James Bond and the new Aston Martin V8 Vantage S

James Bond Inspired Driving Break

Our James Bond inspired driving break combines the glamor of this most famous secret agent, with a driving tour in and around the Alps with the just released Aston Martin V8 Vantage S.

The driving tour is between 2 and 5 days, dependent on the number of missions you decide to undertake, and will take you to some of the most iconic 007 shoot locations.  The mission starts in Zurich where you receive a full de-brief and drive walkthrough over a glass of vintage Bollinger.  The following morning your Aston Martin will be delivered – now pay attention 007and after a walkthrough of the car and GPS you will be on your way.

Mission 1 takes you from Zurich into the heart of the Alps, soaring over three mountain passes before taking a cable car up to the Piz Gloria ice station / panorama restaurant at 2970M….

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007 Tour – Stage 2 – Chantilly to Piz Gloria

When we started talking about a 007 route for 2011, it got us thinking long and hard about how to combine some of the most iconic Bond settings in Europe, whilst at the same time ensuring that the driving experience is second to none and takes in some of the greatest driving roads in Europe.

So, after some pretty extensive research into locations across Europe, we came up with a “must do” checklist, which included:

• A visit to at least one stunning French Chateaux, if this happens to be the home of one of Bonds famous villains, then all the better
• A couple of stops to sample Bonds favourite tipples, Bollinger in Champagne region of France, and Martini in the home of Bianco, Turino, Italy
• Re-capturing two of Bonds most iconic car chases in his DB5, firstly in the heart of the Swiss Alps and then on the Alps Maritimes, running down to Monte Carlo
• Whilst in the Alps, making a visit to the most famous ice station of the lot, the Piz Gloria, 3000M up and base for Bond’s nemesis Blofeld in Her Majesties Secret service
• A quick adrenaline rush so where better than a visit to 750ft + Verzasca dam near Locarno, location for the Bond bungee jump opening sequence in Goldeneye
• Some relaxation and recuperation on the lakes of Italy, if it’s good enough for Daniel Craig in the Quantum of Solace, it’s good enough for us
• And finally, and any Bond tour would not be complete without this, a visit to the most famous of casinos of them all, Casino de Monte-Carlo.

With the location checklist in place, we got about planning the route. However, to spice things up a little, we felt a “mission” on each stage would be the order of the day. So, Aston Martin to the ready, Walther PPK safely holstered, it’s time to start your engine, and begin your mission.

Stage 2: Infiltrate Switzerland, then continue to the Piz Gloria.

Your Mission
“Well done 007…. You completed your first mission seamlessly. Now however the serious business begins, this mission will take you from France into Switzerland. In Switzerland you will proceed to the Schilthorn where you must thwart Blofeld’s plan to use biological warfare to threaten the world.”

Start Point: Reims
End Point: Abelboden / Swiss Alps
Distance: Day 1 = 680KM / 7 hours, Day 2 = 120KM (round trip) / 2 hours plus stops
Driving Highlights: Schilthorn

Drive 2: Part 1: Champagne to the Swiss Alps: The first day of this two day mission is to make your way into Switzerland under cover.  Stage 1 sees you head south from France and into the heart of the Swiss Alps.  The drive through mostly highway (for speed) takes you through the heart of the rolling hills of the Burgundy region, stopping for lunch at the Hotel De Levernois, on the banks of the river Bouzaise, just south of Dijon.

After lunch continue south, skirting the Swiss/French Jura Mountains and across the border into Switzerland.  Skirt the top of the lake Neuchâtel, and then head into the Alps and the alpine Town of Adelboden.  Set in the heart of the central Swiss Alps, the hotel is in an idyllic setting, with stunning views of the Alps from it’s panorama bar –  and the perfect place to unwind with a glass of Martini in hand.

Drive 1: Part 2: Head to the Schilthorn Piz Gloria Ice Station

James Bond Facts: Many scenes were filmed at Piz Gloria for the 1969 James Bond 007 film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. In the movie it was Blofeld’s clinical research institute, and Bond spends some time there, eventually destroying the complex in a final epic shoot out

The next days drive takes you on a journey through some of the most picturesque scenery in the Swiss Alps to the Schilthorn Piz Gloria Ice Station – the drive includes a run along the valley of the waterfalls ( 72 in total to be precise fed by the massive glacial melt form the surrounding mountains) to the base of the Schilthorn cable car just past Lauterbrunnen.  From the base station, it takes 32 minutes by the panorama cable car to reach the summit at 2970M.   From here, enjoy views of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau and more than 200 other summits.  After snaffling a 007 inspired breakfast (champagne and awe inspiring views included) it’s time to take out Blofeld and complete your second mission.

With stage 3 taking you directly to Lake Como and the stunning Villa del Balbianello (used in the movies Casino Royal and Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones. So, remember to subscribe with us (top) to receive an e-mail update for your next mission.

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Italy’s 150th anniversary – what better way than a Ferrari?

Two Days Touring the Black Forest in the Ferrari of your Choice

To celebrate Italy’s 150th Aniversary this April, we have put together a great package that combines one of Italy’s most iconic brands, Ferrari, with 2 days on some of the greatest driving roads anywhere in Europe in the Black Forest.

The Black Forest combines natural beauty, with fast and sweeping forest trails, lower mountain passes, stunning lakes and waterfalls.  In short this is a drivers paradise.

The tour starts in Zurich, where you car will be delivered, you then wind your way north through the Black Forest, and across the two highest peaks in the forest, Mount Feldberg and Kandel, before arriving in Baden Baden where you will be based for your second evening.  The drive back is equally stunning, through the central core of the forest, passing by the lakes and waterfalls that charaterise this part of the forest, you even have time for a quick visit to the beautiful medieval town of Schaufhassen, on the shores of the Rhine, and a visit to the IWC watch museum.

If you want to have a more detailed itinerary have a look here or send us an email at info@ultimatedrives.net

 

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Stelvio in a Spyder for under 2000 euros

The most spectacular driving roads in the Alps

At Ultimate Drives we have one simple objective, making the dream mixture of the best driving roads in the world and the most beautiful performance cars. This combination is not difficult to come by, and not necessarily available to everyone.

Our “Stelvio in a Spyder” is a 3 night driving break based in the Engadine region of South East Switzerland, possibly the most beautiful part of this already stunning country.  You will spend three full days in the car driving some of the most beautiful stretches of Alpine road, tackling 8 of the most iconic passes in the Alps, including the Stelvio, Furka, Klausen and Bernina all for under 2000 euros.

If you want to drive this car on the sort of roads it was really designed for, whilst still being spoiled in 5 Star luxury in the mountains of Switzerland, this is just the package for you.

Check it out at

http://www.ultimatedrives.net/driving_packages/overview.php?break_ID=210

 

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Taking to the seas in style

A couple of weeks ago we were in St Moritz putting together our new product with Club Med when we came across the brother of one of the reporters who had covered us in the 2010 season, Gabriella Lebreton . After a quick chat he described to us his new project, the vision of Le Breton Yachts is to combine beauty, easy speed and comfort in yachts that are fast, exciting and simply enormous fun, whether for short-handed cruising or fully crewed racing.

For those that have experienced the exhilaration of high performance sailing, the comfort of a cruising interior is enticing, but the jearning for sailing performance never goes away.

We decided it was just the sort of thing that people who appreciate Ultimate Drives would like.

Check it out………

http://www.lebreton-yachts.com/

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Escape the slopes for a day

Experience stunning mountain passes and glaciers from a different perspective, with lunch on the shores of Lake Como and a tour of the Pischiavo valley, including the famous Bernina express, the only train to cross the Alps without a tunnel, thanks to some fantastic viaducts.

For this winter we have created a unique way to explore some of the most beautiful sights and scenery around the alps and the most luxurious si resorts. In collaboration with Club Med©, we have set up a 1 day alpine driving adventure that takes you on an unforgettable 300km round trip from St. Moritz, through the Alps to Lake Como.

Head south over the Bernina Pass into Italy, sharing the route with glaciers and the Bernina Express.  Now drive along the western shores of Lake Como, stopping at the lakeside town of Menaggio for lunch, hop to the opposite shore via the ferry, then in the afternoon return to Switzerland via the sweeping Maloja Pass, with late afternoon / sun down drinks in the stunning village of Soglio.

This route, and more, is of course available through our website www.ultimatedrives.net

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007 Tour – Stage 1 – The Champagne Region

When we started talking about a 007 route for 2011, it got us thinking long and hard about how to combine some of the most iconic Bond settings in Europe, whilst at the same time ensuring that the driving experience is second to none and takes in some of the greatest driving roads in Europe.

So, after some pretty extensive research into locations across Europe, we came up with a “must do” checklist, which included:

• A visit to at least one stunning French Chateaux, if this happens to be the home of one of Bonds famous villains, then all the better
• A couple of stops to sample Bonds favourite tipples, Bollinger in Champagne region of France, and Martini in the home of Bianco, Turino, Italy
• Re-capturing two of Bonds most iconic car chases in his DB5, firstly in the heart of the Swiss Alps and then on the Alps Maritimes, running down to Monte Carlo
• Whilst in the Alps, making a visit to the most famous ice station of the lot, the Piz Gloria, 3000M up and base for Bond’s nemesis Blofeld in Her Majesties Secret service
• A quick adrenaline rush so where better than a visit to 750ft + Verzasca dam near Locarno, location for the Bond bungee jump opening sequence in Goldeneye
• Some relaxation and recuperation on the lakes of Italy, if it’s good enough for Daniel Craig in the Quantum of Solace, it’s good enough for us
• And finally, and any Bond tour would not be complete without this, a visit to the most famous of casinos of them all, Casino de Monte-Carlo.

With the location check list in place, we got about planning the route. However, to spice things up a little, we felt a “mission” on each stage would be the order of the day. So, Aston Martin to the ready, Walther PPK safely holstered, it’s time to start your engine, and begin your mission.

Stage 1: The Champagne Region

Your Mission


“Now pay attention 007, you need to head directly to Château de Chantilly to receive full instructions, you are then to make your way directly to the Champagne region to purchase a bottle of Bollinger Grande Année 2002….this is Bollinger’s latest vintage just released and we really want to understand what all the fuss is about…is everything clear then?”

Start Point: Château de Chantilly, Chantilly north of Paris
End Point: Ay, near Epernay, Bollinger Champagne House
Distance: 220KM / 5 hours
Driving Highlights: Route Champagne

The Château de Chantilly is the perfect location to start this tour, just 50KM north of Paris it’s one of the most stunning Château’s in France.

The Château overlooks the Chantilly Racecourse and the The Great Stables, which contain the Living Museum of the Horse. These 186m long stables are considered by some as the most beautiful in the world.

Both the Château and the Great Stables were featured in the Bond movie A View to a Kill (1985), as the estate of evil Max Zorin (played by Christopher Walken).

After taking time to explore this wonderful setting, you will on your way. A quick consultation of your map (or the www if you happen to have 3G or wireless) will tell you that the Bollinger Champagne house is located in the town of Ay, which is around 90 minutes from Chantilly, so let’s be on our way to locate the elusive champagne.

To arrive in the Champagne region head due east to Villers Cotterets, then south East towards Epernay. Epernay is one of the main centres of the Champagne region, well worth a visit. In particular, take a wander along Avenue de Champagne, which contains a who’s who of champagne houses, including the most famous of the lot, Moet and Chandon. Moet and Chandon also offer a fantastic guided tour of their cellars which provides a real insight into how champagne is produced.

Exit Epernay and complete your run to Ay, which is less than 10 minutes away, heading directly to the Bollinger Champagne house at 20 boulevard Maréchal de Lattre De Tassigny.

With the aforementioned bottle of bubbly procured, that’s mission completed. It’s now it’s time to relax a little, and tackle the 70KM drive along the beautiful “Route Champagne”.

The drive takes you through some of the most beautiful vineyards in this region, with passing several various champagne houses and Châteaus, then directly through the heart of the national park of Montagne de Reims. You complete your journey at the town of Reims, where we recommend you stay the evening, before stage two of the tour to the Swiss Alps. For full details of the Champagne route visit www.ville-reims.fr

With stage 2 taking you directly to the Swiss Alps, remember to subscribe with us (top) to receive an e-mail update for your next mission.

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