My life in travel: Olga Kurylenko

'The Great Barrier Reef was amazing... Australia is like being on another planet'

Actress Olga Kurylenko is a spokesperson for Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts. To watch the latest campaign, visit bit.ly/WaldorfOlga

First holiday memory?

St Petersburg. When I was eight years old, my mother took me to see the culture and do some sightseeing. I remember the big palaces where the tsars used to live and the River Neva, because we walked along its banks. It was summer, so the weather was beautiful and hot. Everything was bright and golden.

Favourite place in the British Isles?

London. I love it, that's why I live in the city. I've been there three years. I was first attracted to it because I started to make more English-speaking movies. For a while, I was living out of hotels, which was crazy, so I thought I might as well just live there. I love Chelsea and Notting Hill, all the parks and walking around when it's sunny. I like having tea at Fortnum & Mason too, which is very touristy, but I'm into all that.

Best holiday?

The South of France. I love Provence especially. I've always wanted to get a house there. Last summer, I went on holiday there and I really enjoyed it. I've been before, but this time was special. It's so quiet and peaceful. I went on some beautiful hikes with friends and we just cooked food all the time and talked. We were near the mountains, which is not as touristy at the coast.

What have you learnt from your travels?

Take all the things you need with you. Don't assume you can get it there. Pack all your books and your drawing materials – I don't like to get stuck without things to do. Also, take a huge bag of medicines, so you can be your own doctor.

Beach bum, culture vulture or adrenalin junkie?

If someone says "we're going to the beach'" I'm already filled with anxiety. After one day, I always feel I need to take a walk or go see something. If a beach is near a city, that's a perfect combination. Then I can go and explore with my backpack. I like discovering and sightseeing.

Greatest travel luxury?

Once you fly in a private jet, you realise that it's a pretty good luxury, because you never have to wait. I travel so much that I'm always at the airport, checking in luggage or standing in queues. It's obviously not an affordable luxury and I'll probably never have one myself, but I did fly in one when we went on tour for Quantum of Solace and also for Oblivion. When you have access to one … wow!

Holiday reading?

I'm not really into reading summer bestsellers. I feel like they're a waste of time. I usually read things on psychology or philosophy. I'm interested in why people behave in certain ways and how we develop. That stuff fascinates me.

Where has seduced you?

India. I went there for a holiday and stayed at the Taj Lake Palace in Udaipur in Rajasthan. It was fascinating. We just had the best time. We walked everywhere – around the streets and the markets – we went shopping, we took a little boat tour on the lake, we ate amazing food. It was just relaxing and peaceful. The people were great, too. I didn't necessarily see beautiful things or an easy life, but I saw the reality and that's what I like.

Worst travel experience?

I was stuck on a yacht in the Mediterranean once with people I didn't really connect with. It was difficult because we were at sea so I couldn't just leave. I just didn't like the subjects they spoke about, so I didn't want to participate. I left four days later.

Best hotel?

I love rooms with space. I usually come with big suitcases for work, because I've got to carry things for premieres and press events, so I always need lots of room. The Waldorf Astoria hotels are definitely for people who travel a lot and need to stay for more than a day. They become like home.

Best meal abroad?

Japan. I've tried the most amazing dishes there. They realised how adventurous I am, so they would put the most weird-looking things in front of me, things that even Japanese people don't eat, to see if I would.

Greatest adventure?

Australia. I went to see the Great Barrier Reef and it was just amazing. You put a scuba mask on and swim along these lines of coral, amid all these beautiful colours. Apart from the sea, Australia has amazing forests and incredible animals, too. It's so different from what we have here. It's like being on another planet.

Where next?

Los Angeles, then Toronto. I still haven't been to Kenya, which everyone raves about because of the wildlife, so I'd like to go there. And a trip to Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia would be nice.

The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Extras
indybest
Travel
Flocking round: Beyoncé, Madame Tussauds' latest waxwork, looking fierce in the park
travelIn a digital age when we have more access than ever to the stars, why are waxworks still pulling in crowds?
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Judi Dench appeared at the Hay Festival to perform excerpts from Shakespearean plays
tvJudi Dench and Hugh Bonneville join Benedict Cumberbatch in BBC Shakespeare adaptations
Sport
Is this how Mario Balotelli will cruise into Liverpool?
football
News
Ronahi Serhat, a PKK fighter, in the Qandil Mountains in Iraqi Kurdistan
i100
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Arts and Entertainment
Poet’s corner: Philip Larkin at the venetian window of his home in 1958
booksOr caring, playful man who lived for others? A new book has the answer
Arts and Entertainment
Exhibition at the Centre Pompidou in Metz - 23 May 2012
art
News
Matthew McConaughey and his son Levi at the game between the Boston Red Sox and the Houston Astros at Fenway Park on August 17, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts.
advertisingOscar-winner’s Lincoln deal is latest in a lucrative ad production line
Life and Style
Pick of the bunch: Sudi Pigott puts together roasted tomatoes with peppers, aubergines and Labneh cheese for a tomato-inspired vegetarian main dish
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Alfred Molina, left, and John Lithgow in a scene from 'Love Is Strange'
film
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Oracle 11g SQL 2008 DBA (Unix, Oracle RAC, Mirroring, Replicati

    £6000 - £50000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: Oracle 11...

    Recruitment Consultant (Graduate Trainee), Finchley Central

    £17K OTE £30K: Charter Selection: Highly successful and innovative specialist...

    SQL DBA/ C# Developer - T-SQL, C#.Net

    £45000 - £55000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Working with an exciting ...

    Sales and Office Administrator – Sports Media

    £23,000: Sauce Recruitment: A global leader in sports and entertainment is now...

    Day In a Page

    Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

    Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

    The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
    Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

    Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

    A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
    Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

    Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

    Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
    Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

    Nick Clegg the movie

    Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
    Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

    Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

    Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
    Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

    Waxing lyrical

    Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
    Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

    Revealed (to the minute)

    The precise time when impressionism was born
    From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

    Make the most of British tomatoes

    The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
    10 best men's skincare products

    Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

    Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
    Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

    Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

    The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
    La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

    Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

    Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
    Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

    We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

    Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
    Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

    Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

    Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
    Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

    The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

    Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
    Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

    Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

    Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape