While most of you are thinking about Christmas and the cold weather ahead. Golfing in the UK winter can mean turning up to a waterlogged 1st green followed by many temporary greens! Playing despite wet gloves and beginning to wish you were anywhere else.
In recent years we have seen an increase in the number of golfers booking golf breaks to Portugal in January or February in search of warm weather. The prices are reasonable, flights are cheap and the courses are empty. The temperatures are a pleasant 16-18c and all the greens are playable.
The Algarve offers a variety of courses for all levels of player. The accommodation is reasonable and starts from £25pp per night with breakfast. A short break to recharge your batteries could be the ideal remedy for the winter blues.
I have recently returned from a golf trip to the Algarve, staying in Vilamoura. I have travelled with a group of club golfers for the past 10 years, they are a tough crowd to please! The group want a fresh challenge each year and to try out the various hotels on offer. We also enjoyed eating in a huge variety of restaurants. On our Vilamoura golf breaks page, you will find our top golf hotels in Vilamoura review.
During our last trip, we took a vote for the best accommodation, golf courses and restaurants we have visited over the past 10 years. Please note, on our Algarve golf holidays page you will find more winter golf break information.
Our Top 5 Hotels
A comfortable and luxurious hotel. The service is second to none, they have an attentive team. The whole resort is relaxing and calm. I must make a special mention of the superb breakfast.
2. Crowne Plaza
This hotel has a great location which is only minutes from the marina. Situated on the seafront which provides great sea views and access to the beach. The rooms are more spacious than the usual and well fitted. The feel of quality spans throughout the whole hotel.
They have large 2 bedroom suites which are perfect for golf groups. The location of this hotel is only a stone throw from the marina. There’s plenty to choose from for breakfast, perfect prep for a day’s golfing.
A superb location with sea views. There are an indoor pool and Jacuzzi on-site for guests to use.
5. Vila Gale Marina.
This is a comfortable and quiet hotel that again has a great location for the marina. Excellent food and a large outdoor pool area with Jacuzzi.
Top 5 golf courses
Everyone’s favourite. A welcoming and friendly clubhouse which has a grand feel to it overlooks the course. A challenging but fair golf course, with a variety of holes for all levels of golfer.
This is all about the course with a stunning location amongst the Ria Formosa Nature Reserve. There are some outstanding holes as you approach the water, the par 3 5th has superb views of the ocean sand dunes. The course is frequently voted as a top course in Europe. The last two holes are quite a challenge!
One of the newest golf courses in the region in Quinta do Lago. One of the things I like is that there are no overlooking villas and buildings. The course is set in an orange grove and well maintained. It is quite a forgiving course and suits groups with a wide range of abilities.
A coastal golf course with the famous par 3 16th cliff hole which is one of the most spectacular in Europe. Set in the exclusive Vale do Lobo resort, tree-lined fairways, a challenge for all handicaps.
The home of the Portuguese Masters. I would say it’s an enjoyable challenge and a well-designed golf course. Again there are no buildings interrupting the views. Make sure you pack some balls!
Top 5 restaurants
1. Akvavit. International cuisine with a Swedish twist, worth 2 visits during a stay. Try the confit of duck which is my top recommendation.
2. Il Lamparro. A superb Italian with delicious pasta dishes, with a good choice of wines.
3. Don Alfonso. Recently refurbished restaurant, Portuguese and international cuisine.
4. Zu Yi. A Chinese with a wide-ranging menu. The glass floor is a challenge after a few drinks!
5. Pescador. Local fish restaurant, no-frills but the best and freshest catch of the day.
A special mention to Dos Passos for their fish lunch on the beach. A beach restaurant which is a good shout for lunch on the way to Vale do Lobo.
If this article has inspired you to book a golf holiday in Algarve, look no further than our Algarve golf hotels where you find a comprehensive list of hotels and resorts to book.