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Destinations that are 00-heaven!

Destinations that are 00-heaven! He never seems to pack a suitcase, his cure for jetlag is a martini (shaken not stirred) and it's highly likely that many of his shenanigans wouldn’t be covered by his travel insurance policy. But, undoubtedly, James Bond is as much a world traveller as he is a world-famous secret agent.

Since the 1962 release of Dr No, Agent 007 has made 146 visits to 49 countries; from the Far East to the west coast of the United States, his globetrotting antics have been impressive by anyone’s standards. However, we were surprised to learn that the on-screen Bond has yet to visit popular destinations like Canada, Australia, New Zealand or Scandinavia. Bond #25, perhaps?

With the recent launch of the latest offering, Spectre, we thought it would be an ideal opportunity to take a look at some of the well-travelled spy's memorable locations. Hopefully your own travels won’t come with a side order of supervillainry!

Himeji Castle; Hyogo Prefecture, Japan

Seen in: You Only Live Twice (1967)
Sean Connery’s fifth outing saw much of the production filmed in Japan, as Agent 007 looks to stop the mastermind behind a space hijacking before World War III ensues. One memorable scene takes place at a ninja training school run by Bond's Japanese contact, Tiger Tanaka. The academy's grounds are part of the hugely popular tourist destination Himeji Castle, which dates from 1333 and is the largest and most visited castle in Japan. In 1993 it was registered as one of the country’s first UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Bonus Bond Fact: The screenplay was written by British children's author Roald Dahl and is the only EON Productions Bond film to date in which James Bond does not drive a car.

Hotel Pitrizza; Sardinia, Italy

Seen in: The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
Roger Moore’s third appearance features the azure waters along Sardinia's Emerald Coast as Bond and Major Anya Amasova attempt to track down a missing submarine before its warheads are fired. Hotel Pitrizza is the backdrop for the famous chase scene’s climax where Bond drives his Lotus off the hotel’s pier and conveniently transforms it into a submarine as it hits the water! While we wouldn’t recommend attempting this stunt, the hotel is an ideal retreat for those wishing to partake in traditional Sardinian cuisine in a peaceful atmosphere or enjoy a spot of scuba diving.

Bonus Bond Fact: After the film's release, demand for white Lotus Esprit cars surged to the point that new customers had to be placed on a three-year waiting list.

Monastery of the Holy Trinity; Meteora, Greece

Seen in: For Your Eyes Only (1981)
Here Bond hunts for a lost British encryption device to prevent it from falling into enemy hands. The non-stop action includes automobile chases and one scene where Melina Havelock and Bond are dragged across razor-sharp coral. But all of this merely preludes 007's cliffhanging assault of a mountaintop fortress, played by the magnificent Monastery of the Holy Trinity on the scenic Meteora. However, as it sits atop a soaring pillar of sandstone rising more than 400m, we recommend taking the 140-step cliffside staircase to visit this cultural treasure.

Bonus Bond Fact: This is the third consecutive film where Bond's mission takes him to Italy but he wouldn't return for another 25 years, until Casino Royale (2006).

Taj Lake Palace; Udaipur, India

Seen in: Octopussy (1983)
A fake Fabergé egg leads James Bond to uncover an elaborate plot by a renegade Soviet general to launch a nuclear attack on NATO forces. Filming of the 13th instalment took place in the stunning Rajasthan region – India’s ‘land of kings’ – and it’s here that the titular character's ‘floating palace’ was. Built in 1749 as the winter palace of Jagat Singh II, the Taj Lake Palace now makes for an opulent stay as every suite features stunning views across Lake Pichola. A stay here is expensive, but it has been voted one of the most romantic hotels in the world.

Bonus Bond Fact: This was released in the same year as rival James Bond production Never Say Never Again, which featured the return of Sean Connery to the role.

Grand Hotel Pupp; Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic

Seen in: Casino Royale (2006)
Bond #21 saw the introduction of the mercenary persona of Daniel Craig and took Bond back to the beginning. Recently promoted, Bond faces a mysterious private banker across a high stakes poker game. In Casino Royale, the Czech town Karlovy Vary stands in for Montenegro, with the Grand Hotel Pupp masquerading as fictional Hotel Splendide. This beautiful five-star hotel, in operation since 1711, is no newcomer to the film industry featuring in La Vie en Rose and Shanghai Knights, as well as hosting the annual Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, one of the oldest in the world.

Bonus Bond Fact: First Bond movie in the EON Productions official series where the movie ends with James Bond alone and without a leading ‘Bond Girl’ with him.

Wherever you set your sights on travelling to, unless you have an MI6 expense account that can cover mishaps, travel insurance really should be at the top of your hit list. We at TopDog Insurance are committed to providing you with the highest level of protection to ensure that you are safe and secure, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year when away.

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