Travel News 3rd Jun, 2019 by ukclubgolfer.co.uk
The Algarve is Europe’s No.1 golf destination and, as such, retains a sense of credibility that other golf destinations dream of. It is easily accessible, is littered with brilliant courses, award-winning beaches and has endless options for accommodation. It’s easy to see why thousands of people choose this corner of Portugal as the place to spend their holiday golf savings.
Split into three sections, Central Algarve, Eastern Algarve and Western Algarve, the region offers a bit of history (the first course here, Penina, opened in 1966) amongst a large collection of wonderful golf courses, of which there are over 40 to choose from.
The weather is a box ticker for many, too, with over 300+ days of sunny skies, meaning you’re pretty much guaranteed golf with the sun on your back. Better still, the Algarve is one European destination where prices haven’t skyrocketed. Playing golf here is affordable and, in 2017, the region was noted as the best value holiday destination in the world.
This is a hugely popular corner of the region with a number of notable hotspots to take in. Vilamoura also has a great downtown scene to explore and happens to house some worthy offers for holiday golf, with the golf courses under the stewardship of Dom Pedro a particular standout. The Victoria course is host to the Portugal Masters on the European Tour and offers one of the most fun-filled back nines you’ll ever play. The Old Course is up in the hills and is a more traditional tree-lined test that is our favourite whilst the Pinhal and Millennium offer excellent tests of golf, with the latter a Martin Hawtree design.
The North and South courses at Quinta do Lago, an upmarket corner of the Algarve, are brilliant layouts, the North having been upgraded by Paul McGinley recently. A ten-minute drive out of the resort and you’ll find Laranjal, where you play amidst avenues of spectacular orange groves.
Also worthy of your euro are venues such as San Lorenzo, Vale do Lobo and the spectacular Pine Cliffs.
Most golfers know little about this area, having been sucked in to the delights of Vilamoura – but it offers a fascinating fragment of why the Algarve is so rich for golfers. Penina remains a true classic of the Algarve and was the poster child for the region for some time, whilst superb venues such as Boavista and the Gramacho throw down challenges that are well worth your time. Both are championship-ready venues, too.
Just off the N125, near the town of Silves, lies Oceanico Amendoeira, where Nick Faldo and Christy O’Connor Jnr designed a course each – and they couldn’t be any different, which is part of the charm.
Another beauty in this area is Onyria Palmares, where big greens, water, beautifully dotted trees and vast fairways set the scene for a course that offers three loops of nine.
Tourist chiefs refer to this area as the Algarve’s little secret. It is the smallest region, perhaps the least known and, as such, is the quietest. For the intrepid holiday golfer, that’s the perfect mix. You can chill out in the homely little towns of Olhao and Tavira, before you go and explore with your golf clubs. How good are the courses? Amongst the very best. Monte Rei has won all sorts of awards and recently announced a second Jack Nicklaus course is in development. It will be one of the few venues in the world to boast two Nicklaus courses.
Quinta da Ria and Quinta de Cima are two different tests that sit alongside each other that will certainly pique your interest, whilst you should definitely pay your fees at Castro Marim Golfe, which offers three loops of nine and quite stunning views.
Book your trip with Algarve specialists GolfKings and secure the very best rates on the holiday golf market. GolfKings.co.uk | 0800 316 5331