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Delving Deep in James Bond Egypt PDF Print E-mail

Roger Moore’s third outing “The Spy Who Loved Me” in 1977 featured Egypt, one of the film location countries long on our bucket list. With recent tourist investments, such as a new Egyptian Museum and enhanced security measures in the country, we were thrilled to finally visit this ancient land.

While many tour Egypt on their own, we chose a blend of our own itinerary along with a group tour organized by Trafalgar tours, which we found to be an excellent operation with incredibly knowledgeable guides.

As this report is singularly about the film locations of James Bond, we’ll skip reviewing the many temples, mosques, shops, restaurants and experiences we had and would insist anyone visiting Egypt be sure to do. We’d be happy to provide more information via email.

Our adventure begins in Cairo, checking into Le Meridian Pyramids Resort, literally across the street from the Pyramids of Giza. Our ride from the airport was a feast of sights, sounds and smells as Cairo is a 24/7 traffic jam of cars, trucks, vans and camels!

We booked our guide for our personal 007 location hunt through Trafalgar and mapped out the locations we had on our list. We thought with the guide, it would be prudent and secure to do so. Interesting enough, the US Embassy also insists armed security join any American on tour, so we had a bodyguard, with a Glock, following us safely behind!

We began our Bond tour at the Ibn Tulin Mosque, a beautiful and accessible courtyard easily recognized as the walkway Bond strolls through on the way to see Fekkesh. As it is a mosque, unlike 007, you will be given coveralls for your shoes. From the Mosque, you enter the Gayer Anderson Museum, a definite must for your visit. You’ll enter at the top of the stairs, where in silhouette Bond arrives, note that now there is a metal detector and guard at the entry (as you will now find at all sites).



British army doctor Robert Gayer-Anderson bought the house in 1937 and it remains as he left it with beautiful carvings, paintings and mosaics from the period. As you explore each floor, you need to ask for the secret room, where Sandor spies on Bond and Felicca. The reception room where Bond enters is beautiful and a great photo op as are the gardens where the famous fight scene takes place.




Sandor Assassin Window



While not Bond, after your visit here be sure to walk the avenue over to El Fishawi which is oldest ahwa in the city since 1773. Stop for a brief rest, some people watching and a delightful tea.

The Pyramids are everything you imagine them to be from films, travelogues and novels, so impressive and incomprehensible in history. Our first stop was the Great Pyramid of Khufu (Cheops), which offers a climb up the inside of the pyramid to the sarcophagus of Khufu. To say if one is claustrophobic, unable to crawl for long distances upward and cannot tolerate 100+ heat; this climb is not for you. Shimming up a narrow shaft to the top in near darkness makes for an Indiana Jones moment and celebration at the top. If you’re able be sure to enjoy. Around the pyramids are the camel ride vendors and here, having your personal guide is handy in not being ripped off as we had a good 30+ minute around the plateau for about $100 for our party of three. After your ride, you’ll visit the Sphinx with plenty of good vistas to have here and wonder at its construction. As you leave the Sphinx exit, have your guide show the “Fekkish tomb” photos to the security officers there. The tomb opening where Fekkish gets his just do from Jaws is in a roped off area to the left of the Sphinx and a little thank you can open doors for Bond adventurers there. It’s a bit of a walk off the tour paths but still exactly as it appears in the film, although the interiors were shot at Pinewood. This is then a good time to return to the hotel for a dry martini and shower before your evening events. We chose to have dinner poolside at the Historic Mena Palace, where the 007 crew stayed and some say the Casbah shots were partially filmed.





Do not skip the Egyptian Museum, plan on at least a half day exploring these antiquities. King Tutankhamen’s tomb artifacts are worth the price alone. *NOTE- the New Egyptian Museum was under construction during our visit and not available.

Check with your concierge for the Lightshow at Giza for times and language you prefer and make sure you allow time to enjoy this combination of light, lasers, music and narration, almost exactly as it appears in “SPY”. It’s an evening you will remember.

The next day your options are fly/bus or train to Luxor, most packaged tours opt for flying to maximize your time. We opted for the flight and arrived early for our tour of the Karnak complex. You’ll immediately recognize the Great Hall of Columns where 007 and Anya are stalked by Jaws atop the columns (also seen in Peter Ustinov’s 1978 Death of the Nile). Don’t shortchange your day here and enjoy the immensity of the grounds, you can also choose to return for its own evening Light Show. The next morning, 3am to be exact, we were delivered to grounds outside the Valley of the Kings and ascended over the burial grounds via hot air balloon. Stunning and while not a film location for Bond, the Valley of the Kings is overwhelming. Near perfectly intact are the hieroglyphics in amazing color and vibrancy, including King Tuts tomb. Nearby are quick stops at Medinet Habu, the temple seen where Jaws enters the ruins driving the van with Bond and Anya inside. Down the road is Ramesseum Temple, used in the confrontation sequence of Bond with Jaws and the collapsing stone scaffolding. These perspectives are easy to find and worth the stop.










From Luxor, we boarded our Nile Cruise Ship through booking with Trafalgar and enjoyed a leisurely curise down to Aswan, stopping at multiple historic sites along the way. Arriving in Aswan, we disembark and trot off to the Old Cataract Hotel for a Vesper and tour Agatha Christie’s suite where she wrote the mystery novel. The hotel is steeped in history and hosted many a politician and celebrity, a must stop. We then board a flight up to Abu Simbel and the tomb of Ramses II. You’ll recognize this as Bonds’ entry to visit M.


From Aswan, we begin the return cruise upriver including visits to Philtae Temple, a Nubian village and so much more adventure. Sadly, our ship docked back at Luxor, we flew back to Cairo and from there, our journey home. James Bond will return….and return to Egypt!