A MAN with an open shirt, glistening six-pack and pair of binoculars may not be the first image most places would use to attract tourists.
But this is no ordinary man. This is Bond, James Bond. And visiting the exact spot where he met Halle Berry emerging from the water in Die Another Another Day, is a surprisingly easy mission to accomplish.
Forget the Hollywood Hills, Spain is the place movie buffs need to flock if they want to see the locations from their favourite flicks.
Although the film was imagined to be set in Cuba, the movie’s breathtaking scene was actually filmed on La Caleta Beach, in Cadiz – and is one of a series of blockbuster moments that set-jetters can reenact this summer.
Not only has 007 and his perfectly shaken martini graced our shores -Bond has also shot in Bilbao for The World Is Not Enough and Madrid for From Russia with Love – there are dozens of other famous faces who got ready for their close up right here.
Across the Bridge, Lawrence of Arabia, The Bourne Ultimatum, Exodus: Gods and Kings, The Kingdom of Heaven, Perfume: Story of a Murderer, 55 days in Beijing, and even Kubrick’s Spartacus have also played a role in making Spain a star of the silver screen. Here’s our roundup of all the must-see spots from your favourite movies.
Your first mission, should you choose to accept it, is to be on the lookout for Bond Girls in Cadiz. Die Another Day was filmed at La Caleta, squeezed between the castles of San Sebastian and Santa Catalina at the west end of the city. Enjoy a drink at Parador de Cadiz, where there is a poolside café bar, before following 007’s footsteps and heading out La Caleta beach. Later, take in the sunset with a walk along the seafront promenade, said to be Spain’s oldest, with a view to kill for.
Almeria is the ultimate spot for thrill seekers – it’s where Steven Spielberg and Harrison Ford filmed several scenes of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and Sergio Leone shot his spaghetti westerns here too, after seeing the star potential of the sandy Tabernas Desert. 60 years on and it is still worth a visit. Here you’ll find Fort Bravo, a working film set that is open to the public, where bandidos still bite the dust following the daily botched bank job. The expansive mountain range provides the ultimate backdrop, but there are also sets – a small crumbling white church, the town square, the stables, courtroom and saloon bar, where you can enjoy a cancan show after a long day of riding alongside Spain’s Lone Rangers. Also worth a vistit is Cabo de Gata Natural Park, where, as well as a dip in the sea, you can visit Cortijo del Fraile, the setting for the Lorca’s Blood Wedding and used in a couple of Sergio Leone’s ‘Dollars’ westerns.
Sultry Sevilla is a must-see for everyone, movie-buff or not. If it’s good enough for the A-listers, it’s good enough for us. Hightail it around Spain’s most stunning city on this high-end trip during where every corner is picture-perfect. Take in the sights by foot and kick-off off your day with tapas before whirling around the Royal Alcazar fortress-turned-palace. In 1962 the Alcazar was used as a set for Lawrence of Arabia, while The Patio de las Doncellas was used for the court of the King of Jerusalem in the 2005 movie Kingdom of heaven. Lastly, stop off at the Plaza de España – it’s best viewed at night when the queues ease and the building lights up in its entirety. The jaw dropping centre of the Spanish-American exhibition of 1929 was chosen by George Lucas as the spot to immortalize Amidala’s arrival to the planet Naboo in The Attack of the Clones.