Where to Stay: Vila Gale Cascais
Because of the wide variety of golf courses in the region, Lisbon is becoming increasingly popular as a starting point for a golfing vacation in Portugal. Along the Tagus River, north of Lisbon, you'll find an enchanting region of Portugal. Of course, the drive itself, which passes via the charming coastal cities of Cascais and Estoril, is worthwhile in and of itself. Still, the Oitavos Dunes Golf Course's destination is even more rewarding because of its location on the coast. As a result, this course is included in our list of Portugal's best nine-hole golf courses.
Oitavos Dunes, located in the Sintra-Cascais National Park, is a relatively new addition to Portugal's golf course landscape, being opened in September 2001. The course is set against a stunning background of the Sintra mountains and the Atlantic Ocean. So when you arrive at Oitavos Dunes, you know it will be a spectacular game of golf.
The golf course was developed by Arthur Hills, who only has two golf courses in Europe to his name, making Oitavos Dunes a unique discovery on the European golfing map. The par-71 course plays to 6,372 yards from the championship tees. It has a superb combination of forest and links-style golf that mix nicely with the natural surroundings. As a result, Oitavos Dunes is a golf course consistently ranked as one of the top 20 in Europe and the top 100 globally.
The course is well-kept all year, with lots of punishing hazards, and the greens are fast and undulating, making putting a true challenge. The first four holes set the tone for the rest of the course. However, they are a touch tight and the most accessible run of holes. On their first visit to the course, the course may lull golfers into a false feeling of security due to this. However, things truly start to open up at Oitavos Dunes after the 5th hole, with trees, bunkers, and dunes all coming into play, making long, precise drives off the tee critical for excellent scoring.
If the wind kicks up, the par-3 14th hole, with a ravine between the tee and green, may quickly become the most challenging on the golf course. The 18th hole is an example of a great ending hole, with a problematic, narrow fairway that doglegs left and is surrounded by woods and sand. Nevertheless, it's an excellent way to cap off a fantastic game of golf.
Oitavos Dunes has hosted the Portuguese Open several times and continues to acquire a strong reputation in the golf world. Oitavos Dunes is a challenging course that wants to be played more than once. It offers the impression of something extraordinary and must be experienced to be believed. You will not be disappointed if you add this excellent Portuguese golf course to your Lisbon Golf trip package, including hotel accommodations.