Santo da Serra
The island of Madeira, and neighbouring Porto Santo, are found in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. These islands offer natural beauty, including exotic flowers and fauna; two thirds are protected areas and the largest forest in the world – the Laurissilva – is located.
Golf holidays in Madeira are defined, much like the entire archipelago, by their beauty. Indeed, for any golfer or golfing group planning to visit, it’s a destination that puts quality ahead of quantity.
Courses that offer immaculate playing conditions, interesting layouts and jaw-dropping views. Holes designed to challenge and make you think, at venues and clubs that are as warmly welcoming as they are rich in quality facilities.
There may only be a small choice of courses to play, but each is a joy to experience that makes for a fabulous island holiday.
The course and club at Porto Santo make a golf holiday to Madeira worth the trip all by itself. Brushing up to the ocean on the Madeiran archipelago’s smallest inhabited island, the course is a sheer joy to visit and to play from the second you arrive.
First, the surroundings. To walk the course is to drink in views of staggering natural beauty. From the stretch of sandy beach adjacent to the ancient volcano or the cliff-top views across the Atlantic. Not to mention the naturalistic beauty of the course itself, combining exceptional maintenance with a ruggedness reminiscent of Scottish links or possibly Pebble Beach.
As for the golf, well, its nothing less than an utter delight.
Opened in 2004, Porto Santo is the design of the late, great Seve Ballesteros. And, how you can tell. With every slope and undulation, Seve’s touch can be felt, delivering a course designed to represent the exuberance, fun and imagination that defined the great man’s career.
With a nine-hole, par-3 course on-site for ‘a bit of fun,’ the full course offers an 18-hole experience that’s just shy of 6,000m from the back tees. And there’s never a dull moment.
It’s certainly a challenge, especially when the wind blows, but there’s enough forgiveness to ensure higher handicaps can enjoy the round. Making this a genuine destination golf club.
Porto Santo is a ferry journey or flight away from the capital, Funchal, but it’s worth the journey. And, with a stunning modern clubhouse, amazing facilities and some fine Madeiran dining, you’ll enjoy your time off the course as much as you do on it.
The golf club at Santo Da Serra is one of those venues that just tick a lot of key boxes when it comes to golf holidays, be that in Madeira, mainland Portugal, or Southern Europe in general.
As well as being the host venue of the Madeira Island Open, Santo Da Serra is also a perfect base for holiday golf for any handicap or playing ability.
Like Madeiran golf in general, the golf club is welcoming to visitors and boasts facilities that you’d expect from a Tour-sanctioned venue.
But, it’s on course where Santo Da Serra really comes into its own.
The golf is comprised of three 9-hole loops, designed by legendary US-architect Robert Trent Jones. And what an experience they offer. Perched high upon clifftops that offer sensational Atlantic views, each nine is defined by generous, lush fairways and narrow greens.
The Machico and Desertas courses tend to be favourites among visitors as that’s the track that makes up the championship course. However, the newer Serras nine is not to be ignored.
A slightly shorter course to the others, it has its own appeal thanks to the quality of its upkeep and interesting layout.
For the golfing tourist visiting Santo Da Serra it means plenty of choice and different perspectives dependent on the order in which you play each course.
Lending itself to this further, the courses offer a mix of tees to suit different abilities, meaning a more relaxed round from the forward tees or a chance to get your teeth into the 6,200m championship loop if you feel your game is up to it.
A true championship course, a genuine joy to play and a must-visit venue for any golf holiday in Madeira.
One of the great joys of Palheiro, and a compelling reason to visit and to play, is its setting.
Just a few miles from Funchal, Palheiro is easily accessible for those combining time in the hub of the Madeira capital with quality time on the golf course.
This is a place set up perfectly for holiday golf. As well-maintained as you’d expect for a course in this region, the layout lends itself to a more relaxed style of play.
From the course you’ll enjoy the scenic views out across the bay and Atlantic, and fairways that meander through pine woods and botanical gardens. And while it may be a more gentle environment, there remains plenty of teeth to punish wayward shots.
Play well here and you can make a good score. Get sloppy and watch your numbers rack up.
The course itself can feel a little lopsided compared to more familiar set-ups, given the number of par-5s on the back nine. But it makes for an interesting quirk and an enjoyable risk-reward challenge on the homeward stretch.
Quality golf on the pearl of the North Atlantic
The climate, scenery and chilled-out holiday vibe of this collection of islands in the North Atlantic make Madeira a much desired holiday destination in its own right.
And, while the choice of courses maybe fewer here than elsewhere in Europe, the quality of golf on offer is truly top class. Whether ready to pit yourself against championship conditions, play courses in the vision of legends, or simply revel in out and out holiday golf, Madeira offers the lot.
Contact us or speak to one of our consultants if you’re ready to explore the options of a memorable golf holiday to Madeira.
On both islands, the temperature has a warm climate most of the year with an average of around 20-25 degrees throughout the summer months; Madeira being an ideal location to holiday and play golf, enjoy a walk, plus experiencing other activities such as sailing, scuba diving, sea fishing and canyoning. Porto Santo, being a quieter island, gives you the chance to enjoy a beach holiday and a little golf but also a place where you can escape from the stress of daily life.
Gastronomy is a key factor on Madeira with many restaurants offering local cuisine, typical to this Portuguese island, such as Beef Espetada (a skewer cooked on a wood or charcoal grill), Picadinho, a traditional Madeiran dish (a sharing platter made with beef or Picado which is made with octopus or squid). There is also an abundance of fish and vegetable dishes to enjoy.
Madeira also has annual festivals such as the Carnival parades, flower festival and New Year’s Eve fireworks display; as well as being islands to discover, enjoy and being virtually crime free, these are two of the safest holiday destinations in the world and definitely worth a visit.
We like to think that we can offer the best deals for our clients, therefore, try to beat any “like for like” quote, if you have a better quote from another provider don’t commit until you have spoken to us.
Play golf in Madeira for less, with Direct Golf Holidays.