The Insider’s Guide to Palacio Estoril & Golf do Estoril

This week’s blog is a guide to the brilliant five-star Palacio Estoril Hotel Golf and Spa which is situated in the heart of Estoril, Portugal. This is a lovely hotel which boasts a fantastic location in Estoril which is a great beach resort located to the west of Lisbon. Here, you can find a wide array of different bars, restaurants and shops which means that you are never far from some great entertainment or food if you don’t want to stay in the hotel.

Being situated in Estoril also means that the weather is warm almost all year round which makes it the ideal destination for your next golf break, especially when the weather in the UK isn’t as good as you would like it to be…

 

Palacio Estoril Hotel, Golf and Spa really does occupy a brilliant location just a few minutes’ walk from the lovely sandy beach and adjacent to the casino. Both golfers and non-golfers alike will find plenty to love about Palacio Estoril Hotel as for golfers, you can take advantage of the fantastic unlimited golf packages whilst staying here which entitles you to unlimited golf on the fantastic Golf do Estoril. Whilst golfers are out enjoying a round on the golf course, non-golfers can enjoy relaxing in the hotel’s wonderful spa and fitness centre where they can enjoy a range of different treatments, work out in the gym, enjoy the sauna and Turkish bar or swim in the indoor pool. There is also a lovely outdoor pool area which is perfect for the summer months of the year when you can soak up the sun and of course, the beach is just a short walk away so you have endless options of relaxation areas.

From the moment that you arrive at Palacio Estoril Hotel, you will be greeted with a warm welcome and get to experience the wonderful old charm and character that this hotel emits. The service that you will receive whilst staying here is befitting of its five-star status and the staff will do everything they can to make sure that your stay is as luxurious as possible. All of the rooms here at Palacio Estoril Hotel are spacious and decorated with warm colours, they are all fitted with all of the amenities that you would expect from a luxury five-star hotel such as this including a flat-screen TV and a marble bathroom.

Being situated in the heart of Estoril means that you will never be far from a great restaurant or bar to enjoy but the hotel boasts two lovely restaurants and a great bar for you to enjoy without even leaving the hotel. The Bougainvillea Terrace Restaurant is situated on a terrace and is somewhere that you can enjoy a meal or just relax with a drink whilst overlooking the beautiful gardens of Estoril on one side and the Palacio’s limpid pool on the other. Whilst the Bougainvillea Terrace Restaurant provides a more chic and cool atmosphere, the Grill Four Seasons Restaurant boasts a more sophisticated atmosphere and is somewhere that you can enjoy a delicious meal from a menu filled with both traditional Portuguese dishes as well as international cuisine. Last but certainly not least, Bar Estoril is famous for being a haunt of spies during the Second World War but now it boasts a lovely, stylish atmosphere and is somewhere that you can truly relax and enjoy a few drinks whilst enjoying views of the poolside gardens.

If you are looking for a luxurious golf break, you really need to look no further than the five-star Palacio Estoril Hotel, Golf and Spa especially when within two kilometres there is the fantastic Golf do Estoril. Whilst staying here, you must take advantage of the unlimited golf that is available to you on Golf do Estoril as well as the free transfers between the hotel and the golf course which makes your life very easy and enjoyable as you have no worries about transportation and you can play as much golf as you like.

Golf do Estoril is a well-known and prestigious golf course which has hosted The Portuguese Open no less than 20 times. It is one of Portugal’s oldest courses and although it is a little shorter than most other brilliant golf courses at just over 5,200 metres, it should not be underestimated just because of its length. This course is filled with well-designed and challenging holes, tight, tree-lined fairways, undulating terrain and small greens which makes it a very challenging course and one that you may want to get a buggy for!

There are many notable holes which will leave long-lasting memories within you for long after you putt your final ball on the 18th. A particularly good hole is the downhill 3rd hole which is a par 4 and requires you to be wholly accurate if you are going to score well. Another terrific hole is the 14th which is a stunning 359-metres long dogleg and this along with the 16th which is widely considered to be one of the best par 3s in the whole country helps to round of your fantastic round before tackling the two finishing holes. This is a beautiful and challenging course with a fantastic layout and is well-worth adding to your itinerary when you are staying anywhere near to Estoril but staying at the Palacio Estoril Hotel will give you unlimited rounds on this course during your stay which really cannot be beaten…

We hope that you enjoyed this week’s blog and that when you are next booking a golf holiday to Portugal, you consider the luxurious five-star Palacio Estoril Hotel, Golf and Spa!

The Insider’s Guide to the Orizonte Collection

This week’s blog is an insider’s guide to the Orizonte collection. The Orizonte courses are all situated in the Lisbon region and each of them offers you something different so that you will have a variety of rounds of golf when you play the Orizonte courses. The Lisbon region is an excellent destination for your next golf break and with its great weather, fantastic golf and brilliant accommodation it isn’t hard to see why.

The lovely four-star Sesimbra Hotel and Spa is situated in the beautiful fishing village of Sesimbra and is just two-minutes’ walk from the beach. Whilst you are not out playing one of the great Orizonte golf courses, you can relax by the pool or on the beach or even in the well-equipped spa here. Non-golfers are catered for well here with the spa as there are many different facilities there including a hot tub, a sauna, a Jacuzzi and a range of different treatments available. Whilst you are here, you can venture into Sesimbra to explore the local bars and restaurants but the hotel’s own restaurant, Aquarius, boasts excellent traditional Portuguese dishes including delicious fish and shellfish dishes. This is a stunning hotel which boasts all of the amenities that you would expect from a hotel of this rating as well as a brilliant location as not only are you in a lovely little fishing village but you can also easily venture out to many of the great Orizonte courses.

Quinta do Peru is one of the most exclusive golf courses in the region but by booking far enough in advance you will be able to get tee times here. This is a stunning course which is a perfect addition to your holiday itinerary as it cannot be described as the most challenging course but there are still a few fair tests along the course including American-style bunkers as well as water hazards! Make sure that you especially watch out for the 8th and the 16th holes as you have to carry your ball over a large lake to reach the well- guarded greens. There are a great range of different holes here but the back nine are simply superb with a great set of finishing holes to complete your round here with. Make sure to add Quinta do Peru to your itinerary for your next golf break to Lisbon…

Up next is Aroeira I which has been widely claimed to be one of the finest courses in the whole of Europe which means that you must make sure that you play here if you are ever in the Lisbon region. As you play the course, you travel through a pine forest along undulating fairways whilst tackling a wide variety of different holes with unique layouts. There is no doubting that this course is a tricky one as it is difficult to navigate through the pine forest without losing a few balls to the trees, however, besides from the trees there are very few hazards in your way. The 11th hole is arguably the best hole on the course on which you have to navigate around the water which sits to the left of the green before you get to tackle the pine tree lined fairway before you can even get to the green! Aroeira I will provide you with a spectacular round of golf and is a course that should not be missed out on.

The younger sibling of Aroeira I is Aroeira II which was built to European Tour recommendations so is an interesting and challenging course to play. Like its sister course, the layout of this course is fantastic and throughout your round you will have to navigate through heavily wooded land whilst learning to control your ball to not let the undulating fairways affect your score. This course blends effortlessly into its surroundings with the long holes which have been cleverly shaped out using the natural landscape here which makes this a very scenic course. There is no doubt that the shining stars of this course are the finishing holes, the 18th in particular. To finish your round, you will be required to avoid the water which sits to the right of the fairway as well as stretches out to the left of the finishing green! Make sure that both Aroeira courses are on your itinerary for your next golf holiday to the Lisbon region.

Ribagolfe I is another superb course from the Orizonte collection. This course is a long one at 7,370 yards from the back tees but despite its length, this is a course that is playable by those of all handicaps – as long as they play from the further forward tees! The landscape of this course and its surroundings is simply stunning and there are a wide range of different layouts. Make sure that you look out for water hazards on the back nine as that can severely impact your score! Arguably one of the best holes on the course is the 15th hole which is a par03 and requires for you to avoid the water which is sat to the left of the raised green and for you to also avoid the bunkers which surround the rest of the green! There is no denying that the Ribagolfe complex is a little out of the way but it is definitely worth the trip in order to play the two courses here.

Ribagolfe II is the sister course of Ribagolfe I and is also routed through interesting scenery including stands of cork oak. This is a shorter and slightly easier course than its sister because there are less water hazards along the course. However, when water hazards do come into play, they make the hole much more interesting. For example, one of the best holes is the long par-5 13th hole where the stream cuts through the fairway and becomes a small lake which sits just to the right of the hole. This course completes the Ribagolfe complex and is well worth the journey to play.

Last, but not least, is Santo Estevao which is in the same area as the Ribagolfe complex. This is a superb holiday course as it is very much suited to those players with a higher handicap as you have more room for error here with very wide fairways and big greens. For when you are looking for a fun round of golf with some beautiful scenery and landscapes this is the ideal course.

We hope that you have enjoyed this week’s blog and that when you are planning your next golf break you will think about the draw that the fantastic Orizonte collection of courses has and consider the Lisbon region

 

The Insider’s Guide to Lisbon

This week’s blog is a guide to some of the best options for both hotels and golf in and around the Lisbon region. Lisbon is a fantastic golfing destination and one that has to much to offer in terms of some world-class golf and stunning, luxurious hotels. One of the great things about Lisbon is the weather and there is still prime golfing weather into autumn so it really isn’t too late to start thinking about your golf break to Lisbon this year…

First up we have the four-star Montado Hotel & Golf Resort and boasts a tranquil and idyllic location set amongst vineyards and just 30 minutes’ drive south of Lisbon. The guestrooms are decorated with a contemporary theme and have their own flat-screen TVs, coffee rooms and a private balcony with views across the golf course. Whilst you are not playing around on the fantastic Montado golf course, you can relax in the spa or around the pool. The hotel’s own restaurant, All in One, serves delicious regional and international dishes for you to enjoy and the Pitch and Putt bar is great for a few cold drinks and a lighter meal. On-site of the resort is the 18-hole Montado golf course. The course is a fairly flat course but that doesn’t make it easy, it provides all golfers with a great challenge with the amount of strategically placed hazards throughout the course. This course has recently been upgraded and is definitely one to add to your itinerary if you are in the Lisbon area

Dolce Campo Real Golf Resort & Spa is a beautifully designed five-star hotel located in the Portuguese countryside amongst vineyards and small villages. All of the rooms are individually decorated and boast either courtyard or golf course views. There are three different restaurants at the hotel and two bars as well as many Portuguese towns and villages nearby that you could venture out to find a great restaurant there too. You will never be short of things to do whilst staying here as the hotel has indoor and outdoor swimming pools, an extensive spa, tennis courts, horses. a football pitch and the beaches of the Silver Coast are also very nearby! On top of all of that of course, there is the brilliant Campo Real course. The course is surrounded by rolling hills and vineyards and fits into its surroundings well with its dramatic hills along the course and wooded valleys. The views are spectacular from both the clubhouse and the course, especially the 17th hole where you can see right across the resort and the vineyards. This is another fantastic Lisbon special…

The five-star Praia d’el Rey Marriott Golf and Beach Resort is another top choice for your next golf holiday to Lisbon with so many golf courses in its surrounding area as well as the fabulous Praia d’el Rey course on-site of the resort. All of the rooms provide you with beautiful views across the Atlantic Ocean and the golf course. Asides from the brilliant golf here, there are other activities for you to enjoy besides relaxing by the pool such as using the spa facilities or venturing into the nearby town of Obidos. There are two restaurants and a bar at the hotel which offer you beautiful views of the ocean or the pool whilst you are dining. The Praia d’el Rey course is a classic links course with a variety of holes through lush forests to coastal dunes where you can enjoy tremendous sea views. It is no surprise that this is one of the most popular golf courses with fantastic conditions and an interesting layout as well as beautiful surroundings. With one of Europe’s finest courses on-site you cannot really go wrong with booking your next Lisbon getaway to the Praia d’el Rey Marriott

Last but not least we have the four-star Sesimbra Hotel and Spa which is located just two minutes’ walk from the beach and in the fishing village of Sesimbra. The rooms are luxurious and stylishly decorated with Atlantic views from the private balconies as well as flat-screen TVs. Whilst you are not enjoying one of the fantastic Orizonte courses which are all within a short distance from the hotel, you can spend your time relaxing on the beach, by the pools or in the spa where there are a wide range of treatments offered. At the hotel’s restaurant you can enjoy some delicious traditional Portuguese dishes. Within such a short distance from the hotel are five fantastic golf course which can each offer you something unique and interesting.

The Orizonte courses are fantastic holiday courses which you must take the time to play. Aroeira I and Aroeira II are situated on the same resort close to the hotel, Aroeira I’s undulating fairways run through pine forests and so you have to make accurate shots in order to avoid the pine trees, it is a challenging and fun course. Aroeira II features strategically placed water hazards on nine of its holes and with the fairways also lined with pine trees there is no room for error. Quinta do Peru was built as an upmarket Lisbon members course but through Orizonte the green fees aren’t too steep but you can tell that you are playing an upmarket course. Along the way there are plenty of water and sand hazards waiting to catch your errant shots. Last but not least when you are staying at the Sesimbra Hotel and Spa is the Ribagolfe golfing resort. Both Ribagolfe I and Ribagolfe II are firm favourites with us here and if you give them a chance we are sure that you will see why as you get to play a superb round golf in such a natural surroundings!

We hope that you enjoyed this week’s blog and that it has provoked some of your thoughts for your next Lisbon golfing getaway…

Insider’s guide to Campo Real & Royal Obidos

This week’s blog is a guide to two fantastic hotels and their superb golf courses which are situated in the Lisbon region. Lisbon is a great destination for a spring golf escape where you are much more likely to get the sunny, dry weather expected of spring than you are in the UK! With the weather as atrocious as it is at the moment here in the UK make sure that you have something to look forward to for early 2017 and book your next golf break away today…

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Evolutee Royal Obidos Hotel & Spa is located on the beautiful Silver Coast just an hour away from Lisbon and was the winner of the IAGTO Best Resort in Europe 201. This stunning hotel only opened in 2014 and has fast become a favourite of ours and it isn’t hard to see why. All of the beautifully designed guest rooms have private balconies that you can enjoy views out to Obidos Lagoon from or if you are on the West side of the hotel, you get infinite views over the Atlantic Ocean and of the world-class Royal Obidos golf course. The hotel’s main restaurant is the Kobe Steak & Sushi Restaurant where you can experience a superb meal in a lovely setting with fantastic views to enjoy whilst you are sipping on fine wine. There are three bars, one of which is a poolside bar, where you can enjoy a range of different cocktails, wines and beers either after 18-holes on the golf course or before you sit down for a fine meal in the hotel’s restaurant. If you are less into golf and more into relaxation then although during the spring months you might not get to do as much sunbathing by the outdoor pool as you may like to, the hotel boasts a great spa where you can enjoy a range of different treatments, a Finnish sauna or the heated indoor pool. This is a stunning hotel which is perfect for your next spring golf holiday to the Lisbon region.

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Royal Obidos Golf Course will present a test to golfers of all abilities with around 7,300 yards (from the back tees) of stunning views and a range of different challenging holes. The signature hole on the front nine is the par-3 3rd hole where the green is on an island with spectacular views out to the Obidos lagoon as its backdrop. The 18th hole is definitely an impressive finish to the round, it’s a par-5 hole and you have stunning views across the back nine, the ocean and the clubhouse as you play the hole. With a variety of different challenges as well as beautiful views and an interesting round it is no surprise that this course won the Best Course in Portugal award in 2015.

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Dolce Campo Real Golf Resort & Spa is also situated on the Silver Coast in the middle of the countryside, surrounded by vineyards but is just 30 minutes’ drive from Lisbon airport. The guestrooms are all individually decorated and have stunning views of either the courtyard or the golf course. The hotel features three great restaurants that you can enjoy as well as two different bars to enjoy a post-round cold beer at! There are plenty of activities to enjoy on-site if you are not into playing golf like tennis and horse-riding or just relaxing in the spa. The resort is in a great location as you have easy access to two fantastic golf courses – Royal Obidos and Campo Real as well as several traditional Portuguese villages nearby. This hotel is perfect if you are looking for a quieter golf break as there are some great deals here and not a lot of noise! This is another fantastic location for your next golf break to the Lisbon region – especially if you are looking to play a couple of different courses and explore some of the traditional Portuguese villages in the area.

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Campo Real Golf Course is another challenging golf course that will test all golfers regardless of how low their handicap score is and once you start to see the deep inclines, blind shots and hills you will understand why. This course is well-manicured and the service here is very high which always makes a round more enjoyable! This course is well integrated into its surroundings and makes use of the valleys and hills to make this course more challenging and interesting. The par-5 5th hole demonstrates this as you tee off downhill but then you have to get back up to a raised green after a sharp left turn in the course. The course has beautiful surroundings with rolling hills and vineyards surrounding the fairways and at the penultimate hole you can experience panoramic views across the whole of the course. This is another great but challenging course and when you are staying at Dolce Campo Real you get the chance to play both this course and Royal Obidos which makes for a perfect golf break!

 

We hope that you enjoyed this week’s blog and it has made you think about your golf break for spring 2017 so that you can escape the dreary English weather and go somewhere like the Lisbon region to experience fabulous golf and stay in a beautiful hotel in a wonderful location!  nav-logo-bg-square

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!

 

 

 

 

The insider’s guide to Praia d’el Rey

If you’re looking for your next luxurious golfing break to Portugal there is nowhere better than the Praia d’el Rey Marriott Golf and Beach Resort which is situated near the fabulous medieval town of Obidos and just an hour’s drive from Lisbon. This week’s blog is an insider’s guide to this great resort.

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This stunning resort is just a stones throw away from one of the most beautiful beaches in Europe as well as being right next to an 18-hole championship golf course – what could be better? All the rooms at the hotel are decorated with a traditional Portuguese theme and are fitted with all the amenities you would expect from a five-star hotel as well as breathtaking views on to the Atlantic Ocean and the Praia d’el Rey golf course. Not only can guests enjoy round of golf on a world-class golf course but also other golf courses in close proximity such as Bom Sucesso and Royal Obidos. Guests can also enjoy the Kalyan Spa which features a fitness centre, a Turkish bath and two pools. The hotel boasts three restaurants where guests can enjoy spectacular buffet dishes or a la carte restaurants which serve traditional Portuguese dishes as well as other delicious cuisines. With two fantastic cities just a fifteen-minute drive away (Peniche and Obidos) it is no surprise that this is a prime location for your next golf break to Portugal where there are countless activities to enjoy and three superb golf courses within close proximity which means that golfers and non-golfers alike will be thoroughly spoilt for choice!

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The Praia d’el Rey course is regularly ranked within the top 20 courses in continental Europe and it really isn’t hard to see why. The course is a well-designed mixture of parkland and links holes which makes it an enjoyable and interesting round for golfers of all abilities. The course is laid out across dunes and cliffs and is set out as two loops of nine holes through lush vegetation as well as many running along the coastline. The course features spectacular views of the nearby Berlenga islands and of the Atlantic Ocean but golfers shouldn’t be distracted by these views as this course requires concentration and accurate shots. The stretch from the 12th hole to the 15th hole is a beautiful coastline one as well as a stern challenge which can be made worse with a strong Atlantic breeze! With strategically placed bunkers and pines waiting to catch errant shots this is definitely not a course to miss out on when next in the region.

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Royal Obidos golf is close by and is another well-known and well respected course in the region. Right from the first tee this is a tricky course with the first hole being a difficult dogleg which sets up for the rest of the holes which look over the beautiful Lagoa de Obidos. This course is entirely different from the Praia d’el Rey course but is no less fantastic or any less of a challenge. Throughout this course you will get to experience holes that you will with you could play over and over again. The tee shot for the 2nd hole is truly spectacular as you face the lagoon to take your shot. Another beautiful hole is the 7th which is a long par five and boasts views over the massive lagoon making is a scenic hole just like many of the others. Watch out for the 10th hole where even the most discerning golfer has been known to lose a few golf balls in the many water hazards that are so prominent on this hole. With the back nine being a stern finish to the course but definitely a beautiful one this course is a perfect play for your next golf break to the Obidos area.

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The third and final course that golfers usually choose to play when staying at the Praia d’el Rey resort is the fabulous Bom Sucesso golf course. This course features more of an old fashioned layout but fits perfectly in with its surroundings. The first nine holes are played out on fairly level terrain but when you embark on the back nine the greens are much faster and undulate throughout the last nine holes. The course is well-designed with strategically placed bunkers and other hazards making it difficult to score well on unless you are consistently hitting accurately! The closing holes are the most spectacular on this course with the 16th being a tough uphill hole which leads to the highest point on the course before you come crashing down during the 17th hole before finishing up with the 18th over a couple of lovely water hazards! This course is what could be described as a fine but fair challenge and is definitely not to be missed when staying in the area.

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Within 15-minutes’ drive of the Praia d’el Rey resort is the lovely town of Obidos. This town is full of history and spectacular architecture that really isn’t to be missed. It is one of the most picturesque towns in Portugal with cobbled streets and traditionally painted houses as well as lovely, little bars where visitors must try the cherry liqueur which Obidos is famous for called Ginja de Obidos. There are also some great restaurants in the town and some beautiful monuments to be enjoyed such as walking the town walls or visiting the Porta de Vila. Make sure to try A Nova Casa de Ramiro which is decorated beautifully and serves some of the finest traditional Portuguese food which all will definitely enjoy! With this interesting town so close it is no surprise that Praia d’el Rey is a favourite destination for a great golf holiday to Portugal!

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We hope that this blog has opened your eyes to the resort of Praia d’el Rey but also your golfing options and the lovely town of Obidos which is so close by! This really is the perfect resort for your next golf break to Europe and not one to be missed out on.

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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!

 

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!

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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!

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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!

5 Reasons not to visit Portugal for your next Golf Escape…

If you’re considering taking a Golf Escape, perhaps for the first time or maybe you’ve been several times before, Portugal should be on your radar. But why? Have you really thought this through? If not this is our list of reasons why we advise you that you should not take a golfing holiday to Portugal…

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Let us start with the journey to Portugal which is most certainly a deal-breaker. Two hours flying south to be nearer to that orange thing in the sky we don’t see hardly anything of in the UK, whilst being served a beer or glass of wine mid-flight. Then just a short transfer to your accommodation, this just doesn’t cut it with us. We prefer staying in the UK with the traffic jams on the M1, rain and mist, stale coffee in a flask to avoid the service stations and that is before “storm Barney” hits on arrival and the courses are then closed.

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The-Weather

Then this leads us to discuss in more detail the weather that you will have to endure whilst staying in Portugal. The temperature in Portugal can reach up to the early 20°Cs in March and then rarely drops below 20°C until November time so you wont be able to show off that new jumper you just brought yourself (or more likely thick coat if you are staying in the UK). Then there is the summer months when temperatures sit in the mid-30°Cs making the need for ice in every Gin & Tonic you enjoy, plus having to bother about reapplying sun cream mid-way through your fantastic round of golf.  Don’t even get us started on the golf-shirt tan to take home and show your friends, it is much better to stay at home and suffer from rust.

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Lisbon

Another reason not to come to Portugal is the city of Lisbon. If you’re looking to experience the culture of Portugal then Lisbon is the place to visit and stay. But who wants culture, fish & chips are the future right? Actually, within the city you can experience any kind of cuisine from traditional Portuguese to Mediterranean, Chinese or Indian (the fish & chips Lisbon style are actually fantastic but let’s not let that fact get in the way) and don’t forget the vast amount of bars in which you can wash down your fantastic meal in afterwards. This sounds great but your beer gets warm too quickly doesn’t it when you are sitting outdoors on one of the beautiful terraces. Personally we prefer a flat pint of Fosters, indoors at home! There are also plenty of shopping areas (now that really is a downside for many men) and historical monuments making it impossible to be bored on a trip into the city centre. Then it is back to the fantastic golf courses, time for more sun cream…..what a chore.

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The-Algarve

The fourth reason on our “list” is the Algarve. Why would you want to come to the Algarve where there are many options for our customer from reasonably priced to the highest of luxury, real quality service and some fantastic golf on offer? But this can’t be a reason to stay here, surely all this self-indulgence will play havoc with our golf handicap? Not convinced, let’s take a further look around as in addition to the stunning hotels and the great golf courses there are some beautiful little Portuguese fishing villages perfect for a wander round or to get a bite to eat in after a round or two on the golf course. The Algarve also features some beautiful beaches with long stretches of golden sand and clear waters as well as towns with great nightlife and a vast array of bars and restaurants such as Vilamoura. However, did somebody mention sand? Doesn’t that get everywhere? Another one to add to the list? So in summary there is something for everyone and plenty of places to relax and enjoy yourselves both on and off of the golf courses! All in all, why would anyone want to come to the Algarve?

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The-Golf

The last reason, but not the most insignificant are the golf courses on offer in Portugal. Why would anyone want to play the spectacular courses on offer such as the world-class Monte Rei which is a golf course with a unique design situated in unspoilt Portuguese countryside with fantastic views of the Atlantic and of the Serra de Caldeirão mountains? Or the fantastic Ribagolfe I where undulating greens and beautiful surrounding create one of the finest golfing experience around? Not forgetting the loop of 27 holes at Palmares Golf featuring a links style of holes followed by parkland before rolling down the sea meaning that there are incredible views and a diverse course rolled into one round! Last but not least, we have the Praia D’el Rey course which is set in a simply stunning location with picturesque views of the Berlengas Islands and the Atlantic Ocean.

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After reading these reasons would you still take your next golfing holiday to Portugal? Of course you would, it is one of the most amazing of countries and most welcoming of people so for more information visit our website golf-escapes.com or call us on 01342 811 777 and discover Portugal for your next Golf Escape.

 

 

 

Orizonte Lisbon golf…

In Portugal there are undoubtedly some fantastic golf courses and Orizonte golf can take you to a fair few of the best in the Lisbon region.

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Just under 15 minutes from the bustle and everyday life of the Lisbon streets sits Oeiras Golf Club with the rolling fairways it offers players an enjoyable as well as challenging game whilst enjoying some peace and quiet away from the city centre to enjoy a brilliant game of golf.

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Only 20 minutes from Lisbon is the estate of Aroeira which hosts two fantastic golf courses – Aroeira I and Aroeira II. Aroeira I is set with undulating fairways running through a pine forest making it a classic golfing location which requires accuracy in order to stay on the fairway. This course is a stunning green course and the challenging game makes it a fun course to play. Aroeira II has water in play on no fewer than 9 holes making it a challenging and scenic course. As the fairways are also lined by pine trees on this second course accuracy is very much needed both for the water hazards and the trees.

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With a backdrop of the Arrábida Natural Park and just 30 minutes’ drive from the centre of Lisbon is the Golf & Country Club at Quinta do Peru. Long established favourite with golfers to the Lisbon area originally built as an upmarket Lisbon member’s course but we are able to offer green fees here through Orizonte at very reasonable prices. The course is invariably in tip top condition and with a superb layout designed by Rocky Roquemore. Plenty of lakes and bunkers waiting for your errant shots and a warm welcome in the traditional clubhouse awaits you after a superb round.

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The Ribagolfe Resort is one of Europe’s hidden gems and we don’t like to use this term lightly, carved between cork trees in the middle of a forest 30 miles from Lisbon sits this 36-hole complex. The Ribagolfe courses (both I and II) are firm favourites among golf escapes staff and clients. It is rare to experience golf in a fabulous natural surrounding with incredibly low green fees and you will wonder why a 36 hole was built literally in the middle of nowhere but after you have played you will realise that it is a truly brilliant complex and you will be desperate to return.

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Just a bit further from Ribagolfe is Santo Estêvão which is the newest course in the Costa Azul region. This undulating greens and strategically-placed greens and bunkers will make sure than even the most competent golfer is tested on their round here.

 

Hotel Do Mar features a wide variety of stylish rooms from old traditional Portuguese rooms to the bigger modern rooms which all boast a fabulous sea view. This quirky hotel is actually two separate buildings joined together with the reception on the top floor. Just outside of the centre of town the hotel is surrounded by lots of fantastic bars and restaurants whilst in keeping with a quieter and more tranquil feel.

 

The Sana Sesimbra hotel is situated in centre of the town. Their sea view rooms are spectacular and feel as if you are right on the beach as this hotel sits just on the edge of the golden sands. All the rooms are modern and stylish. The hotel features a lovely restaurant and bar area. With this hotel a stones throw away from the beach and right in the centre of town there is plenty to do and see including a stunning castle on the beach. This hotel is ideal for those looking for fabulous food and drink in a calm and beautiful town with a fantastic beach.

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The Sesimbra Hotel & Spa is a very impressive building with all their rooms featuring a stunning sea view from high up above the sand. Situated above a beautiful cobbled pedestrianised area near some lovely restaurants, bars, cafes and shops with spacious and modern rooms in which to enjoy the views nothing could be more ideal. We recommend Bar Ingles or La Villa Italian restaurant nearby!

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Those looking to travel a bit further north should look no further than the Obidos region…

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Just over an hour away from Lisbon sits the stylish and modern Evolutee Royal Obidos Hotel & Spa. Featuring spacious and contemporary rooms with fabulous views of the fantastic golf course, the Atlantic Ocean and the Lagoa de Obidos this hotel is ideal for those looking for a quieter golfing break with some great golf around. With several bars and their very own steak and sushi restaurant you will never be short of somewhere to relax after a day on the golf course.

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Bom Sucesso is a short distance from the hotel with similar views of the Lagoa de Obidos and the Ocean as its backdrop. This course features fast and challenging greens and is recommended for all golfers looking for a challenge whilst in the Obidos region. With dense Mediterranean foliage, strategically placed bunkers and fabulous views there is no reason why this 18-hole Championship course should not be on your must-play list.