Monte Rei North
Monte Rei was the brainchild and design of the great Jack Nicklaus; this 18 Hole signature golf course was the first of two on-site. In 2010 Monte Rei received the accolade as the Best Course in Portugal, and it has remained at the top ever since.
Why should you play here? This course ticks all the boxes for golfers. To start with the service is second to none; based on service levels of an American golf club, each golfer is greeted at the clubhouse and allocated a buggy (with the latest state-of-the-art GPS). There are five tee boxes to choose from, with each golfer free to make their choice. The course is relatively long and winds its way through the natural terrain, including many well-placed trees and bunkers to keep you on your toes at every shot. The condition is immaculate as you expect a Nicklaus great to be, so if given a choice, take the opportunity and experience Monte Rei for yourself. Discover why this course remains at the top-of-the-tree year after year.
Where to stay: Monte Rei Residences
West Cliffs Golf Course
Where can you find top-quality links in Portugal? Travel just one hour north of Lisbon to the Oeste region, on the outskirts of the walled city of Obidos; you will find the latest in Links Golf. This course is truly a “Portugal” links in the sun! Cynthia Dye (Niece of Pete) has taken a strip of prime land located deep into the dunes and running adjacent to Praia D’El Rey Beach and created a masterpiece. This 18 Hole championship gem is one of the best Portugal golf courses. It is running along through the dunes and natural coastal vegetation, on to the Obidos Lagoon, with outstanding Atlantic Ocean coastal views. When initially opened, it was seen as a potential European Tour venue. Only two years after completing, the course stands as Number 2 in Portugal and deservedly so. An excellent test of golf by the Atlantic Ocean, and worth the time it takes to drive and play it.
Where to stay: Residences Praia del Rey
San Lorenzo Golf Course
Golf Courses in Algarve account for over 50% of those in Portugal, so it’s no surprise that all of our remaining choices are based in the region. The Algarve coast is packed with top-quality choices, and our team debated long and hard over some of the Algarve’s classics. Located on the Ria Formosa Nature Reserve next to the exclusive Quinta do Lago Estate, you will find San Lorenzo, which is regarded as one of the best Algarve golf courses. Designed by Joseph Lee and Rocky Roquemore, it opened in 1988 and took in full use of the natural terrain. Their design strategically winds its way through the undulating pine woodland in an unusual figure of 8 design, with the clubhouse at the centre. San Lorenzo has skillfully placed water hazards that come into play on several holes, including the 10th and 18th holes. Tee times at San Lorenzo is a privilege and one bestowed upon by those guests staying at the Dona Filipa Hotel. It is a beautiful golf course, one recognised across the whole of Europe, however, surprisingly it is only ranked number 9 in Portugal. Nevertheless, it makes our top 5 due to the stunning views, natural beauty, and the proximity to Quinta do Lago and Vale do Lobo.
Where to stay: Dona Filipa Hotel
Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course
Which golf course features on the European Tour Schedule in the Algarve? With a selection of 6 golf courses in Vilamoura, the course that regularly hosts the Portugal Masters each year is the Dom Pedro Victoria. The Victoria is an Arnold Palmer design, one hailed as the most ambitious of golf projects in Portugal. Spread over 90 hectares of natural terrain between the carob and olive trees the fairways weave around the unspoiled wetlands and measures an imposing 7,273 yards from the Palmer Tees. There are six tee positions to choose from allowing golfers of all abilities to enjoy and experience precisely what the European Tour professional golfers do. In terms of cost, Dom Pedro Victoria is on the higher end in the Algarve, although we think it’s worth every penny. The service and surroundings are among the best.
Where to stay: Anatara Algarve
Quinta do Lago North Course
Which of the three Quinta do Lago golf courses should I play? With an impressive three Championship golf courses to choose from, our favourite is the Quinta do Lago North. It’s the highest-ranked of the Quinta courses and is currently No. 10 in Portugal’s top golf courses. This 18-hole Championship course was re-designed by golf architect Beau Welling and former Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley. Incredibly it now has four tees to choose from, making it more accessible for golfers of differing abilities. The condition is continuously improving with the introduction of new generation irrigation systems, essential for near-perfect growing conditions in the Algarve. If this course is busy, don’t forget there is the Quinta do Lago South course to play.
Where to stay: The Magnolia Hotel
Other courses of note include Oitavos Dunes, Quinta da Marinha, Palmares Golf and Troia Golf. In summary, there’s a wide selection of courses that make it into the 100 top golf courses, and we hope that our views inspire you in choosing the best golf courses to enjoy.