Portugal has over 1000 miles of coastline with the most famed being the Algarve on the South coast, home to over 30 golf-courses the Algarve has become synonymous with golf. As the courses sprung up here so did the properties and today there are an abundance of top-quality resorts to match the fantastic golf-courses of this famous region.
Continuing with our Top 5 golf resorts series, this week we have chosen our Top 5 in Portugal.
So, in no particular order here they are…
Located in Quinta do Lago, on the South Coast of Portugal around 20 minutes drive West from Faro Airport is the Four Seasons Country Club, awarded TripAdvisor’s Travellers Choice Award in 2014. Practice your short game at the Putting and Chipping Greens provided here before heading to Quinta do Lago’s North Course found only 400 metres North of the resort! Top-quality leisure facilities can be found here with lawn bowls, tennis and football courts all available whilst cooling off in the resorts swimming pools and whirlpools couldn’t be more refreshing. Built to mirror the old Moorish style of the region the tasteful apartments and villas of the Four Seasons Country Club are hidden around lavish manicured gardens creating a relaxing holiday experience to remember!
An easy 5 minute walk North brings you to the completely renewed Quinta do Lago Par-72 North Course which is home to Paul McGinley’s Golf Academy. Hop into the car for a quick 5-minute drive South to San Lorenzo’s Par-72 Course where manicured Bermuda grass fairways loop in a figure of eight to provide a spectacular days play. 10 minutes West by car is the 18-hole Vale do Lobo Royal Golf Course and its famous cliff-top 16th hole which gifts stunning views along the shimmering Algarve coastline. Adjacent to the Royal Course is Vale de Lobo’s Par-73 Ocean Course where upon reaching the hillside 11th hole a breathtaking sight awaits all visiting golfers. The 27-hole Championship Course at Pinheiros Altos, within easy reach on foot, presents three contrasting 9-hole courses each designed to challenge and thrill golfers.
Also within the Quinta do Lago Estate on the Algarve is the Four Seasons Fairways, an Interval International Premier Resort nestled between two stunning courses. Generously discounted green fees for local golf-courses are given to guests here whilst the nearby practice facilities of the San Lorenzo Club make for a dream golfing holiday. Off the greens the Four Seasons Fairways provides a full-gym, invigorating indoor and outdoor swimming pools as well as tennis courts to help mix up their holiday adventure. The soothing spa on-site helps to release any tension picked up on the course, whilst Portuguese cuisine amongst many more mouth-watering international dishes can be had at the resorts Flôr da Quinta Restaurant! The epitome of luxury comfort is created within the spacious apartments and villas of this TripAdvisor Travellers Choice 2014 winner on Portugal’s golf coast.
A little over 1km walk West from the resort is Quinta do Lago’s South Par-72 Course which is renowned as the Jewel in the Quinta do Lago Crown and has hosted the Portuguese Open 8 times! Glistening lakes and fruitful orange trees are scattered across the 18-hole Quinta do Lago Laranjal Course, providing a great challenge for the ambitious golfer North of the resort. Play your way through Pine trees, hazardous lakes and wild flowers before the sparkling Atlantic Ocean opens up in front of you at the Royal Course at Vale do Lobo, 10 minutes away by car. West of the resort is the breezy Par-72 at Salgados Golf Club where a technically skilled round is required on this 18-hole course characteristically similar to a links course. The 17th fairway at Benamor Golf Club is obstructed by a large pond whilst its green is guarded by bunkers making for an exciting finish to your round at this Par-71 to the East of the resort.
Bordered by pristine fairways within the luxurious Vilamoura area of the Algarve is the highly sought-after Four Seasons Vilamoura, holder of an RCI Gold Crown. Owners at this resort are given preferential green fees across the Algarve whilst on-site PGA Tuition and a well-stocked Pro Shop treat guests to their own golfing highlights. The resort offers 3 cooling outdoor pools, a jacuzzi and sauna to help refresh visitors under the regions 300 annual sunshine days whilst the kids are catered for too at the seasonal Porcupine Kids Club. Generously spacious apartments gift views over the golf-course, swimming pool and Atlantic Ocean providing a sanctuary on Portugal’s South coast to relax the stress away.
Head West to the Oceanico Pinhal Par-72 where a mixture of rolling parkland terrain, numerous Umbrella and Atlantic pine trees line the fairways challenging golfers along the way. The 79 bunkers of the Oceanico Laguna cause havoc for golfers across its windswept Par-72 Course but make the spoils of the 19th much more appealing, to be found only 5km West. Another Oceanico Course, again West of the Four Seasons Vilamoura, this time the Victoria course which has hosted the Portugal Masters from 2007-2014 and exemplifies the high-standards of the region. Be sure to bring your camera to the Pine Cliffs 9-hole course, around 20 minutes drive West of the resort where the “Devils Parlour” tee box offers sublime coastal views. Balaia Golf Village, also a 20 minute drive West, provides an enticing Par-27 and is a great way to get a quick golfing fix whilst holidaying in Portugal’s famous golf region.
Glamorous Vilamoura is also home to the Hilton Vilamoura As Cascatas Golf Resort & Spa awarded TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence in 2014. The resort has a private putting green so you can practice with precision before enjoying the nearby golf courses of this famous destination. On-site leisure facilities include the award-winning 7Seven Spa, fitness centre and swimming pools are also available to guests whilst the seasonal Paradise Island Kids Club will keep the little ones entertained too! Impressive luxury is to be enjoyed from the accommodation at this Hilton resort and with a prime location to the Algarve’s numerous golf courses this is an ideal golfing destination.
Nestled on the edge of the Oceanico Pinhal Course means fantastic practice facilities are a mere stones throw away including a driving range and putting green to compliment the technical Par-72 Course. The Oceanico Millennium Course in the West tests players accuracy with narrow fairways and tricky lakes dotted around its 18-hole course making for an exhilarating days play. A 20-minute drive East brings you to the Vale do Lobo Ocean Golf Course where photo opportunities are in abundance next to the Atlantic Ocean along this Par-73 Course. A short drive North will take you to the Penina Golf Resort home of the Sir Henry Cotton Championship Course, the first 18-hole course to be built on the Algarve back in 1966.
Flanked by the town of Portimao and city of Albufeira is the Pestana Palm Gardens only 5km West of the enticing Benagil Cave which is only accessible by canoe and provides a hidden gem on the Algarve coast. Golfers here are treated to generous discounts in the Pestana Golf Resort which houses two 18-hole courses, Golf Academy & Club House, only 10 minutes by car from the resort! This RCI Gold Crown Resort presents an outdoor swimming pool and massage centre to relax within after a long day on the course or tennis courts and full gym to loosen up for tomorrow’s game! The breezy accommodation of this high-quality resort makes for a wonderful location to holiday within when not enjoying the outstanding golfing opportunities that surround.
Test out your iron and short-game skills at Vale de Milho’s 9-hole Par-3 which is only 1km North of the resort and is also perfect for families and beginners to play too! The Championship Pestana Gramacho Course is located only 10 minutes North by car and guests at the Palm Gardens can enjoy discounted green fees at this entertaining Par-72. The Pestana Silves Course to the West has the striking backdrop of the Monchique Mountains coupled with surrounding olive groves that make this 18-hole course a real spectacle to behold. Designed by Sir Nick Faldo, his namesake Par-72 Course is a short drive North-East and creates a challenging days play where thought has to go into every shot played or you will be punished. A brief drive East will bring you to Espiche Golf Course set amid unspoiled countryside and local vineyards where the Par 72 requires brains over brawn on the tight fairways of its 5862m course.