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

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

To understand this, you need to learn 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.

Estoril, 26 km (16 miles) away from Lisbon, is our interest now because there we find the renowned CASINO ESTORIL. It is the biggest casino in Europe — so popular that even foreign tourists who dislike gambling visit it with pleasure. They are curious and don’t want to miss it.

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

Beyond all of that, fans of James Bond may have a fabulous surprise. The most exciting thing about Casino Estoril 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 learn that he’s connected to Portugal!

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

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 luxury touches (but still not the jaw-dropping opulence we see in Monte-Carlo Casino). It is worth noting the ceiling lights reflected on the floor, creating an illusion while we walk.

Europe’s biggest casino

Sadly, we cannot use cameras inside (no casino in the world allows cameras). I’d love to show everything now, as I frequently do in my blog posts, but this time, only the outside photo shown here is mine. The others, in low resolution, I borrowed from the casino’s website.

How to dress & money

Clothing and money are a genuine concern in the mind of tourists who first go there.

Unlike many tourists suppose, Casino Estoril does not require luxury clothes — they prefer it. And you, as a regular tourist, can have fun using just a few coins.

Some machines accept derisory bets with 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!).

Wow, Damas, I’m thrilled. But… well… great, good, wonderful casino, amazing, etc. 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.

Ian Fleming, Casino Estoril, and James Bond

I’m 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, reread the title: Casino Royale. Casino. Does it sound familiar?

On my first trip to Estoril (I live in Portugal), I discovered that Ian Fleming had visited Casino Estoril many times while structuring the plot for “a book about a spy.” The casino was an inspiration for him.

The connection between Fleming and Estoril motivated the producers of one other Bond movie to use the city as a location, including a hotel near the casino. Some of the hotel’s staff appeared as extras, and to this day, Portuguese TV interview them to remember that time.

Ian Fleming, James Bond and Casino Estoril
Ian Fleming

BANG!

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

Excuse me now. I have a meeting with M.

(Did you enjoy your Martini?)

Practical info

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

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

To find it on Google Maps, follow here.

(More Martini?)


GLAUCO DAMAS
» I live in the Algarve (South of Portugal). My first fiction book, for young adults, was published in 2001 in the Portuguese language — a time travel adventure with thousands of readers. I also wrote books and guides about travel and technology. Screenplays are my greatest passion.

» This is the English version of my blog G. DAMAS (Portuguese language, online since 2010). English is not my native language.

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