Golf in Algarve

Golf in Algarve

If you intend flying into Faro and heading east or west to find your golfing pleasures, whether your party consists of two people, thirty two or anything in between, we can help with accommodation, access to courses with discounted green fees and transport. Our tailor made holidays offer access to all the great-established courses and many of the newer ones. Our clients inform us that our prices are the most realistic around. They should know because many of them have been travelling with us for over 20 years.

Travelling along the Algarve’s famous golfing west coast, we offer facilities in the two great renowned areas of Quinta do Lago and Vilamoura, and further west at Armaçâo and Alvor, which are quickly earning their own reputations.

Along the east coast, the hotels and courses are in Tavira with three golf courses of note on its doorstep. The Spanish border and access to other courses is just a short drive away.

Vilamoura courses

Vilamoura Old Course Par 72 6,254 metres.

Without doubt the jewel in Algarve’s crown with every challenge a wooded inland course could ever offer. Even more prestigious since the total rebuild 3 years ago.

Such is its popularity that the Old Course tends to be fully booked very quickly, often months in advance. From November to March and in September and October early bookings are essential.

Vilamoura Victoria Par 72 6,506 metres.

The idea was conceived in 1998. It took two years to build and over one million cubic metres of earth were moved to create what can only be a course designed by Arnold Palmer himself. It bears all his trademarks.

Five tee options, classic American style bunkers, huge fast greens. Totally different to Vilamoura’s other four courses. Dramatic, is the only word to describe the back nine. In November 2005 it will become the first course in Portugal to host the World Cup and will be screened on television all over the world.

Vilamoura Millennium Par 72 6,200 metres.

A course of two halves. In parts the first nine has touches of its illustrious neighbour and the back nine is much more open presenting the perfect blend for the serious holiday golfer.

Vilamoura Pinhal Par 72 6,300 metres.

Revamped since the days when it was known simply as Vilamoura two with several splendid new holes and two extremely testing par fives. Like the previous two Vilamoura courses many fairways are studded with umbrella pines.

Vilamoura Laguna Par 72 6,133 metres.

Constantly improving with maturity it is completely different than the other Vilamoura courses with hardly a single tree coming into play. Surrounded by a nature reserve with a number of holes featuring interesting water hazards. Tricky greens.

Vilasol Near neighbour of the Vilamoura courses. Par 72 (length depends on which of the three loops of nine holes are played).

Opened a decade ago its design by Donald Steel was swiftly recognised and it hosted successive Portuguese Open Championships.

Subtle use of water and several dog-leg holes on the original 18 make it a formidable challenge off the back tees unless you happen to be Ryder up star David Gilford who won the Open there twice.

Quinta do Lago courses

Quinta do Lago Par 72 6,488 metres.

Exclusivity and elegance have always been the stock in trade here. Great but fair challenge, has hosted the Portuguese Open seven times. Always interesting and a pleasure to play.

Ria Formosa Par 72 6,205 metres.

Originally Quinta do Lago had three loops of nine and Rio Formosa is in fact the original “A” nine with a further nine added situated alongside a nature reserve. Far too much quality here and too many challenging holes for it to be called simply Quinta’s second course.

Vale do Lobo Royal

The original Vale do Lobo course designed by Sir Henry Cotton with the famous short seventh hole with the shot over the cliffs and the sea below, which must be one of the most photographed golf holes in Europe.

Vale do Lobo Ocean

Aptly named as parts of the course play alongside the ocean with a more parkland type feel to the holes which wind their way around the Vale do Lobo estate. Well placed and defined hazards make even the best player think hard before hitting each shot.

San Lorenzo Par 72 6,238 metres.

Since it was opened just a few years ago, San Lorenzo has been consistently voted as one of Europe’s top ten courses by a leading UK golf magazine. Set in the spectacular Rio Formosa nature reserve, the holes which run alongside the estuary, are truly memorable. As is the final hole, which is arguably the most demanding finishing par four hole in the Algarve.

Lagos Area courses

Penina Par 73 6,343 metres.

Sir Henry Cotton’s home for nearly 30 years after he had designed and built the course which started it all off in Algarve. It will always be a special place for anyone who visited Algarve 25 years ago or even before that. The Maestro’s course has been carefully and tastefully revamped by Dave Thomas to be more in keeping with modern demands.

Salgardos Par 72 6,080 metres.

Near Albufeira. Built on low and flat land by the sea, the course, not unnaturally, features many water hazards. Like a number of recently developed courses in Algarve it has a bird sanctuary on its perimeters.

Boavista Par 71 6,053 metres.

A drive of some 55 minutes from Vilamoura and just beyond Largos. Set in land overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, the historic town of Lagos and inland the Monchique hills, the course, designed by Howard Swan is a stunning addition to the Algarve scene.

Palmares Par 71 5,961 metres. A drive some ten minutes or so shorter. That rare combination of a part links and part inland lay-out; a different and enjoyable challenge.

Alto Close Par 72 6,125 metres.

Close to Sir Henry Cotton’s beloved Penina, in the picturesque fishing village of Alvor, this is the last course that the great man designed. Set in rolling countryside, the course features one of the longest par fives in Europe.

The condition of the course, and its presentation have improved tremendously in recent times. Realistic greenfees, and good value for money.

Golfe do Morado Par 73 6,000 metres.

Constructed on the lower slopes of Monchique, the course is quite different to the majority of Algarve courses. It plays like a traditional UK rolling parkland course with memorable views inland to the hills.

Gramacho Par 71 6100 metres and its sister course Vala da Pinta

Both creations of the renowned architect Ronald Fream and built in the popular holiday area of Carvoeiro, the courses were created with a minimum of environmental disturbance and feature tight, demanding fairways.

Century old almond, olive and carob trees have been retained on the courses. Vale da Pinta has hosted the European Tour Seniors qualifying event for the last couple of years.

Tavira courses

Benamor Par 71 5,961 metres.

Designed by Joaquim Caterino the Portuguese professional who has been on the Algarve scene for many years and a perfect holiday golf course with a number of short par fours and splendid views. It might not be the longest course in the word, but hitting the ball straight is the key to scoring well here.

Quinta da Rai 6,016 metres.

Designed by American course architect Rocky Roquemore with memorable holes. It has five strategically built lakes, more than 300 olive and carob trees and the ocean or mountains can be seen from any part of the course. It plays like a mature links course and is already a favourite with our clients.

Quinta da Cima is rather longer and although next door plays completely differently and more like an inland course. It is a stern test to anyone whatever their ability but one of the best new golf courses produced in Portugal for many years in our view.

Castro Marim Par 71 5,265 metres.

Near the Portuguese-Spanish border this, the most easterly course in the Algarve, offers commanding views of the ocean and inland it features a backdrop of hills beyond which is Alentejo, home of the Algarve’s most famous wines.

For those wishing to travel over the border into Spain we recommend both Islantilla, which has hosted European Tour events, and Isle of Canela both of which are within a 20 minutes drive of Tavira.