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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.


Portugal, Casino Estoril, Ian Fleming, James Bond: there’s a surprising connection here.

To understand this, you need to know that Lisbon, Cascais, Sintra, and Estoril are top choices for tourism in Portugal. These cities are close to each other, and Lisbon is the nation’s capital. 

In Estoril, 26km (16 miles) away from Lisbon, we find the famous CASINO ESTORIL. It is the biggest casino in Europe — so popular that even foreign tourists who do not like to gamble visit it with pleasure. They are curious. They want to see it.

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

Even more, fans of James Bond may have an incredibly special surprise.

The most interesting thing about Casino Estoril, if you are crazy about 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! I’m very curious!

Great.

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

Inside

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

Europe’s biggest casino

Sadly, we cannot use cameras inside. I’d love to show everything in detail now, as I frequently do in my blog posts. This time, only the outside photo shown here is mine. The others, in low resolution, were borrowed from the casino’s website.

Clothes and money

Regarding clothing and money, there is a natural worry in the mind of tourists who first go there.

Unlike what many tourists think, luxury clothes are not required in Casino Estoril (but welcome). And you, as a regular tourist, can have fun using just a few coins.

There are machines that accept minor bets — cents of euro. Well, you are gambling, and it will not be a lie if you tell your friends you’ve taken risks by spending money in a real casino (how adventurous you are!).

Now, look at these photos:

Wow, Damas. I’m thrilled. But… well… great, great, good casino, amazing, etc. Thank you. But so far you’ve said nothing about James Bond. 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 am a fan of 007 adventures — both the books and the films. The famous secret agent originally appeared in books written by Ian Fleming. The first book (1953) was Casino Royale, adapted to the big screen a few years ago with Daniel Craig as Bond.

Bond. James Bond.

Now, read again. Casino Royale. Casino. Does it sound familiar?

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.

It is not a surprise now to know that scenes of other Bond movie have been shot in this area, including a hotel near the casino.

Ian Fleming, James Bond and Casino Estoril
Ian Fleming

BANG!

I’m proud to see my beloved Portugal so connected with Mr. Bond.

Excuse me now, I have a meeting with M.

(Did you enjoy your Martini?)

Practical info

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

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

To find it on Google Maps, follow here.

(More Martini?)


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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