GREECE – Corfu Island, Pagi // For Your Eyes Only (1981)
Greek island Corfu has many hidden beauties – but Pagi is one of the most outstanding. Embedded in olive groves, the village offers Mediterranean warmth to its visitors. And some thrill at a certain bar.
“See him right here? That’s my father-in-law!”, says Jimmy proudly, stops the movie and points onto a small man in the upper left corner. Jimmy, your typical ever smiling Greek taverna host, wields his fingers through the air. On screen is a stopped frame of 1981’s For Your Eyes Only: a Spanish village, descending into chaos by a typical Bond car chase. People gesture in panic, but that one guy – Jimmy’s wife’s dad Spiros – leans at a door frame and smokes a cigarette. “Ha, that’s totally like him”, shouts Jimmy and resumes the movie.Why Bond was here
In For Your Eyes Only, ATAC, a communication system the military uses to control atomic warheads, gets stolen. MI6 hires two archeologists to look for it. When assassin Hector Gonzales (Stefan Kalipha) kills both, Bond (Roger Moore) travels to Spain, to infiltrate his villa and follow the ATAC trail. But Melina Havelock (Carole Bouquet), daughter of the archeologist couple, comes first and kills Gonzales. Not a good idea: Bond and the girl now have to escape a bunch of henchmen. In an old Citroen 2CV “Duck” they make their way through olive plantations, winding roads and the narrow streets of San Martin village – that same village, where Jimmy now offers Bond screenings. How you gonna get there
San Martin is not in Spain, but on Greek island Corfu, where most parts of For Your Eyes Only had been filmed. And it’s real name is Pagi. Numerous streets of the charming village had been used for the car chase – and Jimmy will kindly show them to everyone, who just starts saying “double-o …” to him. Most memorable is probably the junction stunt, where the Citroen falls over, while Bonds persecutors are stuck behind a public bus. Jimmy’s taverna, named “Spiros Bond 007 Café”, is directly next to it.
Pagi, sometimes also Pagoi as derived from its Greek root, is situated in the Northwest of Corfu. Best way to get there is to rent a car and drive through the countryside. From Corfu’s main town Kerkyra (or Corfu town) the trip takes roughly 45 minutes. When not with a map, the easiest way is to drive north into Gouvia and then westwards to Skripero, then after village Kastelanoi follow the road to Vatonies before Pagi comes into sight.
In Kerkyra there are numerous car rental services along the harbor road north of the town center. Day rents start from 30 Euros. There is also a bus running from Kerkyra to Agios Georgios passing Pagi.
Good to know
Not only Pagi had been a movie location, but also its surroundings. Both the road east of the village and the serpentines south of Pagi had been used for the car chase scenes. The southern road leads to Paleokastritsa, that offers a beautiful view over the Ionian Sea.
But for Bondians “Spiros Bond 007 Café” directly in Pagi is the real deal! In the movie, hidden as a Spanish cafeteria, this place offered “heladas” – ice cream. But in reality, the variety of now Greek food is much bigger. Sip a classical Greek coffee while watching the relaxed village life or dream yourself into the car chase. A lot of Bond fans from all over the world have already signed Jimmy’s guest books. And sure a lot more will come.
Coming to Pagi was a lot of fun. We drove a car from Kerkyra over the cypress spiked mountain range of Corfu – and right into the olive groves, that had been host to the For Your Eyes Only car chase. Coming to rest with a fresh brewed Greek coffee at Jimmy’s was splendid.
© 2015 Huntingbond (1,3,4), © 1981 Danjaq, LLC and United Artists Corporation (2)