Vale do Lobo
The Algarve region of Portugal is well known for the quality of its golf courses, mild climate, golden beaches, and spectacular scenery. With an ever-increasing number of first-class courses available year-round, the Algarve is truly a superb destination for golfers of any ability. Located on the tip of Europe with the vast ocean of the Atlantic as its southern and western border, this enviable position gives this region possibly the most unpolluted climate in the European continent.
Quite simply, the Algarve is one of Europe’s premier destinations when it comes to golf holidays. Low or high handicaps, small groups or large societies, it matters not. This is a genuine golfers paradise, combining amazing holiday resorts with a plethora of courses of the highest quality, offering experiences and challenges to suit everyone with a love of the ball and the stick.
In fact, there is so much amazing choice that it’s difficult to even select our favourites. So here’s just a pick of the very best golf courses that the Algarve has to offer.
Possibly the most popular golf resort across the Algarve (and perhaps Portugal as a whole), the Quinta do Lago resort combines fabulous facilities with some spectacular golfing experiences that are as much a joy as they are a test of your game.
All three courses at the resort (North, South and Laranjal) offer amazing golf, immaculate presentation and their own unique challenges. In fact, if you only played at Quinta do Lago on your holiday, you’d be in for a treat every time you stepped out onto the course.
But if we had to choose, then the South course is probably the pick of the bunch. A host to the Open de Portugal on multiple occasions, it plays as you’d expect from a tour standard championship course. However, there’s more than enough forgiveness out there to ensure that this can be enjoyed by all golfers of all handicaps.
A fabulous golfing experience, at a fabulous venue in the heart of the Algarve.
Opened in 2007, this Jack Nicklaus designed course has fast become a proper gem and a regular favourite for returning visitors to the Algarve.
It’s a little bit off the traditional track, located up towards the more sedate, but really quite beautiful town of Tavira. And make no mistake, this course is worth the visit.
Beautifully maintained, the course benefits from some of the most spectacular mountain scenery that you’ll find anywhere in the country. And with plenty of water and interestingly placed bunkers throughout, you can be assured of an amazing golfing test.
Every hole has been intrinsically designed to challenge without ever seeking to demoralise, meaning golfers of all levels can enjoy rather than endure their day on the course. A course whose reputation grows year after year, this is one that should feature high on the must-play list.
This is one of the golf resorts that arguably put Algarve on the map as a golfing destination back in the late sixties, early seventies. And, with its two high-end courses snaked around one of the region’s largest luxury complexes, it retains plenty of appeal to today’s golf tourists.
Another former destination for the Open de Portugal, the Royal Course on the resort has gone through a number of renovations over the years to ensure that it retains its popularity and continues to offer a true golfing challenge.
It’s nothing if not spectacular to play, with sweeping views out across the Atlantic, and rolling fairways as easy on the eye as they are challenging to find from the tee.
Without a doubt, the signature hole, that perfectly encapsulates golf at Vale de Lobo, is the 16th. A breath-taking par-3 on the very edge of the sandstone cliffs requires a knee-trembling shot across the sheer gorges to a target close to 220m away.
It's a course worth playing just for this one moment.
Benefitting from a stunning sandy seaside landscape and the marshland of the adjacent bird sanctuary, San Lorenzo is an elegant course that’s a real treat to plot a path around.
As scenic as it is testing, the fairways are bordered by umbrella pines and the greens are protected by strategically positioned bunkers and natural water hazards. A course that requires concentration and thought. If you’ve got your driver working, then there are good scores to be found.
Rated highly by locals and golf tourists alike, San Lorenzo offers exceptional golf for your group thanks to its natural beauty and clever design. And, just a short drive from Faro and popular resorts like Vilamoura, it’s also ideally accessible.
Another course that dates back to the start of the Algarve golf boom, Dom Pedro’s Old Course was first established in 1969 and has long held a warm place in the heart of local and visiting golfers to the region.
One of the high-quality courses in the Vilamoura area, the old course of the Dom Pedro resort still takes some beating and should be considered a must-play for those staying nearby. The kind of course that will keep you swapping tales of joy and woe as you sip your wine around the marina, well into the night.
Success largely depends on your start when you play Dom Pedro Old Course. Find the fairways over the opening holes and scoring can be good. But things can get tricky soon after. Each exquisite hole offers a true, but fair, test of your game. From sloping greens, ball-catching bunkers and ponds, and doglegs that can spell trouble if your accuracy wavers.
Throw in some simply stunning natural beauty as you meander through the pines and you’ll soon understand why golf here, and indeed across the Algarve, is such a special experience.
There’s nothing quite like an Algarve golf holiday
Since Sir Henry Cotton and contemporaries established the first of the resorts in the 1960s, the Algarve has been considered a proper paradise for golf holiday-makers. With so many wonderful courses to choose from, you simply cannot fail to be impressed by the place, and you'll be seeking a return to try out more as soon as you can.
For your golf holiday to the Algarve, and to start selecting which of the many magnificent courses to fit into your itinerary, give us a call today.
The Algarve in Portugal is one of Europe’s favourite golfing destinations, boasting many world class golf courses, excellent amenities, plus warm and dry playing conditions almost all year round. Each golf course in the Algarve offers a unique design taking advantage of the local landscape and allowing the golfer a challenging yet pleasing game.The best time to visit the Algarve for Golf, is probably early and late summer, a time when it it a little cooler to enjoy your game and has less risk of rainy periods. However, the Algarve does boast a milder climate than many parts of Europe, so all year round golfing is possible and it certainly offers an escape from the much colder parts of Europe.
Accommodation in the Algarve ranges from bustling towns like Albufeira, golf resorts such as Vilamoura, to traditional guest houses, located in the small towns and villages surrounding the Algarve coast. This region of Portugal is a very popular destination with golfers from the UK, Ireland and other European countries who come here to enjoy many recreational activities the Algarve has to offer. You can see more information on accommodation and golf courses in the Algarve.
The most popular golfing destination in the Algarve is Vilamoura with the majority of the 7 Dom Pedro courses, including Victoria, Pinhal, Laguna, Millennium and of course the Old course. Towns such as Albufeira are very popular with the golfing societies with an abundance of bars, restaurants and plenty of other activities.
The Coast of the Algarve is also very popular for water sport such as windsurfing and sailing, helped by the Atlantic winds that create the perfect conditions for this type of activity. Inland you will also find plenty to do after the 18’th hole, an abundance of restaurants, bars, shopping (including local markets) and nightlife to suit many tastes, from the traditional to the more cosmopolitan.