Although many people around the world wouldn’t think of Portugal first in terms of great golf destinations, they should reconsider. The Algarve region (more information here) is home to many of the best golf courses available and they’re accessible to golfers of most skill levels.
There are over 30 courses to choose from in the region, all of them both inviting and challenging at the same time. Here is a look at the top five courses in the region and what makes them as highly regarded as they are.
In the eastern Algarve region, Monte Rei is home to the best golfing experience in the area. Opened in 2007, the Monte Rei North course features many beautiful scenes, including views of the Atlantic Ocean and the Serra do Caldeirao mountain range.
However, you’ll want to look out for water hazards as they are a prominent part of the course. With a perfect blend of Par 3s, 4s, and 5s, there is enough to challenge any golfer into playing their best. The scenery and challenge make this the perfect golfing experience for any visitor.
With eight Oceanico courses in the Algarve region, it’s hard to choose one, but the one that has stood out over time is the Old Course. The 18-hole Par 73 course designed by Frank Pennick has withstood the test of time thanks to a major renovation in 1996 to keep the modern feel of the course prominent.
Equipped with a new clubhouse to offer entertainment before and after a round of golf, the Oceanico Old Course has a lot to offer. Uphill and downhill challenges will be ever present as golfers try to tame the challenging course.
Attribution: San Lorenzo Golf Course
Built a quarter of a century ago, San Lorenzo still remains one of the most beautiful courses in the Algarve. Wooded acres present a challenge for some golfers, but those that are looking for a test of their skills will be welcomed here.
American Joseph Lee designed the course with skilled golfers in mind, as the conditions of the fairways reward golfers for their accuracy. The first hole is a true test as a long Par 5 awaits and can set the tone for the rest of the round. In the middle of the course is the amazing clubhouse with a fully equipped shop and plenty of food and beverages.
Quinta de Cima
The Quinta de Cima course has been regarded as one of the 100 best in all of Europe, and for good reason. You will find that the open feel of the course is a bit more inviting than one surrounded by trees. As a championship course, though, it may not be the ideal place for those with a high handicap.
Dog legs, sand, and water will all come into play while shooting a round at Quinta de Cima, but taming the tough course can feel like the greatest of accomplishments.
This Par 73 course is regarded as the grandfather of golf courses in the Algarve, but it’s kept its shape very well. The most popular part of the course is the Par 3 holes, which can be very rewarding. Sir Henry Cotton designed the course, and it is a true monument to the genius of his work.
If you enjoy a throwback course, then the Penina Championship course is the one that you’ve been looking for.
The Algarve region is not limited to just five golf courses, there are many others that stand out as top of the line. Take a look around and see which one best suits you.
Anne Masters has written about history, culture and travel for years, but has found herself becoming an expert most of all on Portuguese culture, and now resides in the Algarve region of southern Portugal.