit any time of year, but if you’re going to follow in the steps of Bond, you need to be here in late October for its most celebrated festival: The Day of the Dead. Before you apply the skull make-up, make sure you book flights and accommodation early. Fingers crossed secret agents won’t be playing silly buggers with helicopters while you’re there.
A standard stop-off point in a Bond film and often a standard stop-off on a Europe-centric trip. The usual Westminster sights get a look-in, but a revisit to London is a great excuse to check out all of the new buildings that are cropping up. Posing as the new-look Centre for National Security in Spectre, the bulbous, energy-efficient City Hall is yet another Norman Foster triumph.
Rome & the Vatican
You don’t need a fast car and a villain on your tail to enjoy the narrow roads of Rome & Vatican City. In fact, it will be much more enjoyable if you just meander the lanes at your own pace and stop into a few coffee bars as you go. If you want to retrace Bond’s scorched tire marks, check out the Via delle Conciliazione in front of St Paul’s Basilica, the Ponte Sisto, the Theatre of Marcello and Garibaldi Street (near the Colosseum). If you’re looking for the Spectre HQ though, you’ll be disappointed: it was filmed at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire.
November in Austria is a good time for skiing, so do as Bond does and hit the snow in the Sölden region. The striking Hoffler Klinik, a mountaintop medical clinic where we meet Bond girl #2, is in reality the Ice Q building. Here, you can have one of the region’s best dining experiences, of your budget allows (not all of us are on spy pay).
The action moves to the port city of Tangier, where our heroes stay at the fictional hotel, L’American (a redressed palace). Before looping back to London, the almost-final act moves from Tangiers to ‘the middle of nowhere’. Good luck finding the villian’s hideout – it was a specially built set in the middle of the Sahara outside of the town of Erfoud. Maybe just ride a camel and camp under the stars instead.