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The insider’s guide to Elba Hotels & Resorts

This week’s blog is an insider’s guide to the Elba hotels. These hotels are all four or five star resorts and each have their own unique selling point whether it be their location, golfing opportunities or simply the class of the resort. With Autumn and Winter fast approaching it is about time for you to consider booking yourself a golf break away to give you something to look forward to in the months ahead and with many of the Elba resorts situated in the Canary Islands where there is a springtime climate all year you cannot go wrong with booking your next golf holiday with at one of the Elba resorts…

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Gran Hotel Elba Estepona is situated on the Costa del Sol and boasts a perfect beachfront location which makes it ideal for a quiet golfing retreat away from the stresses of home life. There is a beautifully decorated Thalaso Spa for guests to visit where you can enjoy a sea water circuit, the hot tub and sauna as well as a range of different treatments. Although the hotel is located in a tranquil setting it is just outside of Estepona and only 20 minutes’ drive from Marbella so you can easily access the towns if you want to take a trip somewhere busier! With all of this as well as an outdoor pool and many different brilliant golf courses within a short drive away it is a great destination for your next relaxing golf break to Spain.

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Elba Costa Ballena on the Costa de la Luz is the second Elba property in Spain and is different from the other Elba property in Spain as it is busier and features more activities for children as well as adults. The resort is situated in the bay of Cadiz as well as within the 27-hole Costa Ballena Golf Club. Most packages at this resort include free transfers to the golf course from the hotel. With a brilliant golf course on site as well as the beach being just under a 10 minute walk it is hard to see why people would pass up the opportunity to stay here. The resort is also close to some other small Spanish towns such as Jerez and Rota which is perfect for if you fancy a change of scenery. There is plenty for non-golfers to do as the spa is fitted with a thermal circuit and sauna as well as elegantly designed treatment rooms. This is another great destination for your next golf break to Spain.

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Elba Royal Village Resort in Lanzarote is situated in an ideal location as it is just a short walk into the village of Playa Blanca and Flamingo Beach. The hotel also offers a free shuttle service to another top beach in the area – Playa Dorada. The rooms are all elegantly designed here and there is always plenty of things to do onsite from the sports arena to the Thalaso spa to the evening entertainment. This is a beautiful resort situated in a stunning location in amongst tropical gardens and is built with traditional Canary Island style architecture. There is nothing that you could want more from a resort than is available here at the Elba Royal Village and it is a great resort perfect for your next golf holiday to Lanzarote.

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Hotel Elba Sara in Fuerteventura is perfect for any kind of golf break away as it has the most perfect location. Next door to the resort is the Atlantico centre which has a wide array of different restaurants, bars, shops and even a cinema complex. Also nearby to the resort is a beautiful marina which is just half an hour’s walk away. This Elba property is also located virtually on the beach and has two fabulous golf course’s within five minute’s drive away – Fuerteventura Golf Club and Salinas Golf. All of the rooms have beautiful sea views and all the rooms have free Wi-Fi and a mini-bar. Onsite there is also a kids’ club and a fully fitted spa for guests to enjoy. There is plenty to do for everyone here and a stay here could never be a disappointing one!

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Elba Palace Golf & Vital Hotel in Fuerteventura is an adults-only hotel which is situated in the middle of the beautiful Fuerteventura golf course. The hotel is set in such a peaceful location that it would be difficult to stay here and not feel detached from the outside world but is just under a 20-minutes’ walk from the beach. The rooms are all spacious and well appointed with the amenities you would expect from a hotel of this calibre. The hotel boasts different swimming pools, an elegant restaurant and lovely surroundings. This is a stunning hotel in a perfect location and is ideal if you are looking for a small, quiet hotel for somewhere to unwind and relax as well as enjoy a few rounds of excellent golf whilst you’re at it!

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Last, but certainly not least on the list of the fabulous Elba properties are the Elba Premium Suites located in Lanzarote which are opening this November. This is another adults-only property and is set to be one of the classiest and elegant properties around. Each of the suites features a terrace as well as a flat screen TV, a minibar and free Wi-Fi. The resort features a private solarium which has sun loungers, a large swimming pool and an atmospheric pool bar. The complex is also in a great location as it is only 10-minutes’ walk from the fishing village of Playa Blanca as well as being just a 30-minutes’ drive from the airport. This is a stunning complex which exudes class and sophistication and is perfect for those looking for a quiet golf break to Lanzarote with some fantastic golf at Costa Teguise and Lanzarote Golf Resort.

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We hope that this blog has opened your eyes to the fantastic Elba properties which all have something unique that they can offer you whether it is in terms of the golf courses on offer, the service at the property or the location. These are all great locations for your next golf break.

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Review of the Orizonte golf course collection

The Orizonte Golf collection of courses is a brilliant group of courses in the Lisbon region in Portugal. This week’s blog is a guide to these Orizonte courses and will show you why, on your next trip to the Lisbon area, these courses are a must-play on your itinerary.

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First up is Quinta do Peru which is one of the most exclusive golf courses in the area but tee-times are still available if you book far enough in advance. The course is set in a pine forest with the Arrabida Mountains as a backdrop. The course its self is set out over a high, undulating plateau which means that there are some superb views to be enjoyed when you can see over the treetops. Although this course may not be described as the most challenging, it is a great one to play for a relaxing holiday-style round but there are still the American-style bunkers and the occasional water hazards which you still need to look out for! The front nine holes are great, but the back nine are superb with a great set of finishing holes to end the round with. Both the 8th and the 16th holes are played across large lakes to well-guarded greens making them potentially the hardest holes on the course. This is a great, enjoyable course for those of all handicaps for sure.

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Aroeira I is next up on the list and has been claimed to be one of the finest courses in Europe. The course travels through a pine forest along undulating fairways and prides itself on the array of different holes that you will come face to face with. This course is a tricky one due to its setting with the many pine trees often obstructing the path of play but a noticeable fact about this course is that there are no bunkers on the fairways trying to catch errant balls. The 11th hole is one of the shining stars of the course as you have to avoid water which cuts into the left of the green on your approach shot before tackling the stretch of fairway (avoiding the pines) to the green. You then have to avoid the same water hazard in the fun par-3 14th hole too. This is another superb course by Orizonte golf and this unique array of holes can provide you with an unforgettable round of golf.

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Next up is the (younger) sibling of Aroeira I – Aroeira II. This course was built to European Tour recommendations to potentially host some major tournaments. This course has a superb layout like its sister course and you have to navigate carefully through heavily wooded and gently undulating terrain to reach the well-guarded greens. The holes are long here and cleverly shaped using the natural landscape and bunkers. A stand out hole is the par 5 4th hole where a large stand of pine trees about 100 yards short of the green need to be overcome in order to reach the centre of the green. This course also has a spectacular few finishing holes which will make you wish that the round wasn’t ending. The 18th hole is a par 5 with water up the right of the fairway and stretching into the left of the finishing green. Don’t come to Aroeira and only play the first course – this is also a spectacular course and one which you will come to love.

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Ribagolfe I is another great Orizonte course, this is a magnificent course and the Ribagolfe complex is arguably one of the best on the Iberian Peninsula and is definitely the best value. Although the course measures 7,370 yards from the back tees, the course is very playable for those with slightly higher handicaps from the front tees. Water hazards come into play a few times throughout the back nine of the course. Each of the holes are memorable in their own way and its landscape is simply stunning – a must play. One of the best, and the shortest hole on the course is the par 3 15th hole where water sits to the left of a raised green that’s surrounded by bunkers making it tricky to even get your ball on to the green without it being caught! Although the Ribagolfe complex is not in the best location accessibility wise it is definitely recommended that you play at least one round here and you won’t regret it.

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Ribagolfe II is the sister course and makes up the other 18-holes of Ribagolfe’s 36-hole complex. This course is also routed through stands of cork oak and has beautiful surroundings. This is a shorter course, with more open fairways which lead to large greens and water hazards are less prominent on this course. Where water does come into play it really completes the holes. The best is the long par 5 13th hole where the same stream slices through the fairway into a small lake which is set to the right of the hole. The 3rd hole is definitely one to look out for as it is a long par 3 where trees block part of the route to the green on the right-hand side of the fairway which means that you need a lot of concentration to keep your shots on course! This is a superb course and a perfect partner for Ribagolfe I – these two courses are certainly not to be missed out on.

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Last, but certainly not least on the list is Santo Estevao which is in the same area as the Ribagolfe complex. This course is suited to those who have a higher handicap as there is more room for error with the wider fairways and the bigger greens. This is a great, fun course which is perfect for those looking for a light round with some great views and can be used as preparation to play one of the harder courses in the area – perhaps Ribagolfe? This is another superb Orizonte golf course and is well worth the trip to play.

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We hope that this week’s blog opened your eyes to the great courses that you should have on your list to play when you are next taking a golf holiday to the Lisbon area!

 

 

 

 

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Insiders guide to Sicily

This week’s blog is an insider’s guide to Sicily and the fantastic golfing resorts there which are perfect for your next Italian golf escape. Although Sicily may not be the destination that springs to mind for your next golfing holiday it is definitely one to be considered with its beautiful scenery, historical culture, glorious golf courses and fantastic food and wine!

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Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean and although golfing may be your main reason for choosing Sicily as the destination for your next golf break in Europe you cannot forget about the breathtaking landscape and classical heritage that awaits you on this stunning island.

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The Verdura Resort is situated on the South West coastline of Sicily bordering the beautiful sea side town of Sciacca. On the resort is the fabulous Rocco Forte Hotel and two fantastic golf courses. The Rocco Forte Hotel is situated amongst 230 hectares of olive groves and traditional Sicilian countryside providing the perfect backdrop for this five-star hotel. All rooms are spacious and feature king-size four poster beds with roomy bathrooms and beautiful views of either the golf course or the sparkling blue Mediterranean. With a four fantastic restaurants and five wonderful bar areas with terraces and views of the sea or the Sicilian countryside there is never a shortage of places to relax, drink and dine at the Verdura Resort either pre or post round! If you’re looking for further relaxation then look no further than the Verdura Spa which features extensive treatment rooms, four outdoor thalassotherapy pools, an indoor pool, a double-height steam rooms with Finnish and infrared saunas as well as a gym and fitness studio! This hotel is fantastic and is the perfect destination for a luxurious and relaxing golfing holiday.

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Verdura Resort offers two superb 18-hole championship courses which hosted the 2012 Sicilian Open. With world-class facilities such as a double-ended driving range, tuition from PGA-qualified professionals and an exceptional golfing academy for those budding golfers this is an unbeatable resort.

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The first course at Verdura Resort is the West Course. The West Course has a more out-and-back layout compared to its sister course, the East Course. If you’re looking for a course which provides a challenge with a wide variety of scenery, then there is no better course for you than this one. With the scenery changing from Sicilian countryside, to an old railway line, to the Mediterranean Sea before finishing up on the 18th with a spectacular view across the cliff line of stunning countryside combined with the sparkling Mediterranean – simply breathtaking! The highest point of the course is reached at the 5th hole where the views from the tee are incredible. You can see the gleaming Med with the properties of the resort to your right seemingly lying over lovely orange groves. It can be said that although the course starts off friendly and inviting by the time you approach the 8th hole things are getting a little trickier and concentration is required to score well on the back holes! This is a great course which provides a challenging and certainly scenic round!

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The East course is laid out in two returning loops of nine holes and is far more undulating than the West Course. The East Course provides a stern challenge with plenty of change in both elevation and direction whilst maintaining the stunning views across the Sicilian coastline and beautiful countryside. With bunker protected greens and strategically placed water hazards – especially on the 5th and 6th – this is a great challenge of golf to those of all abilities. The 6th hole is called “Verdura’s Postage Stamp” and as a par three of 112 yards it isn’t hard to see why! Another fantastic hole which is marks the change ins style of holes from the front nine to the back nine is the 12th hole which is a long par three at 260 yards making this the longest one shotter on the course with spectacular views to match this challenge. The course features a multitude of fabulous holes but ends with the best – the 18th is a great par four which starts at the highest point of the course before crashing down then coastline! This is a fabulous course not to be missed off the itinerary when you’re planning your next golf break to Sicily.

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A little different to the Verdura Resort is the five-star Donnafugata Resort located in the South East of Sicily. This is a fantastic place for a golfing holiday with two fabulous 18-hole golf courses on site which were actually the hosts of the Sicilian Open in 2011 – the year before Verdura Resort hosted. With a great Spa with all the amenities you could wish for as well as three restaurants and two bars to choose from there is always a great place to unwind and relax in the resort either pre or post round! This great resort set in Sicilian countryside is perfect for your next golf escape to Sicily.

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With both a Links course and a Parkland course on site guests cannot be disappointed with the variety of golf offered here! The fairways of the Links stretch out around a couple of lakes that lie within two large valleys whereas the Parkland course winds through typical Ragusa countryside formed of carob and olive trees giving a traditional feel to the player. With water playing a feature on both of the courses on a few of the holes as well as strategical placing of other hazards such as trees and bunkers these courses can prove a stern challenge to even the most discerning golfer and are worth a shot on your next golfing break to Donnafugata Resort.

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We hope that this blog has inspired you for your next golf break to Sicily and that you will choose either the stunning Verdura Resort with its two fabulous championship golf courses or the lovely Donnafugata Resort with its two superb 18-hole golf courses on site. We are sure that Sicily is an up and coming golfing destination for those looking for that little bit extra on their golfing holiday – make sure you don’t miss out on experiencing all the beauty and culture that Sicily has to offer!

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The insiders guide to the Pestana Collection on the Algarve…

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This week’s blog is an insider’s guide to the group of Pestana hotels in the Algarve and the golf courses too. Although the hotels are all similar in terms of quality and location they all offer something different and unique to offer so make sure you are choosing the right one for you on your next golf break to the Algarve.

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The first hotel is the Pestana Vila Sol hotel which is just 7-minutes from the bustling town of Vilamoura. With 27 holes of fantastic golf on-site this is perfect for those looking to play all the golf that they could possibly want – and for it all to be on their doorstep during the holiday! The hotel is very modern and all the rooms are decorated with a contemporary design and are all fully-fitted. There is also a beautiful garden area around the pool which adds to the relaxing atmosphere at this hotel and is a great place to relax after a day on the course!

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If you’re looking for the best value package in the Algarve, then you cannot go wrong with a golf break to the Pestana Dom Joao II! This stunning 4* hotel is situated directly on one of the prettiest beaches and is just a short walk into the great town of Alvor where guests can find copious amounts of bars and restaurants. This Pestana hotel is very popular with Golf Escapes clients and with its fabulous location and stylish interior that is certainly not a surprise!

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The Pestana Alvor South Beach Hotel is a beautifully modern and colourful boutique-style hotel also situated on the beach. The hotel is always very light as it is built with so much glass making it feel very spacious and open. It is the same distance from Alvor as the Pestana Dom Joao II Hotel is and so you can also enjoy the great town of Alvor and the restaurants and bars it has to offer if you choose to stay here too. With three swimming pools and the beach on the doorstep this is the perfect destination for a relaxing golf break.

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The Pestana Delfim hotel is a great all-inclusive hotel and perfect for those groups who are looking for a fun holiday on the beach where it is possible to play rounds and rounds of golf and drink and eat as much as possible! This hotel is also right on the beach which means that after a few rounds on the golf course there is a great place to relax before taking advantage of the all-inclusive bar!

 

Not only do Pestana offer some fantastic hotels but there are also five fabulous golf courses that guests can play when staying at any one of these hotels.

 

The Pestana Gramacho course has been the host of the Portuguese Ladies Open many times which makes it recognised as a championship course but is playable also by those with a higher handicap! This is a fabulous course with a wide variation of greens which means you can play again and again and have a different experience every time. The course is fully incorporated into its surroundings which make it a stunning course to play with beautiful but challenging hazards!pestana_blog05

 

The Pestana Alto course is very similar to a U.K parkland course but feature views that couldn’t be found in the U.K! Players enjoy a beautiful view across to Lagoa Bay for the first nine before returning back inland. This course also features what is said to be the longest hole in Europe (the 16th hole) at just over 600m. This hole and the entire course are a challenge but a worthwhile one!

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The Pestana Vale de Pinta course is a hilly course with some spectacular views and challenges along the way. With fast, well manicured greens and strategically placed bunkers there is no doubt that this course is a challenge but it is also well-respected for its playability by those of all handicaps! Beautiful lakes, rolling terrain and fig and olive trees are combined to make up this stunning course and present you with one of the best-designed courses in the Algarve.

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The Pestana Vila Sol golf course is made up of 27 holes and is often the most requested course to play! The course is set amongst 75 acres of natural beauty making this one of the finest courses on the Algarve. The 18-hole Championship Golf Course is truly spectacular with a setting of natural trees, flowers, lakes and streams all contributing to the actual greatness of the golf course. The course features narrow fairways which of course means that your drives have to be accurate and with the strategically placed hazards there is little room for error!

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Last but not least is the Pestana Silves golf course. Although those with low-handicaps will definitely find it hard to come in under par, those with high-handicaps will be able to enjoy their game (with much concentration!). Being set at the foot of the Monchique mountain offers some fabulous mountain views throughout the course and with the natural surroundings there is a great feeling that you are playing a proper, authentic Portuguese golf course. The greens are fast and true and straight from the first tee you are hit with a challenge but it is a truly enjoyable round nonetheless!

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We hope that with this insider’s guide you will be able to choose the Pestana hotel and golf itinerary which is the right choice for you on your next superb golf holiday to the Algarve!

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The top 5 courses for medium handicappers…

For those of you with a medium-level handicap will sometimes find some of the trickier courses too much of a challenge to be enjoyable and vice versa with the easier courses! This blog is designed to help you plan your next European golfing holiday making sure that you have got a few ideas of the best courses for you! Here is our list of the best courses for medium-level handicap holders!

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Situated on the Costa del Sol is the Mijas Los Lagos course. This course is a lovely, original course which was built in the mid 1970s making it a classic and very enjoyable course to play. It is set in just over 150 acres of stunning, gently undulating, green landscape with some beautiful natural scenery as its surroundings. This course is a very long course which will make an impact on you – especially if you take it on from the white tees! This course has many memorable holes but a particularly special one is the par five 5th hole where the fairway is restricted by a boundary wall on the left whilst the fairway narrows into a waste bunker with water on the right – a mighty risk-reward hole! With huge open fairways, large greens and vast lakes and bunkers this course has the power to make anyone feel small again, but it will always provide a good challenge to those of you with a mid-level handicap but also not be too tricky that you despair over your scorecard!

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With a backdrop of the Mijas Mountains and set amidst 140 acres of avocado and orange groves sits the Santana golf course on the Costa del Sol. The golf course seems to merge into its surroundings here with crushed marble white sand bunkers and some unusually shaped greens. The best hole on the course has to be the outstanding par five 4th hole which is a spectacularly long hole which features treacherously sloping greens, a little stream waiting to catch your stray balls and some strategically placed bunkers! Although this course is not particularly long, the fast, tricky greens will definitely offer a challenge on this course especially as they are deceivingly generous. The greens paired with the hazards along the way and the interestingly shaped greens and anything-but-flat fairways and you are in for a treat! This course is a fabulous course and cannot be missed off of the itinerary when you are in possession of a mid-level handicap and are looking for a fantastic course to play in the Costa del Sol!

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The Forest course at the Emporda Golf Resort on the Costa Brava is next up on the list of the best European courses for those with a mid-level handicap! These pine flanked fairways and greens are some of the loveliest in Spain and are not to be missed! This course is undeniably a very attractive course and has some quality holes to make it an even more enjoyable game. As early as the 2nd hole you get to experience a great par three with some strategically placed bunkering on the right before venturing through pine trees for the next few holes. Hole 6 can only be described as one of the best short, par fours around. This hole a great risk/reward hole and may leave you with a few lost balls! Make sure that you are not missing off the Forest course at Emporda on your next golf holiday to the Costa Brava and for an extra treat check out its sister course – the Links course at Emporda too, which is another great course for mid-level handicappers.img_Emporda

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The Hills course at Lumine Golf Club on the Costa Dorada is set in forests of white pine trees and with the backdrop of the stunning Mediterranean Sea. Not only are the fairways of the course flanked with olive trees and pine trees but due to being set in the surroundings of a bird sanctuary golfers will never be short of flying company whilst playing a superb round of golf on this course. The two closing holes on this course will stay in your mind for a long time after playing this fabulous course. The backdrop to the 17th is a natural rock-face and it is all about the approach to the very small green making it a little tricky but a beautiful hole indeed. The last hole is simply superb, from the tee all you can see are bunkers and the fairway disappearing in front of you into water but the hole veers off to the right meaning that you have a huge water hazard on your left where you can see yet more bunkers and another stunning rock-face. Make sure that this scenic and enjoyably challenging (but not too challenging!) course is on your to-play-list this coming year!img_Lumine

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Last, but certainly not least on the list is the Alamos course which is situated in the sunny Algarve in Portugal. The course is characterised by two large lakes and stunning views of the Monchique Mountains as you look over the reservoir and the vineyard – this course truly shows the peaceful side of the Algarve! With irregular and tight fairways, strategically placed bunkers as well as small greens this can be a tricky course to play but the variety of holes means that it is kept interesting! Make sure that your putting is on point for this round as the greens are fast and unforgiving but without making you cry at your scoresheet! This course is a course full of variety and beautiful scenery and cannot be missed on your next golf break to the Algarve – especially if you are a mid-level handicapper and are looking for a fine challenge!

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We hope that this list helps you, as a holder of a medium-level handicap, to choose the courses you are wanting to tick off the list! These course are all fantastic courses which will provide a challenge whilst not being heartbreakingly difficult!

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Oitavos… some of the best golf in Portugal

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You may have decided that a golfing holiday to Portugal is going to be your choice of holiday this year and that would not be a bad choice. Looking for somewhere to stay can often be the trickiest part and obviously you want some fabulous golf courses to accompany the location of the hotel. With The Oitavos Hotel you could never go wrong and here is all you need to know about the hotel and its wonderful golf course…

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Situated in the stunning area of Cascais, Lisbon is the majestic Oitavos Hotel. The hotel features a very modern design, with plenty of glass letting in the light, creating a spacious and contemporary feel. Not only is Oitavos Hotel located in a wonderful and natural surrounding but it is just a 5-10 minutes’ drive from the centre of Cascais where there are plenty of fantastic bars and restaurants and shops to enjoy and sample during your time here.

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Guests can enjoy wonderful meals at the hotel restaurants with local specialities as well as foreign cuisine either at the Chef’s Table, The Japanese Bar or the Ipsylon Restaurant & Bar. All three restaurants have a lovely and unique feel to them which means that guests can drink and dine in style and often with great views out of the glass of the golf course or the magnificent surroundings of the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park. Of course, if dining outside of the hotel is your preference then you will be spoilt for choice in the town of Cascais.

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All the rooms are fitted with extensive amenities and many feature stunning views of the beautiful golf course and surrounding areas. All of the rooms feature balconies either facing towards the sunset or the sunrise as well as TVs, a rainforest shower system, a minibar and Wi-Fi. All the rooms also feature stunning views of either the Oitavos Golf Course, the sea or the natural surroundings – or all three! For upgrades, there are Lofts and Suites available which feature living areas as well as views even from the bathrooms! All of the rooms, suites and lofts are modern, light and spacious.

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If you are less into golf and more into spas, then you will certainly not be disappointed with the spa here at Oitavos. The full-service spa offers a wide range of natural and organic treatment products with an overall holistic approach to health and wellness. The spa also features both hot and wet saunas as well as a hot tub for guests to enjoy a relaxing experience! There is also an indoor pool as well as an outdoor pool to enjoy! The outdoor pool also boasts a beautiful pool bar which is where you can enjoy a drink or two in a casual yet lovely surrounding!

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Not only is Oitavos a beautiful hotel, perfect for the ideal golf break to Lisbon but it also features a fantastic golf course where we know you would have plenty of fabulous rounds during your stay…

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From the first tee of the Oitavos Dunes course you are impressed. In both 2006 and 2007 this course hosted the Portuguese Open and was very well received by the professionals and it really isn’t hard to see why. It is set on the most Westerly tip of Europe and features spectacular views of both the Atlantic Ocean and the incredible Sintra Mountains. This course certainly lives up to its name as it has magnificent sand dunes separating the course from the Atlantic just adding the the picturesque surroundings of this fabulous course

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The first few holes require players to thread their ball through the narrow fairways lined with pine trees and vast bunkers, although the first holes aren’t as tricky as the rest of the course they still require controlled tee shots and accurate approaches! The first few holes just demonstrate the quality to come with this course. The course then opens up and resembles more of a traditional links course where you have to play amongst pine trees. With the picturesque views of the sea and the mountains as well as coming up to the 18th tee is the glorious hotel on your left there is no denying that this is an impressive course. The signature hole on this fantastic course has to be the 14th hole which is a par 3 and requires player to hit a shot over a storm ravine which then continues to run alongside the hole for the duration.

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With notoriously fast greens, the open fairways making balls very susceptible to the Atlantic winds, the tight drives and the length of the course there is no doubt that this course can certainly provide a stern challenge even to the most discerning golfer with the lowest handicap. You can never have a boring round at Oitavos Dunes and although it is tricky there are multiple tees so those of a lower ability can still enjoy a round here.

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The owner of Oitavos Dunes is a golf traditionalist and was insistent that the course would be walkable which makes this course a great one for socialising whilst enjoying a spectacular round. The quality of the golf club doesn’t end with the course here at Oitavos. The clubhouse is magnificent and contemporary with a stunning bar and restaurant area where you can enjoy a post-round drink and maybe a snack to reward yourself for your (hopefully!) good scorecard.

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We hope that you consider Oitavos Hotel and its Dunes course for your next golfing break to Lisbon as it really is a superb golfing destination!

 

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Top 5 courses for high handicappers…

This week’s blog is to help those of you who may not have the lowest handicap or be the most skilled golfer but are still looking to enjoy a fabulous golfing holiday in Europe and are wondering which courses will be the best for you. Here is our blog on the top five courses in Europe for those of you with a high handicap…

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First up we have the Bom Sucesso course which is situated just an hours drive from Lisbon. Although there are many strategically placed bunkers and this course is a little challenging, this is a great course to play for those less experienced golfers as the main challenge of this course is avoiding those obstacles by hitting accurately. Playing from the front tees will eliminate the long carries which means that you can focus on navigating this brilliant course but from the championship tees those with a lower handicap will find it a challenging course too. This course also boasts some beautiful views over the Obidos region and the sea, especially on the last two holes, making the round a scenic and enjoyable one. With gently undulating fairways, fair but fast greens and beautiful scenery when you are next in Lisbon on a golfing holiday make sure to visit the Bom Sucesso course and enjoy a fabulous round here (whilst not scoring badly!).

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PGA-Catalunya

Next up on the list of European courses perfect for those with a higher handicap is the PGA Catalunya Tour course situated in Spain. This course is the kinder of the two courses at the PGA Catalunya resort and offers a great game for players of all levels. Whilst you are never far from a water hazard or a trickily positioned bunker, the course features wide fairways meaning that a few dodgy shots will be forgiven! Having said that, accuracy is key on this course and with the hazards set to trip you up it is a good idea to keep concentration through this round in order to finish with a good score! This course is a breathtakingly beautiful course with its stunning woodland surroundings and of course, the lakes. As this course is a shorter, less undulating course than its sister course it is a walkable course which means that you have more time to enjoy the scenery and socialise with your fellow players. This is great course to add to the itinerary of your next golfing holiday to Spain!

PGA-CATALUNYA

Monte-Rei

Next up, on the list we have the well-established and well-known Monte Rei course. This course is considered to be the number one course in Portugal and if that isn’t enough of a reason to come and play then maybe the beautiful surroundings and fabulous layout of the course will tempt you. Monte Rei is set in the hills towards the Spanish border and the mountainous setting is very special to this course. The fairways are bordered with indigenous trees and plants just adding to the beautiful scenery created by the mountainous setting. Although the terrain is very undulating, there is no reason that with concentration and some accurate shots those with a higher handicap cannot score well on this course – as long as you avoid the lakes and bunkers! As you progress throughout the course you will find that each hole is better than the last making this such a superb round of golf it is unmissable. This is one of the finest courses around and it truly is a perfect course for those with all handicap scores making this a must-play on your next golfing holiday to Portugal!

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The next course on the list is the Oceanico Old course situated in the Algarve. This course is a traditional one and is the second oldest course in Portugal, showing how traditional parkland courses which are in tune with their surroundings can still compete with the newer courses. Although the back nine holes on this course have proven to be a challenge for many golfers, the front few holes provide golfers with a chance to get comfortable and hit some accurate shots and score well – just don’t get lulled into a false sense of security! Watch out for the cluster of deep and dangerous bunkers on the 12th hole and maintain concentration the whole way through the round making sure that you are not distracted by the beautiful surroundings. All of the greens are always in immaculate condition and this course is truly at one with its surroundings making it a fabulous round to play! This course is a great one for golfers of all handicaps as it is such a fun and exciting course with wonderful surroundings. Make sure that on your next golfing holiday to the Algarve you add this course to the itinerary!

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Last, but certainly not least, on the list is the Oceanico Victoria course, also situated in the Algarve. This course is essentially a flat course, meaning that navigation is easier than on some of the more undulating courses meaning that it is possible to score well on this course even if you are in possession of a higher handicap score! However, the course boasts many stunning water features and fountains which can be a little tricky to navigate around but add to the natural beauty of the course. These hazards are severe but there are safer routes to make it to the final putt – there is a huge element of risk-reward on this course! The greens and fairways are fast but fair and they are large enough to accept some error in shots meaning that this course is perfect for those of all handicaps. Don’t be put off by the many water hazards and make sure this stunning course is on the agenda for your next golf break to Lisbon!

OCEANICO-VICTORIA

We hope that this list has helped you decide which European courses you are going to try and play on your next golfing holiday to Spain or Portugal if you haven’t got the lowest handicap in the world!

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Portugal’s Finest Golf Courses

Entering the new year and starting back at work is never an easy task but in order to make everything seem a bit better why not book your next golfing break to Portugal? This is our fine-tuned list of the courses that we consider to be five of Portugal’s finest courses and are not to be missed by any discerning golfer.

Monte_Rei

Up first on the list is the spectacular Monte Rei course. Monte Rei only opened in the summer of 2007 and has already made a name for itself as one of the best courses on the Algarve. The course features five lakes surrounded by beautiful greenery so it’s lucky that all the buggies feature GPS which can help you navigate this stunning course! Monte Rei is becoming a fast favourite for many golfers and not just for the beautiful greenery and scenery but for their superb service that is on offer here. All guests are met by their car and can have their cars parked for them as well as their clubs taken up to the buggies, free of charge of course. the crushed marble bunkers and undulating greens with fabulous scenery are just more reason for you to come along and play. This course truly is one of the finest on the Algarve and has to be on your itinerary for your next golfing holiday to the Algarve as there is no other course quite as brilliant to play.

Monte_Rei

San_Lorenzo

Next up on the list we have one of “Europe’s top 100 courses” which is regularly featured in magazines such as Today’s Golfer and Golf World. San Lorenzo is a beautiful course with sandy undulating greens and with fairways bordered with umbrella pines as well as the marsh sanctuary. This course is truly in touch with nature and with incredible views of the Atlantic Ocean up until you turn inland after the 7th hole which then turn into incredible views of spectacular scenery and the vast lakes which add to the trickiness of this great course. Although sometimes it is a little tricky to get tee times at this fabulous course if you are staying at the fantastic Dona Filipa or the great Formosa Park then tee times shouldn’t be an issue at all! Make sure that you don’t miss out on playing this well-recognised course and don’t regret not playing one of Portugal’s finest courses.

San_Lorenzo

Quinta_do_Lago

Third on the list of Portugal’s finest golf courses we have North course at Quinta do Lago. Team Europe’s McGinley has been working closely alongside developers to make this course a spectacular one. Its new design has really made this course a special one. This course could be described as a truly charming course, with umbrella pines and greens nestled into beautiful scenery. Not to be underestimated, or left out, is the 12th hole which is a par four and features a three-acre lake around which the hole navigates around making for a few treacherous shots! With the greens always in immaculate condition and fairly generous fairways combined with harsh rough and lovely greens, this course is not one to be passed up on when you’re next in the area on your next golfing trip and we are sure that you will not be disappointed by this course. McGinley described this as a course “that players would want to play over and over again” so why not book a tee time and find out if he was correct?

Quinta_do_Lago

Penha_Longa

The course at Penha Longa Atlantic could be described as not only one of Portugal’s finest course but one of Europe’s finest courses. The landscape of this course is truly unmissable with valleys, hills and rocky outcrops which are all set amongst lush green vegetation which is always immaculately looked after. This course is challenging even on a still day but on a windy day with the winds coming in across the mountains this course can truly challenge even the best golfers with the lowest handicaps. There is not a single dull hole on this course but look out for the beautiful 6th hole which is a par five and where the green is bordered by the lake and features the backdrop of a medieval castle tower and arched wall! This course embeds history with stunning views and beautiful greens making it truly a grand course. Make sure that this course is on your list of courses to play on your next golfing break to Portugal or even centre your holiday around playing this fabulous course!

Penha_Longa

Oitavos_Dunes

Last, but certainly not least on the list is the wonderful course of Oitavos Dunes at the resort of Quinta da Marinha. This course is situated on the most Westerly tip of Europe and features spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean but also of the majestic Sintra Mountains making this a very scenic course. With fast greens and strategically placed bunkers no one could call a round at Oitavos Dunes a boring round and although this course is certainly a challenging one, it is also a playable one for golfers of most abilities off of the different tees making it fun and enjoyable for everyone. The signature hole on this course has to be the 14th hole which is a par 3 and requires a shot across a storm ravine which then continues to run alongside the hole for the duration. This course is certainly an impressive one and it is no wonder that it made our list of the finest courses in Portugal. Make sure this course at Quinta da Marinha is on your bucket list of course in Portugal and you certainly won’t be disappointed!

Oitavos_Dunes

We hope that you choose to brighten your new year with the booking of your next golf holiday to Portugal and choose at least one of these to give a go! We know you wouldn’t be disappointed with a spectacular holiday to Portugal combined with some spectacular golf.

 

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The Canary Island’s Finest Golf Courses…

The Canary Islands are the perfect destination for your autumn or winter golfing holiday when you need to escape the rain and the grey clouds and experience some spring-like weather and some beautiful golf courses. This list is of the finest courses in the Canary Islands and should well be considered for next time you are looking to leave the cold and fly away!

tecina

Tecina Golf course is on the island of La Gomera but there is a fast ferry which runs from Tenerife to La Gomera so why not make this round into a beautiful and scenic day out? This course could be described as “golfing in paradise”, the views and the scenery of Tenerife and tropical gardens is breathtaking. Not forgetting, the views of the majestic Mount Teide which can be seen from a distance on a clear day. The course features undulating greens and being set on the top of a cliff means that wind often comes into play here making it hard for even the best of golfer to score well! It is rare to see a course with more than one signature hole but Tecina Golf has a trio of signature holes: holes 4, 10 and 12 are truly brilliant and it is worth taking the trip to this course just for those three holes. If you’re looking to play a magnificent course with unpredictable greens, incredible views and a unique layout then this really has to be on your golfing bucket list!

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AnfiTauro

Anfi Tauro is the next course on this list of the finest courses in the Canary Islands, this course is situated on the small and beautiful island of Gran Canaria. This 18-hole course has an Arizonan desert feel to it and is perfect for all golfers of all abilities due to its option of five different tees! This course is always in spectacular condition with beautiful vegetation lining the fairways and stunning waterfalls as well as volcanic-like mountains as a backdrop. Anfi Tauro sits very well within its surroundings and the design makes use of the elevation of the ground meaning that many of the holes have superb views of the volcanic-like mountains or the shimmering Atlantic Ocean making this course a beautiful and picturesque addition to your next golfing holiday to Gran Canaria. With top quality service and a fabulous location this golf course is truly an experience not to be missed for any keen golfer.

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CostaAdeje

On the beautiful island of Tenerife is where our next addition to this list is situated. Golf Costa Adeje is a very popular and beautiful course with very fast greens, strategically placed bunkers and a challenging layout. The course has a great mix of holes of varying elevation and most are accompanied by stunning backdrop of the ocean. Its backdrop and the undulating greens and old wall stones make this course seem like it is at one with its surroundings. This course is always noted for its great service and the atmosphere in the clubhouse – not to mention the great post-round buffet! Golf Costa Adeje is a great, challenging round to play and with some superb views and the great weather of Tenerife what could be better? This course truly is a gem on the island of Tenerife and as the course is always kept in perfect condition so it is no wonder that it has made our list of the finest courses in the Canary Islands.

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Meloneras

Fourth on the list of the finest courses in the Canary Islands is the second course on the list situated upon the tiny island of Gran Canaria. Meloneras Golf is an 18-hole course where the course works from the coastline inwards meaning that this course gets harder throughout the round with the inland winds and target play on the back nine. This course is great for any golfing ability with four different tees and a straight-forward par 4 hole one which prepares you for the round ahead. In Gran Canaria, very few of the golf courses have holes directly at the coast which is a major attraction for those wanting to feel as if they are actually playing on the beach but at Meloneras Golf, several of the holes have this feature. With this course it is impossible to have an unhappy round as the greens are always immaculate, the sky is (mainly) always blue and the views are amazing. No two holes are the same and the service is fabulous! It truly is no wonder why this course made this list of finest courses!

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Salobre-Golf

Last on this list is another spectacular course situated in Gran Canaria – the Old Course at Salobre Golf. The design of this course incorporates the rolling terrain and natural ravines to make this a challenging yet very enjoyable course. This course has certainly stood the test of time and is still in immaculate condition as well as being as popular as ever. With all around views and tee-times at reasonable prices as well as being a more forgiving course than the newer course at Salobre Golf this course is a must-visit for your next golfing break to Gran Canaria. This beautiful, old course is truly considered to be one of the finest in Gran Canaria and so is deserving of a place on this list of the finest courses in the Canary Islands.

SALOBRE GOLF OLD COURSE HOLE 1

 

Next time you’re booking your golfing trip to the Canary Islands make sure to check out this list again and book a few tee-times at at least one of these fine courses!

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Golf at Spain’s finest…

Often when you’ve decided on your destination for your next golfing trip you think about the exact courses you want to play or the hotel that you want to stay at. We think that is important to experience some of the finer things in life and so here is our list of the five finest courses in Spain.Valderrama

First on the list we have Real Club Valderrama situated in Sotogrande, which is not just the first course on our list but is first on another list; the top courses in Europe. It isn’t hard to see how Valderrama got that impressive reputation with its beautiful and tranquil surroundings. This course is always in perfect condition and although it may not be the cheapest green fee around you certainly get what you pay for here both in terms of service and the golf that is on offer here. The course provides a great test to the everyday golfer as well as those more accomplished golfers as the crosswinds add an element of difficulty as well as strategically placed bunkers and fast greens – making it a perfect course in every way! Many golfers say that this is the most spectacular course they have ever played and so it isn’t really hard to see why this course is first up on our list of the finest courses in Spain.

Valderrama

Finca-Cortesin

Next up on the list of Spain’s finest courses, we have the course at the Finca Cortesin golf club which is located on the Costa del Sol. This course is on of Europe’s longest layouts at 6.802 metres and is known for its beautiful and tranquil surroundings which include natural vegetation and views which stretch as far as the Estepona mountains. Aside from the surroundings, this course is a challenging one and can be extremely tricky with fast, rolling greens and with the inevitable high sea winds this is a challenging course even for the most experienced golfer. However, the course does offer five different tee options and so those who are less experienced are still catered for at this stunning course. This course has been described as the epitome of class; guests are met by staff and led to their named buggies before starting their round. All the facilities are in excellent condition and the treatment received is impeccable. As well as Valderrama this course also has expensive green fees but it is well worth the extra money in order to receive this first class treatment and be able to play on this great course.

Finca Cortesin, 6+5+3

La-Reserva

Third on our list is another Sotogrande favourite – La Reserva. This course is the longest course on the Costa del Sol with 6721 metres of rolling greenery. With views of the glistening Mediterranean alongside you and in front of you for almost the entire course this truly is one of the finest courses that Spain has to offer. With water presenting itself on six of the holes and many risk/reward shots have to be taken in order to succeed on this course making it a fun and challenging course for golfers of all abilities. The back nine holes are worth coming to play this course alone as they make you climb onto higher ground giving you the access to some tremendous views and great tee shots. This course is in spectacular condition and everything about it is majestic including its lovely staff and stunning clubhouse meaning that it is easily classed as one of the finest courses around. With Valderrama as one of La Reserva’s neighbours if you’re looking to play some of the finest courses in Spain then you know which area to come to on your next golfing holiday.La Reserva

Sotogrande

Real Club Sotogrande golf course is the fourth course on this list. This course is a private members course but it is still worth trying to get tee times here to experience the beauty of this course. Real Club Sotogrande was opened in 1964 and even after 40 years is still regarded as one of the top 10 courses in the whole of Europe which shows how well this course has survived the test of time. This course has many strategically placed bunkers and water hazards making it a challenge even to the most discerning golfer and means that a lot of effort and thinking are required in order to score well on the course and avoid these hazards. Just 150 metres from the beautiful Mediterranean Sea and with a careful layout designed to integrate the natural area with a fantastic golf course it is no surprise that this course has made the list of Spain’s finest courses.

Sotogrande

San-Roque

Last on the list are the courses at San Roque Golf Club. The two courses there are as challenging as they are beautiful and although both courses are very different they both offer a fabulous round at one of the finest golf clubs on the Costa del Sol. The Old Course is the club’s pride and joy; it is rated among the top five courses in Spain as well as one of the best in the whole of Europe. With large fairways and narrow greens which undulate gently through forest-like surroundings as well as bunkers and water hazards this course is sure to make for an interesting round. Of course, along with any fine golf course there are some spectacular views and this course features beautiful ones of the mountains which are further inland making this not only an interesting round but a picturesque one as well. The new course at San Roque is by far the most challenging out of the two and so we suggest this course if you’re looking for a tough but enjoyable round. This course features many deep bunkers and the fairways are exceptionally narrow but to experience a fine round on this course is worth the potential poor score!

San Roque