Lisbon - A Golfers Paradise - Golf in Portugal has become synonymous with resort golf breaks over the past 30 years, with a climate that is perfect for holiday golf. The Lisbon Coast offers a large range of golf course, varied terrains and some stunning scenery. To the travelling golfer, the area is quite undiscovered; however, with culture, cuisine and views across the Atlantic, this really is a golfer's paradise.
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Lisbon the capital city is one of the very few in Europe with both a river and a coastline, lending itself to local charm and unique infrastructure.
The City has culture, great gastronomy, along with beaches and the best place for a relaxing drink is the popular Docas area where the former warehouses have been transformed into a cosmopolitan area for bars & restaurants.
Before reading further, if you are considering a weekend away or short break to Lisbon, our golf course and hotel resort packages can be viewed on our Lisbon golf holidays page where you will more information and special deals.
Culture and a Rich History
Nearby are the attractions of the Golden Gate’s twin sister in the “25 de Abril Bridge”, along with the “Jeronimos Monastery” a World Heritage site and Vasco da Gama’s resting place. The famous “Belem Tower” not to mention an array of Museum’s for those of us with a cultural side.
As a destination, Lisbon is divided into three golfing separate regions.
More: Lisbon Golfing Breaks
Further West is the town of Cascais located on the West coast, the ever-popular Guincho beach famous for the World Windsurfing Championships, just a few kilometres away. This sugar sand beach is very popular at weekends, with travellers, surfers and the locals too.
The town itself is a hive of activity with a large variety of nightspots, bars and restaurants galore, why not taste the delicacies of the famous Portuguese dish of Chicken Piri Piri which can be found in the Jardim dos Frangos restaurant.
Golf, of course, comes pretty high on the agenda here with the Oitavos Dunes Links is rated as one of the best golf courses in Portugal, a true links golf course and is currently rated as number 58 in the World a standing that year by year improves. Raw nature and pine enclosed fairways along with wide sweeping mountain and ocean views. A Championship golf course with an impressive glass clubhouse, one to be added to your bucket list golf courses to play. Lisbon - A Golfers Paradise
Other golf courses in the region are:
Located just five kilometres away is the most Westerly Point in Continental Europe and the location of the Cabo da Roca Lighthouse, well worth a visit.
Whilst in the region you have to visit the cultural epicentre that is Pena Palace. The Park, Botanical gardens and Pena Palace (Home to the Portuguese Royal Family for centuries) along with Castela dos Moures and Sintra National Palace are a must. Whilst in Sintra visit the wine & port shops, in particular “Binhoteca” which has a fantastic selection of both Wines from the Douro (North Portugal) and surrounding regions, as well as a wide selection of local and Vintage Port to choose from.
Quinta da Marinha Hotel - this Five Star Hotel sits overlooking its own 18 hole golf course at the centre of the Quinta da Marinha Resort, the hotel is great value-for-money and all residents playing golf receive unlimited daily golf.
This is the most popular and golfing region of the three regions, located some 30 minutes west of the main capital.
Estoril is located within the Municipality of Cascais and is a popular entertainment venue opposite the Tamariz Beach.
It is home to Europe’s largest casino and has numerous bars and restaurants to suit all tastes. The train station is located opposite the Casino and access into the city is very easy to take the train to the Alcantara-Mar stop, exit the station and walk towards the bridge for Docas and its bars & restaurants.
Whilst in Estoril there are numerous hotels to choose from, the Five-Star Estoril Palacio Hotel is a majestic property located at the centre of Estoril overlooking Estoril Casino and opposite Tamariz Beach. This Hotel is famous its visitors which have been the Portuguese Royal family and was also the setting for the 1969 James Bond film “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.
To the South of the River Tagus and Lisbon is the stunning Costa Azul & Troia Region. We highly recommend car hire when discovering this region as it is more widespread than the other regions. The most popular town in the region is Sesimbra, once a quiet fishing village, now a thriving popular town with the focus never away from the daily catch. If you are looking for fresh fish at unbelievable prices than Sesimbra is for sure the best place to go. The town itself dates back to the 13th century and has not changed in many ways, there are a few new and modern hotels but overall it has never lost its culture.
The Troia Peninsula has fantastic beaches and a few hotels, it is relatively quiet year-round, so great for switching off and relaxing, although July & August are its peak months and very busy. This small region holds one of Portugal’s best-kept secrets in the 18 Hole Championship Troia golf course, designed by the famous golf architect Robert Trent Jones Senior - not for the faint-hearted on a breezy day a fantastic test of golf. Golf World rated Troia as the 17th best golf course in Continental Europe in 2018.
Aroeira I & II have been nicknamed the “Wentworth of Portugal” these two fantastic golf courses are carved through the forest, a straight drive here is essential errant one will be harshly punished! The region also has numerous other golf courses of note in, Ribagolfe I & II, Montado, Quinta do Peru & Santo Estevao.
Setubal is another popular venue whilst visiting the region dating back to the Romans, now more a busy city and located on the South side of the river Sado. It is adjacent to the nature reserves of the Sado Estuary Reserve where it is possible to watch dolphins in the wild.
The Arrabida Natural Park, although relatively small it has a great variety of Flora and fauna, umbrella pines & cypress trees as well as rare eagles, wild cats & falcons. Setubal also has the Ferry Port with the Ferry running most of the day between Setubal and the Troia Peninsula.
Sesimbra is the main area for travelling golfers and consequently our choice of places to stay is the Sesimbra Golf & Spa Hotel, this modern four-star Hotel is located on the main promenade at the centre of town, it is great value-for-money and ideally located for the surrounding golf courses.
Drive an hour north from Lisbon International airport and you will be in the heart of the Silver Coast Region. A much quieter and relaxed, but more cultural region.
This region caters for food lovers with fantastic fish restaurants in Peniche overlooking the rolling surf of the Atlantic Ocean, the pick of which is the Profresco Fish Market and restaurant. Adjacent to Peniche is the best beach in the region, for its restaurants and its popularity, Caleal is the pick.
For golf the first of which is the Praia D’El Rey golf course, some say the first real Links golf course in Portugal, a great test of golf from the first to 18th Tees, interesting in the wind and with numerous Tee boxes enjoyable for golfers of all abilities.
The Jewel, however on the proverbial crown of Portuguese and some say European golf is the fantastic West Cliffs Golf Course another great design from the Portfolio of Dye Design, this time from Cynthia Dye niece to the great Pete Dye, this fantastic golf course winds its way through the natural sands dunes and down across the top of Praia D’El Rey beach. Those who have played it rate it amongst the best that Europe has to offer and for a golf course opened barely a year it is one that is or has to be your next bucket list golf course.
When staying in the region the best place to stay in our opinion Praia D’El Rey Golf Resort, this extensive resort sits atop the Cliffs with both of its 18 Hole Championship golf courses running adjacent to the beach. Stay here at the resort and choose from either the fantastic Praia D’El Rey Marriott – a stunning five-star hotel sitting directly on the cliff-top with breath-taking Atlantic views, with an extensive spa, numerous bars and restaurants, with great practice facilities and access to the two on-site golf courses.
Or for those looking for a little more privacy then choose from The Village Residences adjacent to either the entrance to the resort, near to the golf clubhouse or beach-front overlooking Praia D’El Rey Beach, all of which are appointed to the highest of standards in typical Portuguese regional design, with access to swimming pools, either shared or private and all guests have access to the complimentary transfer service, serving both West Cliffs and Praia D’El Rey golf courses.
Nearby you will find the walled city of Obidos, built back even before the moors the original wall around the city is still in place, into which you will find a quaint and busy town with small cobbled streets and an impressive castle atop of it all, it has street sellers selling their wares and of course there are also great small restaurants selling food from the region with local dishes and in many cases the popular catch-of-the-day. Whilst in Obidos you have to taste “Ginja de Obidos” a local cherry liqueur eaten with chocolate…. It’s a must when there.
Those looking for a little more life or evening entertainment would have to go Caldas da Rainha it has bars and restaurants and a little more life going on in a civilised Portuguese atmosphere. In the centre of town is the new and modern shopping centre with cinema and adjacent to the Parque Dom Carlos.
For a little more history and culture then there are numerous museums, the Aqueduto du Usseira is impressive dating back to the 16th Century, The Atlantic coastline is the fantastic beach of Praia D’El Rey, this sugar white sand stretches for some 2 kilometres or so ending at the mouth to the Obidos Lagoon. The Lagoon take is within easy access of Praia D’el Rey, Obidos and Caldes da Rainha and is popular with those looking to experience a natural park with water sports, birdlife and spectacular views.