The Algarve is incredibly popular with golfers, having 26 championship-standard courses. The climate is ideal - sunshine with a slight breeze from the Atlantic ocean and many of the fairways offer spectacular views!
22 of the courses lie to the west of Faro and 4 to the east, and all are less than 10 miles from the coast, with the exception of Morgado and Alamo courses.
The terrain is varied from the steep climbs of Parque da Floresta to the sea-level flats of the Salgados course. Most courses benefit from distinctive umbrella pine trees and as the pines grow year on year the courses change to ensure constant variety.
Due to the weather, golf is played all year round but the busiest season is from late autumn to late spring, outside of the main tourist season. Dress code regulations require short or long sleeve shirts with collars and golf shoes with soft spikes with very few clubs allowing jeans.
CASTRO MARIM GOLF COURSE
The luxury complex of Castro Marim Golfe and Country Club comprises a total of more than 210 hectares located only 5km from the Spanish Border. The development overlooks the Atlantic Ocean and the River Guadiana and also borders Portugal's second most important and largest nature reserve. You will be able to visit this reserve and enjoy the rare species of flora and fauna.The occupation density of the development is the lowest of its kind in the Algarve and fits perfectly within the natural environment.
Address - Apartado 70, 8950-909 Castro Marim Tel +351 281510330 Fax +351 281510338 www.castromarimgolfe.com For golf bookings - Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Description - 18 holes, 5265 metres Par 71 Designer - Terry Murray
This was the first course to open on the Eastern Algarve. Designed by Sir Henry Cotton, he decided to make the old church the clubhouse which sits proudly in the middle of the complex. This 18 hole course offers some fantastic sights with the mountains of Barrocal to the North and the Atlantic Ocean to the South. The course isn't particularly long at just over 6,000 yards but it plays like a rhythmic beat. Both sets of nine start and end in view of the clubhouse and each nine get tougher as you go along. Players accuracy is particularly called upon by the architects retention of as many of the old trees as feasible. These natural obstacles coupled with strategic placed bunkers and occasional water hazards make the course a worthwhile challenge. Located just a few kilometres east of the ancient city of Tavira and scattered with olive, carob, fig and cork trees, a walk around this course is like a walk through the glory of nature.
This spectacular 18 hole golf course is in the Ria Formosa Natural Park and spreads along an almost flat surface down to the Ria Formosa river itself with stunning views of the ocean and mountains. It is a PAR 72, comprising two loops of 9 holes and each loop with 2 PAR 5, five PAR 4 and 2 PAR 3 holes. The total length of this course is just over 6016 metres. Five lakes were strategically built along the course and the green of the PAR 3 nr. 17 is limited by one of these lakes where there is an island with varied bird-fauna. The greens, smoothly undulating, are well protected by bunkers. More than 300 trees such as olive and carob trees have been transplanted in order to maintain the ancient border of the course and the typical features of the region's landscape. The surrounding orange trees and vineyards help to make the course's country landscape even more breathtaking. Address: 8900-057 Vila Nova de Cacela Algarve Portugal Description 18 holes, 6016 meters Tel: 00 351 281 950 580 Fax: 00 351 281 950 589 Mobile: 00 351 916 898 603 www.quintadariagolf.com For golf bookings - Email: email@example.com
QUINTA DA CIMA
Boasting Eighteen holes skilfully scattered by an area of 620m2, the Cima Course is very competitive with dog-legs to the right and to the left and greens well protected by sand hazards and lakes. A stream with dams and permanent flowing water crosses holes 4, 5, 6 and 13. The course is bordered to the north by the National Road 125 and spreads to the south where its limits are a municipal road that leads to the Ria Course. The greens have been seeded with Bent Crenshaw. Tees and fairways are covered with Zoysia.
In one of the Driving Ranges you can appreciate a magnificent view of the mountains as well as of the Ocean. On the other Driving Range, designed to practice with irons, there is the Robinson Golf Academy comprising 3 greens and 6 tees.
Address: 8900-057 Vila Nova de Cacela Algarve Portugal Description 18 holes, Tel: 00 351 281 950 580 Fax: 00 351 281 950 589 Mobile: 00 351 916 898 603 www.quintadariagolf.com For golf bookings - Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
SAN LORENZO GOLF COURSE
This exclusive and magnificently maintained course set in the Ria Formosa Nature Reserve has a world-wide reputation and regularly ranks amongst Europe’s top five and number 64 in the world.
The opening five holes are typical of the Algarve with undulations and surrounding pine trees. You then pass along the coastline playing from raised tees. On the back nine, the long fifteenth is notable for its number of bunkers.
The two finishing holes are famously treacherous. The eighteenth requires an accurate drive away from the lake before attacking an island green protected by three bunkers.
Address: Quinta do Lago 8135 Almancil Tel: 00 351 289 396 522 Fax: 00 351 289 296 908 www.lemeridien.com For golf bookings - Email: email@example.com
Description: Eighteen holes, 6238 metres, Par 72 Location: Take the Almancil turn off from the EN125 and follow signs.
VILASOL GOLF COURSE
Vila Sol became famous in 1992 when it hosted the Portuguese Open within a year of its opening.
It is beautifully kept and requires long iron shots onto the greens. The most memorable hole is the par 5 sixth with its elevated tee. Below lies a fairway peppered with bunkers and water hazards. In the distance are the large hills separating the Algarve from the rest of the country.
Description: Eighteen holes, 6335 metres, Par 72 Designer: Donald Steel Location: Take the Vilamoura turn off from the EN125 west of Faro.
QUINTA DO LAGO GOLF COURSE
This legendary course has hosted the Portuguese Open on seven occasions.
The course meanders through the Quinta do Lago estate and Ria Formosa Nature Reserve with a number of lakes that offer spectacular views.
At the par 3 fifteenth a long wooden bridge crosses a lake and the green is set amongst the trees. Many consider this Portugal's dream hole.
Address: Quinta do Lago 8135 Almancil Tel: 00 351 289 390 700 Fax: 00 351 289 394 013
Quinta do Lago North Golf Course www.quintadolagogolf.com For golf bookings - Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Quinta do Lago South Golf Course www.camporeal.pt For golf bookings - Email: email@example.com
Description: Eighteen holes, 6488 metres, Par 72 Location: Take the Almancil turn off from the EN125 and follow signs.
RIA FORMOSA, QUINTA DO LAGO
This course has four great par-5 holes requiring power and accuracy to play them well and provides superb views during a round of golf. All the par-3 holes can be influenced by the wind depending on weather conditions. Hole 14 is outstanding. The par-4s are all doglegs except for holes 10 and 13. Accurate driving is vital to set up your approach shots for a low score. The lakes on holes 13 and 18 have claimed many a stay shot and the course favours the player who can hole the draw ball.
Address: Quinta da Lago - 8135 Almancil Tel: 00 351 289 390700 Fax: 00 351 289 394013 Description: Eighteen holes, 6205 metres Par 72 Designer: W. Mitchell/Rocky Roquemore
PINHEIROS ALTOS GOLF COURSE
Pinheiros Altos is located within the Quinta do Lago estate and Ria Formosa Nature Reserve with its lakes, spectacular views and exquisite flora and fauna.
It is a course of two halves. The first nine follow a hilly pine-covered stretch of land and the second nine negotiate lakes.
The opening hole is indicative of the accuracy demanded. The first drive has a wide landing but the dog-leg second shot aims for a green protected by pines.
Address: Quinta do Lago 8135 Almancil Tel: 00 351 289 359 910 Fax: 00 351 289 394 392 www.pinheirosaltos.pt For golf bookings - Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Description: Eighteen holes, 5766 metres, Par 72 Location: Take the Almancil turn off from the EN125 and follow signs.
VALE DE LOBO GOLF COURSES
Two courses are based at Vale do Lobo. The Royal is the main course, opening with an easy par 5 after which the fairways become tighter and the greens better protected.
The par 3 ninth is the most memorable. The green lies on a peninsula built into an artificial lake and is played at different angles depending on which tee you choose to use.
The sixteenth hole is possibly the most photographed in Europe. It is 210 metres long and crosses two ravines. Teeing off on a cliff top is an exhilarating experience and somewhat nerve-racking on a blustery day.
The other course is the Ocean Course, which is no less difficult and equally scenic.
Vale de Lobo Royal Course: Tel: + 351 289 353535 Fax: + 351 289 353003 www.valedolobo.com For golf bookings - Email: email@example.com
OCEAN COURSE, VALE DO LOBO
The Ocean Golf Course is well known for its breathtaking, scenic beauty and is a veritable golfer's feast.
Surrounded by mature pine and eucalyptus trees, the course's gently undulating fairways run down to the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. Lining along the edge of the coastline, it allows golfers to tee-off alongside some of the most amazing ocean views in the Algarve.
A par 72 course, Ocean's unique combination of links and inland golf provides an enjoyable challenge for golfers of all levels. Based on the original design by the legendary late Sir Henry Cotton and re-developed by respected American Golf Architect, Rocky Roquefort, the Royal and the Ocean courses will examine a golfer's game like few courses can.
Description: Eighteen holes, 6050 metres Par 72 Designer: Sir Henry Cotton
THE ROYAL GOLF COURSE
The Royal Golf Course is set amongst lakes and lush vegetation taking players through pine and fig tree bordered fairways before surprising you with breathtaking sea views.
A par 72 course, this superb test includes three demanding par 3 holes. One of these is the famous cliff-top 16th hole. Originally the 7th hole, this has a spectacular carry over the russet cliffs and is one of the most celebrated golfing images in the world. A well-known symbol of the Algarve, it is said to be the most photographed golf hole in Europe. Combining the excellent golf facilities with Algarve's excellent climate plus an average of over 1 mile of sandy beach and a selection of fine restaurants, this makes Vale do Lobo the perfect destination for a villa holiday.
Pinhal is more open than the Old Course. It rolls through similar pine-laden countryside however the greens are a little tighter.
The longest hole is the 518 metre par 5 thirteenth. A straight drive is paramount to avoid the deep rough on the left and trees to the right. The second shot is a blind shot over a rise and the approach is flanked by bunkers.
The par 4 eighteenth again demands a large tee shot to beat the rise in the fairway to allow a downward shot to the green. This final approach shot is the hardest on the course.
Description: Eighteen holes, 6206 metres, Par 71 Designer: Frank Pennink with upgrades by Robert Trent Jones Junior Location: Off the EN125 west of Faro
Laguna course differs from the first two Vilamoura courses as it is more parkland than tree-lined. Lakes demand accuracy the whole way through.
The real test is the dog-leg fifth hole. A lake lies below the tee and the left fairway leads to the green on the right. The drive must cross the lake but not roll over to the bunkers behind. Choose your clubs wisely.
The final nine are characterised by loud bird calling from the lakes and an ever-present wind. Considered one of the best courses in the country.
Description: Two nine hole courses, both Par 36 Location: Off the EN125 west of Faro.
The first of four golf courses at Vilamoura, Portugal's largest private leisure resort. The resort hosts four more golf courses, a modern casino, a marina and an air strip.
This course has become more difficult over time as the umbrella pines that line the fairways have grown. At the par 4 ninth for example, a wayward tee shot will leave you to struggle and regain the initiative from the trees. The par 3 fourth is vintage Pennink. Players are challenged to beat a lake, a huge pine tree and a bunker to reach the green.
Upgraded in 1996 the course is the most popular with both visiting and resident golfers.
Description: Eighteen holes, 6254 metres, Par 73 Designer: Frank Pennink
VICTORIA "CLUBE DE GOLFE"
"Victoria Clube de Golfe" is a championship course of 18 holes- par 72 course, occupying a total of 90 hectares. Every care has been taken to ensure the preservation of the existing wetlands and the typical vegetation of carob, olives and almonds trees. Several lakes occupy 13 hectares of water and with 5/6 tees per hole, wide and undulating fairways, extensive water obstacles and well positioned bunkers, Victoria will reward heroic and ambitious shots. Playing on this course will become a unique and unforgettable experience to any player. Arnold Palmers most recent project in Portugal is destined to become one of the best and most sophisticated golf courses in Europe. Local knowledge of this course is a must as each hole has its own design and layout.
Description: Eighteen holes, 6500 metres Par 72 Designer: Arnold Palmer
PINE CLIFFS GOLF COURSE
This course is perched on a cliff top above Falesia, one of the Algarve's most stunning beaches. The 5 Star Sheraton Algarve Hotel overlooks the umbrella pine trees that line the fairways.
The most testing hole is the dog-leg sixth with its small landing area for the drive. The second shot is uphill to a backward sloping green with bunkers in front.
Address: Sheraton Pine Cliffs Resort, Praia da Falesta 8200-909 Albufeira Tel: + 351 289 500100 Fax: + 351 289 500117 www.sheraton-algarve.com/golf For golf bookings - Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Description: Nine holes, 2274 metres, Par 33 Location: Seven kilometers east of Albufeira on the coast. Turn left off the EN125 for Acoteias, west of the Vilamoura turn off.
BALAIA GOLF COURSE
Opened in April 2001, this small and attractive 9 hole Executive Golf Course offers the opportunity to improve your iron shots, your short game and to test every golfer irrespective of handicap. Set around lakes, rolling hills and a mixture of pine and cork trees, from the first tee it presents a charming view of most of the course with the ribbon of blue sea as its background. This course requires pin point approaches, a fine touch around the greens and a solid putting stroke. This course tests the ability to control shot length and direction.
984 metres in length. 27 Par.
Balaia Golf Village, 8200 Albufeira
Tel: 00 351 289 570 442/1
Fax: 00 351 289 570 470
You can contact via website to pre-book.
SILVES GOLF COURSE
Silves is a serene spot but the course is anything but the proverbial walk in the park. Target golf reigns supreme. A drive at the opening hole has to flirt with two water hazards on both flanks. A heroic and straight shot will reward the player with an easy uphill approach shot. Silves encourages and rewards attacking play. It has a natural beauty and an elegant design. The excellent condition all year round is ideal for low scoring. A relentless test in precision, this course has no peers. It is the "archetype" of man-sized parkland golf. Most holes offer a spectacular mountain and valley view which overlook palm trees and olive groves. The severity of the bunkering is enough defence against the onslaught of the games big guns.
This course is owned by the same owners as Gramacho Golf Course and Pinta Golf Course.
Description: Eighteen holes, 5861 metres, Par 71 Designer: Robert Fream Location: Near Carvoeiro off the EN125
GRAMACHO COURSE - CARVOEIRO
The Former No1 player Nick Price has teamed up with the well known golf course architect Ronald Fream to create a uniquely designed 18 hole course with 27 varied greens. Golfers can play the same course several times with different greens and new challenges. The design technique has positioned the greens and protective bunkers so that an 18 hole round is a genuine challenge. The positioning of the tee markers helps to increase this variety still further. As in the case of the neighbouring Pinto Course this course is maintained at tournament standard all the year round. Although the course is designed in the style of Nick Price, the wonderful characteristics remain on the site from the boulder outcrops and dry stone walling to the fig, carob and olive trees. These have been complemented by artfully positioned lakes and bunkers. These hazards combined with the design of the greens and fairways result in a challenging but attractive course. At the end of the round experienced golfers will be able to confirm that they have played a great course. Address: Apartado 1011 8400-908 Carvoeiro Tel: 00 351 282340900 Fax: 00 351 282340901 www.pestanagolf.com For golf bookings - Email: email@example.com
Description: Eighteen holes, 6107 metres Par 72 Designer: Ronald Fream Green Fees: (Prices on this course vary with seasons)
SALGADOS GOLF COURSE
One of the many courses in the Algarve, it was once an aircraft landing strip and wetland area beside a bird sanctuary.
It has been compared to both a Scottish links course and a water-filled Florida course and if you enjoy water challenges this course is for you.
The par 4 seventh is rated amongst the best holes in Portugal. The final three holes decrease in difficulty allowing golfers to ease up after a testing first 15.
Description: Nine holes, 929 metres, Par 27 Designer: David Thomas Location: Near Carvoeiro off the EN125
ALTO GOLF COURSE
The course, which was Sir Henry Cotton's last before he died, is built on gentle rolling hills amongst vineyards close to the coast. Views of the sea are matched by views of the Monchique hills behind. The 10,000 trees and shrubs on the course attract many species of bird.
The opening par 3 immediately puts an emphasis on accuracy. The par 4 fourth is played across a valley with a lake to the right, featuring a difficult approach shot to a sloping green. The double dog-leg par 5 fifth is appropriately nicknamed The Serpent.
Another well-named hole is The Giant sixteenth, 660 yards if played from the championship tee. If a player informs the clubhouse beforehand and successfully scores a birdie at The Giant (also known as The Henry Cotton Challenge), he or she will have their name engraved on a special plaque.
The late Sir Henry Cotton's masterpiece and the course by which he wished to be remembered. Built on rice paddies, Penina is unusually flat for the Algarve.
The par 4 second hole features a long water hazard all the way down the left hand side which eventually crosses the fairway just before the green. Only straight long driving will allow players to go for the green on the second stroke. Anything else and you will be taking one putt for a par.
There is also a nine hole resort course with some testing holes and an Academy course for beginners or practice.
Description: Eighteen holes, 6273 metres, Par 73 Designer: Sir Henry Cotton Location: Five kilometres west of the Portimao and Alvor turnoffs on the EN125.
ALAMOS GOLF COURSE
Golfe Dos Alamos is the second course to be developed at the Morgados do Reguengo project, north of Portimao. This course was only opened in May 2005 and is the sister course to Morgado golf course located next to two large lakes with its wide valleys and great views of the Monchique Mountains. This course will test your golf skills through each of the eighteen holes with some unique moments over the various fairways.
Description : Eighteen holes, 6200 metres, Par 71 Designer : European Golf Design Buggies : available Travel directions : From the Montechoro Hotel, take the road to the coast and Olhos d'Agua Golf Village, 8200 Albufeira.
MORGADO GOLF COURSE
Located on the Algarve Downs, between Monchique and Portimao, 6.4 miles north of Praia da Rocha / Alvor, just 15 minutes from Lagos and approx 40 minutes from Faro airport. The surrounding area is a nature lover's paradise where the local flora and fauna have been matched perfectly while you play the eighteen holes. Twelve of the eighteen holes and the driving range can be viewed from the clubhouse whilst having a relaxing drink or snack after a hard round of golf,.
Description : Eighteen holes, 6399 metres, Par 73 Designer : Russell Talley Green Fees : ( seasonal rates charged )
PALMARES GOLF COURSE
Palmares is an unpretentious club set on picturesque hills that overlook the beaches below.
Reminiscent of British courses it includes a line of five pure links holes between the railway and the beach with the upper holes set in almond and fig groves.
The most challenging hole is the 550-metre fifth. It is tackled by driving along a thin fairway after which you can choose to play over the trees direct to the green or play around and take your chances on a single putt.
The course’s famous Almond Blossom Tournament takes place each February.
Description: Eighteen holes, 5614 metres, Par 71 Designer: Frank Pennink Location: The course is at the far end of the beach after you turn off the EN125
BOAVISTA GOLF COURSE
A welcome addition to the Western part of the Algarve located between Lagos and Praia da Luz. Golfers will leave with great memories of the spectacular views of the mountains and sea. A challenging and enjoyable course for golfers of all levels with two distinctive sections to this course which offer a variety of holes. In part the course is bordered by beautiful, sub-tropical landscaping. The signature hole on the outward nine has a stunning par-4, 7th hole set against a glorious back drop of the Atlantic Ocean with breathtaking views of the Monchique hills creating a fantastic backdrop.
After a round of golf you can enjoy a warm welcome at the clubhouse with its restaurant offering light meals and snacks.
Address: Quinta da Boavista SA Apartado 62 8601 Tel: 00 351 282782151 Fax: 00 351 282782150 www.boavistagolf.com For golf bookings - Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Description: Eighteen holes, 6053 metres Par 71 Designer: Howard Swan Packages of 3, 5 or 7 rounds can be arranged directly with this course
PARQUE DA FLORESTA GOLF COURSE
This imaginatively designed course is set amongst rolling hills just 15 minutes from Lago. Its varying holes run along valleys past eucalyptus covered ravines flanked by olive, palm and pine tress with magical views over the mountains and nearby ocean. Recent investment has seen the refining and shaping of many holes to meet the demands of today's golfers. The course is now billed as one of Europe's most picturesque with no two holes the same. One round of golf is not enough on this imaginative course to appreciate the workmanship and detail given to each hole.
Description: Eighteen holes, 5670 metres, Par 72 Designer: Pepe Gancedo
The 18 hole Oceanico Victoria Golf Course in Vilamoura covers 90 hectares - 13 of which are occupied by lakes - dotted with carob, olive and almond trees. Aside from the wide fairways, extensive water hazards and cleverly positioned bunkers, the course has a fantastic driving range and putting green, and was host to the PGA World Cup 2005 and Portugal Masters 2007 - 2010.