Portugal is one of the best destinations of the world for the practice of this sport. The mild weather and the quality of the courses make golf a mandatory presence in all Portugal vacation packages for those who like this sport. Let’s discover two places with a large offer of golf courses: Estoril/Cascais and the Algarve.
Estoril/Cascais – Between the areas that goes from the Natural Park of the Serra of Sintra to the seaside resorts of Estoril and Cascais hide great emotions for the golfers who like to improve their technique. Near the Serra of Sintra, the path Atlantico da Penha Longa where it has been organized several competitions of the European Tour, is inserted in a luxury touristic resort which was a convent. It’s a rocky field with several levels of difficulty, which offers a magnificent landscape over the mountain and the sea. The most recent golf course of the region is the Quinta da Marinha Oitavos, designed by the famous American architect Arthur Hills and the first in Europe and second in the world to possess the Certified Signature Sanctuary/Gold given by the Audubon International. It offers a superb view over the Palacio da Pena and the Cabo da Roca being the main challenge of this course of large fairways the rolling greens which demand well-aimed puts.
Closer to Lisbon we have the golf course of Belas, designed by William Rocky Roquemore where the wind is the major key that influences the trajectory of the strike. Two holes deserve to be highlighted: hole number 1, baptized with the name Augusta in honour of the hole 13 where the Us Masters is held and hole 18, an unforgettable pair 4 named Big Hole where on the second strike the ball has to run 180 meters to the green well protected by a lake.
Algarve – The Algarve has about 30 golf courses of excellent quality, which are visited by golfers from all over the world. The wonderful weather characterized by many hours of sun per day makes this region a golf destination for all year. The weather, the natural beauty of the region with 150 kilometers of white sandy beaches and a coast full of beautiful cliffs led Sir Henry Cotton to predict a great future for golf in the Algarve. Don’t forget that we are talking about a region that was chosen by the International Association of Golf Tour Operators as the best golf destination and ten golf courses were chosen by the magazine Golf World as being on the top 100 of Europe.
We have to mention the Ocean Course (designed by Sir Henry Cotton) and the Royal Course, both in Vale de Lobo. Probably, you already know the hole 16 of the last one as photographers from all over the world take pictures of the amazing cliffs between the tee and the green. Nigel Mansell, Formula 1 champ, was the president of Pine Cliffs where the hole 16, near a ravine demanding a strike over the beach was one of his biggest challenges. It is worth mentioning the golf courses of Palmares, near the historic city of Lagos, San Lorenzo in the exquisite Quinta do Lago or Quinta da Ria opposite the beautiful Natural Reserve of Ria Formosa. In Quinta da Ria, near the river Guadiana, don’t let the wonderful landscape distract you from your golf performance.
Besides your favorite sport, don’t forget to appreciate other great things that the Algarve has to offer, for example, grilled fish and seafood.