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8 of the Best Courses to Play in The Algarve

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If you are considering a Golf Holiday in The Algarve, this might help you decide where to play. To make life easier we are starting off in the Eastern Algarve near the Portugal/Spain border moving westwards through the Central Algarve and ending up in the Western Algarve in Lagos.

Best golf courses in Algarve

Monte Rei

Recognised as one of the best golf courses in Europe, this Jack Nicklaus design is located 10 minutes inland on a beautiful piece of rolling countryside. With huge undulating greens and fairways and large tricky bunkers, golfers from all over The Algarve insist on having this included as part of their itinerary, and for good reason. Monte Rei offers superb service along with a great golfing experience. Buggies, range balls and a complimentary post-round club clean are all part of the day out, as well as a beautifully luxurious clubhouse. There are many photo opportunities here, and some truly memorable golf holes.

MONTE-REI-1 one of the best golf courses in the Algarve

Quinta da Ria / Quinta de Cima

This fantastic 36-hole complex occupies a vast area of countryside and beachfront 10 minutes east of Tavira. Quinta da Ria is the shorter and slightly easier of the two courses with some beautiful holes down by the beach. There are also some interesting doglegs. Quinta de Cima is longer and occupies some lovely inland terrain with great views in a tranquil setting. Both courses are invariably in super condition, and the excellent service in the recently modernised clubhouse completes this popular golf resort in Portugal. Both courses are easily walked.

RIA-CIMA golf course

Quinta do Lago North / South / Laranjal

It is hard to find a better 54-hole complex anywhere in Europe. Quinta do Lago North and South have both enjoyed multi-million euro renovations and modernisations in the last few years and are now certainly amongst the best courses in Portugal. Laranjal is a couple of miles away and the difference in terrain is quite remarkable. North and South are blessed with towering pine trees and many lakes, whereas Laranjal is flatter and more open. The multi-round packages offer great discounts for those happy to play at least a minimum of 3 rounds on these courses during their stay (we can think of much worse things to do!). The courses occupy a very convenient location in the Central Algarve’s “Golden Triangle” between Vilamoura and Faro Airport.

QDL-LARANJAL golf course in the Algarve Portugal

Dom Pedro Old Course

One of the original Central Algarve courses, the old “Vilamoura 1” is truly beautiful. Surrounded by pine trees, Dom Pedro Old Course is an absolute gem of a course. A traditional design, easy to walk outside of summer temperatures, and always in great condition with carpet-like fairways and quick greens, it is easy to see why this par-73 course is on all discerning golfers’ itineraries. Located in the golf mecca that is Vilamoura and easily accessed by the area’s shuttles, Dom Pedro Old Course is a course that many think of first when they consider golf on The Algarve.


Dom Pedro Victoria

A much younger sibling to The Old Course, Dom Pedro Victoria is a terrific modern design on the edge of Vilamoura and has been host to the wonderful Portugal Masters Tour event on several occasions.  Victoria is not an easy course and can be quite tricky in places with big fast greens. The course maintenance is top quality, and the service in the modern clubhouse befits such a super track. The course is on mainly flat terrain with no long walks between holes. Victoria is another easily accessible course that should be on all good golfers’ lists to play while golfing on The Algarve. 

VICTORIA golf course in the Algarve

Ombria Resort Golf Course

This stunning brand-new course opened its doors in 2023. Ombria is situated in a beautiful rural inland area, 20 minutes from Vilamoura. We were the first tour operator to play the course (before it opened) and it took our breath away. It is hilly, and there are some spectacular tee shots downhill with incredible views but fear not, buggies are included in the green fees. The front nine weaves around a valley and there are some carries on both nines, whilst the back nine is a little more open. There are 5* hotel and self-catering accommodations to complete this fantastically-designed resort in the most amazing countryside.

OMBRIA golf course

Pestana Carvoeiro Golf Resort

This well-established resort has 2 fine courses, Pinta and Gramacho.  Both are similar in design, and despite the number of golfers playing these extremely popular courses, they manage to maintain high standards of condition. Although both courses occupy the same pretty and undulating countryside location close to the lovely beach resort in Carvoeiro, they each have their own modern clubhouse. The courses made our list due to their playability and value, especially for guests on our stay and play packages in one of the many Pestana properties in the area – the green fees are a steal for the quality of courses on offer. 

PINTA-GRAMACHO golf course in Algarve Portugal

Palmares Golf

Palmares Golf is a magnificent 27-hole course 5 minutes along the beach from the popular town of Lagos. Originally an 18-hole layout, the course was dug up and completely rebuilt, and re-opened in 2011. The 3 nines – Alvor, Praia and Lagos – all have their own character despite sharing the same wonderful coastal terrain. Our own favourite is the Praia: some short and tight par-4s and a couple of spectacular holes alongside the Meia Praia beach. Buggies are recommended at Palmares, especially as the amazing modern clubhouse sits on a hilltop with great views over the course. On-site luxury hotel and apartment accommodations complete a much sought-after golf resort.

PALMARES Algarve course

About the Author

Matt Standley

Role: Marketing Executive - Handicap: 15 - Home course: Royal Ashdown Forest Golf Club - Favourite courses: Palmares, Aphrodite Hills, Quinta do Lago North, Monte Rei & La Manga Club South

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