GREECE – Corfu, Danilia Village // For Your Eyes Only (1981)
In the center of Greek island Corfu lies an abandoned village. Once planned as a tourist attraction, the location came into sole use as a Bond shooting location. Nowadays, trees hide the village – and a dog guards the entrance.
Why Bond was here
After ATAC, a communication system to control atomic warheads, gets stolen, Bond (Roger Moore) travels to Greek island Corfu to dive into the world of smugglers and black marketers. He sets his his eyes on Kristatos (Julian Glover), who took ATAC and wants to sell it to the Russians. Before Bonds goes on the assault, he meets with Q (Desmond Llewelyn) in St. Cyril village for a back-up talk. The meeting place: A confessional in a church with a Greek wedding going on outside.
Both church and village are not real – and yet they are. To curb tourism, officials on Corfu planned an artificial Greek village back in the 1970s. What is “St. Cyril’s” in the movie, is originally called “Danilia”. The village has its own market, several retro style houses and the church on the rear end. Wooden barrels and big spokes are lying around, ivy crawls up the walls. The only thing missing: people.
Danilia is situated in the center of the northern part of Corfu. As no busses are running by, the only option to get there is via car. There are numerous car rental services in Kerkyra along the harbor road north of the town center. Day rents start from 30 Euro.
The fake village is roughly ten minutes north of Corfu’s main town Kerkyra – and directly en route to beautiful Pagi, another stand-in village, where parts of For Your Eyes Only had been filmed. As Danilia is not properly signposted, the route is a bit tricky. From the Kerkyra harbor, drive the main road further north towards Gouvia. Right after the town entry, when a little yacht harbor comes into sight, there is a big hospital to the left. Turn left behind the hospital and then right into the first road, a little bumby one. Take the fifth – and biggest – entry on the right side and follow that road towards the village of Kira Chrisikou. The ride takes only some minutes uphill. After a flat factory building to the right, follow the hairpin bend right – the entry to Danilia then is on the left side behind a big stone-columned gate. Good to know
That gate actually is a movie location as well. It had been used as the entry to a Spanish villa, that Bond observes at the beginning of the movie. The actual villa scenes – with lots of Bondgirls enjoying themselves at the pool – had been filmed some kilometers south at Villa Sylva at Kanoni.
Right next to the gate is a warning sign, telling visits that Danilia is closed and will be opened after renovations in spring 200… – and the rest is blurred out.
Many different investors tried to get the tourist village running over the years, none succeeded. Since there are many authentic small towns like Pagi all over the island, tourists probably never took interest in a fake one.
When we visited the location, some construction workers were fixing stuff inside – but didn’t allowed us in. An angry “closed” was all we got. The market, where the Greek wedding had been staged, can be seen from the parking lot in front of the village, though.
Still climbing into the compound can be tricky: The area is either sealed with iron bars or extensive rank growth. The best spot to come close to the church is from the south. But beware: A playful yet noisy dog is guarding the village.
Normally we’re quite adventurous when it comes to “achieve” access to a Bond location. But this time we stayed behind the fence. Men were working inside and didn’t liked us to come in. As an argument, they brought a black bulldog mongrel along and placed him at the inner fence. With him barking, a look to the village from the distance and the old villa gate next to us seemed fair enough.
© 2015 Huntingbond (1,3,4,5), © 1981 Danjaq, LLC and United Artists Corporation (2)