Bond Movies: The Most Exotic Locations
Locations for Bond movies have always been anything but boring, as the franchise has been known to pick the most exotic locations in the world. Five months ago, I set out to research the most novel and breathtaking locations in the 007 series, and have only just been able to decide on the following.
You may not agree with all my choices, but that’s exactly what they are – my choices. These aren’t put in any specific order, as it would be impossible to rate any of these locations over another. They’ve all got their own, special magic.
Please note, when I say the films are ‘set’ in the locations, I do not mean that they are wholly set in that particular place. I’m simply referring to a specific part of the movie. As we all know, Bond films are generally set in several different locations. This is simply because 007 travels around the world, with high tech gadgets, cavorting with attractive bond girls, (discussed here) and saving the universe.
The ninth James Bond Film, The Man with the Golden Gun, was filmed on this fabulous island group. It was released in 1974 and starred Roger Moore (in his second role) as the MI6 spy.
This island is one of 39 in the local area, and is Thailand’s largest. It’s roughly about the size of Singapore. Phuket is connected to the mainland by a bridge, which makes it easily accessible to the large amount of tourists visiting each year. The public response was so favourable after Phuket was used as a location for this James Bond movie, that the island Ko Tapu, seen in the backdrop of several key scenes in the movie, was renamed James Bond Island. Phuket has since been remembered as one of the most popular and iconic locations for the Bond films.
The thirteenth spy film, Octopussy, was set in Udiapur. This film was made in 1983, and starred Roger Moore as the shaken not stirred, martini drinker.
The princely city of Udaipur is steeped in royal history and family rulership. It’s the historical capital of a kingdom previously known as Mewar, and is considered to be the place to visit, if you’re interested in lakes and unique palaces. One of the most famous and stunning royal family homes is Lake Palace, which covers an entire island. This palace (and many others on Udiapur) has now been converted into an exclusive hotel – the perfect exotic setting for a Bond movie.
The walls of the former palace were built to drop into the water; a feature which, in Octopussy, gave the impression of a large white ship. Bond’s fans were also given a view of India’s most well-known site, the Taj Mahal, when the plot called for the MI6 spy to visit the temple on his way to the island.
The Living Daylights, the last film to be based on an Ian Fleming book until Casino Royale, nineteen years later, was filmed on the rock of Gibraltar. It was the fifteenth Bond film in the exciting series, and starred Timothy Dalton in his first role as the lady-magnetic-spy.
Gibraltar is a British territory in the Iberian Peninsula. It shares a border with Spain, and is the site of a Royal Navy base. The Rock of Gibraltar is featured in the movie as James Bond and two of his colleagues carefully parachute onto it for a practice run to test its security, only to be instantly and violently attacked. 007’s mates soon get killed, leaving him to do what he does best, save the world .
Bimini Islands, Bahamas
Licence to Kill, was the last film to be produced by film producer, Albert Broccoli. It was filmed on the fabulous location of the Bimini Islands in 1989. It followed The Living Daylights and also starred Timothy Dalton as 007.
Home of Earnest Hemmingway, Bimini has always been a fascinating and compelling place to visit. It is part of Bahamas, but because of the way the series of Islands are laid out, Bimini happens to be the closest one to mainland USA.
Bimini made an excellent background for Licence to Kill. Shaken and stirred with the legends of the hidden fountain of youth, and the Bermuda triangle, there couldn’t have been a more intriguingly magical place for this story to be set.
image source (Sebastien Foucan co-founder of free running)
In 2006, the twenty-first film of the James Bond series was resurrected. Casino Royale, starred Daniel Craig as James Bond, and was the third screen adaptation of Ian Fleming’s novel by the same name (it was first produced as a TV show in 1954, then as a film in 1967).
Mbale is the main town in Southeastern Uganda. This is where the early foot-chase scene in Casino Royale is set. Even though Daniel Craig himself is not physically there, no one could begrudge the excellent mood and tone, this perfectly executed piece of cinematography added to the movie. That scene, set in Mbale, is one of the most impressive (if not the most) impressive foot chase scene ever seen in a movie. Check here for more on this exciting scene (including readers’ comments).
Dr No, the very first film of the James Bond series, starred Sean Connery as the agent 007. It was released in 1962 and is set in Jamaica.
This Caribbean Island had been the home of Ian Fleming, the series’ creator, for many years. So it was only natural that the first film be set in this exotic and exciting location. Today on the Island, in memory of the talented and much loved writer, there is a hotel called Goldeneye, which is Fleming’s former home, and a beach called James Bond Beach.
With Dr No, there is one tiny spoiler secret though, so if you do not want to know about it, look away now. The raunchy scene where Ursula Andress walks out of the water clad in a skimpy white bikini, although set in Jamaica, was filmed on location on the Florida Keys.
Now if there was ever an exotic location for a film, New Orleans is it! For me, even an ordinary day in New Orleans, is like being on a film set. Live and Let Die, was filmed in 1973 and starred Roger Moore in his first role as James Bond, when Sean Connery refused to let even the beautiful bond girls entice him to return to the fictional spy games. It was the eight film in the series, and it sparked public controversy when a black actress, Rosie Carver, was chosen to play Bond’s romantic interest.
New Orleans has always been a place steeped in rumours of drugs and voodoo. Add to this a backdrop of the carnival spirit, jazz and blues, and the old traditions of the swamps of Louisiana, and you’ve got yourself a perfect concoction of a superbly tantalizing setting. All this is almost palatable when you add in a top-speed boat chase.
Other exotic Bond Locations:
image source ( for the following images)
You Only Live Twice, the fifth in the series, was filmed in 1967 and starred Sean Connery as the MI6, as the Ian Fleming-created spy.
Verzasca Dam, Switzerland
In Golden Eye, Pierce Brosnan steels himself to leap from the 220m high dam.
Casino Royale – Daniel Craig (Yes, yes, I know I’ve done Casino Royale up there, but I couldn’t resist showing a picture of D.C in the water).
Rio de Janeiro
Sugar Loaf Mountain- Moonraker, and Roger Moore prepares to get a kiss from Jaws.
This has taken me a long time, but I’m now satisfied that these are some of the most exotic locations I’ve seen on screen. Thanks to James Bond and his galavanting ways, we’re able to see a lot of the places in the world, we may never be able to visit.