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If you work your way around all the destinations in Europe, there are so many golf courses out there that mean you can have a great Golf Escape without spending a small fortune. Every region has their signature course that all the group flock to play, but they usually come at a cost. Here is our advice on how to play great golf courses, but keeping it within a healthy budget too.el-chaparral

El Chaparral – A really fun course. The design is very different to others in the area and is a really interesting course to have in your itinerary. We always recommend to play it in the middle of your holiday as it is very tight and a tough one to start off with. The added bonus with El Chaparral is that shared buggies are included in the greenfee as well, just to make it even better value for money! After your round, stay for a drink as the staff are incredibly friendly and gives the superb clubhouse a great atmosphere. A real gem of the Costa del Sol.castro-marim

Castro Marim – In the East of the Algarve lays some great golf courses and with the town of Tavira in the middle of them all, it is a fantastic place to take your next holiday. Out of the local courses, Castro Marim is easily the best value for money. Three loops of 9 holes, the Grouse, Guadiana and Atlantico make up the resort and all three are great. The Grouse is the newest and perhaps the best if you wanted to take in the views of the rolling hills. The Guadiana is the tightest, set amongst pines trees. Several of the greens are elevated and are usually the fastest of the 9 holes. Beware of the bunkers! Finally the Atlantico. Plenty of water and similar to the Guadiana in that it is lined with pine trees. Definitely worth playing when staying in the East of the Algarve and an area in general that must be considered for your next Golf Escape.

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El Valle – Murcia is a golfer’s paradise with so many golf courses all in such close proximity to the sea front and to Murcia Airport and all brilliant value. You can play 6 different courses without travelling any further than 30 minutes from your base in Los Alcazeras. El Valle is the Golf Escape pick though. A vast open space littered with bunkers makes it a course that you have to think your way around. Tight fairways also add to the difficulty of the course. When you think you have mastered the fairways and bunkers you are then faced with huge expanses of water on the 13th, 14th, 17th and 18th. Tough, but a very pleasant walk taking in views of the hills surrounding you.

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Troia – A treat to play if you are staying anywhere in the Lisbon area and fancy a good day out. The course is situated in the Troia Peninsula and means getting a short ferry journey from Setubal. When you get there though, you will see why it is worth the journey. The course is stunning. If it was anywhere else in the world it would be a £150 round of golf easily. This is where location, location, location works in the guests favour. You can play this course for great value for money as long as you don’t mind the journey. Playing alongside a peaceful beach, it has a links feel to it at times with sandy wasteland for the 2nd cut of rough. A challenge, but a real favourite in the Golf Escapes office.

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This week’s blog is an insiders guide to the Tivoli hotels which are all situated on the Algarve in Portugal. These hotels are fantastic four and five-star properties which offer guests a full range of facilities and the opportunity to play some fantastic golf courses when they are staying there. With the summer weather drawing to a close and the dark evenings starting to appear it is time for you to start thinking about where you want to take a short golf break this autumn or next spring to give you the chance to see some sun before August of next year! These hotels are perfect for your autumnal golf break as the weather is still so good in the Algarve for a couple more months.

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The Tivoli Carvoeiro is a stunning four-star hotel situated on a cliff top with stunning views of the beach nestled below and the surroundings areas. The lovely town of Carvoeiro is just a 10 minutes’ walk away so you have a wide choice of bars and restaurants whilst you are here as the hotel also boasts two fantastic restaurants, one of which serves traditional Portuguese cuisine and the other serves international dishes in a buffet-style. The hotel also offers guests a lovely terrace bar area to sit and enjoy a few drinks in which has views of the Atlantic right from where you sit to enjoy your drink! If golf isn’t your number one priority when staying here then you won’t be disappointed with the other facilities on offer as there is a fantastic spa here with a Jacuzzi, a sauna and a range of different treatments available. This is a great hotel, close to a fantastic town, Faro airport and some great golf courses. It is worth noting that unfortunately this hotel is closed from November this year through to July 2017 so this is a great one for next autumn when the hotel is reopened.

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Tivoli Lagos is another beautiful Tivoli hotel and it is situated right in the centre of Lagos. From March through to October guests can enjoy the free shuttle service from the hotel down to the private beach club on Meia Praia. Being located right in the centre of town there is so much for you to do and see within a short walk when you are staying here or if you prefer to stay at the resort there are plenty of things to do there too. The resort offers a lovely outdoor pool area, spa facilities and each of the spacious rooms has its own balcony. There are three different restaurants on-site as well as a beach bar which is only open during the summer months. This hotel is ideal for your next golfing getaway and is within a short distance from several fantastic golf courses including Boavista and Onyria Palmares.

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Tivoli Marina Portimão hotel is situated in an ideal location just three-minutes’ walk from the beach and five-minutes’ walk from Praia de Rocha. The hotel is also in very close proximity to some of the best courses on the Algarve such as Salgados, Alamos and Morgado which makes it the ideal destination for your next golf break to Portugal. The modern studios and apartments are all fully-fitted with a kitchenette and dining area as well as a satellite TV. The hotel boasts three swimming pools, a fitness centre, bike-hiring facilities and massage rooms which means that even if you’re not here to play the fabulous golf on offer there is still plenty for you to do! The hotel also has two restaurants if you want to eat at the hotel rather than cook for yourselves but there are also plenty of options for dining outside of the hotel as well. This is a great hotel for your next golf holiday either this autumn or for next summer!

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The five-star Tivoli Marina Vilamoura is situated right in the heart of Vilamoura, with the marina on one side and the beach on the other, this hotel offers guests pure luxury in stunning accommodation. All the rooms are recently refurnished and have their own private balcony, a satellite TV and floor-to-ceiling windows. For non-golfers the hotel is perfect as it features extensive spa facilities including dry and wet saunas, a hot-tub as well as a wide range of healthy and body treatments available. As the hotel is located in the heart of Vilamoura you are never far from somewhere where there is fantastic food and drink but the hotel also offers three great restaurants which you must try when you stay here – an Italian, a Steakhouse and a Portuguese restaurant. With vast gardens, a beach just a minutes’ walk away and a lovely outdoor pool area and the Oceanico golf courses within a short distance away, it would be hard to find somewhere more luxurious in such a great location for your next golf break to the Algarve.

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Last but not least we have the five-star Tivoli Victoria Hotel. Although not situated right in the heart of the town there is a free shuttle service available for guests from the hotel to Vilamoura Marina but this is such a beautiful and tranquil hotel that you may not even want to leave the hotel much at all! There is a top championship golf course on site but there are also several others within just a short drive away from the hotel that you are encouraged to play during your stay at the Tivoli Victoria. All of the rooms here are modernly furnished with all the facilities you would expect from a hotel of this rating as well as a private balcony attached to each room where you can enjoy the panoramic views of the hotel’s surroundings. For those of you who are less interested in the golf or who will only play a few rounds then there are two outdoor pool areas as well as a spa where you can enjoy a range of different beauty treatments as well as the indoor pool there. The hotel’s restaurant serves traditional Portuguese cuisine and there is a lovely bar area for you to enjoy a few drinks in. This is an ideal location for your next golf break where you can enjoy tranquil surroundings in a beautiful hotel as well as some superb golf. tivoli-logo

We hope that you enjoyed this week’s blog and that it has provoked thoughts of an autumn golf break for this year or maybe even a golf holiday next spring to give you the chance to play some fantastic golf in the sun instead of waiting for the sunshine to (hopefully!) make an appearance next summer!

 

This week’s blog is an insider’s guide to the Details Hotels which are all situated on the Algarve. These hotels all have unique selling points and with the lack of summer weather here in England you might want to think about booking a last minute golfing getaway to one of these superb hotels…

Magnolia

First up is the Magnolia Golf & Wellness Hotel in Quinta da Lago. This is an adults-only hotel so perfect if you are looking for a more sophisticated and relaxed holiday without children around. This is a contemporary and modern hotel which boasts a superb location near to some of the best beaches, shops and restaurants in the area. It is also within close distance to the Vale de Lobo courses which are well-known to be a couple of the best courses around. Not only is the hotel close to the Vale de Lobo courses but also Quinta do Lago and San Lorenzo golf clubs which are other fantastic golf courses close-by which means that you will never have to travel far from the hotel to find a great round of golf here! The Quinta do Lago beach is just over 2 miles from the hotel but there are plenty of other areas around the hotel to relax in including the pool areas, the spa and wellness facilities and the hotel bars. Each of the rooms are well-fitted with everything you would expect from a hotel of this standard as well as a private balcony per room, here you can enjoy the views of the gardens and the area around the hotel. This is a fantastic, modern hotel with some great facilities and in an amazing location meaning that taking golfing holiday here could be nothing but a perfect choice.

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Next up is the Vale D’el Rei Suite & Villas Hotel in Carvoeiro. This is a more secluded hotel as it is nestled in the Algarve countryside and is surrounded by vineyards, mountains and white cliffs. Although it is a more secluded hotel and has a tranquil setting it is not too far from Carvoeiro’s centre and other beachside resorts. The rooms are all decorated in warm, earthy tones to fit in with the hotel’s surroundings and all have a satellite TV. There are two hotel restaurants, the Pool Terrace serves breakfast and lighter meals whilst the Serenata restaurant serves traditional Mediterranean cuisine and whilst you are here you must enjoy one of the delicious cocktails served at the Calabash Café. The golf courses you will most likely play here are Alamos, Salgados and Morgado. These are all fantastic courses and a round on each should never be passed up on! If you’re looking for other activities to enjoy besides golfing on holiday then you would not be disappointed here, the hotel can arrange mountain biking or horse riding or you can enjoy a trip to the hotel spa where you can enjoy the Turkish Bath, sauna and the hot tub. This is a fantastic, quiet hotel where you can enjoy a variety of activities or just lay by the pool all day!

Velamar

The Velamar Boutique Hotel is another fabulous hotel to consider for your next Portuguese golfing getaway. This hotel is situated in Albufeira and was fully renovated this year and re-opened as a boutique style hotel. All of the rooms are elegantly decorated with a luxury bathroom and some of the rooms feature a private balcony which overlooks the beautiful fishing village or the Atlantic Ocean. You can enjoy panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean from the breakfast room as well as enjoy the surrounding scenery from the hotel bars whilst sipping on a few drinks post-round! You can enjoy the lavish outdoor pool area when you are not playing one of the fantastic courses that are situated in and near Albufeira. The hotel is located in the fishing village of Olhos D’Agua and is also very close to the resort of Albufeira, this means that you can enjoy copious places to eat and drink as well as explore the history of Albufeira. The hotel offers guests bike hire and car hire which means that the great areas and towns around the hotel are easily accessible. This is a great, modern hotel in which you can relax and unwind whilst enjoying the hotel’s superb location and some excellent golf within close proximity.

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Last, but not least of the Details Hotels is Aqua Pedra Dos Bicos adults-only hotel, also situated in Albufeira. This hotel boasts the perfect location, it is set in a Mediterranean garden with direct access to the beach as well as having the vast array of restaurants, bars, clubs and shops of Albufeira just a short stroll away. There is no doubt that if you’re looking for somewhere with direct access to some bustling nightlife, wonderful restaurants and delightful little bars whilst staying in a hotel which feels separate from the bustle of the town then this is the perfect place for you. All of the rooms here are furnished with a modern design and open up onto private balconies where you can enjoy views of the gardens and the ocean. If you prefer to eat in at the hotel rather than venture out into Albufeira then you will not be disappointed with the traditional cuisine served in the main hotel restaurant. Whilst staying here, you can enjoy the abundance of golf courses within a short distance away from the hotel as well as the outdoor pool area at the hotel and the direct access to the sandy beach. There is definitely not a shortage of places for you to relax here or if you prefer to be more active then there are different activities and sports which can be found in Albufeira or you can just enjoy learning the history of Albufeira – another ideal golfing getaway destination!

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We hope that this blog has opened your eyes to the great Details Hotels which all offer guests something unique and are all brilliant holiday destinations! Make sure to book your last minute golf break away before the English weather starts to get you down…

This week’s blog is on the Algarve. The Algarve is one of the best destinations for your next golfing holiday and with an array of fabulous hotels and brilliant golf courses it isn’t hard to see why. This week’s blog is going to give you a few ideas for your next golf holiday and show you the great hotels that the Algarve has to offer…

TheLakeResort

First up on the list is the five-star Lake Resort. This hotel is situated in the heart of Vilamoura Marina and is somewhere ideal if you’re looking for a luxurious golf holiday. Vilamoura is potentially the most popular resort for golfers and it isn’t hard to see why! It is no surprise that Vilamoura is considered to be one of the best locations for a golf break now as it has so much to offer both for golfers and non-golfers. Vilamoura offers guests here 6 different golf courses to choose from, a wide array of restaurants and bars to enjoy as well as some vibrant nightlife. The Lake Resort hotel offers beautiful, modern rooms as well as apartments which means that you can enjoy different board options. The hotel also boasts 3 restaurants and 2 bars which guests can enjoy and relax and unwind in after a long day on the beach, by the pool or on the golf course. In addition to being a short distance away from the beach, the hotel has its own private lake you can enjoy different watersports! There are also three swimming pools to relax around as well. With the hotel restaurants serving oriental, fresh fish or Mediterranean dishes as well as the marina being just a short walk away where guests can find many restaurants to choose from you could never go hungry or thirsty here! The fantastic Oceanico courses are a short distance away and are the courses mainly played by guests here. This truly is a brilliant destination for your next golfing holiday as you really get it all here: nightlife, great restaurants, the beach and a luxurious hotel!

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Conrad Algarve is next up on the list. This hotel is one of the most modern hotels on the Algarve and offers everything that you could want to make your golf holiday on the Algarve perfect. This hotel is situated in the fantastic Quinta do Lago resort where golfers can enjoy some spectacular golf courses as well as enjoy the luxury of this beautiful hotel. Quinta do Lago is one of the nicest and most relaxing places to go to for your next golf escape, there is little traffic around the resort, some fantastic shops and restaurants as well as some great golfing opportunities. Although the nightlife scene in the resort is rather quiet, there are some magnificent restaurants and atmospheric bars to enjoy instead. The guest rooms are decorated with a contemporary style and have their own private balconies which overlook either the palms or the pool. All of the rooms also have everything that you would expect from a modern five-star hotel such as a flat-screen TV free Wi-Fi and a coffee machine. The hotel offers guests 3 different restaurants which serve different cuisines as well as 3 bars to enjoy. There are also 3 different swimming pools for guests to enjoy, including a large heated infinity pool which blends in with the Atlantic Ocean! If golf isn’t the only activity that you hope to enjoy here, then you won’t be disappointed. The hotel has floodlit tennis courts for guests to play on as well as a spa and gym which features an indoor pool, sauna and a state-of-the-art fitness centre. This is a fantastic location for your next golf break to the Algarve and a stay here truly is something else.

DonaFilipa

Next up on the list is the five-star Dona Filipa and San Lorenzo Golf Resort in Vale do Lobo. The Vale do Lobo resort is the biggest and most exclusive holiday destination where guests at the hotels here can enjoy a wide range of sporting activities, dozens of bars, restaurants and shops as well as two championship golf courses and a 3-mile sandy beach. This truly is another stunning resort in the Algarve and another place where golfers can experience some fabulous golf courses as well as enjoy some relaxation and good food and drink! The rooms are decorated in an old-wood style but feature all the modern amenities that you would want, they also all have private balconies where you can enjoy panoramic views of either the Vale do Lobo golf course, the Atlantic Ocean or the village. Guests at this hotel have an exclusive benefit of pre-booking tee-times at San Lorenzo golf course which is one of the most popular course in the Algarve. Guests often also play Pinheiros Altos which is another fantastic course and is just a short drive away. The hotel’s restaurant serves wonderful buffets with regional and international dishes for breakfast and dinner and if this isn’t enough for you then there are a selection of restaurants on the doorstep of the hotel in the Vale do Lobo plaza. The Vale do Lobo spa is also just a short walk away and it offers a wide range of facilities and treatments which is perfect for those of you who enjoy a little relaxation as well as a few rounds of golf! This is a beautiful hotel in a great location which is perfect for your next golf holiday to the Algarve.

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We hope that this blog has opened your eyes to the possible destinations and resorts in the Algarve for your next golf escape to Portugal. These resorts and hotels are not to be missed out on and neither are the superb golf courses!

This week’s blog is the insider’s guide to the lovely Dona Filipa and San Lorenzo Golf Resort which is situated in the centre of the Vale de Lobo estate. When looking for your next golf escape to the Algarve there are very few other places which can offer you the experience that this resort can in terms of activities, golf and service. This week’s blog is to show you what you’re missing and what you could have if you choose to book a golf break to this fantastic resort.

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The hotel boasts a superb location being just 200 yards from the stunning Vale de Lobo beach and with Vale de Lobo plaza right on its doorstep. The resort is also just under 7 miles from the bustling town of Vilamoura which means that there are endless bars and restaurants to enjoy either in the plaza or just a short drive away. The rooms at the hotel are a mixture of old-age Portuguese style and more modern designs but all are spacious and welcoming. Guests here will enjoy high-class service and luxurious rooms, fitted with all the amenities expected of a hotel of this rating, and communal areas as well as the beautiful surroundings. The hotel overlooks the 17th fairway of the Vale de Lobo course so guests can enjoy spectacular views. Guests can enjoy a massage at the spa, the tennis courts, the outdoor pool which overlooks the Atlantic or of course, the beach. With Vilamoura just down the road, Faro just a short drive away and two fantastic golf courses within such close distance there really isn’t anywhere else that you need to consider apart from this resort when booking your next golf holiday to the Algarve when looking for relaxation, superb surroundings and fantastic golf.

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San Lorenzo golf course is a world class course and is often rated as one of the best in the Algarve and even in continental Europe. The course is set alongside the Atlantic Ocean and is built upon sandy, undulating terrain with the long fairways being bordered by pine trees and the Ria Formosa bird sanctuary making this a picturesque course which is very in tune with nature! The course is laid out in a figure of eight which explains why you have to navigate so many dog-leg holes and explains why this course tests your precision on each hole right from the tee. The 5th and the 7th hole dominate your attention during the front nine as all you can see are the saltwater lagoons and the bird sanctuary with the Atlantic in the horizon but the finish of the course is equally as strong. With the opposite side of the Ria Formosa coming into view in the last three holes and the 18th being a long, spectacular risk-reward finish to the round there is no question as to why this course is ranked so highly. Make sure to complete your holiday to Dona Filipa with a spectacular round at this memorable course.

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The second course that golfers usually play during a stay at the Dona Filipa and San Lorenzo resort is Pinheiros Altos. This course is split into three parts which are all fantastic but are all laid out very differently making you feel like you could be playing three separate courses! The front nine is set out across a sandy hillside with pine trees lining the fairways and is referred to as the “Pines” nine. The second nine, is referred to as the “Olives” nine and is laid out more as a parkland course set out over flatter terrain and borders the Ria Formosa sanctuary where there are huge expanses of water which are laying in wait to catch errant shots. The feature hole on the front 18 is the 17th which is a par 3 and will require the upmost concentration to score well on what with its island green, vast lake and deep magnetic sand trap all contributing to the difficulty! In 2007, the course opened a further nine holes called “Corks” which is an easier addition to the course with the only challenges being the last few holes. This 27-hole course is a superb challenge in great surroundings which can be enjoyed by golfers of all abilities. A perfect course to compliment San Lorenzo and a stay at the Dona Filipa.

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With Vilamoura being so close to the resort it is no surprise that many guests choose to venture into the town to enjoy meals and drinks out. The town features a large choice of restaurants, bars, nightclubs, shops and cafes making it perfect for a day trip or night out from the resort. It is normally suggested to use a car but there are always taxis available to be booked both to and from Vilamoura and the resort.

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With many different activities in the area including horse riding, golf, biking and various watersports to try out – you could never be bored with this town so close by. If you are more looking for relaxation when coming into the town of Vilamoura then you must try several of the different restaurants where you will be able to find traditional Portuguese cuisine to oriental cuisine to a full English!

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We hope this blog has opened your eyes to what you could be enjoying in the Algarve. From spectacular golfing opportunities and other sports to the fantastic array of bars and restaurants that are waiting for you to enjoy! This resort holds a superb location and a holiday here is definitely not to be missed out on.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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!

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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!

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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.