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8 Best Golf Courses in the Algarve: Top Options for Experts and Beginners 

This week’s blog is a guide to six of the Algarve’s best golf courses, resorts, and hotels. Despite the development of budget golf holidays in other areas in Europe, the Algarve has remained to be one of Europe’s best-kept golfing treasures.

The Algarve has resisted the competition and has never failed to prove itself to be a fantastic golf destination. With options to suit every budget and preference, and a range of excellent golf courses and hotels, it comes as no surprise that the Algarve is a consistent go-to option for many golfers in Europe.  The Algarve is sure to have something to offer each and every guest.

Golf Courses

Monte Rei

The Monte Rei golf course was designed by the world-renowned golf architect Jack Nicklaus, so golfers are guaranteed an unforgettable round of golf here. The course opened in Summer 2007 and is the number 1 course in Portugal and is ranked 12th best in continental Europe. This really is an amazing place. The Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course at Monte Rei is located close to the beautiful town of Tavira in the Algarve, Portugal. It is also near the towns of Cabanas and Monte Gordo. With an impressive five lakes, a unique layout and some truly stunning landscapes set across the Serra do Caldeirão mountains, the Monte Rei golf course is an unbeatable option for a round of golf on your next golf holiday in the Algarve, providing your budget permits it!

Quinta do Lago North, South & Laranjal

Just a stone’s throw away from the Magnolia Hotel are three of the area’s most popular golf courses; the Quinta do Lago Laranjal, the Quinta do Lago North, and the Quinta do Lago South. The Quinta do Lago South is the ideal option for long hitters, as there is little demand for accuracy here, despite the abundance of water hazards. With fast greens, dense forest areas and beautiful landscapes, players are set to have a great round of golf here. Alternatively, the Quinta do Lago North has recently undergone dramatic renovations to bring it up to the standards of its sister golf courses, meaning it offers fantastic playability throughout the year. The Quinta do Lago Laranjal has often been described as the most challenging of the trio with its unforgiving narrow fairways with subtle undulations to test even the most experienced of players.

Amendoeira O’Connor Jnr & Faldo

Both the Amendoeira O’Connor Jnr and the Amendoeira Faldo golf courses are guaranteed to offer players a spectacular round of golf. Designed by the world-renowned golf architect Nick Faldo, the Faldo course is a demanding par-72 championship golf course that is guaranteed to test even the most experienced of golfers. Golfers here are eased into their round with a leisurely front nine, then they are swiftly thrown into the challenge at the back nine holes with hilly terrain and an abundance of desert bunkers. At the Amendoeira O’Connor Jnr golf course, players must use their A-game to overcome several water hazards that make up a wildlife sanctuary. Across the golf course, players must manoeuvre their shots around many lakes, streams and orange groves in order to finish with a steady score.

Espiche Golf Lagos

The highly acclaimed Espiche Golf Lagos is located in the western province of the Algarve in the outskirts of the Monchique Mountains. The Espiche Golf Lagos is undoubtedly a challenging golf course that demands skill from even low handicappers. The fairways are very tight in areas, and to add to the unruly challenge, large bunkers are thrown into the mix on one of the many undulating greens. Despite being a relatively new addition to the fantastic range of golf in the Algarve, the Espiche Golf Lagos has steadily proved itself to be a valued member of the many golf courses in the Algarve. With an unforgiving hilly terrain, natural scenery and some unique holes, it comes as no surprise that the Espiche Golf Lagos is widely considered to be a must-play golf course in the Algarve.

Vale do Lobo Royal & Ocean

Vale do Lobo Royal is undoubtedly one of the most photographed golf courses in the world, and with its stunning landscapes and idyllic setting, it is not difficult to see why. Towards the end of the round, you reach one of the most iconic holes in the Algarve, the 16th, a par 3 that measures over 230 yards from the tips, over a ravine. Its sister golf course, the Vale do Lobo Ocean is home to a unique landscape with many pine, olive and orange groves to create beautiful views and a great challenge throughout. This course has some superb links-style holes overlooking the ocean and some parkland holes weaving through Vale do Lobo’s luxurious estate.

Boavista

Boavista is the most accommodating out of the golf courses on offer, with its rolling fairways and naturistic scenery that can even act as a stern test of golf to low handicappers. There are umbrella pines, fig, olive, palm, and almond trees nestled among the rolling fairways, as well as water hazards and strategic bunkers. Design is very natural, but long carries can pose a challenge for high handicappers. This course is ideally situated a short distance from Lagos. The location of Boavista makes it ideal for playing local courses such as Espiche and Palmares.

Gramacho

Gramacho, formerly a nine-hole course, has become one of the Algarve’s most popular golf courses. With its rolling terrain, the new nine, designed by Nick Price, is a scenic and interesting course that will appeal to golfers of all skill levels. With olive, almond, and carob trees dotted throughout, the course is known for its excellent greens and friendly clubhouse. In addition to being ranked highly among Portugal’s top 100 golf courses, Gramacho continues to gain a positive reputation among golfers.

Vila Sol

The 27-hole Vila Sol complex is one of the most popular courses in the Algarve. Vila Sol is another Portuguese Open venue with some spectacular holes and picture postcard views. Vila Sol, a masterpiece designed by Donald Steel, winds its way through an immense pinewood, filled with fig, oak, and almond trees. This is an inland golf course with narrow fairways that require precise driving; there are lakes and bunkers, as well as fast greens, which make it challenging to score well. It is beautifully maintained.

Where to Stay in Algarve For Golf: Hotels & Resorts

Monte Rei Golf & Country Club

The Monte Rei Golf and Country Club is a fantastic five-star option for a self-catered golf holiday in the foothills of Tavira. All of the villas here offer guests an unbeatably luxurious stay, with modern décor, large outdoor terraces and spacious living areas. The towns of Tavira, Monte Gordo and Cabanas are all located within a twenty-five-minute radius of the resort, so guests will never find themselves short of things to do or see during their stay here.

Magnolia Hotel

Another fantastic option for your next golf holiday in the Algarve is the Magnolia Hotel, set in the luxury Quinta do Lago resort, home to three excellent golf courses. Home to stunning white beaches, some great golf courses and exclusive bars and restaurants, the Quinta do Lago resort is easily considered one of the most sought-after areas in the whole of the Algarve. The Magnolia hotel offers great value for money with three golf courses just a stone’s throw away and some stunning local beaches.

Amendoeira Golf Resort

The Amendoeira Golf Resort is yet another excellent self-catered accommodation option for golfers in the Algarve. Located just a stone’s throw away from the prestigious Amendoeira Faldo and Amendoeira O’Connor Jnr, guests here are in the perfect position to enjoy some of the fantastic golf the Algarve has to offer. The Amendoeira Golf Resort comprises of a range of self-catered apartments and villas with panoramic views across the neighbouring Monchique Mountains, and the Amendoeira golf courses. The resort also offers a great range of leisure facilities to be enjoyed including several football pitches, tennis courses and a floodlit academy golf course to warm up for a gruelling round of golf.

Pestana Dom Joao II Hotel

At the Pestana Dom Joao II Hotel, golfers are in the best position possible to make the most out of the stunning beaches the Algarve is known so well for. The resort is situated in the heart of Alvor, home to a great range of bars, restaurants, beaches and most importantly, fantastic golf. The entire interior of the resort was completely renovated just a few years ago so that the resort could compete with the high standards of many of the other hotels in the Algarve.  Even when they are taking a break from playing golf at the local courses or soaking up the sun at the beach, guests will never find themselves short of things to do with a fantastic range of leisure facilities on offer.

Tivoli Lagos

The Tivoli Lagos is yet another great accommodation option located in the heart of the Algarve in Lagos. Lagos is a great destination for a golf holiday with a range of bars and restaurants, as well as authentic Portuguese charm found in the cobbled streets of the old town area. The hotel has its own private beach club here, with a bar and large swimming pool lined with parasols and sunbeds, so the Tivoli Lagos is a great option for golfers looking to make the most out of the Algarve’s famous beaches. Furthermore, suppose guests want to stay local during the evenings and choose not to venture out into the centre of Lagos. In that case, the hotel is also home to a great range of bars and restaurants, including an Italian, Portuguese and international restaurant, as well as a cocktail bar. Close by to Tivoli Lagos are some of the Algarve’s best golf courses including Vale do Lobo golf resort, the Royal and the Ocean golf courses, as well as the Espiche, Boavista and the Onyria Palmares golf courses.

We hope that you have enjoyed this week’s blog on some of the best golf courses and accommodation options in the Algarve. With short and cheap flights, fantastic golf and a great range of hotels and resorts, the Algarve undoubtedly deserves all of the praise it receives. Even in the winter months, golfers can still enjoy a mild climate here to venture out onto one of the many golf courses in the area. With a great selection of package deals on offer, there has never been a better time to book your next golf escape to the Algarve.

If you enjoyed this blog, we recommend reading The 19 Best Golf Resorts in the Algarve!

About the Author

Matt Standley

I'm a Marketing Executive at Golf Escapes and have been here for over six years. I love my golf and try to get out as much as possible. I play off of a handicap of 18 and my favourite course I've played is either Aphrodite Hills in Paphos or the South Course at La Manga Club in Murcia.

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