Portugal is one of the few places in Europe where you can play an 18 hole round of golf all year long. For that reason, the southwestern country has become Europe’s foremost destination for golfing enthusiasts. From new 5-star luxury resorts to award-winning golf courses, Portugal boasts a myriad of options to choose, many in the sunny Algarve, where golf has developed into a way of life.
Four things make Portugal one of the World’s Best Golf Destinations:
- Proximity to the US, with the Azores in between;
- Numerous award-winning golf courses and resorts;
- Leading international tournaments and events.
- The climate, with guaranteed warm temperatures all year round, not to mention endless hours of sunshine, coupled with spectacularly located courses, often with mountain or sea views make Portugal a hugely popular choice for golfers from all over the world.
From the first golf course in the Iberian Peninsula to some of the world’s top 100, Portugal has it all. When planning a golf trip to Portugal, it is possible to stay almost anywhere in the country – including the islands –, as you can find challenging courses using natural details throughout.
In the northern part of the country lays the Vidago Palace Hotel, considered one of the best golf resorts in Europe. Within the Douro Region – with three World Heritage Sites –, Vidago occupies the 15th position in the Leading Courses’ top 60, the largest and most reputable site dedicated to the sport. Moreover, around the same region, you’ll find the Oporto Golf, the oldest court in the Peninsula. Located in Espinho, it hosts some of the oldest tournaments in the world, like the Skeffington, Dockery and Kendall cups.
Arriving at the Centro de Portugal, the Royal Óbidos SPA & Golf Resort is a true pleasure for players of all levels. The resort was awarded the 2016 Golf Resort of the Year, by The International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO).
Less than a 45 minute drive from the Lisbon airport, you’ll discover the Lisbon Golf Coast, another award winning Golf Destination (Year 2016). Cascais, Sintra and Estoril host some of the best known courses and tournaments, namely the Ladies Open in Lisbon. Golf Club Estoril, Penha Longa, and Oitavos Dunes - rated one of the top 100 courses in the world by Golf Magazine – are also some of the best in Europe.
The gentle climate, traditional hospitality, and fine cuisine are simple add-ons that will make your stay even more pleasant. The Algarve, with its long coastline, has the longest concentration of greens. There are quality courses, providing memorable challenges for all levels of golfing enthusiasts. Quinta do Lago, San Lorenzo Golf Club, Vale do Lobo, Royal & Ocean Courses and Oceanico Courses, Victoria & Old Course – frequently host to the prestigious European Tour's Portugal Masters – make the top list. In June, all the Algarve’s top courses will feature specially-commissioned commemorative golden tee markers to celebrate of the opening of the region’s first course 50th anniversary – Penina – in 1966.
Traveling to the islands, Madeira and Porto Santo – with their year-round summer – may be another great option. Two different islands and three magnificent golf courses provide the needed facilities to welcome golfers of all levels and all handicaps.
In the mild Atlantic Azores, 3 lush green 18-hole courses (and one 9 hole) offer a mix of unique landscapes, ocean views, and all type of exotic flowers and plants. They all share amazing mountain settings coupled with sheltering forests and numerous elegant tree ferns, 2 having lovely sea views.
On November 11th, for the third year in a row, the World Golf Awards will return to the Algarve. The new Conrad Algarve Hotel will proudly host the top awards program in the golf tourism industry on the November 11th.
Geographically, Portugal is closer to the United States than anywhere else in continental Europe. Lisbon is Europe’s new “capital of cool.” Portugal is a country of contrasts boasting some of the most unspoiled natural views, the richest traditions, the most intoxicating culture, the most adrenaline-pumping adventures and the most serene retreats in all of Europe. It is a destination of timeless appeal – as inviting, complex and enjoyable as a glass of Port wine.