So, the issue is that if you use a google custom embed code, then the iframe sucks up all the clicks, so you can't trigger a link.
The solution I've found is to use Google Static Maps which I discovered via Simple Static Googlemaps Plugin.
Instead I've embedded the following into my template:
$static_map = '
<img alt="Googlemap" src="http://maps.google.com/maps/api/staticmap?center='. $location
.'&markers=small|' . $location
$popup_map = '
.'hnear=' . $location
$map = '
<div class="map clearfix">
<a class="iframe" href="'. $popup_map . '">
' . $static_map . '
- $location is just an address, nothing fancy (10 Monkey St, Jungletown, Madagascar)
- in $popup_map leaving &iwloc= blank hides the text bubble
i haven't fiddled too much with other params 'cos it seems to work ;)
Hope that helps! (Plenty of room for improvement)