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.
“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.