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Golf, sun and sea. The perfect combination!
If your first question, when pondering holiday destinations, is "Are there any good golf courses nearby?", you’re probably as well going the whole nine yards – and constructing your break around golf itself. The UK is well placed where the sport is concerned – there are 7,500 courses throughout Scotland, England, Wales and Ireland – but let’s be realistic: a green only becomes immaculate when lavished with a generous covering of sunshine. The UK’s seaside links courses are a joy to play, but it’s difficult to argue in their favour when comparing them to similar greens in the Algarve, or on the spectacular Lisbon coast.
The main season for golf in Portugal falls between late autumn and late spring; the summer months, for most, are too punishingly hot for a golf break, and in any case collide with our own golf season in Britain. There is, however, no shortage of courses from which to experience the country’s breathtaking landscapes, dramatic sea views and, of course, first class golfing. Innumerable European Tour venues are dotted along the coast, but if you wish to sample colourful Porto, or venture to the beguiling island of Madeira, the resorts are second to none.
Golf holidays in Portugal: the best of the bunch
Golf holidays in Portugal: the Algarve
Given the quality of its courses, it’s no surprise the Algarve has become synonymous with golf holidays in recent years. From the luxury all-in-one resort of Vilamoura, with its five championship courses, to the cluster of well-defined greens in Quinta do Lago, the coastline of the Algarve – shaded as it is by cork oaks, orange trees and Algarvian pinewoods – is a genuine golfing Mecca. Wend your way from course to course, or settle on a favourite and work on improving your handicap; suffice to say there are enough beaches and bars in which to unwind when you step off the green.
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Golf holidays in Portugal: Lisbon
Head for Lisbon and you can take your pick of over 30 first-rate golf courses – and more and being built all the time. That’s because, having long been in the shadow of the Algarve, Lisbon decided to make a play for the title of Portugal’s golfing capital, with new projects popping up all over the place. Whether you’re playing the Aroeira, in the south of the city, or the Quinta de Peru, against the backdrop of the Arrabida mountains, you’re certain to enjoy a pleasant game. Golf buffs will recognise the Estoril course as the venue for the Portuguese Open; here, a round of 18 will set you back €59, though most large courses can supply passes, granting you five rounds’ play for around €200.
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Golf holidays in Portugal: Madeira
The glorious island of Madeira, located just off the coast of Africa, is a spectacular place to play a round of golf. You may have already enviously sized up what the island has to offer from watching the European Tour’s Madeira Islands Open, but nothing prepares you for the real thing, whether you hit the fairways of Dom Pedro Baia or the fantastic Casa Velha do Palheiro complex. The latter’s proximity to the capital of Funchal means it’s a popular choice, while the hilly terrain and the contours of the wide fairways make it a challenge even for seasoned players. For a panoramic view of the whole island, don’t forget to play a few holes at the elevated Santo de Serra.
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Golf holidays in Portugal: Porto
Portugal’s second-largest city, Porto is known for many things besides golf – but with over a dozen courses to tick off before you go home, how much of its stunning architecture and storied history you choose to soak up is entirely your choice! There’s a handful of five-star golf resorts in Porto, among them Vidago Palace and the Axis Ponte de Lima Resort, but you don’t have to splash the cash to indulge your passion; the Rilhadas Golf Club, laying alongside the Vizela River, is a challenging 9-hole course that rewards precision, while City Golf, in the heart of the centre, is specially designed for players new to the game.
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Golf holidays in Portugal: the Azores
Situated in the Atlantic Ocean, juxtaposed between Europe and North America, the Portuguese archipelago of the Azores comprises nine islands which benefit from the warming current of the Gulf Stream. And while you don’t have an endless choice of courses on which to play, between Batalha, Furnas and Terceira, we’re sure you’ll be satisfied. Batalha, on the north coast of Sao Miguel, offers 27 holes over 120 hectares and sweeping views of the ocean; Furnas, also on Sao Miguel, boasts 18 holes and is hemmed in by exotic vegetation. Lastly, the Terceira course, founded in 1954, has 18 holes – and while less demanding than the aforementioned pair, with fewer bunkers and wide fairways, it's extremely affordable; you can play a round for just €30 through the week.
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More golf villas in Portugal
Newly constructed, modern, good sun, view of the castle, garden area with trees where you can read or relax, and children can play. The gym is equipped with various machine allowing cardiotraining for those who cannot miss workouts. The complete p...
Funchal Charming Old Town Flat
An elegant two-bedroom self-catering apartment in the prime location in town, Funchal's new old hot spot - the old town (or 'Zona Velha'). Albeit in such a vibrant part of the Zona Velha, it's a very quiet apartment...
Brand new house, close to everything you need in your routine vacations, 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, living and dining room with 40 m², private park and private garage, 400 m² garden, fruit trees, BBQ, satellite TV and 3 balconies. It's near a golf c...
Set on a hillside overlooking a pretty valley in the foothills of Monchique is this delightful restored farmhouse, a 4 bedroom villa.
This completely refurnished rustic house is situated in the triangle of Monchique with its famous spa village, ...
This peaceful residence is located in a touristic area and features a swimming pool and a direct access to the Garajau beach. It is a private house upon the Atlantic Ocean, where the sea and calmness merge, transmitting a nice peace of mind to its...
Vila Alice is a family home located in a quiet residential area in Faro, less than 5 minutes’ drive from the airport, and 10 minutes from the city centre. The apartment offered was once part of the original house but has now been fully refurbished...
Enjoy your holidays at our lovely ocean view apartment in the Eastern Algarve, in a delightfully 'undiscovered' and quaint fishing village called Fuzeta. Our property is located in a new luxury development, located on the front-line facing the oc...
The Manor house is a XVII century listed building, with 3 independent apartments, placed in the oldest part of Porto in the heart of the historical center that has just been classified as world heritage. Belonging to my family since the XIX centur...
Modern self-catering property in a prime position just outside the city walls of Obidos, recently voted one of the 7 Wonders of Portugal. With two bedrooms sleeping 4 people, and a double sofa-bed in the sitting room, the house offers comfortable ...
This wonderful 4 bedroom villa set in beautifully tended grounds enjoys spectacular views. The spacious living area with feature fireplace is equipped with a wide screen TV with SKY satellite channels and a DVD player. Double doors lead onto the l...