They say no man is an island — but James Bond comes pretty close. Ian Fleming’s most famous creation is cold, capable — and almost entirely self-sufficient. He’s got himself out of tight-spot after tight-spot, never sticks to a romantic partner and doesn’t stay anywhere long enough to put down roots.
In fact, all this international travel has seen Bond visit many actual islands. From the British Isles itself to other island nations, including Cuba and Japan, 007 has trotted the globe on jet-setting assignments, taking down far-flung villains in tens of tropical climes. Below, we’ve rounded up every island the superspy has ever washed up on — fictional or otherwise…
Jamaica, in Dr. No, Live and Let Die, No Time To Die
Real or fictional? Real — and very close to Ian Fleming’s heart. In fact, in 1952, Jamaica is where Fleming began work on the first Bond book, Casino Royale. He then wrote every story featuring 007 at his Goldeneye Estate in Oracabessa Bay.
How does Bond get there? In Dr. No, Connery’s Bond gets the ‘Pan Am 323’ from New York. In Live and Let Die, Bond flies into then-named Palisadoes Airport through a tropical storm. And, in No Time To Die, Daniel Craig’s Bond looks to have retired on the Caribbean island.
What does he get up to? In Dr. No, Bond befriends a boatman named Quarrel, and investigates the death of an MI6 Station Chief. Live and Let Die sees Bond use Jamaica as a training base for a mission on nearby San Monique. And, in No Time To Die, both Felix Leiter and Lashana Lynch’s 007 look to tease Bond out of retirement amongst the tropical scenery.
Crab Key, in Dr. No
Real or fictional? Fictional. Appearing in Fleming’s Dr. No and its subsequent film adaptation, Crab Key is an island off the coast of Jamaica — and serves as the stronghold of the mysterious, villainous Dr. Julius No.
How does Bond get there? Boatman Quarrel helps Bond row across to Crab Key from the nearby island of Jamaica.
What does he get up to? He meets shell-diver Honey Ryder, battles a flamethrower-equipped ‘Dragon Tank’ and, after a little wandering, ends up in the hidden base of Dr. No. A little nuclear explosion later, and the world is saved.
New Providence, in Thunderball, Casino Royale
Real or fictional? Real, and touched upon in Fleming’s Live and Let Die — when Bond’s plane, on its way to Jamaica, makes a fuel stop in the Bahamian capital of Nassau, the largest city on the island.
How does Bond get there? In Thunderball, he takes a plane from London to New York, then a BOAC flight on to Nassau. In Casino Royale, Daniel Craig’s Bond arrives at Paradise Island Airport in a rather handsome De Havilland Canada Twin Otter Seaplane.
What does he get up to? In Casino Royale, he sleeps with Solange Dimitrios (and gets her killed), and then wins Alex Dimitrios’ Aston Martin DB5 in a game of poker (before killing him). In Thunderball, he uses the island as a base from which to investigate Emilio Largo’s ship, the Disco Volante.
San Monique, in Live and Let Die
Real or fictional? A fictional island — and an island nation, come to that. Located in the Gulf of Mexico, San Monique was almost 200 miles from Cuba, and ruled by the ruthless dictator Dr. Kananga.
How does Bond get there? On a rather insubstantial looking rubber-dinghy. In a film stuffed to the gunnels with sporty, speedy boats (such as the Glastron GT-150 Bond steals in Louisiana) it’s a shaky choice by Mr Moore.
What does he get up to? First up, he rigs the poppy fields with explosives. Then, after rescuing Bond girl Solitaire from voodoo sacrifice, he throws a henchman into a coffin filled with venomous snakes, and inflates Dr. Kananga until he explodes. Then he blows it up. Standard Bond.
Khao Phing Kan, in The Man with the Golden Gun
Real or fictional? Real, but different to the island used in the novel. In Fleming’s original, Bond is sent once again to Jamaica to find Francisco ‘Pistols’ Scaramanga. In the film, Roger Moore travels to the Thai island in Phang Nga Bay to confront the assassin.
How does Bond get there? In the amphibious Republic RC-3 SeaBee. It’s a solid choice — but was overshadowed by the film’s other aircraft; the ludicrous plane-converted AMC Matador X Coupé.
What does he get up to? Scaramanga graciously greets Bond (although destroys his SeaBee) before proposing they settle their dispute with a pistol duel. Bond accepts. Scaramanga reneges. Bond kills him.
Sardinia, in The Spy Who Loved Me
Real or fictional? Very real, and one of the first islands Bond visited on the big screen that Fleming never sent his superspy to. Slap-bang in the middle of the Mediterranean, the large Italian island is also one of the biggest Bond has visited.
How does Bond get there? From Egypt, Bond and Major Anya Amasova take a train to Italy — where they are accosted by Jaws — before boarding a boat to Sardinia and finishing their journey in a horse-and-trap.
What does he get up to? Lots of nautical nonsense. But the most iconic sequence set on the island features a subaquatic Lotus Esprit, a henchman with a rocket-equipped motorcycle sidecar and an attack helicopter. You know the one.
Corfu, in For Your Eyes Only
Real or fictional? Real. This is both the first and last time that Bond has made it to Greece on the big screen — as Fleming never dispatched 007 there. Bond heads to the Greek island on the trail of smuggler Milos Columbo.
How does Bond get there? By boat, arriving at Kanoni before making his way up through the old town with Melina Havelock to the Achillion Palace — where they encounter villain Aristotle Kristatos.
What does he get up to? Nothing out of the ordinary. After Columbo and his mistress, Countess Lisl von Schlaf, argue, Bond spends the night with her. She ends up being killed, naturally — and 007 soon takes off to Albania.
Jag Mandir, in Octopussy
Real or fictional? Real, in a sense. But the floating palace we see in Roger Moore’s sixth Bond film — owned by wealthy businesswoman and smuggler Octopussy — is a far cry from the summer residence-turned-local interest site it is today.
How does Bond get there? By taking the boat from the Bansi Ghat jetty. The final cut of the film also uses shots from the nearby Jag Niwas palace and the Monsoon Palace, or Sajjan Garh Palace, in Udaipur.
What does he get up to? It is here, after realising that Octopussy is the daughter of the late Major Dexter-Smythe, that Bond discovers the villainous General Orlov has been supplying exiled Afghan prince Kamal Khan with priceless Soviet treasures.
Key West, in Licence to Kill
Real or fictional? Real. Key West serves as the location of Bond’s CIA friend, Felix Leiter’s wedding. Leiter’s wife is soon killed, and Leiter himself maimed — which brings Bond back to the island in the Straits of Florida for revenge.
How does Bond get there? For the wedding, he parachutes in with Leiter just in time for the ceremony — having just captured drugs lord Franz Sanchez. The second time, he gets a lift on a boat run by Sharky’s Charters.
What does he get up to? After returning to the island, Bond makes his way to Hemingway House, where M meets him and briefs 007 for a mission in Istanbul. Bond refuses, resigns and is stripped of his licence to kill as a result.
Isla Los Organos, in Die Another Day
Real or fictional? Cuba may be real — but this island is not. And the far-fetched gene therapy clinic that features in Die Another Day has more than a whiff of make-believe about it. Brosnan actually filmed these sun-soaked scenes in La Caleta, in Spain.
How does Bond get there? By knocking a clinic client unconscious in Havana, rolling him out of the hotel in his wheelchair — and using him as a one-way ticket onto a boat ferrying patients out to the island.
What does he get up to? He free-wheels the unconscious patient into a wall, breaks into the secret sub-hallways of the clinic, awakens a sleeping Tang Ling Zao (the heavy with diamonds in his face) and then blows the place sky high. A standard island excursion for 007, then.
Hispaniola, in Quantum of Solace
Real or fictional? Real — although you may never have heard of it. That’s because Hispaniola, a Caribbean island in the Greater Antilles, is better known as two separate countries that can be found there; the Dominican Republic, and Haiti.
How does Bond get there? Daniel Craig’s Bond, who travels to Port-au-Prince in Haiti, is first seen arriving at the hotel of a fellow assassin in a taxi. He soon leaves the island, however, en route to the opera in Bregenz, Austria.
What does he get up to? Kills his fellow assassin. Meets Camille Montes. Follows Camille Montes. Spies on Dominic Greene. Attacks General Medrano. Rescues Camille Montes. Leaves Camille Montes in Haiti. Classic Craig-era blunt-force action.
Hashima Island, in Skyfall
Real or fictional? A little bit of both. The island itself exists — an abandoned destination near the Japanese city of Nagasaki; one of 505 in the Nagasaki Prefecture. But the ‘dead city’ story claimed by Javier Bardem’s Silva in Skyfall? A fabrication.
How does Bond get there? After meeting Severine in the Golden Dragon Casino in Macau, Bond follows her back onto 183-foot sailing yacht ‘Regina’, which sails the two doomed lovers towards Silva’s necropolis of a city.
What does he get up to? Tied up, Silva regales Bond with the tale of another island; his grandmother’s, that was infested with rats. Then, after a couple more metaphors and some light flirting, they drink some Macallan and shoot some old guns.
Faroe Islands, in No Time To Die
Real or fictional? Again, a real destination used as a fictional, megalomaniacal base. No Time To Die sent its effects team out to the Faroe Islands to capture some shots, which have been digitally reimagined to create Rami Malek’s evil lair for the film.
How does Bond get there? You guess is as good as ours. Although, with the film’s trailers repeating the same clip of a fictional glider/submarine being jettisoned from a cargo plane, we’d put money on Bond arriving in suitably over-engineered style.
What does he get up to? Again, who knows. But there’s a good chance he’ll end up blowing something up, letting off a round or two — and probably ensuring Malek’s terrorist Safin comes to a grisly end.
Want more from the latest Bond film? Here are all the cars Bond will drive (and wreck) in No Time To Die…
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