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The famous Casino Estoril, in Portugal, and the creation of James Bond

This is the English version of my blog GDAMAS (Portuguese language, online since 2010). I'm still working on it. English is not my native language. Please, feel free to correct me.


Lisbon, Cascais, Sintra and Estoril are top choices for tourism in Portugal. These cities are very close to each other, and Lisbon is the capital of the country.

In Estoril, 26km (16 miles) away from Lisbon, fans of James Bond will discover a very special surprise. We find there the hugely famous CASINO ESTORIL. It is the biggest casino in Europe. The most interesting thing about it, if you’re crazy for Bond, is its history, which is closely linked to the creation of James Bond. Or, if you prefer, the creation of 007.

Hey, Damas, I absolutely love James Bond! What a surprise to know that he’s connected to Portugal! Please, explain this thing to me. I’m very curious!

Sure.

Grab your Martini and your pistol and, with or without a license to kill, come with me.

My name is Damas. Glauco Damas.

Front and entrance of the Casino Estoril, associated with James Bond

Visiting Casino Estoril

The enormous Casino Estoril is so popular that even foreign tourists who do not like to gamble visit it with pleasure. They’re curious. They want to see it.

The decoration is quite impressive, with touches of luxury (but still not the jaw-dropping luxury we see in Monte-Carlo Casino). It’s worth noting the ceiling lights reflected on the floor, creating a cool effect while we walk.

The gamble tables and the hundreds of modern machines are not the only things that attract visitors. People go there to enjoy theatrical performances, art exhibition and live music. And… well, there are bars with superb cocktails.

Sadly, we cannot use cameras inside (as usual in all casinos). I’d love to show everything in details right now, as I often do in my blog posts. This time, only the external photo shown here is mine. The others, in low resolution, were borrowed from the casino’s website.

Clothes and money

Regarding to clothes and necessary money, there is a natural concern in the mind of tourists who arrive there for the first time.

Contrary to what many tourists think, luxury clothing is not required in Casino Estoril (but would be welcome), and you, as a regular tourist, can have some fun using only a few coins.

There are several machines that accept petty bets — cents of euro. Well, you are gambling, and it’s not a lie if later you tell your friends you took risks by spending money in a real casino.  That’s what I did (but please tell nobody).

Now, take a look at these photos:

Wow, Damas. I’m delighted. But … well … great, great, good casino, amazing, etc. Thank you. But until now you said nothing about James Bond. After all, what does 007 have to do with this casino?

Surprise, surprise!

James Bond and his history with Casino Estoril.
Bond. James Bond.

Ian Fleming, Casino Estoril and James Bond

I’m a fan of 007 adventures — both the books and the films. I believe you know that the famous agent first appeared on books created by Ian Fleming. The first book (1953) was Casino Royale, adapted to the big screen a few years ago with debut of Daniel Craig as Bond.

Well, read again. CASINO Royale. Casino. Does it sound familiar now?

In my first trip to Estoril (I live in Portugal), I was amazed to know that Ian Fleming visited Casino Estoril many times, also when he was structuring the plot for “a book about a spy.” Casino Estoril was an inspiration.

So, my dear reader, a casino in Portugal is deeply linked to Mr. Bond. Now it is not a surprise to know that some scenes of other Bond movies were shot in that area, including a hotel near the casino.

Ian Fleming, James Bond and Casino Estoril
Ian Fleming

BANG!

Excuse me now, I have a meeting with M.

Practical info

Casino Estoril opens from 3PM to 3AM every day.

Phone: +351 214 667 700. E-mail: info.cestoril@estoril-sol.com

To locate it on Google Maps, follow here.


G. DAMAS
I live in the Algarve (South of Portugal). My first fiction book, for young adults, was published in 2001 in Portuguese language — a time travel adventure that won thousands of readers. I also wrote some travel and tech books and manuals.
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