GREECE – Corfu, Achillion Palace // For Your Eyes Only (1981)
The Achillion Palace on Corfu is one of the islands highlights. Whitewashed columns, cypress trees and mythic statues make up for a perfect Bond location.
Why Bond was here
James Bond (Roger Moore) is in search for a stolen British military device. The trail leads to the Greek island Corfu, where he mets young Melina Havelock (Carole Bouquet). Her parents were archaeologists in aide to the British government and got killed. Bond and Melina join forces – and hearts.
In one scene at For Your Eyes Only, Melina shows Bond the beauty of Kerkyra, Corfu’s main town. They end up at Achillion Palace balustrade – with one of the best views over the island. Another scene in the movie turns the palace into a iconic casino with ancient Greek statues conducing to the atmosphere. At the casino, Bond meets up with smuggler king pin Kristatos (Julian Glover).
The Achillion Palace is one of the main tourist attractions on Corfu. Many companies offer guided tours from Kerkyra, but you can find your way with a rented car or public transportation as well. The palace is nestled in the mountains some seven kilometers south of Kerkyra. The main road leads along the coast, then a small road to the rights winds up to the palace.
A day rent for a small car starts with 30 Euros, most rental companies are situated at the ferry harbor in the north of Kerkyra. Get some more info in our article about the trip to Pagi village, where the Spain car chase had been filmed. You can easily combine both Pagi and Achillion Palace in a round trip.
The local bus operating Achillion Palace is line No. 10 and starts in the centre of Kerkyra. One tour takes 20 minutes, buses start every full hour between 9 am and 2 pm.
Good to know
The Achillion Palace is a great spot for a Bond casino setting. Built by the Empress of Austria, “Kaiserin Sisi”, in the late 19th century, it is sort of a mythical Greek wonderland. The theme of tragic hero Achilles is shown with many statues in the park surrounding the palace – a big dying Achilles is lying beneath the terrace and a victorious one is standing on the balustrade to the north, facing far away Kerkyra town. Cypress trees and whitewashed columns carry the blue sky above.
The dinner with Bond and Kristatos had been filmed on the Achilleion terrace east of the main building. The two small statues at the entrance to the terrace can be seen in the movie, same as the white statues that hold the palace’ canopy. They are the nine Greek Muses. Next to the terrace and behind the Muses is a long receiving room. This is, where the casino scenes had been staged. For the movie, they had built a bar and gambling tables. Nowadays, once the lighters and window forms are similar to the movie.
The love scene with Bond and Melina had been filmed at the big balcony to the north. A statue filled path leads the way from the terrace. The big Achilles statue guarding the area is not shown in the movie. But one can see three distinctive cypress trees, that grow beneath the balustrade to the right.
Visiting Achillion Palace in the morning means going there at the tourist rush hour. We opt for a more chilled solution: Take your car to Pagi village in the northwest of Corfu and then drive down to Paleokastritsa for a lunch with a great view on the Ionian Sea. From there head down to Achillion Palace in the late afternoon. It’s just the right to be there when the cypress tree shades grow long.
© 2015 Huntingbond (1,3,4), © 1981 Danjaq, LLC and United Artists Corporation (2)