Being an international super-spy has its perks: fancy gadgets, tailor-made suits, gorgeous women with equally-gorgeous accents, and one serious heck of a frequent flyer plan.
A fantastic part of the 007 franchise is James Bond’s ability to take audiences on a virtual tour of the world’s most scenic offerings, even if he sort of destroys them in the process. We’ve already covered a couple of his greatest moments in Venice, but the wanderlust doesn’t stop there. With 24 Bond titles to choose from, we’ll narrow it down with the top moments from the Daniel Craig Era in honor of today’s release of Spectre.
Disclaimer: No one’s paying us to promote the newest 007 flick; we just really love travel and seeing bad guys get their a$$ kicked.
Skyfall (2012) — Glencoe, Highlands, Scotland
Did you know that James Bond is actually Scottish? Sean Connery was the only Bond to use the accent from Ian Fleming’s character origins, but even his dialect became more pronounced and refined over the series.
Scotland is one of the world’s most magical places, and Skyfall sees Bond’s return to his home in, well, Skyfall. There’s no parkour here, but Director Sam Mendes crafts a beautiful scene in which Bond and M (Judi Dench) gaze over the picturesque Highlands while divulging deeper insight into 007’s personal past and psyche.
There are plenty of nods to original Bond films during their visit to Skyfall, but it’s the wide, panoramic shots of Scotland that serve a refreshing change of pace for a brief and pensive moment—something a trip to the Highlands could do for just about anyone.
Quantum of Solace (2008) — Siena, Italy
While a local tour guide can take you on an in-depth tour around town, James Bond will give you the Sparknotes by simply running through it really fast and leaving a trail of destruction along the way.
Quantum of Solace may be the weaker of the recent series, but it’s still chock-full of stylized action and, of course, HARDCORE PARKOUR!!! This time it’s in Siena, a city situated between Rome and Florence. This scene is set to the backdrop of a traditional bareback horse race known as Palio di Siena, which dates all the way back to medieval times and happens only twice a year.
Casino Royale (2006) — The Bahamas
Since we discussed Venice, we’ll go with The Bahamas for this pick. Bond’s inevitable return and re-casting elicited many scoffs and shaking heads from Pierce Brosnan purists, if that’s even a thing (it’s not).
Here, with the beautiful backdrop of the Bahamas, society went from collectively saying, “Who is this old guy and why is he blonde and how is this going to work?” to saying “JAMES BOND HARDCORE PARKOUR!!!!!!!”
Look, we would have been fine with a foot race, car chase, or just anything to kick off the Craig Era on a high note, but director Martin Campbell made sure to let us know that there would be nothing to fear; James Bond is back, in the Bahamas, and more badass than ever.
Spectre (2015) — Everywhere.
You could’ve already seen the latest film if you were in the UK this past week, but for now we’ll speculate and listen to Sam Smith while we dream. Filming locations include Mexico City, Rome, Austria, Morocco, and many more. And there’s Christoph Waltz; ‘nuff said.
While you might be less inclined to go at the breakneck pace of Bond, you can still see all of these stunning locations in their full glory. A local guide will tell the non-fiction stories that rival any tale of espionage badassery, and you might find a whole new appreciation for that piece of history before Bond decides it’s time for some hardcore parkour.
Get there yourself:
Check out Bond’s origins on London and Scotland Escape, use your free time for a trip to Siena via The Grand Tour of Italy, or go just about anywhere in the world to cross paths with the world-famous super spy. We’ll help you get there.