“The Cradle of Portuguese Tourism”

Near the end of the 19th century, Cascais, influenced by royalty, in particular by king D. Luis who made the Cidadela of Cascais his summer home, went through profound changes in local infra-structures (urban construction of palaces and chalets and the construction of the railway) as well as in its habits and the lifestyle, due to such exclusive vacationers. It was around that time that Cascais began to be known as the Portuguese Riviera.

The Cidadela Fort was adapted to a royal residency, a casino was built, the spa resort , luxury hotels and the Sud-Express was built, a famous railway service connecting Paris to Estoril.

In consequence to the Laws presented in parliament in 1905, destined as an incentive and an aide in the construction of grand hotels, in 1914 Fausto Cardoso Figueiredo and Augusto Carreira de Souza, presented to the senators of the Portuguese Republic a project of construction and management of hotels, casino, spa resort, gardens and parks they wish to build in land the had purchased in Estoril.

In was the creation of an international resort with glamour the prevailed for almost a century.

Later, in the 1930’s, Estoril and Cascais, began to be known as the Estoril Coast, and the law demanded a tourism board to be created, and its headquarters were in Santo António of Estoril. It served the total area of the Cascais district, and was named the “Junta de Turismo da Costa do Sol” (The Sun Coast Tourism Board) and later, due to the name already existing out of the country the “Junta de Turismo da Costa do Estoril” (the Estoril Coast Tourism Board), originating the first official tourism region in the country, known internationally as the Portuguese Riviera.

During the two world wars, especially in World War Two, Estoril became the elected getaway destination for European aristocracy to the horrors of the war, including six royal European families that made Estoril they exile destination.

These VIPs, known and unknown, leave their print when they pass, in which we enhance the presence of the famous writer Ian Fleming in Estoril, where he wrote the first part of Casino Royale, centred on the legendary figure of James Bond, the contributed to the projection of the image of this historical region to the four corners of the world; a region that still today possesses an immense value in the international context.