Portugal might not be the first destination that comes to mind when planning your next trip. Yet in many ways, the beautiful country that borders Spain along the Atlantic Ocean presents everything required to make it the ideal place to enjoy great golf.
Warm breezes and gorgeous scenery are par for the course in Portugal. The food and wine selections are legendary. The region has developed a reputation for its laid back vibe and welcoming nature. In 2016, more than 11 million visitors visited Portugal and PerryGolf offers a variety of options for travelers interested in adding another stamp to their passports. In a given year, more than 400,000 golfers travel to Portugal to tee it up on one of the country’s 90 courses.
Our six-night, three-round Custom Tour includes two full days for sightseeing in Lisbon and Sintra. Or you can cruise on one of our partner Azamara Club Cruises’ majestic 690-seat ships and tour the Iberian Peninsula in May or September of 2019. Explore these options using Quick Quotes to find the package that suits you best.
Whatever your pleasure, incredible golf awaits. Here’s more information on the entertaining variety of courses you’ll enjoy on a PerryGolf journey to Portugal.
Ranked No. 55 in Golf Magazine’s 2017 Top 100 Courses in the World this is the best of prolific architect Arthur Hills’ many excellent designs. While not a true links, the course offers views of the crystal blue Atlantic as it winds through thick strands of pine trees, shaggy sand dunes and wide open coastal areas.
The layout is filled with memorable holes and spectacular views and a pair of par-3s, No. 9 and No. 14, are certainly atop the list. Not extremely long by modern standards – the course measures a shade under 7,000 yards from the back tees, a quite reasonable 6,537 from the members tees and 4,950 for the ladies – expect to feel the warm salt air breezes freshening through the day on a course that plays firm and fast and delivers pristine putting surfaces.
As a bonus, the Oitavos Hotel provides some of the finest accommodations in Portugal, including a world-class spa, multiple fine dining options and a delightful pool, complete with a bar where myriad food and drinks are available.
We’ll let Sir Nick himself tell us about this terrific layout.
“The land at Amendoeira is dramatic and the project has the potential to be a real talking point in the Algarve. With so many courses in the region, that’s no mean feat,” architect Sir Nick Faldo said during his visit in 2007.
The six-time major champion designed a gem in the Algarve. Cacti, wild herbs and olive trees dot the landscape. As expected, the master strategist Faldo crafted holes which give the players options off the tee and reward the accurate player on a championship layout that measures nearly 7,200 yards from the back tees. The course is consistently ranked among the top 10 in Portugal.
“This was a very exciting project, which gave me a great opportunity to exploit my passion for design the same way I exploited my passion for playing,” Faldo said. “You have incredible views, beautiful undulating land and any time you have natural terrain like this, it is great fun to work with.”
The 16th hole at the Royal Course at Vale do Lobo has been described as the most photographed hole in Portugal. The tee box on this par-3 is perched atop a cliff and features a demanding forced carry over a ravine to the green. The ninth, a virtual island green par-3, is another of the lasting memories for anyone fortunate enough to walk the fairways of this Rocky Roquemore’s design.
The noted American architect designed the course in 1997 based on the original drawings of the legendary Sir Henry Cotton, who won The Open in 1934, 1937 and 1948 and was one of the founding fathers of golf in Portugal. Cotton, the leading British player of his generation, designed the Royal course at Vale do Lobo.
“The Royal and the Ocean are two great courses,” said 11-time Portugese national champion Antonio Sobrinho. “On the Royal, you have to hit the ball straight – you’re going to be in trouble if you don’t. The Ocean is different, it forces you to shape more shots and I really enjoy that.”
Cabell B. Robinson is an American architect who built a career creating outstanding courses across Europe. A protege of Robert Trent Jones Sr., the mustachioed Robinson owns degrees from Princeton University and Cal – Berkeley. He spent nearly two decades running the European office for RTJ and opened his own shop in 1987. Over the last 30 years, he’s designed golf courses in France, Spain, Cyprus, North Africa and of course, Portugal where Praia d’el Rey winds through dense pine forests and provides spectacular vistas of the Atlantic Ocean and Berlengas Islands.
The course opened in 1997 and quickly became a favorite for anyone visiting the region.
Robert Trent Jones II is another of the esteemed architects to capitalize on the terrain and coastline to create, Penha Longa, yet another staple for golfers visiting Portugal.
There are 27 holes at Penha Longa and each offers a distinct challenge. The course is a past host of the Portugese Open, with its demanding tee shots and undulating greens testing the skills of the top professionals and amateurs. It’s typically rated among the top 100 courses in Continental Europe, where RTJ Jr. has enjoyed a long, extensive career.
Located a couple hours drive north of the Algarve region, there are many lakes and rivers feeding the lush vegetation in these foothills. Be sure to take advantage of your time on the driving range before the round, because the starting holes are demanding and force a golfer to be sharp from the outset.