This famous region in Portugal has to be one of the top golfing holiday destinations in Europe not least because of its first-class golf courses, hotel package accommodation and sunny climate which attract those seeking short golf breaks or more extended stays. The stunning coastal scenery with a blend of sandstone cliffs and Atlantic beaches make the Southern coastline of Portugal a beautiful backdrop for relaxing golf holidays in Algarve.
Where to Stay in the Algarve including Popular Hotels and Golf Resorts
If you are looking to stay in the Pestana Vila Sol or Dom Pedro a Vilamoura golfing break equates to visiting the golfing capital of this region which plays host to a fantastic selection of courses.
The main area of Vilamoura is the marina where many of the Algarve’s most famous golf hotels are located such as:
Vila Gale Ampalius
This 4-star hotel has recently refurbished rooms and is in an excellent location for both holiday packages and a golf break in and around Vilamoura Algarve. Lots of golfing customers choose this hotel due to it’s proximity to the beach, bars and restaurants. The free transfer service is available to the local golf courses. There are a pool area and a spa for guests to use.
Vila Gale Marina
As the name suggests, this popular Algarve golf holiday hotel is very close to the marina, with rooms that can be booked to overlook the marina. Within walking distance to the casino, beach, bars and restaurants of which there is a lot of choices. Spacious and clean, the rooms are perfect for groups of golfers seeking golfing packages, with most customers appreciating the spread of breakfast before heading out for a day golfing.
Dom Pedro Marina
The staff at this luxury hotel are accommodating and polite; many guests comment on this which makes your stay even more enjoyable. The local golf courses are reachable with the drop off service and as with the other hotels. The hotel provides an excellent base for groups of golfers to enjoy the golf courses of the Algarve and the nightlife in Vilamoura.
The Tivoli has a commanding position in the harbour, perched right on the corner of the marina with a 360 aspect. The Tivoli is a luxurious golf hotel with excellent facilities and comfortable rooms. On-site there is a choice of bars and restaurants, a favourite of ours is Peppers in which the food, service experience and wine are all superb.
The marina-front has many restaurants and bars, a Casino and also four nightclubs as well. Look out for local events organised in the summer months.
The best golf courses in Algarve are:
Dom Pedro Old
As Algarve golf courses go, this course was first introduced in 1969 by the famed designer Frank Pennick. Not too much has changed since its introduction, which does speak to the quality of the design and landscape of this beautiful course. This golf course plays like an English heathland course, however with the trademark umbrella pine-lined fairways of the Algarve. Not as tight as some course in the region. However, a sensible strategy is required to score well.
Millennium golf club
Introduced in Algarve in 2000 when the existing nine holes were combined to make 18 holes of championship quality long with M Hawtree’s design. A challenging course, heading into the pine woods. Many holes are undulating with rolling hills alongside bunkers and trees. Ideal for the serious golfer, it is the slopes which make this golf course aesthetically pleasing and challenging at the same time.
Pestana Vila Sol
One of our more popular Algarve golf breaks, this undulating course is designed around a very natural landscape, created by British architect Donald Steel, his trademark style of maintaining the natural surroundings is very evident. The opening hole is a tough start with a sloped tight fairway, with trees and bunkers guarding the green. Players are required to be straight off the tee, most holes lined with umbrella pines and while playable, punish errant drives. Water is also a factor to avoid on the course, and overall this is a championship course which will test all levels of golfer.
The Central Algarve region stretches from Faro Airport across to Albufeira in the West. There are numerous resorts and hotels which populate this main golfing area. There are also several excellent courses in the Algarve central area to choose from, hence, why many want Algarve golf holidays in this area, these include:
Penina Championship Course
As the name of the course suggests, it was designed and built by the three-time Open Championship winner, Sir Henry Cotton. He planted over 350,000 shrubs and trees, which is what provides the lovely woodland feel the course enjoys today. The natural streams and lakes were remodelled into the fantastic layout. Don’t forget the other reason many choose this course is the amazing Penina Hotel golf resort.
Faldo Course at Amendoeira
In a modern twist of a traditional recipe, cacti and wild herbs replace the role of Sunningdale’s heather, spartan Holm oaks and ancient olive trees take the place of a lush English woodland, and desert scrub bunkers of crushed limestone replace Berkshire’s sandy tracts in a golf course that revels in the classic principles of strategic play.
Located just along the coast from Quinta do Lago south and some will also say the capital of opulence, it’s not quite Quinta do Lobo, but Vale do Lobo is also a popular resort area with some fantastic beaches and numerous restaurants. The resort has many multi-million pound residences, as well as plenty of traditional Algarve style villas and apartments and of course the famous Dona Filipa Hotel.
Vale do Lobo Royal
The Vale do Lobo Royal Course hosted the 2003 Portuguese Open, and therefore, golfers can expect a good test of their ability. The length of the golf course, 6,166 yards is by no means the longest the majority of visitors will ever play but features more distance than the Ocean Course and has plenty of water hazards and bunkers, which must be avoided to record a low score.
San Lorenzo Golf Course
The layout of the San Lorenzo Golf Course is superb, and the scenery is fantastic. The course requires plenty of thought to score low but at the same time, presents a delightful challenge, one which golfers of all abilities will enjoy. San Lorenzo has been named as one of the Top 15 Golf Resorts in Continental Europe by Golf World, and it is easy to see why. This course is regarded as a must-play when on holiday in the Algarve.
Albufeira Golf Holiday
Slightly further West along the coast and a top-rated resort for golfers from all walks of life. The town itself used to be famous for its New and Old areas, the new with its fashionable bars, restaurants and nightclubs and the Old with its quaint cafes, bars with Marina front views. Our favourites include:
Amendoeira Golf Resort
SAO Rafael Suites
The west region stretches along the coastline from Albufeira in the East to Lagos in the West. This region has many fantastic beaches in Carvoeiro, Alvor, Praia da Rocha and Lagos.
The east region takes in the area immediately East of Faro and runs along the coast as far as the famous Guardiano River. The main town in the region is the quaint town of Tavira, visiting this town will take you back hundreds of years to when the moors roamed the land. The architecture here has not changed, and there is still clearly a Moorish influence. If you enjoy fresh fish, then you have come to the right region with some of the best examples of the daily catch on-sale in the heart of the town at the many bars and restaurants. The area also has one of the best summer attractions in Tavira island – just off the coast of Tavira. This island has fantastic beaches and grilled sardines to die for. Sold already? Then you won’t forget that the region also has four good quality golf courses and one outstanding one in Monte Rei golf course, arguably the best and certainly one that has to be added to your ‘must-play’ golf tour list.
For more golf tours information or to find out about our Algarve golf holiday special offers in Portugal, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
When to Play Golf?
It is possible to pay all year round, hence why European tours are often played here and why so many choose breaks in the Algarve. Golf courses in Portugal are generally well-maintained and Algarve is no exception meaning that the region can be a winter golf destination too. However, the peak season for luxury golf holidays in Portugal is generally the months of March-May and September-November. Summer golf in the Algarve can be extremely hot, and we would recommend early morning tee-times during this period. If you elect to pay during the early evenings, some courses offer twilight green fees.
Travel access to the Algarve is easy. The main international airport is Faro which is served by all major UK airports and airlines. We have relationships with local transfer and car hire companies and can assist your group with all your golf travel needs.