Golf holidays in Portugal are a great experience. Choose from our selection of golf resorts in the Algarve around Vilamoura or Lagos. Venture further South to the area close to the Spanish Border or North to the sophisticated resorts around Lisbon. Withe regular flights of only around 2 1/2 hours from the UK and over 300 days of sunshine its easy to see why Portugal is a favourite for Brits looking for a golf holiday
Albufeira is the largest, liveliest and most energetic of all of the resort towns that line southern Portugal’s beautiful Algarve coastline. Albufeira provides stunning beaches, a glorious climate, varied eating and a buzzing nightlife. There is so much to love about Albufeira, and this is why this once peaceful fishing village has been transformed into the Algarve’s most popular holiday destination.
Extending for 2km from the Old Town is a stretch of golden sands, and clear seawaters, which is always a hive of activity in the summer. The Praia dos Pescadores, is the most popular section of this beach and originally fishing boats were pulled on to the sands.
The Praia da Oura is to the east of Albufeira and is situated at the base of “the Strip”. This is another beautiful beach, with an assortment of beach activities, and a great place to recover after a big night out!
The closest golf courses to Albufeira are around 20 minutes away.
Heading East from the town, back towards Vilamoura and Faro is Pine Cliffs Resort. A luxury top end resort with its own 9 hole golf course which features one of the most famous holes on the Algarve – The Devils Parlour.
Heading further West brings you to Salgados and its purpose built golf resort. Whilst there is only 1 golf course – Salgados – it is owned and operated by Nau Hotels who also own 2 other golf courses – Morgado and Alamos – around 30 minutes away.
Nau hotels own a wide choice of accommodation options within Salgados Golf Resort from Villa’s and Apartments to Hotels offering everything from self catering to all inclusive board options.
Free transfers are provided to the Morgado and Alamos and a free shuttle service runs between the resort and Albufeira.
As is the norm the best value green fees at Salgados, Morgado and Alamos are reserved for guests staying at one of the Nau hotel options.
Also within the Salgados Resort as an independently operated 5 star luxury hotel – Vidamar Resort Hotel.
Alvor is one of the finest resort towns of the Algarve, and is the ideal destination if you are seeking a relaxed, beach-based holiday. Historically, Alvor was a fortified town and fishing port, which today has developed responsibly into a charming and mature holiday destination.
The town lies on the banks of the Alvor Estuary, overlooking the protected marshlands of Ria de Alvor Nature Reserve, while to the south is the Praia do Alvor, one of the largest sandy beaches of the Algarve. Alvor is a delightful town, with distinctively Portuguese appearance; there are traditional white-washed houses, narrow cobbled streets and small fishing boats pulled up along the banks of the river.
Alvor may be a relatively small town, but it contains a surprisingly large selection of restaurants, shops and late-night bars, all of which are found within the pretty historic centre. Alvor has a calm and welcoming ambience, and a favourite with families during summer, and retirees outside of the peak months.
On our last trip to the Algarve in November 2019 Alvor ‘won’ the competition to find the cheapest beer with several bars offering a pint at less tha 1 Euro !
The nearest major town to Alvor would be Portimao – about 15 minutes by taxi but for the best nightlife a visit to Praia da Rocha and its famous strip is the place to go – also around 15 minutes from Alvor.
From a golfers perspective Alvor is really ‘owned’ by Pestana – whilst there are no golf courses in the town Pestana own and operate 5 hotels in the town – each to suit a variety of budgets and board options. In our opinion the best value All Inclusive option is available at The Delfim in Alvor.
Depending on which of the hotels you prefer it takes between 10 and 20 minutes to walk into town.
A little out of town is the Viking Hotel, also owned by Pestana.
Pestana own 5 golf courses in the Algarve, 4 of which are easily reached from Alvor (about 20 minutes transfer to each) – Gramacho, Pinta, Silves and Alto. The fifth is Vila Sol in Vilamoura.
As is the norm, the best value green fee packages at the Pestana golf courses are reserved for guests staying at any of the groups hotels.
For a golfing treat head to Palmares near Lagos – still under 30 minutes transfer. There are 27 holes of golf including 9 holes (praia) of links style adjacent to the ocean. Our favourite though would be to play the 9 holes of the Alvor course with the 9 holes of the Lagos course – stunning views and teh greens are amongst the best in the Algarve. Not cheap though – expect to pay more than 100 Euro for a round.
From the long Avenida dos Descobrimentos you can enjoy the city’s profile and the busy and lively Marina. This avenue leads to the sea and the beaches, which are amongst the most beautiful in the Algarve, and often praised by international bodies and magazines. To the east is Meia Praia, a sandy beach about five kilometres long, ending at the Ria do Alvor. On the other side, there is a succession of smaller beaches with clear waters, to which the rocks carved out by erosion have lent a stunning beauty. These are the beaches of Batata, Pinhão, Dona Ana and Camilo, accessible from the city centre. Further ahead is Ponta da Piedade, the highlight of the region: a series of rock formations with impressive jagged shapes and excavated caves that are best enjoyed on a boat trip. Canavial, Porto de Mós and Praia da Luz complete the range of beaches, which also include many sandy coves that are hard to get to, some only accessible by sea. They are small havens waiting to be discovered.
There is plenty of nightlife in Lagos both around the Marina area and in the town centre – within easy walking distnace of each other – with a wide selection of restaurants, local bars, irish bars and nightclubs available.
Lagos is about a 1hour transfer from Faro airport. If time allows the journey takes you close to Vilamoura, Albufeira, Portimao and Alvor so playing 9 or even 18 holes en route between the airport and Lagos is possible.
We offer a broad selection of accommodation options from self catering apartments in the heart of Boa Vista golf resort to hotels in the centre of town and a real treat boutique hotel (only 20 rooms and very modern) overlooking the golf course and beach at Palmares.
There are 3 golf courses within 15 minutes of the centre of Lagos – Palmares with its 27 holes is probably the jewel in the crown – we played it twice in 2019 and the greens were the best we have played in the Algarve, Espiche is a real challenge with most fairways being lined with thorn bushes, and Boa Vista a golf resort featuring self catering accommodation – unfortunately whilst Boa Vista has some great holes the greens were not in best condition last time we visited.
Lisbon is Portugal’s hilly, coastal capital city. From imposing São Jorge Castle, the view encompasses the old city’s pastel-colored buildings, Tagus Estuary and Ponte 25 de Abril suspension bridge. Nearby, the National Azulejo Museum displays 5 centuries of decorative ceramic tiles. Just outside Lisbon is a string of Atlantic beaches, from Cascais to Estoril.
The mild climate and the beauty of its coastal landscapes makes Lisbon a very much appreciated golf region by golfers from around the world. Courses in the area include those designed by architects known for challenging courses, such as Robert Trent Jones, Rocky Roquemore, Donald Steel, Frank Pennink, Severiano Ballesteros and Jorge Santana da Silva.
Flight time from the UK to lisbon is around 2 1/2 hours
As you would perhaps expect golf courses around Lisbon, as a Capital city, tend to be outside of the city.
Closest to the city centre you will find the golf resorts of Oitavos Dunes, Penha Longha, and Estoril. Each represent a true golf resort with hotel and course on site.
The best value option close to Lisbon would be staying at the Pestana Cascais and playing Pestana Beloura golf course – about a 20 minute transfer by taxi.
Further afield up the Atlantic Coastline are the resorts of Praia D’el Rey and Royal Obidos, both are golf resorts and packages often include golf at the stunning West Cliffs – probably the best new course in Portugal. In this part of Portugal Bom Successo Resort – with self catering villa’s and apartments and a Seve designed 18 hole golf course.
To the South of the city centre sits Herdade da Aroeira, the largest residential and golf complex in the Greater Lisbon area. Guests here enjoy a wide choice of golf courses including Aroeira I and II, Ribagolfe, Quinta do Peru and Santa Estevao.
Nearby is what in our opinion is one of the best courses in the whole of Portugal – Troia – rated #2 after Monte Rei the course sits on a peninsula easiest to reach by ferry.
Madeira Island is famous throughout the world for its natural beauty and is often called the ‘floating garden in the Atlantic’. It offers not only an all year round summer climate, as well as wonderful fauna and flora, but it is also virtually crime-free and one of the safest holiday destinations in the world! The Capital city is Funchal which also hosts the Islands International Airport and a large number of hotels. We feature 2 golf courses on the Island of Maderia – both will require transfers if staying in Funchal itself – but each feature stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean.
Portimão is the largest city in the western Algarve, and was traditionally a centre for shipbuilding, sardine fishing and fish processing. Today, most of that industry has been replaced by tourism, leisure, and retail, leaving Portimão as a large and residential city. Most tourists visit Portimão either for the extensive shopping or when using public transport, but there is a surprising amount to be seen within the city.
The city’s old and once bustling fishing docks have been responsibly transformed into a scenic promenade, leading to the quaint and tree-lined plazas of the old town. Further inland are pleasant pedestrian shopping streets, a series of historic buildings, and a varied selection of cafes, bars, and restaurants specialising in freshly cooked seafood.
There are some fabulous and great value golf resorts and golf courses in the area around Portimao and Carvoeiro.
The best value options are staying at the Pestana Hotel Group self catering villa and apartment options at Gramacho, Alvor Atalntico or Carvoeiro Golf Resort – great for those guests who like to stay in the heart of golf resorts.
Pestana operate 5 golf courses in the Algarve – 4 of which are within easy reach of each other – Gramacho, Pinta, Silves and Alto. The fifth is in Vilamoura – Vila Sol. As is the norm guests staying at any of the Pestana resorts accommodation options receive preferential green fees when packaged together.
Penina is an algarve classic – a five star resort with a golf course to match – the Sir Henry Cotton Championship course. Penina is owned and operated by the same group that own San Lorenzo in Vilamoura and only guests staying at the groups 2 hotels – Penina and Dona Filipa in Vilamoura can secure tee times at San Lorenzo.
The border area between Spain and Portugal is a fabulous area in which to play golf with some fabulous courses around Castro Marim and Tavira on the Potuguese side and Islantilla on the Spanish side.
The pride of this area of Portugal is Monte Rei – voted the best golf course in Portugal – it is an absolute golfing gem and is a real treat – but not cheap – green fees would be upwards of 200 Euro even in low season !
Accommodation options include staying in Tavira town centre at the Vila Gale. Tavira is a relatively small town but still enjoys a good selection of restaurants and bars, including a couple of lively Irish bars.
For a great All Inclusive option look no further than Robinson Club. The hotel complex sits within walking distance of the first tees of Quinta da Ria and Quinta da Cima – both really good golf courses with Ria featuring some stunning holes by the Ocean and Cima perhaps being a little more challenging. Perhaps better than the walking distance to the first tee – the 18th green on Ria is right next to the hotel pool bar and that all inclusive cold beer !! The resort is also only 10 minutes transfer to Monte Rei.
Other options on the Portugal side of the border include the boutique Praia Verde Hotel close to Quinta do Vale golf course.
Across the border into Spain – juts 15 minutes from the border – is Islantilla Golf Resort. Set to relaunch in March 2020 the resort enjoys an on site hotel and apartments and a 27 hole golf course.
Vilamoura is the perfect choice for a golfing holiday. There are 19 golf courses in and around the town and it is only around 45 minutes from Faro Airport.
If you enjoy the luxury of a high class golf resort there are plenty to choose from in Vilamoura. If instead you want to be in the heart of the nightlife we can arrange accommodation in the centre of town and arrange transfers to your preferred courses.
At the heart of Vilamoura is the marina. The marina is surrounded by large hotels and luxury holiday homes as well as a large casino and numerous restaurants and vibrant bars. At the far corner of the marina, it is possible to charter boats for big game fishing. There are also facilities for jet skiing and parascending. Close by there are also a number of sports clubs, a shooting range and many night clubs.
Where to stay in Vilamoura.
If you want nightlife and to stay in the centre of town the lowest priced options would generally be to stay at any of the 3 Dom Pedro hotels. All are in the centre close to the Marina area. Dom Pedro also own 5 golf courses in and around Vilamoura – Laguna, Millennium, Pinhal, Old Course and Victoria. Staying at a Dom Pedro hotel and playing your choice of the 5 Dom Pedro courses offers the best value golf breaks in Vilamoura.
Other hotels in the centre of Vilamoura include Vila Gale Amapalius, Vila Gale Marina and Tivoli Marina – the latter being an imposing sight right on the Marina and is probably the more upmarket of the hotels in the town centre. None of these hotels own any golf courses themselves but we can package a stay at either with your preferred choice of golf courses.
More on the outskirts of town there are a wide choice of hotel options
For genuine luxury the Anantara Alagarve Resort Vilamoura is our recommended option. Overlooking Dom Pedro Victoria, the home of the Portuguese Masters, it is a world class resort and we can package with your choice of golf courses.
If you prefer a stay at a purpose built golf resort then our recommendation is Pestana Vila Sol – the hotel is right next door to 27 holes of golf. If you want to play more than one golf course Pestana operate 4 other courses on the Algarve – Gramacho, Pinta, Silves and Alto – and as is normal guests at a group owned hotel have the advantage of lower green fees at any of the groups golf courses. However it does take about 45 minutes by taxi to get from Vila Sol to any of the other Pestana golf courses so if you do want to take advantage of the great value multi course packaged rates offered by Pestana Group we recommend staying in Alvor.
Quinta do Lago Resort is only around 15 – 20 minutes from the centre of Vilamoura and offers 3 superb golf courses – Laranjal, North Course and South Course. The Resort owns a hotel within the resort Magnolia Hotel – though not within walking distance of the courses – and combining a stay at The Magnolia with playing a combination of the 3 courses is the best value option for this resort.
Another, more upmarket option within the resort is Monte da Quinta, a five star all suite hotel, within walking distance of the first tee.
Adjacent to Quinta do Lago is Vale do Lobo with further 2 golf courses – Royal and Ocean – both are at the top end of golf options in the Vilamora area. The resort does not own or operate any hotels but we offer on resort apartments, within walking distance of the resort centre, and the best value green fees are available to guests staying within the resort.
However, and sometimes confusingly, adjacent to the resort centre and right on the beach is the Hotel Dona Filipa. This is actually owned and operated by the same company that own San Lorenzo, Pinheiros Altos and Penina golf courses. In fact a staying at Dona Filipa is the only way that guests can secure tee times at San Lorenzo. Whilst staying at Dona Filipa does not secure any concessionary green fees at either of the Vale do Lobo golf courses it is the closest hotel to both the courses and resort centre.