Double-0 heaven

Reel deal ... the Lake Palace hotel.
Reel deal ... the Lake Palace hotel. Photo: Getty Images

Ute Junker picks the best destinations from 50 years of Bond films.

001 Jamaica

The film: Dr No

Breathtaking ... Ursula Andress emerges from Jamaican waters in <i>Dr No</i>.
Breathtaking ... Ursula Andress emerges from Jamaican waters in Dr NoPhoto: AFP

Few people rack up frequent-flyer points like 007: in most of his films, he careens between far-flung locations like a pinball. In the first Bond film, however, almost all the action takes place in Jamaica. Which is appropriate, as Jamaica played a key role in the James Bond legend: it's where Ian Fleming wrote all the Bond novels.

Jamaica is also home to the most authentic Bond holiday of all. Fleming's private estate on the island's north coast, Goldeneye, is now a boutique collection of cliff-top villas. The resort's 7.2 hectares of verdant greenery are guarded by Ramsey, a gardener who has worked the estate since Fleming's day. The flagship Fleming Villa, where he wrote all 14 Bond novels, is the pick of the bunch, with three bedrooms, a private swimming pool and a private beach.

If that's not enough Bond action for you, head to Laughing Waters beach at Ocho Rios, where Ursula Andress famously emerged from the waves. Technically it's a private beach but you'll find that doesn't stop the locals.

Roger Moore, as Bond, does battle with Jaws in Rio de Janeiro.
Roger Moore, as Bond, does battle with Jaws in Rio de Janeiro. 

Hold the martini: It's Jamaica, mon. Have a rum punch and you'll find everything is irie.

Q's tip: Agent 007 has used a variety of gadgets to protect himself but sometimes low-tech is the way to go. Pack your SPF 30 and you'll have all the protection you need.

002 Swedish Lapland

The film: Die Another Day

Yes, yes, we know. The spectacular Ice Palace - which Pierce Brosnan smashes up in a death-defying car chase - is supposedly in Iceland. But I'll let you in on a little secret: while there are a number of ice hotels around the world, none of them is in Iceland. And since producer Barbara Broccoli got her inspiration from pictures of the Ice Hotel in Swedish Lapland, that is the one we are going with.

Made of 30,000 cubic metres of snow and 3000 tonnes of ice, the hotel is only open between December and April - after that, it melts away. It may not be quite as grand as the 007 version but, with its vaulted ceilings and doors clad with reindeer skin, it's impressive nonetheless. And it's surprisingly warm - although it's only heated to minus 5 degrees, that feels pretty toasty when it's minus 37 degrees outside. Best of all, the winter landscapes offer plenty of opportunities to unleash your inner Bond. Take charge of a team of huskies, go moose trekking on a snowmobile or, if you really want to take it to overdrive, put a Saab through its paces on a specially built ice track. OK, it's not an Aston Martin - but it's still a thrill.

Hold the martini: Actually, no - go ahead and order the vodka martini. It'll never taste better than one served in a "glass" made of ice.

Q's tip: Baby, it's cold inside. Pack the hand-warmers.

003 Rio de Janeiro

The film: Moonraker

Even by Bond standards, Rio de Janeiro makes for an exhilarating destination. There's the city's natural beauty - just look at the views as Roger Moore fights the villainous Jaws on a cable car. There are the friendly locals - riotous Carnival dancers inadvertently save 007's life when they force Jaws to dance with them down an alley. And then there are the spacious accommodations, which seem to impress even Bond, who, as he surveys his suite, remarks: "If I get lost, I'll call a taxi."

Best of all, this particular Bond adventure is fairly easy to replicate. The views you enjoy on the cable car trip to the top of Sugarloaf Mountain are as spectacular as those in the film. Even if you're not here at Carnival, you can samba away with the locals in one of the city's funky nightclubs - we love the Rio Scenarium. And as for glamorous hotel suites, the Copacabana Palace - across the road from the world-famous beach - will not disappoint.

Hold the martini: There's nothing more authentically Brazilian than a caipirinha cocktail - it's a samba in your mouth.

Q's tip: Brazil is the home of the itsy-bitsy teeny-weeny bikini, so if you're planning to spend some quality time on Rio's beautiful beaches, pack your very chicest swimwear. The blokes, as well.

004 Japan

The film: You Only Live Twice

It's hard to choose the most memorable scene in this film: we're torn between Sean Connery dying and Connery being turned into an unlikely-looking Japanese peasant. The scenes at Tiger Tanaka's private ninja training school are also pretty spectacular. In real life the building is the 17th-century Himeji Castle, one of Japan's most popular tourist attractions. However, you may want to hold off visiting for a while - the UNESCO World Heritage site is undergoing a large-scale restoration that won't be finished until 2015.

The good news, however, is that the stunning extinct volcano that covers Blofeld's private hideout is open for visitors. Head for Kirishima National Park, one of Japan's most scenic areas. Hike through the verdant forests and refresh yourself with a dip in one of the many crater lakes. Sadly, we can't promise Tiger Tanaka's army of willing nymphets will be on hand to assist with back scrubs.

Hold the martini: A little-known fact revealed in this film is that 007 has a first from Oxford in oriental languages. So naturally, he knows to drink his sake at the correct temperature: 98.4 degrees Fahrenheit (36.89 degrees). Make sure you do the same.

Q's tip: Bond gets a lift on Tanaka's private train but, unless you have friends in similarly high places, your best bet for riding the local rail network - both convenient and comfortable - is investing in a Japan Rail Pass. Superior class, of course.

005 Vienna

The film: The Living Daylights

Bond usually arrives in style. But not this time. When Timothy Dalton and cellist Kara Milovy(Maryam d'Abo) arrive in Vienna, they do so in the back of a truck. Before long, however, they're back in the swing of things, hailing a horse-drawn carriage to take them to their ornate hotel: in real life, the Schonbrunn Palace.

It's no surprise that Viennese opera is high on Bond's must-do list but his decision to spend an evening at the Prater amusement park reveals a more playful side.

He takes Kara on the roller coaster, the Octopus and even the dodgem cars. Unsurprisingly, Bond scores at the shooting gallery (where Kara chooses an incredibly ugly stuffed toy as a prize) and scores again at the top of the Ferris wheel, smooching with Kara as they survey the beautiful Vienna skyline.

Hold the martini: Savouring a cup of coffee in the city's elegant coffee houses is a classic Viennese experience - but not one on Bond's agenda. That may be because he's never had the chance to savour a fiaker - coffee with a shot of rum and whipped cream. Enjoy.

Q's tip: Don't have a horse and carriage of your own? Don't panic. Vienna is a great city for walking, so bring a pair of sturdy shoes.

006 Udaipur

The film: Octopussy

When Roger Moore encounters Octopussy (Maud Adams), she's living in a floating palace brimming with a bevy of beauties who form part of her cult. In real life, you'll find the occupants of Udaipur's Lake Palace a more mixed bunch but there's plenty of beauty around if you're willing to see it.

The Lake Palace truly is a palace, built in the 18th century by Maharana Jagat Singh II. Many of the rooms still retain their original features, including the antique swing and stained-glass panels in the former queen's room, named the Khush Mahal.

The hotel offers a host of Bond-esque activities, including a candlelight cruise on the ceremonial barge of the royal family and a spa cruise, where you can enjoy a massage and other treatments while drifting across the lake. If you feel the need for terra firma, take a tour of the area in a vintage car, on elephant back or even a camel.

Hold the martini: Tea may be India's national drink but the country's connoisseurs savour Old Monk, a dark Indian rum reputed to be one of the best-selling brands of its kind in the world - quite a feat, as the company never advertises.

Q's tip: Even without the Bond girls, India offers amazing visuals - from temple dancers to holy men to elephants to exquisite Mughul architecture. And be sure to take an extra memory card for your camera.

007 Venice

The movie(s): Casino Royale and Moonraker

When will he learn? Things never go well for Bond in the world's wettest city. On his first visit, in Moonraker, Roger Moore has two nasty encounters. First, he is chased through the canals by a team of killers including a knife-wielding assassin who emerges from a hearse; then a Japanese assassin destroys a glass showroom trying to kill him with a big stick. In Casino Royale Daniel Craig has an even worse time. Having fled to Venice after resigning from Her Majesty's Secret Service, Bond has to watch his girlfriend, Vesper Lynd, die after locking herself in an elevator in a sinking building.

There's no need to indulge in such dramas on your Venetian holiday. Simply stroll those achingly beautiful streets, keeping an eye out for Bond landmarks, such as the 17th-century Palazzo Pisani in the Campiello Pisani (the building in which Vesper dies) and the Torre dell'Orologio clock tower, where Roger Moore has a fight. Or do as Vesper and Bond do and sail yourself. Companies such as Connoisseur rent out live-aboard yachts, which are definitely the best way to stay in Venice.

Hold the martini: There's only one cocktail to drink in Venice - the Bellini, invented at Harry's Bar. Cin cin.

Q's tip: A few too many Bellinis and a boating trip can turn ugly very quickly. The life jackets will be supplied but pack a whistle in case you find yourself in the water, in need of rescuing.

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