Take advantage of the country’s mild climate and set off to discover what many consider to be the golfers’ paradise. Portugal has more than 70 golf courses from north to south, where you can play by the sea shore amidst grass-covered sand dunes, make your way through elegant parkland areas flanked by trees and delight in some magnificent views.
Designed with great intelligence, these courses present difficult challenges even to the most skilful of golfers and offer all players the great beauty of their natural settings. The sun is an ever-present companion and provides some truly perfect days for golfing enthusiasts.
Twice voted the world’s best golfing destination, the Algarve has more than 30 golf courses along its coast, all ready and waiting to see some great shots inspired by the ocean and visited by golfers from all over the world. Here, the sun’s presence is even more certain, being guaranteed all year round. The courses have been designed by such highly regarded architects as Sir Henry Cotton and Arnold Palmer and provide some excellent challenges, playing against the beautiful backdrop of green superimposed on blue.
Courses such as the Old Course and the Victoria Clube de Golfe in Vilamoura host a series of famous international events. The Estoril Coast, with its privileged location close to Lisbon, is a destination highly appreciated by golfers. At the Belas course, designed by Rocky Roquemore, the wind requires players to rethink the natural trajectory of their strokes. The Quinta da Marinha Oitavos Golfe, set amidst pine-trees and sand dunes in an area of great natural beauty, is the first golf course in Europe and the second course in the world to be awarded the Audubon International “Certified Signature Sanctuary/Gold”.
Set in the Cultural Landscape of Sintra, classified as a World Heritage site, the Penha Longa Mosteiro and Atlântico courses together form a loop that presents challenges for all golfers. The Palácio de Pena, standing high up in the hills, and the ruins that you will encounter in the middle of the course set the tone for your later discovery of the region.
To the south of the River Tagus, long, seemingly never-ending expanses of sand bathed by the immense Atlantic Ocean mark out the boundaries of the golf courses designed by world-famous architects such as Frank Pennink and Robert Trent Jones. Located in a protected area to the south of Setúbal, the course of Tróia is surrounded by pine-trees in an idyllic setting between the water of the River Sado on one side and the sea on the other.
Sea and beaches, cliffs and dunes, always warmed and illuminated by the sun, are the permanent painted backdrop to the golf courses of the west coast. Just a few kilometres from the historic medieval town of Óbidos, in an area of rare environmental beauty, the Praia D’el Rey course, designed by the American architect Cabell Robinson, offers golfers a combination of magnificent sea views, spectacular cliffs and elegant pine-groves. Thirty minutes from Óbidos, and rivalling this course in terms of both its beauty and the challenges that it provides, is the Golden Eagle course, designed by Rocky Roquemore with a typically American layout.
Madeira is another destination that is becoming increasingly popular amongst golfers. The breathtaking landscapes of the Palheiro Golfe and Santo da Serra courses compete with one another to be the most beautiful. The Porto Santo Golfe course, originally designed by the famous Spanish golfer Severiano Ballesteros, offers players a truly fabulous view over the
extensive beach of the island of Porto Santo.
The Azores offer you the chance to play golf amidst lakes and mountains, with the sea always in view. The choice is between the Furnas golf course designed by the famous Scottish architect Mackenzie Ross, the plains of the Batalha course, or the Terceira course, surrounded by thousands of flowers.