A golf break to the Algarve would not be the same without sampling a course designed by legendary golfer Seve Ballesteros.
The Algarve is the most southern province of Portugal and tourism plays a huge role, thanks in no small part to the magnificent coastline which boasts 200 kilometres of sandy beaches.
Most visitors arrive at Faro International Airport, and from here you face a short journey by road to reach Quinta do Vale, which is close to the town of Castro Marim.
The course is very close to the border with Ballesteros’ native Spain, and the cities of Huelva and Sevilla are not far away.
Quinta do Vale is an 18-hole championship golf course and is interesting in that it includes six par-5´s, six par-4´s and six par-3s. Usually, there is a maximum of four par-5’s and four par-3 holes, so immediately you know you are about to experience something different from the norm on this course.
There is a lovely mix of holes, with wide fairways, doglegs and hazards situated throughout. There is a lot of water on the front nine holes, which makes the start of the round very challenging. A tip many golfers who have played the course offer to newcomers is brought plenty of old balls because you might lose a few.
To avoid a big score, course management is key, and club selection is important, especially when playing around the hazards. Playing aggressive golf is great, but unless you are 100% on your game, you may want to hold back a little when playing Quinta do Vale.
The back nine is played on higher ground and with less water to worry about off the tee. However, accurate driving is still a must to score low, and the fairways and greens are always in excellent condition, so good ball striking will always be rewarded.
Quinta do Vale provides a challenge to golfers of all abilities, and if you can keep the ball straight on the fairway, a good score is a possibility.
The great Spanish golfer, who will always be remembered not just for his golf ability but also his personality, designing many courses around the world but Quinta do Vale in the Algarve, is arguably one his best.
Ballesteros designed the course to please very golfer, whatever their handicap and he has delivered on that promise at Quinta do Vale.
The clubhouse is in the centre of the resort and features large changing rooms, a gym, bar and restaurant.
The restaurant offers good food and perhaps the best part of enjoying a meal and something to drink after a round is taking a seat on the terrace and watching other golfers on the final holes.
The club shop is well stocked, so there should be no problem obtaining everything you need to enjoy a cracking round of golf in lovely surroundings.