This Famous James Bond Filming Location Also Happens To Be The Most Stunning Ski Spot

The James Bond movie franchise loves a good ski chase, and if you feel the same, you can pursue a Bond-inspired travel adventure in the Austrian Alps. Since 1969, when the fictional secret agent hit the slopes in "On Her Majesty's Secret Service," Bond has returned to such alpine settings again and again. Technically, agent 007 isn't always on skis because he's been known to ride a Stradivarius cello case down the slopes, toboggan style, as seen in 1987's "The Living Daylights." However, even when Bond is sort of bobsledding downhill in a plane fuselage that's lost its wings, his choice of setting can inspire real-world travel to Sölden, a ski destination in Tyrol, Austria.

Nestled in the Ötztal valley, Sölden's ski area is where scenes for "Spectre" — Daniel Craig's second to last outing as Bond — were shot in 2015. You may remember the big action set piece where Bond flies the plane in, chasing bad guys in Land Rovers who have kidnapped Dr. Madeleine Swann, played by Léa Seydoux. That was filmed on Ötztal Glacier Road, one of Europe's highest paved roads, which also leads through the Rosi Mittermaier Tunnel, which is said to be the continent's highest road tunnel. If you want to soar to new travel heights, Sölden has several other places seen in "Spectre" that promise to keep you busy skiing, dining, and exploring a cinematic installation built inside a mountain like a Bond villain's lair.

Skiing and more Bond adventures in Sölden

Sölden is the only place in Austria where you'll find three ski mountains taller than 3,000 meters. The highest of them, Schwarze Schneid, has a gondola that lets out at 3,340 meters, where you can access the country's longest ski run. To get there, you'll pass through Rettenbach Glacier, where Piste No. 30 leads down the same way that Bond and the bad guys went in "Spectre."

Bond first meets Madeleine Swann at a wellness clinic perched high up on one of the other three mountains, Gaislachkogl. The architecture is real, but those glass walls looking out over the snow-covered Alps from 3,048 meters up house a gourmet restaurant, not a clinic. Coincidentally, the restaurant's name is ice Q, as if it were always meant to beckon Bond's gadgeteer, Q (Ben Whishaw), to an icy setting, along with skiers looking to unwind and enjoy stunning views.

Like Q in "Spectre," you can make the 12-minute ride on the cable car up to the restaurant on Gaislachkogl's summit. Forget about the "digestive enzyme shake" Q orders for Bond, after the non-alcoholic bar rebuffs 007's request for his typical martini, shaken, not stirred. At ice Q, you can order a martini if you like, and the restaurant also specializes in a Pinot Noir label called Pino 3000. After your meal, head to the adjacent "007 Elements" cinematic installation, where you can go inside the mountain and explore sleek galleries with authentic Bond gadgets.

Other Bond-inspired ski destinations in Europe

If you can't make it to Sölden, there are half a dozen other European ski destinations associated with James Bond. Even Austria has other options. "The Living Daylights" shot its ski chase (with Timothy Dalton's Bond riding the aforementioned cello case), at Weissensee, a frozen lake in Carinthia, Austria. Weissensee's ski resort is family-friendly, and the lake is billed as Europe's biggest natural ice rink. In addition to skating, it's a popular cross-country skiing destination.

Across the border in Switzerland, Roger Moore fans can go skiing and snowboarding in St. Moritz, where "The Spy Who Loved Me" chase was filmed (with 007 evading KGB assassins by parachuting off a cliff). Head over to the nearby Diavolezza glacier area to follow Bond's ski tracks in "A View to a Kill."

Above the village of Mürren, Switzerland, the summit Schilthorn and its revolving restaurant still draw visitors to the location seen in "On Her Majesty's Secret Service," the George Lazenby-led Bond movie that first got the snowball rolling. That restaurant, Piz Gloria, used the same name on-screen as the headquarters of the villain Blofeld (Telly Savales). It now offers a "Spy World" exhibit, 007 Burger, and the James Bond Brunch, while Schilthorn's skiing area caters to skiers of all levels. If that's not enough, fans of Moore or Pierce Brosnan's Bond can visit ski resorts in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy, and Chamonix, France, to relive "For Your Eyes Only" and "The World Is Not Enough."