The Algarve, in the southernmost region of Portugal and boasts one of the best climates in the whole of Europe, is the leading golf break destination in Europe. With over 35 top-quality golf courses to choose from combined with over 3,000 hours of sunshine to enjoy every year, it’s little wonder so many choose Algarve golf holidays. The best courses vary from resort-style to heathland and links, which are available for the travelling golfer to experience.
With that in mind, it’s little wonder that the Algarve has become one of the top destinations in Europe for golf lovers. With a choice of 35 golf clubs in the area, boasting 42 different 18 hole or 9 hole courses, a golfer is spoilt for choosing this region in Portugal for their golfing holiday. Many courses feature in our guide to the top golf courses in Portugal.
However, as is the case with all golfing regions worldwide, some of the courses stand head and shoulders above the rest. We have made it easy for you to find these, as we have picked out some of the very best golf courses the Algarve has to offer.
The Dom Pedro Old Course is located by the popular coastal town of Vilamoura. Designed by Frank Pennink, it’s the second oldest golf course in the Algarve and offers tight fairways, and tough greens, all of which are in brilliant condition. A par may be a rare occurrence for several players, but when obtained, it’s a real pleasure, as are the clubhouse and restaurant, which are both well designed.
Leaving Vilamoura in an Easterly direction brings you to Pestana Vila Sol. Featuring an 18 hole championship course and a 9 hole academy course, Vila Sol has something for everyone. Inaugurated in 1991 by architect Donald Steel, the course takes full advantage of its delightful surroundings and is very well maintained.
The Algarve’s oldest golf course is the Vale Do Lobo Royal. Part of the most prominent luxury resort in Portugal, the Royal Course is the better of the two on offer. This course was used to stage the Portuguese Open in 2003 and features a stunning cliff-side par-3, which is one of the most photographed holes in Portugal, if not the world.
Nestling alongside the Atlantic Ocean is the world-class golf course of San Lorenzo. Having started life in 1988, this golf course has consistently starred in lists of the world’s best golf courses. Gorgeous back-drops of the beach and sea can leave you breathless, as you play your way around one of the best courses in the Algarve.
Quinta Do Lago offers several golf courses, but the jewel in the crown has to be the Laranjal Course. The newest of the courses in this development opened for play in February 2009 and has five par fives, eight par fours and five par threes, which is a variation on the layout of the majority of courses around the world. Therefore, the Laranjal course is definitely recommended for those who want a slightly different challenge.
The Penina Championship course offers a much more wooded feel than many other golf courses in the Algarve region. This may have something to do with the fact it is built upon ground previously used to grow rice and therefore over 360,000 trees and plants were grown on it. The Penina Championship course has been used to stage many professional tournaments over the years, and it’s easy to see why, with well-placed hazards and smooth, rolling fairways.
Finally, we come to possibly the best golf course in the Algarve region, Monte Rei Golf and Country Golf Club. A Jack Nicklaus signature course, Monte Rei is easily one of the best golf courses in Europe and is located in the hills, towards the Spanish border. The mountain setting affords spectacular views, and the water hazards and bunkers are second to none. The clubhouse’s service and style adds an extra special touch to a round of golf at Monte Rei and will keep you coming back for more.
We believe these to be the very best golf courses, which the Algarve region has to offer. They each provide something different, whether it is a difficulty, style, location or scenery and combine to make golfing holidays in the Algarve extremely popular.
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