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The hype built around new James Bond releases is arguably more wide-reaching than that of any other film franchise. Spectre, the 24th (not including the non-Eon Never Say Never Again) film in the series, opens in UK cinemas on 26 October and alongside the lifestyle and car brands carefully chosen for 007’s use, the international filming locations will take centre stage as the backdrop to some of the big budget action scenes. Below are three trips James Bond fans can take to experience the locations in Spectre.
Day of the Dead in Mexico
The opening sequence of Spectre was filmed in Mexico, where 1,500 extras recreated the country’s famous Day of the Dead celebrations. Producers claim this will be one of the most spectacular openings in the history of Bond films.
Day of the Dead takes place between 31 October and 2 November and is particularly vibrant in Central and Southern regions of Mexico. It is a chance for people to celebrate the memories of family and friends they have lost over the years, by elaborately decorating altars and cemeteries and participating in certain customs.
Travellers can experience it on Rainbow Tours’ Day of the Dead Culture and History Tour, which provides an insight into the preparations made for the event as well as enabling them to join in with the celebrations. The trip includes a visit to the ancient town of Santo Domingo Tomaltepec in the Oaxaca region to see traditional Day of the Dead bread being prepared; a visit to a local market where Day of the Dead ornaments such as strings of beads, marigolds and sugar skulls are sold; and witnessing a late-night wake by a local family.
A further highlight will be the Comparsa Parade in the village of Soledad Etla, where visitors can march alongside stilt walkers dressed as spirits and marching bands playing loud ‘banda’ music – an event similar to that portrayed in Spectre.
The Day of the Dead Culture and History Tour is a small group tour, running from 28 October – 5 November 2016. The nine-day tour costs from £2,795 per person including flights from London Heathrow to Oaxaca via Houston, transfers, shared sightseeing as outlined in the itinerary, and eight nights’ accommodation in Oaxaca on a bed and breakfast basis.
To book, call Rainbow Tours on 020 7666 1266 or see rainbowtours.co.uk for full tour details.
City break in Rome
A Bond film wouldn’t be complete without a car chase and in Spectre, the high performance vehicles will race along the banks of the Tiber in Rome. Exploring Italy’s capital city is generally recommended at a more leisurely pace however, so travellers can visit other historic sights featured in the movie without the risk of arrest!
Filming took place at the 15th-century Ponte Sisto footbridge, in cobblestone alleys around the Piazza Navona, close to Vatican City and at the Museo Della Civilta Romana (Museum of Roman Civilisation).
Explore Spectre’s filming locations in Rome on a short break with Western & Oriental. The tour operator offers three-night breaks from £425 per person, including flights, luggage allowance and accommodation at the four-star Hotel Leon’s Place on a bed and breakfast basis.
Formerly the home of an Italian aristocrat, the hotel will inject a slice of Bond glamour into a Rome city break and is within walking distance of the filming locations. To book, call Western & Oriental on 020 3588 6130 or see westernoriental.com for further details.
Snowy mountain peaks
Bond star Daniel Craig has been pictured against a backdrop of snow-capped mountains and glacial lakes during the filming of a high-altitude major action sequence in Austria. It was reportedly here that he first sustained a knee injury which later caused a delay to filming, although the final cut of the fight scene will undoubtedly be as slick as any in the franchise.
In a behind-the-scenes video, production designer Dennis Gassner comments, ‘What could be more exciting than to be on top of the world?’ Travellers can experience that feeling for themselves on Regent Holidays’ High Tatras and Vienna Winter Break.
The seven-day trip begins in Vienna, Austria, before travelling by train into Slovakia and up into the High Tatras mountains. Here, there is time to enjoy skiing and other snow-based activities. This seven-day tour costs from £625 per person including flights from London Heathrow, accommodation in a three star hotel on a bed and breakfast basis, and transfers between airports, train stations and hotels as specified within the itinerary.
To book, contact Regent Holidays on 020 7666 1322 or see regent-holidays.co.u for full details.