In terms of golf holidays Portugal now provides a real alternative to Ireland and Britain with its breadth of championship courses, and the weather is better all year round too! This list is a collection of 5 great courses from around the country that showcase the best of Portuguese golf. For an all inclusive golf holiday Algarve, Estoril and Oeste are the principal destinations to consider.
Estoril Golf Course: This popular course for Lisbon residents is a big surprise for many tourists. At 6,100 yards long its main challenge is in the design of each hole requiring proper club choice throughout to know when to lay up and accept long second shots (especially on the par 4s and par 5s).
Palheiro: The Palheiro sits astride the hillside of a dormant volcano on the tropical island of Madeira. The tropical weather and vegetation offer one distraction as you play the course. The challenge arises as holes traverse the hillside with awkward above/below feet fairway shots being required.
Quinta Do Lago: The south course at Quinta Do Lago narrowly beats the second (north) course at this resort for its more mature fairways and greens along with the attractive vistas on nearly every hole. Both courses though are open to the Atlantic sea breeze which adds a dynamic nature to how each hole plays.
Praia Del Rey: Returning to Estoril, the region’s most famous course would have to be Praia Del Rey and one not to miss on a visit to the region. The character of this links course changes from hole to hole due to some benefiting from extensive woodland while others are wide open to the (usually) strong Atlantic wind.
Penha Longa: The Atlantic is host to the 2010 Open and consequently the design, bunker placement and green sizes have been toughened up to raise the difficulty level. This shouldn’t put amateurs off playing it though as the scenic views and presence of old ruins (lining some of the holes) makes this one of the most picturesque courses to play.