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This week’s blog is a guide to nine tricky golf courses for those who like a challenge. It is fair to say that golfers often do not tend to go after the easy option; they would much rather seize the opportunity to show off to their fellow players. Here, we have hand-picked some of the most challenging golf courses in Europe. All nine of these fantastic golf courses offer a stern test of golf that can be best appreciated by players that like to be kept on their toes, and those that ultimately search for an invigorating challenge.

The Espiche Golf Lagos is a hidden gem in the Algarve, one of the most popular golfing destinations in Europe. Players must navigate around the 18 holes here, through a unique layout with a challenge characterised by the strategic placement of greenery and fauna. While the fairways may appear to be on the generous side, with dense forestry lining the edges and subtle contouring, golfers are guaranteed an unforgettable test of golf. This par 72 golf course has been designed to incorporate most of the landscape’s natural features, which in turn creates a stunning landscape, and of course a fantastic challenge. Not only must golfers anticipate masses of greenery and fauna to manoeuvre their shots around; the layout is also rife with bunkers and water features that run their natural course throughout the course. Despite the Espiche Golf Lagos being a relatively new golf course in the Western Algarve, it has already established itself as one of the most challenging and unique golf courses in the area. With this layout, players will find they will succeed more in course management if they prioritise accuracy over the length of their shots. There are some truly tricky tight spots throughout, therefore the general line of advice for those that want to attempt the Espiche Golf Lagos is to take plenty of spare balls! Golfers must anticipate the challenge at the par-4 3rd hole as it is widely considered to be the most difficult on the course with a 409-metre-long uphill fairway. Whilst the fairway here appears to be generously wide, the subtle undulations are sure to trip up even the most experienced player.

The Dolce Campo Real Lisboa golf course is situated just half an hour’s drive away from the centre of Lisbon. Here, golfers can enjoy an invigorating round of golf across a unique terrain with rolling hills and valleys. The challenge does not end here; not only is the landscape truly unique with consistent elevation changes, but there are also dense areas of greenery and forestry throughout. Golfers must play with the perfect balance of accuracy and length in order to manoeuvre their shot across the many water hazards and some tricky doglegs which demand a blind shot. Even the most skilled players will find every element of their game challenged at the Dolce CampoReal Lisboa as they must overcome the natural terrain of the original landscape. Donald Steel, one of the most famous golf architects in the world, has created a fantastic golf course built on the natural beauty of the former terrain. The golf course that stands today is rife with the original landscape’s features, including the natural greenery and fauna weaving in and out of the stunning valleys and hills. Players are wrong for assuming they have an advantage with an anticipated view from the elevated tees; the greens are subtly undulating, creating a surprising challenge.

The Shire is widely considered to be among some of the best golf courses in the UK, as well as one of the most challenging. Designed by the leading golf architect Seve Ballesteros, the Shire golf course is guaranteed to keep golfers on their toes throughout their game. Players can enjoy a fantastically varied round of golf; at this golf course, no hole is even remotely similar. The golf course comprises of six par threes, six par fours and six par fives, all of which offer a unique layout and a stern test of golf. Long hitters will feel right at home here as their skills will be utilised best with the challenge to overcome the many large water hazards. They can reap the benefits of the risk-reward system at this golf course, and those that cannot rise to the challenge will be penalised. The challenge here does not just end at the strategic placement of the water hazards and the sheer size of them; there are over 10,000 trees at this parkland golf course just waiting to swallow any wayward shots. Furthermore, the greens are unbeatably fast and feature subtle contours to trip up even the most skilled golfer.

The Salobre New, formerly known as the Salobre North, is a distinctive golf course that is guaranteed to set the hearts racing of all players, regardless of their skill set or experience. This golf course offers a unique round of golf to its players with an original landscape that is sure to be remembered for years to come. Despite the fact that this par 69 golf course is not nearly as long as its sister golf course, the Salobre Old, nor the other golf courses in the surrounding area, that is not to say that golfers will find a round of golf here a walk in the park. The Salobre New was designed with the emphasis on the use of accuracy instead of length, meaning golfers must be sure to play with their A-game throughout their round. Despite only opening in 2008 as a new addition to the huge variety of golf in Gran Canaria, the Salobre New has already created a steady reputation for itself as one of the most challenging golf courses on the island. A highlight of the stern test of golf on offer at the Salobre New includes the par-4 10th hole where players must utilise the use of their iron in order to cross an undulating fairway to reach the multi-tiered green.

One of the most unique golf courses in the Algarve includes the Monte Rei, which has accurately been labelled as “the jewel in the crown of Portuguese golf”. Conveniently for players, the Monte Rei is home to a peaceful and tranquil atmosphere to soothe any tempers raised from the challenging layout they have to overcome. Designed by Jack Nicklaus, one of the most famous golf architects in history, at the Monte Rei, golfers are guaranteed to have an unforgettable round of golf. Despite the huge range of golf in the Algarve and its constant expansion, the Monte Rei has continued to maintain a big name for itself in Europe. The main challenge here is characterised by the nature and placement of water hazards and bunkers; in order to maintain a steady scorecard, golfers must play with the perfect balance of length and accuracy across the 7,224-yard-long layout. Nicklaus certainly did not hold back in the use of water hazards for this layout, as they feature in eleven out of the eighteen holes here. The challenge does not simply end here; with original fauna and greenery, strategic bunkering and undulating terrain, the Monte Rei is not a good golf course for players to choose if they want to show off to their fellow players.

The par 73 Alferini golf course is a stand-out course in the midst of all the classic Spanish layouts in the Costa del Sol. Instead of just providing an attractive layout and a pretty scenery, the architect of the Alferini, Antonio Garcia Garrido, has succeeded in striving to create a fantastic golf course that offers a great challenge. Many of the golf courses in the Costa del Sol are typically attractive, and some might say they lack a certain edge to them. However, the Alferini puts this preconception to waste with a truly unique layout that is sure to provide a stern test of golf to all those that attempt it. The golf course was designed and created with its natural features in mind in order to preserve its original beauty and to maintain the landscape’s unique features. The par 5 16th hole is a particular stand-out to all of its players. At this hole, long hitters may initially revel in the lengthy and seemingly straightforward fairway. However, as any experienced golfer can advise – looks can often be deceiving! As the fairway approaches the green, it narrows significantly, therefore the element of accuracy must be focused in on as players soon find themselves surrounded by bunkers. With a unique layout that is sure to make low handicappers break a sweat, it comes as no surprise that Michael Campbell has labelled this hole as his favourite across the entire golf course.

The Le Golf National Albatros is known as the most challenging golf course in the surrounding areas around the French capital, therefore it hardly comes as surprising that it was selected as the 2018 Ryder Cup venue. It is fair to say that this golf course has lived up to each and every one of its expectations, and this has been shown to be the case as players return year after year. Golfers push their skills to their limit to make the most out of the risk-reward system the golf course operates on. Golfers are thrown into the challenge here from the get-go; however, the real challenge lies right at the end of the round at the par 4 18th hole. This is the hole to make or break an unforgettable round of golf with a huge water hazard positioned to the left side of the fairway and areas of dense bunkering on the right side. Here, the determinant of success lies in the approach shot. Whether players are happy with the end result or not, their round at the Le Golf National Albatros is sure to be a memorable one.

The La Manga Club West is the perfect golf course for any golfer looking for a challenging yet varied round of golf. The front and the back loops of nine differ in both their characteristics and the skills that they demand. The front nine holes demand golfers play with precise accuracy, and while the back nine appear to be more open, any decent player knows never to take anything at face value. The back nine might comprise of a more open layout in comparison to the narrow and compact front nine, however that is not to say that they are any less challenging. Golfers will find themselves thrown into the challenge from the very first hole, and they must do their best to play consistently as the course rapidly changes in elevation. If players are able to focus on anything but the challenge at hand, they should take their time to appreciate the immaculately kept landscape here; spectators frequently comment on the fantastic condition of the West golf course. At the La Manga West, the best is saved until last at the final 18th hole. Here, golfers must push themselves for one last time in order to give a half-decent tee shot. If they cannot do this, then there is usually some leeway due to the width of the fairway, but golfers should not count on this.

At the Acaya Golf Club, the challenge lies in the difficulty of club selection. If players can manage this, then they have a chance to do well here. There is a huge range of challenges to be met at the Acaya Golf Club, therefore golfers must choose their club carefully. Players must overcome strategically placed bunkers and water hazards that come into play at many of the holes here in order to score well. Whilst the Acaya Golf Club is undeniably one of the most challenging golf courses in Italy, it is also one of the most breath-taking due to its stunning location in the heart of the countryside. The architects of the Acaya Golf Club sought to incorporate the features of the natural landscape with their vision to create a fantastic golf course that forces players to use all of the clubs in their arsenal. It is certainly a unique aim to want to encourage players to use all fourteen of their clubs, however it is fair to say that this has been achieved, and it simply adds to the challenge. With three huge lakes and dense green areas consisting of olive groves, players must anticipate a testing round of golf that they are sure not to forget any time soon. The main challenge here is characterised by water hazards as the three lakes at the golf course come into play mainly in the back nine holes. The 16th, 17th and 18th holes comprise of tricky par fours; therefore, players must be sure to save the best of their game until last.

We hope that you have enjoyed this week’s blog, and hopefully, we have inspired you to push beyond your boundaries to truly test your golfing skills on your next golf holiday in Europe.

www.golf-escapes.com

 

This week’s blog is a guide to the seven best golf escapes that have a bit of a twist on them. Whether you are looking for something luxurious and breath-taking or interesting and exciting, this blog has it all…

Rovos Rail was first established in 1989 and has since earned itself a fantastic international reputation for its world-class travel experiences, brilliant service and superb cuisine. You can choose from a range of different journeys in South Africa aboard the Rovos Rail that range from 48 hours right through to 15 days. The trains are beautifully intimate with just 76 passengers aboard the train at once. The African Golf Collage is a panoramic 10-day journey aboard the Rovos Rail. The train winds its way from Pretoria to Cape Town and boasts a variety of different golfing and safari excursions. Activities along the journey include a game drive in the Kruger, Hluhluwe and Addo Elephant Park, a visit to the KWV Brandy Distillery and tours of both Durban and Bloemfontein. The 9-day golf safari by Rovos Rail is perfect for even the most discerning golfer and also boasts excellent excursions for non-golfers. You will depart from Pretoria northwards towards Sun City before turning east to KwaZulu Natal and the Drakensberg escarpment. You will then travel onwards to the Indian Ocean coast near Durban before turning north and travelling up the coast into Swaziland. Finally, you will have the opportunity to visit the Kruger National Park before heading back to Pretoria. Whichever Rovos Rail adventure you may choose, you will stay in beautifully furnished suites, eat delicious food and drink divine African wines. If you are looking for a once in a lifetime trip where you will have the opportunity to play South African’s finest courses as well as enjoy the nature that South Africa has to offer, then look no further than a journey on the Rovos Rail.

Situated in Abu Dhabi is the five-star Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort and Spa. This hotel is situated in the heart of Abu Dhabi and is home to the 27-hole championship golf course of PGA Tour Abu Dhabi Golf Championship. The hotel boasts extensive leisure facilities as well as a brilliant location making it the ideal place for your next golf break to Abu Dhabi. Due to the hotel’s location, you are never far from something exciting to do nearby. You can find many of Abu Dhabi’s key attractions within close proximity of the hotel including the Corniche, Ferrari World and Yas Island where you can find Yas Mall and Yas Waterworld. Within the hotel, there is also plenty to do including two outdoor swimming pools which are both lined with sun loungers and the Heavenly Spa where you can choose from a range of health and beauty treatments. When it comes to food and drink, you could never be bored or go hungry at the Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort and Spa as there are five different restaurants. The Fairways Restaurant serves a delightful international buffet menu and for fine dining, you can venture to the Sacci Restaurant which serves the finest authentic Italian cuisine. The Lemon and Lime Restaurant is well-known for its delicious brunch and tapas-style cuisine. Whatever you are looking for from your next dining experience, this hotel has everything that you could possibly need or want. Each of the hotel’s guest rooms is beautifully appointed and are equipped with all of the facilities and amenities that you would expect from a hotel of this standard including a flat screen TV, a private balcony and a Nespresso coffee machine. The Westin Abu Dhabi Golf and Resort Hotel boasts excellent leisure facilities, a brilliant location and beautiful guestrooms, look no further than this great hotel for your next golf escape.

Casa Velha do Palheiro is a stunning five-star golf resort situated in Madeira next to the famous Palheiro Gardens. Within the hotel’s grounds, you can find a heated swimming pool as well as a sauna, steam room and a full spa within which you can choose from a range of treatments. There are some sporting facilities including a tennis court as well as croquet and billiards available. The hotel boasts its own private motor yacht “Balancal” which is available for coastal cruises, swimming, dolphin and whale watching as well as deep sea big game fishing. This yacht can be found at Funchal marina which Is easily reached via the free shuttle bus from the hotel. From the hotel, you can also enjoy direct access to the stunning Palheiro Golf Course with reserved tee times from the halfway house which is just a short stroll from the gate. The golf course was designed by Cabell Robinson and opened for play in 1994. Two-thirds of the course lies within a pine forest and botanical woodland, the fairways are very generous. Although the course is not very long, there are some very difficult bunkers to negotiate and many of the greens are both raised and small. This course is a brilliant course which provides players with a stern but fair test of golf. This beautiful hotel and the stunning golf course are the perfect pair for your next golf break to Madeira.

For those looking to enjoy delicious cuisine and fine wines, we would heavily recommend a golf escape to the city of Murcia. The Murcia region lies in the South East corner of Spain between Andalucía and Valencia and often boasts more than 3,000 hours of sunshine a year with very mild temperatures year-round. You can enjoy easy access through most of the UK’s regional airports making this a popular destination for both short breaks and long, relaxing holidays. There are 12 golf courses already open in the region with more than 30 currently under construction. It is fair to say that this will soon become one of the most popular golfing regions in Europe and it isn’t hard to see why. There are some fantastic resorts which boast facilities for both golfers and non-golfers. The city of Murcia serves some of the best food in Spain, you can find an abundance of tapas bars but there are some great historical and cultural sights to enjoy, too. There is the cathedral on Plaza del Cardenal Belluga, the Casino on Calle de la Traperia and the convent of Santa Clara la Real. In the evenings, before your meal, enjoy a walk down the elegant riverside Paseo del Malecon before watching the sun go down from the Glorieta de Espana square. In the Plaza San Juan, you can then find an array of tapas bars to complete your evening adventure. This is a beautiful city and you can enjoy some of the great golf within the region whilst soaking up everything that this city has to offer in terms of delicious food, stunning wines and interesting architecture.

Situated on the captivating island of La Gomera is Hotel Jardin Tecina. This hotel stands complete with stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean and of the neighbouring island of Tenerife. The resort is perched on top of the village where you can find an array of great bars and restaurants as well as the beach. The resort is situated amongst over 70,000 square metres of lush greenery where you can find over 50 different species of plants and flowers from all over the world. From the resort, you can enjoy direct access to the fishing village of Playa de Santiago where you can find some great bars and restaurants. Alternatively, you can choose to dine within the hotel where you will find a daily buffet on offer within the main restaurant or great Spanish and Canary cuisine served within the Tasca Fandango. There are all five bars within the resort, including the terrace bar from which you can enjoy breath-taking views of the hotel’s scenery. Each of the guestrooms within the hotel boasts its own private balcony or terrace from which you can enjoy garden or sea views depending on your room’s position. The rooms are also appointed with all of the facilities and amenities that you could expect from a hotel of this standard including Wi-Fi, a well-stocked minibar and a satellite TV. During the day, if you are not exploring the village or taking on the challenge that is Tecina Golf, you can spend your time relaxing around one of the five different pool areas or enjoy the sporting facilities. There is also a great spa in which you can opt to purchase a massage or facial. This is a superb hotel with wonderful facilities and a stunning location, look no further than Hotel Jardin Tecina for your next golf escape.

Situated in the heart of the Alt Emporda region is the five-star Hotel Peralada Wine Spa and Golf. The hotel is nestled in the midst of one of the Costa Brava’s favourite golf courses – the Golf Club Peralada. Whilst you are here, you are just a short drive from the bet beaches in the Costa Brava. This hotel is perfect for golfers who are partial to an excellent wine due to the hotel’s position situated in the heart of the well-known Peralada wine estate. Besides from the great wine and golf, you can find a wide range of leisure activities within the resort including the outdoor swimming pool, the wine spa where you can choose from a range of treatments which use products sourced from its own wine vineyard. Within the spa, there is a jacuzzi, a sauna and an indoor swimming pool. As the hotel is a small, boutique hotel, there are just 64 guestrooms. Each of them is beautifully furnished and equipped with all of the modern essentials that guests may need in order to make the most of their stay. These essentials including air conditioning, Wi-Fi and a plasma screen TV. Due to the hotel’s position, you can venture into the village to enjoy a meal but, there is the excellent Restaurant l’Olivera which is the ideal setting for those looking for a great evening meal partnered with stunning views over the golf course. The Hotel Peralada is a beautiful hotel, perfect for a luxurious and relaxing golf escape to Girona.

Last, but certainly not least, we recommend the five-star Movenpick Hotel Mansour Eddahbi Marrakech for those looking for the chance to explore the wonderful city of Marrakech whilst enjoying some excellent golf. The resort is set in the popular Hivernage district of Marrakech in the centre of the city, just a short walk to many historic monuments and the main market square. There is no way that anyone could ever find themselves with a lack of things to do and see whilst staying here. Whether you are out exploring the city’s souks and historical monuments or taking on one of the challenging golf courses situated nearby, you will always find yourself doing something enjoyable here. For those looking to relax as well as explore, the resort offers a luxurious poolside setting as well as a spacious spa. You can enjoy a full spa programme including a range of treatments within the O de Rose spa and yoga studio. Of course, due to the hotel’s wonderful location, you can venture into the market square to find somewhere excellent to eat, however, you can also stay within the hotel. The resort boasts numerous restaurants within which you can indulge in traditional Moroccan dining. There is also the Marcelona Restaurant which serves a delicious Catalan and Spanish menu. Each of the hotel’s guestrooms is decorated in a contemporary Moroccan fashion and all of them boasts a flat-screen TV, complimentary Wi-Fi, bathrobes, slippers and a private balcony from which you can enjoy the Moroccan sun and beautiful views. This hotel offers its guests the chance to explore this fantastic city as well as the nearby golf. Look no further than the Movenpick Hotel Mansour Eddahbi Marrakech for your next golf holiday.

We hope that you have enjoyed this week’s blogs and that one of these seven fantastic options may be what you are looking for from your next golf escape with a twist…

www.golf-escapes.com

After the glare of a sunlit day, I try to block the evening sun by sitting behind the wrought iron work – just a little, the dust motes dancing in our little space, the cushions plumped behind our backs as we sit sheltered from an evening breeze up on the terrace; a bottle of red wine from Casablanca, fiery olives and breadsticks to soak it up being devoured by us four. Mohammed told of his people, the politics, the poor, the king and we told a little of our land. Shared humanity, shared laughter, breaking the bread.
Back down the marble staircase, polished to a shine with the local ‘black soap’ made from the olive trees, back to the ‘Geranium’ room.
Then I hear the call to prayer and, compelled, I climb again to the rooftop. Against a now lavender and lemon sky four, no, five voices compete in the air across the tiled roofs for attention. Haunting, mystical and timeless, declaring God is great, who can argue with that, on an evening such as this. The swifts feel they can do better, their little cries are drowned but still they swoop, supper on the wing, the cries building to a crescendo and I see the dive bombing as they expel a bird of prey from their piece of sky territory.


I want to tell of the day, the things we have seen, roads leading to the Mosque lined with trees dripping marmalade oranges, the water sellers with their huge bell jingling hats, ornate carvings on the arches and ceilings of the Bahia Palace, the concubine’s quarters, twenty four of them, the square where slaves were traded, the metallic flare and grind from the blacksmiths souk, the four pairs of babouche I haggled for, the pungent smell of spices now tucked away within my clothes. I’ll try to take your hand and lead you through souks and the medina where there is everything for sale that you must have heard of; leather, jewellery, clothes, food, baskets of cactus flowers, bright carpets hanging from wide ropes and slung across stone walls, glaring sun copper and moonshine silver, yarns of dripping wool drying above our heads, an assault and a shaking joy. I’ll lead you swiftly past the snake charmers, the monkeys on chains, the skinny cats, the weary mules pulling heavily laden wagons through the alleyways. I can try to tie a silk pashmina across your nose to reduce the pollution from the hundreds of mopeds skimming our ankles, but then I would be depriving you of this experience which makes us alive. I’m tired, just footsore and weary, so I’ll tell you of it all, the food we’ve eaten, the people we’ve met, the beggars we’ve shed our tears for, the beauty of this place – I’ll tell you all – another time. When my mind is a little stiller, my heart a little less  full and when I have yet more to tell, but now I go to slip between crisp white cotton sheets, curling around my newly made memories with my loved ones, and await the call to prayer as the sun rises again above the sandstone rooftops. Sweet dreams.

After the tranquillity of the riad, another mad dangerous taxi ride through the centre of the city where there are no discernible rules, the cars and the motorbikes, the donkeys and the mules, the old man and the sleek black taxis cut across our path, honking, swerving, stopping, starting until we reach the Majorelle gardens where the long queue is made so much shorter by our chat with a globetrotting pair of Canadians. We pass giant massed cacti in every design of nature, some proudly sprouting bright yellow bulbous flowers, past groves of thick bamboo standing next to towering palms and banana plants. We have lunch in the gorgeous courtyard restaurant: thick spicy soup, the ubiquitous bread and sticky almond tarts, bougainvillaea and jasmine spilling over the balustrades. Yves St Lauren once owned this garden and had splashed his colours and design upon the paths, the walls, the rills, and the giant urns outside the stuccoed ‘garden rooms’
As we venture out for an evening meal we crane our necks to watch dozens of vultures circling their supper out on the dusty plains of the low Atlas mountains. We’re just meandering through the dusty alleyways feeding the stray cats along the way, greeting the police and the sellers, – back from a fabulous restaurant where the banana trees rise from the floor where they’d nestled by a lighted pool, – through a skylight to the roof terrace two storeys above. We’ve had coffee and the little sweet honey cakes, tucked beneath a blanket, high above the city with the lighted minarets competing against a clear full moon. We’re sated and chilly, drunk on the atmosphere when a mule comes spinning around the corner, picks up a fast trot, eager for his supper, trailing a huge wooden cart full of the day’s collected garbage. One experience to the other! -Katie and I are quite overwhelmed; it’s taken only two days for us to fall in love with Marrakech!

By now Simon, with the help of Google tracker is confident he can lead us back to the souks, but first, we find The Secret Garden, restored to the original design of over one hundred years ago. Another cacti garden, this time next to jacaranda trees and a pool where terrapins climb upon the stones to sunbathe. A typical Islamic garden with water courses, gurgling colourful tiled water features, draped pavilions and more of those exotic doorways and arches through which one expects to find a belly dancer or sultan on his throne. We drink in the heady scent of the clipped rosemary bushes and the wavy bee soaked lavender before we climb yet another of the smooth staircases that you can’t help but stroke on your way up, and down until we sit with coffee overlooking the peace amidst the bustling city outside its walls.

Two wrong turns, three, then only four before we’re where we want to be: lunch on a high terrace overlooking the ‘slave square’ where young boys and women preside over mountains of knitted hats and baskets of every colour. Handmade wooden kitchen utensils, handmade most things, the square lined with cafes and spice shops spilling their pungency across the dusty street.

Lugging our hard bartered for goods (we were fair, there’s been no aggressive selling here) -we just have time for a rest, a shower and tea of course before we’re collected and driven for thirty minutes outside the city where we see a ‘Berber fort’ against a quickening red horizon. We can’t quite work out what this is, the ‘Fantasia show’ sounding cheap, tacky, but oh no, the tribal music, the dancing, the smoky sandalwood fires roaring in braziers transports us to an older time. I feet the lump in my throat and a smart in my eyes that has nothing to do with the smoke. Marquees made as Berber tents set amid high walls around a hard packed dirt arena. The meal is chunks of oily delicious lamb and towering chicken tagines served by waiters in traditional dress, followed by fresh fruit then mint tea poured from high.

We sit around the vast arena and find we’re holding our breath. We know something special is about to happen. Over three hundred people are quiet and we can hear the horses snorting and stamping, just make out the white of the Berber horsemen’s shirts, the dust spattered shine of their boots as the thunder of the hooves start, racing before us, rifles aloft and with an ear-splitting BANG! they are discharged. The air is thick with blue smoke, some women are screaming, not us. Then in quick succession sleek muscled horses gallop not a meter in front, their riders performing the skills of their ancestors. This night I will never forget.  

Some last moments up on the roof in the cold light of a new day, one last  stroll past the man turning honey spoons on a hand lathe steadied with his toes, one last haggle for a camel leather backpack, one last goodbye, Stirling changed for Dirham to press into the hands that have welcomed and looked after us before we are collected to make our way through the white and glass modern design of the airport, bathed in sunlight. We turn to each other, my daughter and I know that we will be back.

The Movenpick Mansour Eddahbi Marrakech is a fantastic five-star hotel situated in the Hivernage district of Marrakech. The hotel boasts a fantastic location just a short walk from many historical monuments including the Koutoubia Mosque as well as the main market square where you can find an array of souks.

The resort boasts spacious guest rooms which are beautifully decorated and are all appointed with the amenities and facilities that you would expect from a hotel of this standard. Amenities include free Wi-Fi and a private balcony from which you can enjoy lovely views of the hotel’s surroundings.

During the day, whilst you are not taking on one of the challenging local golf courses, you can spend time relaxing around the hotel’s pool or in the spa.

You can find numerous restaurants within the resort (five to be exact) which all boast fantastic traditional Moroccan and international dishes.

If you are looking for a relaxing golf escape to Marrakech, where you will have opportunity to play courses like The Montgomerie Marrakech and Tony Jacklin Signature Course as well as explore the delights that Marrakech has to offer – look no further!

This week’s blog is a guide to the seven best all-inclusive golf breaks that we have. Each of these resorts offers excellent leisure facilities, excellent golf and excellent food and drink. The great thing about going on an all-inclusive golf break is that you can eat and drink as much as you like without having to worry about a budget as everything is prepaid. It is often the best way to travel if you are going with a group or on a tight budget as no one will need to worry once you are there! Take a closer look at one of the following resorts for your next all-inclusive golf holiday…

 

Sueno Hotels Golf Belek is a brilliant five-star golf hotel situated in the heart of Belek. It is no surprise that we have requests for golfers to go back to this hotel year upon year due to its great golf, stunning location and lovely food and drink. The hotel boasts everything that you could possibly need or want in order to have a great golf break to Turkey.

Within the local area, you can find an array of great golf courses including the two Sueno golf courses which are on-site of the hotel – Sueno Dunes and Sueno Pines. The great thing about the location of this hotel is that you can enjoy great golf as well as the beautiful beach which is just a five-minute walk from the entrance of the hotel – you can enjoy a free shuttle service down to the beach from the hotel’s entrance.

The guestrooms are all beautifully furnished and are all fully-equipped with everything that you could need or want in order to make the most of your stay here. The rooms include either a private balcony or terrace from which you can enjoy beautiful views of the hotel’s surroundings. There is also a flat-screen TV, air conditioning and a large ensuite within each of the rooms. During the day, spend time relaxing around the pool or enjoying the hotel’s beach club where you can find hammocks and a pier jutting out into the Mediterranean with its own bar and sun loungers. The hotel also features a great spa where you can opt for a range of different health and beauty treatments.

Of course, one of the most important things to consider when you are travelling all-inclusive is the food and drink options. The hotel’s main buffet restaurant serves a wide range of food that you can enjoy out on the terrace or within the airconditioned restaurant. Alternatively, you can find the Birdie Bar at the golf club which features its own outdoor terrace. There are a few a la carte restaurants which you can book during your stay for a small extra charge. Sueno Hotels Golf Belek is a fantastic option for your next all-inclusive golf holiday to Turkey.

 

Also situated in Belek is the five-star Cornelia Diamond Golf Resort and Spa. The hotel, like most of the other Belek hotels, is situated on top of a long stretch of beach. There is no doubting that this is one of the most luxurious hotels in this area with high levels of service, brilliant facilities and fantastic golf at the neighbouring Cornelia Faldo golf course.

During your stay, you can enjoy the fantastic array of leisure facilities that you can find within the hotel. These facilities include aerobics, table tennis and tennis, you can also find ten different outdoor swimming pools as well as an indoor pool to relax around. If you are looking for relaxation, you can enjoy the hotel’s large spa where you can enjoy the sauna, Turkish baths or opt for a treatment. Alternatively, of course, you can choose to make the most of the discounted green fees and free shuttle service to the fantastic Cornelia Faldo golf course.

There is a range of room options at the Cornelia Diamond but all of them are very luxurious. If you are travelling as a family, you can opt for a swim-up family room which is interconnected by a swimming pool which guests have direct access to from the room. All of the rooms come with a satellite TV, air conditioning, a spacious ensuite bathroom and a private balcony or terrace.

In terms of food and drink, you are truly spoilt for choice here. There are four a la carte restaurants during the winter months and eight during the summer season. There are also eight different bars – with one of them being open 24 hours a day! Look no further than the Cornelia Diamond Golf Resort and Spa for your next all-inclusive golf escape.

 

Another one of our best all-inclusive hotels is also situated in Belek, the Sirene Belek Hotel is one of the most popular hotels in Belek and offers true five-star accommodation as well as excellent golfing options at the Pasha and Sultan golf courses.

Much like the other hotels in Belek, the Sirene backs onto the 16km long Blue Flag Belek Beach. The hotel boasts its own pier with sun loungers, parasols and a bar to relax on! Besides from relaxing at the beach club, you can enjoy the other leisure facilities including an outdoor Olympic-sized swimming pool, an indoor pool and an aqua park. There are also a variety of sports to enjoy including tennis, water sports and volleyball.

The hotel boasts an impressive five restaurants including an adults-only seafood restaurant, a large buffet restaurant and an a la carte Italian restaurant. In the evenings, you can head to the Hoope bar where you can enjoy a wide range of beverages. This is a fantastic hotel with a wide range of leisure activities and beautifully furnished guest rooms as well as a great all-inclusive option.

 

The Pestana Delfim is situated just a few minutes’ stroll from Alvor’s golden beach and just a couple of kilometres from the centre of Alvor. This hotel is the perfect base from which you can enjoy the many golf courses situated in the local area, including Pinta, Gramacho, Vila Sol, Silves and Alto.

In the town of Alvor, you can find a wide range of cafes, bars, restaurants and shops which means that you could choose to eat out easily. However, the hotel offers a brilliant all-inclusive option. Breakfast is served within the hotel’s buffet restaurant where you can find a delicious spread of food that can be enjoyed out on the garden terrace during the summer months. There are three bars within the hotel including a pool bar and the Toucan Bar where you can find evening entertainment.

During the day, whilst you are not spending time on one of the many great golf courses in the area, you can lounge around the pool or on the beach or take advantage of the many leisure facilities. These facilities include the fully-equipped fitness centre, water sports and private tennis courts.

Each of the guestrooms is beautifully decorated and boasts all of the facilities and amenities that you would expect from a hotel of this standard including large ensuite bathrooms, complimentary Wi-Fi, satellite TVs and air conditioning.

Situated just 45 minutes’ drive from Faro airport in a desirable location, with plenty of leisure facilities and a stunning beach and town nearby, look no further for your next golf break than Pestana Delfim.

 

Situated on the Costa de la Luz Cadiz is the five-star Fairplay Golf and Spa Resort. You can enjoy spectacular views of the rolling countryside as you enter the hotel and it doesn’t get any less luxurious. The accommodation at the hotel resembles a typical Andalusian white village with 134 spacious guestrooms and suites which are all decorated in traditional Spanish décor. You are situated on the outskirts of Benalup in a rural part of Spain, you can find a host of restaurants and bars which are worth exploring when you are not enjoying the food and drink within the hotel!

Within the resort, you can find outdoor swimming pools, a comprehensive spa facility, a fitness centre, tennis courts and the fantastic Fairplay Golf Club. Within the spa, you can find Jacuzzis, saunas, a Turkish bath and a solarium, there is a supplement or entrance into the spa, but it is worth enjoying a spa day during your stay.

The hotel boasts a great all-inclusive option, you can enjoy international and local cuisine within the Mar de Campo Restaurant, a buffet-style menu at Acebushes and a barbeque by the pool at Atalaya. There is also a lovely eatery overlooking the 9th hole at Hoyo 19 Restaurant. Fairplay Golf and Spa Resort is a luxurious golf resort which can offer you an unforgettable and exclusive experience for your next golf holiday to the Costa de la Luz.

 

The four-star Iberostar Founty Beach is located on the shore of Agadir beach in Morocco. Here, you can enjoy nine kilometres of unspoilt coastline as well as everything else the hotel hías to offer you. The hotel is situated just a few kilometres from the majestic city of Agadir making it the perfect location for your next golfing getaway to Morocco.

You can easily venture out into the city where you can find out more about the Moroccan culture. During the day, you can relax on the beach or explore the local bars and restaurants or the souks. Of course, due to its location, you are close to a few great golf courses including Golf de L’Ocean, Golf du Soleil and Golf Les Dunes.

Each of the 470 guestrooms within the hotel is comfortable and spacious and fitted with everything that you could need in order to fully enjoy your stay. The rooms all feature their own private balcony or terrace as well as air conditioning, satellite TV, free Wi-Fi and a large ensuite bathroom.

You can find a wide array of leisure facilities and activities within the hotel including several large outdoor pools, a spa, volleyball, basketball and a kid’s fun park. There is also the fully-equipped fitness centre if golf isn’t enough exercise for you!

Due to the hotel’s location, you can venture out for food, but there are excellent restaurants within the hotel. There are three modern restaurants which serve both local and international cuisine in an elegant setting, you can enjoy drinks at the Lobby Bar where there is live music. The Iberostar Founty Beach is a great hotel and one that allows you to explore the city of Agadir as well as stay within a luxurious resort.

 

Last, but certainly not least, is the Westin Puntacana Resort and Club in the Dominican Republic. This extensive golf resort is situated just a few steps away from the sands of Punta Cana. Whilst you are not relaxing on the beach or playing one of the local golf courses including La Cana Golf Course and Corales Golf Course, you can enjoy the hotel’s leisure facilities. These include an outdoor swimming pool, a gym, tennis courts, a large spa area and beautiful gardens.

The hotel features 200 spacious guest rooms which all feature air conditioning, a rain shower, a flat-screen TV, a minibar and either a private balcony or terrace from which you can enjoy stunning sea views.

As part of the hotel’s all-inclusive programme, they offer an abundance of restaurants for you to choose from. There are eight international restaurants as well as many bars and public areas for you to enjoy a few drinks within! This resort is perfect for those travelling as a group or a couple. Look no further for your next all-inclusive golf break than the Westin Puntacana Resort and Club.

We hope that you have enjoyed this week’s blog and that maybe one or more of these resorts has caught your eye. Whatever you are looking for from your next golf escape, we can definitely find something to suit yours and your group’s needs so make sure to give us a call today.

This week’s blog is a guide to the 7 best hotels with the best reviews. We all know that there is nothing more assuring than booking somewhere that is based upon a recommendation from someone else. Whether you are looking to travel with a partner, in a group or with your family, these hotels have been given excellent reviews both by us and by our clients at Golf Escapes. Take a look and see whether any of these could be where you choose to spend your next golf escape…

 

First up, we have the five-star Aphrodite Hills Hotel. This luxurious hotel is situated in the heart of the Aphrodite Hills Resort, right next to the PGA National Cyprus. Besides from the spectacular golf course, you can find a range of leisure facilities, entertainment options and brilliant service here. Not only can you find all of this onsite of the resort, but you can take the short trip into the resort of Paphos where you can find stunning beaches, a picturesque harbour and an array of restaurants and bars.

Each of the guest rooms within the hotel boasts beautiful views of the neighbouring golf course, the sea, the pool or the gardens. You can choose from a range of room options and upgrades including suites which have the option of interconnecting rooms and luxurious family suites which have private pools. Whilst you enjoy your stay, you can take advantage of the hotel’s leisure activities. These include the modern fitness centre, the tennis courts and a large pool area as well as the Retreat Spa. You can easily take the short trip into Paphos where you can find a variety of great bars and restaurants but, if you choose to remain within the hotel then you won’t be disappointed. There are three fantastic restaurants situated within the hotel. The main Eleonas Restaurants offers breakfast and a lunch buffet with themed evening dining. There is the Jasmine a la carte Restaurant which serves delicious Asian cuisine and the Fig and Olive Restaurant which serves authentic Mediterranean dishes. You can enjoy live entertainment and cocktails within the Carob Lounge in the evenings.  

The Aphrodite Hills Hotel is a fantastic hotel, perfect for your next golf escape to Cyprus, take our reviews seriously and take a further look at this hotel on our website!

 

Hotel Camiral at PGA Catalunya Resort is the ideal hotel for your next luxurious golf break in the heart of the Costa Brava. The hotel holds a worthy spot as a member of the Leading Hotels of the World. The hotel is onsite of the 36-hole PGA Catalunya golf complex making this a first-class golf resort situated in a beautiful area.

There are 145 guest rooms within the hotel, each of them is beautifully appointed and boasts all of the features that you would expect to find within a five-star resort, including complimentary Wi-Fi, a flat-screen TV and mood lighting. Like with most other brilliant hotels, you can opt for a room upgrade.

During your stay, you can enjoy a wide range of leisure activities within the resort. Whether you are a golfer or not, you can find plenty to do. There is a large, outdoor infinity swimming pool that you can relax around. There is also the hotel wellness centre where you can enjoy a range of health and beauty treatments or workout in the gym facilities. The main hotel’s restaurant, the 1477, serves delicious Mediterranean dishes with a Catalan twist, guests can enjoy their meal out on the terrace whilst they look over the Pyrenees mountains. After your meal, you can head to the Lounge Bar where you can enjoy a few beverages. For your next golf break to the Costa Brava, look no further than the beautiful Hotel Camiral.

 

Located in a perfect beachfront location in Messinia, Greece is the five-star Westin Resort Costa Navarino where you can find two excellent golf courses and a range of excellent facilities and leisure activities to enjoy. The design of the hotel was inspired by old Messinian mansions, the resort’s villa clusters boast natural stone and local design elements making them looks as if they are in perfect harmony with the sandy beach and the hillside landscape.

Each of the guest rooms within the hotel is decorated with contemporary furniture and are fully-equipped with all of the facilities that you could possibly need or want for your next golf escape including a well-stocked minibar, complimentary Wi-Fi and stunning views from your private balcony. During the day, spend time exploring the local beaches, treating yourself to a few treatments in the spa, enjoying the aqua park or take on one of the many exhilarating activities including hiking, cycling and water sports.

The hotel offers a great bed and breakfast package but there are over ten restaurants for you to choose from for your lunches and dinners. You can find everything from traditional Greek food to internationally themed eateries. There are also three bars and lounges that you can venture to for a few drinks and a signature cocktail. It is no surprise that this hotel has such brilliant reviews from our clients and staff, especially as there are two excellent golf courses onsite: The Dunes Course and The Bay Course. The Dunes was the first 18-hole signature-designed golf course in Greece and is widely regarded as one of the finest in Europe. Whether you are travelling with a family, a partner or a group – check this hotel out for your next golf break to Greece.

 

Monte Rei Golf and Country Club is situated amongst the stunning foothills, in between the mountain and the ocean. This is a villa-based resort and boasts everything that you could possibly need or want from your next golf escape – including rounds on Portugal’s top golf course. There is a range of self-catered luxury villas for guests to stay in, most of which are spacious three-bedroom villas. They have everything that you could need including large terraces with outdoor dining areas as well as other facilities including complimentary toiletries, air conditioning and complimentary Wi-Fi access.

Besides playing on the spectacular, Jack Nicklaus designed golf course, guests can use the private tennis courts, workout in the fitness centre or head to the resort’s spa where you can treat yourself to a range of health and beauty treatments. If you are travelling with children, there is a separate children’s pool as well as a few large swimming pools for adults.

Of course, the villas are equipped so that you can cook for yourselves, however, if you choose to, you can venture into the nearby towns where you will find cobbled streets, quaint tapas bars and other delights. If you fancy eating at the resort, you can head to one of the four excellent restaurants and bars onsite. The Grill Restaurant boasts a range of meals and light snacks which you can enjoy whilst soaking up the beautiful views of the Monte Rei Golf Course. This is a fantastic resort with so much to enjoy onsite, it also offers a fantastic self-catering option which can be good if you are looking to enjoy your holiday on a budget!

 

Dolce Campo Real Golf Resort and Spa is a stunning five-star hotel set within the Portuguese countryside, surrounded by vineyards and beautiful villages.  This is a popular golfing resort and it isn’t hard to see why! The resort is situated just 30 minutes’ drive outside of Lisbon and the airport and boasts the 18-hole Campo Real golf course, tennis courts, extensive spa facilities and a wide range of restaurants and other leisure facilities. Close by to the resort, you can visit the Silver Coast and even venture into Lisbon and its surrounding towns.

The resort boasts individually decorated rooms which feature either courtyard or golf views. There are three restaurants on-site which provide a good range of choice as well as two bars – one of which is a great pool bar.

Of course, the best thing about this resort is the Campo Real golf course, the course opened for play in 2005 and boasts a range of exciting challenges, tight driving holes, undulating fairways and small greens. The front nine in particular, are a stern test of golf. After your round, enjoy a few drinks in the modern clubhouse where you can enjoy panoramic views of the course. Another great thing about this resort is that you can also play the likes of Royal Obidos and Bom Sucesso.

Dolce Campo Real Golf Resort and Spa is a highly-rated property – perfect for your next golf break to Lisbon.

 

Intercontinental Mar Menor is a great option for those looking for a luxury golf escape to Murcia. The hotel boasts a range of brilliant facilities, excellent service and the prestigious Mar Menor golf course, as well as easy access to some other fantastic golf courses nearby to the resort. This is a convenient resort to choose as it is just 15- minutes’ drive from Murcia Airport which means that even if you are looking for a short break, you can easily make this your destination.

Each of the 64 guest rooms is lavishly decorated with modern furnishings and great private balconies or terraces from which you can enjoy beautiful views of the hotel’s surroundings. You can opt for an upgrade here as there are a variety of room options within this boutique-like hotel.

Throughout your stay, you can make use of the excellent leisure facilities within the resort, these include a large outdoor swimming pool, an indoor swimming pool in the hotel’s spa and a Kid’s Club as well as tennis courts and a fully-equipped fitness centre.

For dining, you can find an excellent range of restaurants and bars from the Mizu Japanese Restaurant to the Fontana di Pietra Italian Restaurant. This hotel offers all of its guests an unforgettable golf escape – make sure to check this hotel out if you are looking for a luxurious holiday.

 

Last, but certainly not least, the five-star Palacio Estoril Hotel Golf and Spa is located in the heart of the exclusive resort of Estoril, adjacent to the Casino and just a stone’s throw from the stunning sandy beach. Each of the rooms within the hotel is beautifully decorated in traditional Portuguese style. The rooms are fitted with every comfort including a spacious work area and a flat-screen TV as well as luxury amenities.

You can indulge in the hotel’s spa which boasts a sauna, a Turkish bath, massage and beauty treatments as well as a hot tub and an indoor pool. For dining options, you can enjoy The Grill Four Seasons’ international specialities in a sophisticated atmosphere. You can also dine in style on the Bougainvillea Terrace. After dinner, you can enjoy relaxing in Bar Estoril which boasts a charming atmosphere and a variety of drinks to choose from.

The prestigious Golf do Estoril is situated onsite of the resort. This course has stood the test of time and stands today as one of the most enjoyable golfing experiences in Portugal. The course comprises of a fairly straightforward layout but features very narrow fairways and undulating landscape which can pose a challenge to even the most discerning golfer. Look no further than Palacio Estoril Hotel Golf and Spa for your next golf escape to Lisbon.

 

We hope that you have enjoyed this week’s blog and that you will give us a call to talk through what you are looking for from your next golf escape. Don’t forget that we can tailor make any golf escape to fit you and your party’s requirements!

This week’s blog is a guide to nine of the best golf courses in Murcia. The Murcia region sits in the South East corner of Spain and boasts more than 3,000 hours of sunshine each year as well as mild temperatures even in the winter months. There are many golf courses already open for play in Murcia and there are lots more currently being developed. There are several beautiful resorts for you to relax in and brilliant golf courses for you to enjoy. During the month of March, if you book any golf escape with us to Murcia, you can receive half-price return golf club carriage on any flight from the UK to either Murcia International Airport (RMU) or Alicante Airport (ALC). Take a look at some of these courses and choose which are going to make your itinerary this year…

La Manga Resort is one of the top golf resorts in Southern Spain due to its brilliant golf courses, beautiful scenery and excellent accommodation. The La Manga West course is known for being a stern test of golf, for its unique par 3s along the course and its undulating fairway. With blind spots, strategically placed hazards and fast greens, this course keeps its players on their toes. The front nine and the back nine of this course contrast beautifully both in difficulty and characteristics. The front nine are considered to be more challenging than the back nine due to the right greens that demand accuracy in drives in order to avoid the barrancos! The back nine are situated in an elevated position up in the hills with beautiful open greens. Do not be fooled by the fact that the course measures only just beyond 5,700 metres as it really is a challenging one.

Arguably, the signature hole on the course is the concluding 18th. The hole is set in an elevated position and you must make a steep climb up to the green, you will find the tee located on top of a small mountain elevated just above the fairway. On this hole, you can enjoy the most beautiful views across the entire golf course, over La Manga Resort and the surrounding countryside and coast. This is a very special round of golf with an invigorating challenge and breath-taking scenery. With immaculate greens all year round and all of the aforementioned features, you would be silly to pass up on a round here.

 

Next, we have La Manga South which has played host to the Spanish Open five times. The course measures an impressive 6,500 metres from the white tees and poses a stern test of golf that can be appreciated and enjoyed by those of all abilities. It isn’t just the length that poses a challenge but each of the strategically placed hazards, water hazards and palm tree-lined fairways that can damage your scorecard.

The course boasts an idyllic setting in the centre of a valley and each of the greens and fairways is beautifully manicured. The front nine holes are considered to be the more challenging holes due to the length of the holes and an array of different hazards to contend with. Although the back nine are shorter, they still prove to be a stern test of golf to those of all abilities. The course boasts some challenging par 3s along the course which are over 200 metres long as well as some tough, long par 4s which feature difficult doglegs. Once you reach the greens, they are fairly forgiving but you must be long off the back tees and accurate if you are hoping to score well on this course. Arguably, the signature hole on this course is the finishing 18th. On this hole, you will have to navigate your way around multiple bunkers and water hazards in order to reach the well-protected green.

 

El Valle Golf Resort is one of the Nicklaus designed course situated in the Murcia region just 30 minutes’ drive from San Javier airport. The course opened in 2007 and has since won many awards for being a spectacular round of golf. The course is situated in a valley of natural desert and its fairways curve around the mountain range. El Valle is not an overly long or short course at 6,990 yards from the back tees, but it boasts many elaborately sculpted bunkers and three large lakes to test your accuracy as you make your way around the course.

You must not be distracted by the course’s beautiful scenery as there are a number of crowned greens which are surrounded by large, mown chipping areas so you have a variety of short-game options around the greens. There are also smaller, more subtly shaped bunkers which are all lying in wait for any errant shots you may hit. After your round, enjoy a drink and a meal within the clubhouse whilst you reminisce over your round and enjoy stunning views over the course. With a stunning setting and an interesting layout, make sure that El Valle is on your radar for your next golf break.

 

Another suggestion from us for your next golf holiday to Murcia is Hacienda Riquelme golf course which opened for play in 2008 as part of the Nicklaus Golf Trail. The same as El Valle, the course stretches to 6,990 yards from the back tees and can provide golfers of all abilities with an excellent and exciting round of golf. The course is nestled in the heart of a desert valley and boasts an idyllic landscape for you to enjoy whilst making your way around the course. Also much like El Valle, it is just 20 minutes’ drive from San Javier making it positioned perfectly for a golf weekend or a longer break.

Many of the natural features of the land have been incorporated into the course so it really blends in with its surroundings. Even though the course is not especially long, it boasts wide fairways and open greens which make it seem longer than it is. However, with these wide fairways, golfers should not be complacent as there are still many challenges for you to contend with throughout the round. The course routes its way in and out of olive groves, wildflower meadows and huge lakes and although you have space to manoeuvre, you still must be careful. This is a fantastic round of golf and is one that can be paired beautifully for a golf break with a stay at Intercontinental Mar Menor and other golf courses in the area.

 

The Roda Golf Course is widely considered to be one of the best courses in Murcia. The course was designed by Dave Thomas and you are guaranteed to enjoy your round here. The course is situated just a mile from the nearby beach resort of Los Alcazares and just five minutes’ drive from Murcia Airport. Roda Golf boasts a parkland layout which beautifully incorporates many of the landscape/s natural features in order to create this fantastic golf course. The greens are undulating, there are many strategically placed bunkers and often, there is the sea breeze in play, all of these features combine to create a challenging but exciting round of golf.

A lovely feature about this course is that although the greens are undulating, the fairways are fairly flat which means that golf buggies are not often required so you can enjoy the beautiful scenery on foot. The signature hole of the course is the par 3 7th which is without a doubt, the most scenic hole of the course and also one of the most difficult even though it only measures 174 metres long. The hole’s green is an island surrounded by water and you must use a medium of short iron in order to score well here. The Roda Golf Course is a brilliant and beautiful holiday course which is why it made our list of recommendations for your next golf break to Murcia.

 

Lo Romero Golf is up next; this course boasts a stunning location set within an orange and lemon orchard just a short distance from the beach. This course has been widely labelled as the “golf island” and it isn’t really surprising due to the layout of this special course. The course measures just over 6,000 metres from the yellow tees and spans its way across a beautiful and tranquil landscape. This secluded course means that you can enjoy your round in peace and really soak up the surroundings of this course and enjoy an unforgettable round of golf.

The course boasts an elevated position which means that you can experience sweeping views of the surrounding orchards throughout the round. This course is not especially long but it is brilliant for both amateurs and experienced players due to the range of tee boxes that you can choose from. However, it is a challenging but fair course characterised by wide fairways and many strategically placed bunkers. Due to its seaside location, it is not rare for there to be a sea breeze in play either which can add to the challenge. This is a unique golf course with breath-taking landscape and many distinctive holes – make sure to add this course to your list of must-play courses.

 

Hacienda del Alamo is a new course in the Murcia region as it only opened for play in 2016, this Dave Thomas designed course is a pristine golfing oasis which is surrounded by beautiful natural landscape and poses a stern challenge of golf to those of all abilities. The course stretches to over 7,400 yards from the back tees which makes it one of the longest courses in Spain. The fairways of the course wind their way through almond and olive groves and they feature several water hazards along the way. Although due to its length, you must hit long shots, you must also be accurate as there is some stern rough lying in wait for any errant shots from the tee.

The first nine holes of the course are fairly straightforward but feature many bunkers to contend with. The back nine pose more of a challenge as there are more undulating fairways and much smaller greens for you to tackle. The signature hole of the course is the par 5 18th which takes you up towards the elegant clubhouse and boasts a water feature on the left flank of the green. This is a brilliant round of golf and it is well worth the drive that you must take into rural Murcia to reach this course.

 

The Alhama Signature Course is also known as the Condado de Alhama Golf Course and is a brilliant 18-hole golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus. The course only opened in 2009 and has already established itself as being one of the best courses in the region of Murcia and it isn’t hard to see why! The course is a little further away from San Javier Airport than the other Nicklaus designed ones but is still within easy access of the airport making it a perfect holiday course.

The course is set within beautiful landscapes and features the Sierra Espuna mountains as a dramatic backdrop to the course. The natural features of the land have been subtly incorporated into the design of this course, meaning that the greens are lined with pine trees as well as esparto grasses and herbs making for a brilliant and fragrant round of golf. Similar to other Jack Nicklaus designed courses, there are many strategically placed bunkers lying in wait for any errant shots. The course stretches to over 7,500 yards from the back tees and poses a stern challenge to golfers of all abilities. Not only are there 116 sand-filled bunkers but there are four lakes strategically dotted across the course so you must anticipate a challenge at every turn on this course. Of course, along with the challenges come stunning views across the rustic countryside of Murcia – it isn’t hard to see why this course has gained a reputation for being one of the most attractive courses in all of Spain. With stunning scenery and an interesting layout, add Alhama Signature Course to your itinerary for your next golf escape.

 

Last, but certainly not least, we have Golf Altorreal which was designed by the world-renowned architect, Dave Thomas. The course opened for play in 1994 and is still recognised today as being one of Murcia’s most challenging golf courses. The parkland course is situated in the picturesque Murcia mountains and boasts perfectly manicured greens and excellent practice facilities. Much of the natural fauna and flora of the landscape has been incorporated beautifully into the design of the course to create a classically beautiful Spanish landscape. There are also many pine trees, olive groves and carob trees along the course.

Each of the 18 holes poses a different challenge due to the different features of each hole. On this round, you will use every club in your bag! Although the course is a long one, you need to be accurate and strategic in order to navigate your way around the tight fairways and finish the round with a good scorecard. The most challenging hole of the course is the strong par 5 6th hole which measures 540 metres from the white tees. You must hit an accurate tee shot in order to avoid the tricky lake which lies to the left of the green. However, if you hit too far to the right, you will find the out of bounds area. For a brilliant round of golf, look no further than Golf Altorreal.

 

We hope that you have enjoyed this week’s blog and that some of these courses have taken your fancy for your next golf escape to Murcia. If you need further reasons to book now then for a limited time only you can take advantage of our half-price golf carriage promotion in order to get yourself an even better offer. This deal is only available for a limited time so be sure to contact us for more details before it’s too late.

 

This week’s blog is a guide to the top nine courses in Morocco. These courses are all excellent with brilliant facilities. Nearby to the courses, you can find luxurious and brilliant resorts for you to stay within whilst you explore the best golf, culture and food that this country has to offer.

 

Mazagan is a world-class golf club and despite only opening in 2009, has already established itself as one of the most prestigious courses in Morocco. The course was designed by Gary Player and is definitely not a disappointment. A round of golf here is unforgettable and is an exciting challenge for golfers of all handicaps as there are multiple tee boxes for players to choose from. The course boasts a stunning layout which lies across the coast next to the Mazagan Hotel and adjacent to a stretch of beautiful, golden sands. You can enjoy fantastic, panoramic views from most points along the course.

The signature hole of the Mazagan is arguably the 6th hole which is a par 4, 440-yard hole. You play a majority of the hole uphill where you must dedicate all of your attention to the hole if you are to score well. You must not be distracted by the stunning views of the ocean as the ocean breeze can take you by surprise on this hole. Your tee shot must be carried across sand dunes in order to reach the fairway where you must navigate your way around four strategically placed bunkers. Your approach shot is a long one to a raised green which is lined with three deep bunkers! Many of the holes around the course are as challenging as this one but for those with higher handicaps, they can enjoy the fact that many of the fairways are very wide! This is an excellent holiday course and paired with the Mazagan Beach Resort it makes the ideal golf escape to Morocco.

 

The 36-hole complex of Golf du Soleil was designed by Fernando Muella and Gerard Courbin and sits deep within the heart of a eucalyptus forest. The course boasts a range of hard to navigate hazards including large water features and many strategically placed bunkers. This is a very prestigious golf course which is evident from the course due to its perfectly manicured greens and beautiful setting. The complex boasts the Tikida course and the Championship course.

The Tikida course boasts a parkland feel and boasts much African vegetation. The course features many water hazards and unique holes making a round here very memorable. The 7th and 8th holes are particularly impressive due to their strategically placed water hazards!

 

The Championship course has played host to many tournaments including the Ladies European Tour in 2011 and EPD Tour. With spacious bunkers, large water hazards and stunning views, this is a challenging but scenic course! This is the more challenging of the two courses and measures an impressive 5,976 metres from the back tees. Whichever of the courses you choose to take on at the Golf du Soleil complex, you will not be disappointed as either of these courses would make the perfect addition to a golf break to Morocco.

 

Situated just 10km from the city of Agadir lies Golf Les Dunes. This course was created in 1991 by Cabell Robinson who has created an impressive golf course here with each and every one of the holes boasting its own character and unique layout. The course comprises of 27 holes and extends over 250 acres of stunning, hilly terrain. The course lies at over 6,000 metres from the back tees and its fairways are lined with eucalyptus and palm trees. Along the course, you will find four different lakes and other hazards which are all lying in wait for any errant shots. There are three loops of nine holes for you to enjoy here and each of them is special in its own way. The Oued nine have narrow fairways and this set of holes poses the sternest challenge to golfers of all abilities. The Tamaris nine boast many strategically placed water hazards and the Eucalyptus nine feature wider fairways and make a perfect round for those with higher handicaps. Whichever route of holes you choose, you will not be disappointed by taking the time to play a round on this brilliant course.

Assoufid Golf Club only opened in October 2014 but has already gained. Stellar reputation for being one of the best courses in Morocco, if not THE best. The course is set against the backdrop of the snow-capped Atlas Mountains. This course is such an exciting round of golf both skill-wise and visually. The course sits at just over 7,000 yards from the back tees and blends effortlessly into its surroundings of the desert. You can find olive, cacti and palm trees here as well as many hazards waiting to catch any of your errant shots.

The par 4 5th hole is arguably one of the toughest holes on the course. You play from an elevated tee and the fairway is flanked on either side by desert as it rises directly towards the Atlas Mountains. If you can play your tee shot to the left, you will be able to see the flag for your approach shot much better. The tee for the par 3 17th hole is situated at the highest point on the course, from here you can enjoy panoramic views of each of the back nine holes. This hole is undoubtedly the signature hole of the course. You must carry your tee shot over a natural dry stream which runs through the course before you can reach the wide but shallow and well-protected green. This is such an impressive course and we would highly recommend that you add this to your itinerary for your next golf break to Morocco.

 

Noria Golf Club opened in early 204 and was designed by Steve Forrest. His vision was that the course would celebrate traditional Moroccan landscape and architecture and he definitely didn’t disappoint. This unique course plays with the stunning backdrop of the Atlas Mountains much like Assoufid. You can enjoy three different landscapes during your round here: the orchards, the gardens and the dunes of rural Marrakech. The course runs at just over 6,500 yards from the back tees and boasts a memorable and exciting challenge of golf for those of all handicaps. The complex consists of two par-36 nine-hole loops which wind through the course’s original landscape.

Without a doubt, the signature hole of Noria Golf Club is the 175-metre 8th which is played from an elevated tee position across a reflecting pool to a rectangular Biarritz green which sits between the water and an authentic Moroccan bell tower. This simple but visual hole will create memories for golfers that will last long after they have left Marrakech. The round of golf ends in brilliant style with the 18th hole returning to the 9th’s long water channel. You can find a traditional Moroccan irrigation system with open pits which lead to an abandoned underground canal by the tee box. This is a challenging hole with a diagonal line of bunker protecting the green and there is a lot of water to the left of the fairway! When in Marrakech, make sure to take the time out of your break to play this magnificent and authentic course.

Next up, we have Samanah Golf and Country Club which is one of the newest courses to open in Marrakech. The course runs at 6,800 metres from the back tees which makes it the longest course in the area but there are five tee boxes for you to choose from making this course suitable for those with higher handicaps as well. This course provides golfers with a brilliant test of golf right from the first tee shot. You can enjoy breath-taking views of the snow-capped Atlas Mountains whilst you take on the challenge.

There are a few stand-out holes along the course including the short par 4 6th hole which offers you a decent birdie opportunity if you are able to avoid the water which sits on the right-hand side of the green. The 8th which is a par 3 is another special hole on the course. You play this hole across an area of scrub and sandy waste to reach the green which gently tilts from back left to front right. However, the signature hole of the course is the 15th where you must carry your approach shot over a wide gully which is situated just 100 yards short of the green. There are a few courses within this blog located in the Marrakech area including Samanah Golf and Country Club, we highly recommend that you take a look at them and start planning your next golf escape now…

 

Royal Palm Golf and Country Club is considered to be one of the most spectacular courses in Morocco and it isn’t hard to see why. The course was designed by Cabell Robinson and is the newest addition to the growing golfing portfolio that you can find in Marrakech. The course extends to 6,608 metres from the back tees and plays to a par of 72. The holes of the course are routed around five sparkling lakes with Bermuda fairways and tees and A4 bentgrass greens in play. This course only opened for play in 2013 but you can’t tell that so much earth was moved during the construction of this course as it blends so effortlessly into its surroundings now. You can find a variety of different shrubs, flowers and trees along the course which all bloom at different times of the year.

There are many feature holes along this brilliant course including the short par 4s at the right dog-legged 3rd and the left dog-legged 14th. The favourite hole of the course is the long par 4 15th which veers off to the left and then downhill to the large, long green which is heavily guarded by bunkers on three out of its four sides. This course lies to the south of Marrakech, next door to Samanah Golf Club and nearby to Noria and Assoufid. A perfect golf break would be to stay within the Movenpick Mansour Eddahbi Marrakech and enjoy rounds on all of these special courses…

 

Our eighth course that we recommend is Palm Golf Ourika which is situated to the south of Marrakech, close to the Atlas Mountains. This course opened for play in 2015 and has built up a good reputation for itself. The course measures a very long 6,692 metres from the back tees and the holes wind their way around a 180-acre residential estate. You can find wide and generous fairways which are bounded by large, sandy waste areas. There are also six lakes which come into play during the round. Despite these lakes, the course still boasts a desert-like feel. This luxurious golf course is playable all year round and boasts stunning views of the Atlas Mountains. This is another very special course located in Marrakech, there are some brilliant hotels in the area which you must check out as there is something for everyone.

Last, but certainly not least, Al Maaden Golf Course. The course was designed by the famous American architect Kyle Philips and opened in 2010. Since then, it has developed a brilliant reputation as a course which boasts a great challenge for players of all abilities due to its assortment of hazards and multiple tee options. The course measures an impressive 6,644 metres from the back tees which may seem daunting to those with a higher handicap, but they can always choose a further forward tee box. You will find undulating fairways, strategically placed bunkers (104 to be exact!) and plenty of water hazards coming into play during your round here. Al Maaden has a distinct Scottish links feel which is unusual for a Marrakech golf course.

You will find some brilliant holes whilst you are enjoying your round here but the concluding 18th hole which will stay in your mind for long after you leave this golf club. The 18th is a long par 4 at 444 metres long. You must drive accurately over one of the largest lakes of the course if you are to give yourself a good second shot. Another very special hole situated in Morocco – it is time to start planning your next golfing getaway!

 

We hope that you have enjoyed this week’s blog and that you are excited by the thought of a round at one or more of these superb golf courses. Give us a ring today to discuss your options for your next golf break to Marrakech where you can find warm weather for most of the year along with luxurious hotels and brilliant golf.

 

This week’s blog is a guide to the seven best courses in Belek. Belek, Turkey is a brilliant golfing destination for several reasons. Firstly, it is widely known for its excellent-value all-inclusive golf holiday options, secondly, you can enjoy an all-year-round warm climate. Lastly, you can find some truly stunning resorts and beaches in the region. Take a look at these courses to see whether they catch your eye as potential bases for your next golf escape…

 

Carya is the most recent golf course to open in Belek. The course stretches over 7,186 yards and is a demanding test of golf with some stunning holes which run between pine and eucalyptus trees and across a dramatic sand ridge. A great thing about this course is that it is independent from any hotel in the area which is rare in Belek, this means that you can book a round here very easily regardless of where you are staying. You can also enjoy a round in the evening as the course has floodlights to allow guests to do so – this may be a great option in the summer months when the heat is stifling during the day.

It is no surprise that this course is rated as one of the best courses in the region. It has a fantastic layout and is always in immaculate condition. The course boasts a very challenging finishing stretch beginning with the 13th which is a dog-leg before the uphill par-3 14th where you will struggle to land and stay on the green. The par-5 15th boasts a blind tee shot and a challenging approach to the green where you must carry the ball over water. You can finish the round with three marvellous par-4s and then go and get a well-deserved drink in the clubhouse! This course is a must-play when you are on your next golf escape to Belek and it isn’t hard to see why.

 

Titanic Golf Club (formerly TAT International) boasts 27 holes of brilliant golf and was one of the first complexes to be developed when Martin Hawtree designed this 27-hole layout on 325 acres in 1997. The club boasts three loops of nine holes – River, Mediterranean and Forest. Each of the loops features two par 3s, five par 4s and two par 5s so that you can play to a par 72 no matter which of the two loops you choose to play.

This course is a beautiful one and is quite different from many of the other courses that are situated in Belek. There are some breath-taking holes which run alongside the beach which are great, especially as they are more open, and you have more room to make a few little errors along the way. The par 3 4th hole on the River loop is played with you facing inland towards the mountains. You tee off from the elevated tee situated in the dunes towards a green which sits behind a lake which you can only reach by hitting to the right. On the Mediterranean loop, the pick is the par 4 12th hole which plays along the coast, out of bounds sits to the right and there is a large pine tree on the left at the landing area so you cannot be overly cautious with your tee shot here! Finally, the 22nd hole on the Forest begins with you having to take a blind tee shot and finishes with the green which is heavily-guarded on three sides by water, your best bet is to lay-up with the second shot and then pitch and putt. This is a fantastic club and one which is well worth a visit during your next golf break to Belek.

Next up we have Sueno Pines which is a fantastic course situated within the grounds of the luxurious Sueno Hotel and Golf Club. Both courses situated here are routed over a 400-acre site and flow through umbrella pines and over the sandy terrain of Belek. This course boasts plenty of pine trees and strategically placed bunkers which are lying in wait to catch any errant shots. There is also a healthy splash of water hazards to cause you some difficulty along the way.

The opening hole of this course is a fairly easy one which is great for a holiday course as it allows you to get into the swing of things before things get a little trickier. Look out for the short, par 4, 12th hole which is situated amongst ancient pine trees and flanked by waste bunkers. The 13th is another tricky one as it is a long par 3 where you travel through a valley in order to reach a difficult tabletop green. The finishing hole is a cleverly designed, par 4 that presents a visual illusion from the tee, it seems as if the drive is impossibly tight but there is more room than first meets the eye. This is arguably a top-notch golf course and can be completed with a perfect stay at the Sueno Golf Hotel.

The Montgomerie Maxx Royal is one of Belek’s most popular golf courses and it isn’t hard to see why. The course boasts a stunning landscape and offers golfers of all abilities a challenging and enjoyable round of golf. The course opened in 2008 and quickly gained a stellar reputation as in 2015, the course played host to the PGA Tour’s Turkish Open.

Stretching over 6,522 metres long, the course is situated within 104 hectares of pine forest, dotted with sandy ridges and due to its coastal location, you can enjoy a cooling breeze during the summer months. The course gets off to a gentle start with a straightforward par 5 but it soon becomes a stern challenge from the 4th which is a difficult but impressive par 5 over water. On the back nine, you will find fewer water hazards but more strategically placed bunkers to catch any of your errant shots. The finishing hole is a special one, it is a spectacular par 5 where you must carry your tee shot through a narrow gap in the pines leaving you to hit your 2nd shot to the raised green which is guarded by a bunker to the front and water to the left. After your round, make sure to enjoy the clubhouse’s facilities and have a few drinks. This is a brilliant golf course and a round here is the perfect addition to any golf escape to Belek.

Designed by David Jones and David Feherty, the National Golf Club was the first course to be built in Belek and not only is it the most established, but it is one of the trickiest courses in the region. There is an abundance of umbrella pines, water hazards and many challenging doglegs for you to contend with if you are hoping to score well on this round. You can tell that this was a very thoughtfully designed course as it is routed across gently rolling terrain, through mature pines and eucalyptus trees. There is beautiful scenery surrounding the course with the snow-capped Taurus Mountains providing the backdrop.

This is a tight track of a course and sometimes, you have to drive through a chute of trees from the tee box or thread an approach shot through a narrow entrance to a green. All in all, it is unlikely that you will need your driver too much on this course. There are some excellent and memorable holes on this course including the 7th which is a right doglegged hole and the 9th which has a split fairway leading up to the green. On the back nine, there is the par 5 12th which requires you to swing left from the tee and avoid the ditch which crosses the fairway before rising steadily to a wickedly sloping double-tiered green which is perched on top of a ridge. After your round, enjoy a few drinks and a snack in the homely clubhouse whilst reminiscing over this fantastic golf course.

 

Lykia Links is situated within the Lykia Estate and boasts 18 brilliant holes of golf. The course sits a little further out from the Belek golf strip by a river estuary that runs into the Mediterranean Sea. The course measures an impressive 7,536 yards from the back tees and is the only links course in Turkey. Each of the 18 holes boasts stunning sea views and holes 13 through to 16 run alongside the ocean as the fairways meander through sand dunes and pot bunkers.

Along the course, you will find greens that are heavily guarded by deep, railway-sleeper bunkers, fairways that are bordered by large waste areas and putting surfaces that are small and sloping. The 10th hole is a superb par 4 but those with higher handicaps will struggle to score well on this hole. The 12th is another brilliant hole where you have a blind tee shot before walking over a dune to discover the beautifully designed green. This is an impressive golf course and it is no surprise that it often ranks in the top five courses in Turkey due to its brilliant layout, wonderful surrounding and the exciting challenges it presents golfers of all abilities.

 

Next up we have the PGA Sultan course which is situated at Antalya Golf Club. Antalya Gol Club is one of Belek’s leading golfing complexes and it isn’t hard to see why. Not only does the club boast two fantastic golf courses, but is attached to the wonderful Sirene Belek Golf Hotel. The course was designed in the late 90s by David Jones and European Golf Design. The course winds its way through woods, up and over sandy banks and around ponds. Water features at around half of the holes and there are many pot bunkers lying in wait to catch any errant shots.

The front nine holes on the PGA Sultan ends with a brilliant risk-reward hole, this par 4 requires you to either take a brave tee shot that may end up in the water to the left but will allow you an easier second shot or a safe drive down to the right adding two clubs to your approach. One of the toughest on the course is the 12th which is a very long and narrow hole on which you should be proud if you manage to score par. The finishing hole is an impressive par 4 where you will find water either side of the island fairway meaning that your drive must be accurate in order to avoid landing in the water. The green is surrounded by five bunkers so your approach shot must be as accurate as your tee shot if you are to score well. Another brilliant course in Belek which will offer you a fantastic and enjoyable round of golf and another course which is linked to a very luxurious hotel.

 

Our penultimate course on this list is the Gloria New course at Gloria Golf Club. This course opened in late 2005 and has since ranked within the top 10 courses in Turkey. A round at this course is one that is firm but fair and the course boasts many memorable holes. Right from the beginning of the round, on the par 5 2nd hole, you can enjoy the course’s undulating fairway which is lined with trees pretty much the whole way around this course.

The course’s 17th hole is a brilliant one; it boasts its own island green, a little wind and a great trade in lake balls around the green. This water theme continues for the last hole where you must tackle a large lake which sits to the left of the entire hole providing every player with a dramatic end which can ruin even the most discerning golfer’s scorecard. Much like other courses within this blog, you can find a brilliant hotel attached to the club, in this case, it is the Gloria Hotel which is a luxurious resort and is the perfect partner to this fantastic golf club. Of course, not only is the Gloria New course situated at Gloria Golf Club, but you can find the Old course and Gloria Verde to enjoy during your stay as well.

 

Last, but certainly not least, the Nick Faldo designed golf course situated at Cornelia Golf Club is on our list of recommended courses for your next golf escape to Turkey. This 27-hole golf complex is an impressive one with some very memorable but challenging holes for you to contend with along the way. Although the course is not yet a decade old, it boasts the maturity of one that is. You will find heavily contoured terrain used to great effect, greens perched on top of little ridges and fairways that blend seamlessly into the surrounding vegetation.

Umbrella pines flank most of the holes and it can be a very tight and tricky round in some places which isn’t necessarily a bad thing for those of you who aren’t big hitters! Holes 1-9 are wonderful, short holes and on many of them, you must carry your ball over small gullies to reach raised greens – the special holes on this nine are the 4th where you dogleg to the right and up to the semi-blind green and the 7th which narrows off the tee before veering right and down to the green. Holes 10-18 boast the short par 3 12th which is a stunning, short hole and the 15th which is beautifully framed by pine trees. The final nine holes boast plenty of water hazards which can destroy your scorecard very easily. You may not even have to choose two loops of nine as you can opt to play the full 27 holes which we would highly recommend! On your next golf break, check out Cornelia Faldo.

 

We hope that you have enjoyed this week’s blog and that at least one of these nine brilliant courses has caught your eye…

This week’s blog is a guide to the courses that we consider as being the top nine courses situated in the Algarve. The Algarve is widely considered as being one of the best golf destinations in Europe due to the brilliant golf courses and luxurious golf resorts that you can find there. Another good thing about choosing the Algarve as your destination for your next golf escape is that the courses are mostly close to one another which means that whilst you are staying at one resort, it is easy for you to play a variety of great courses. With the weather chilly and winter feeling like it may ask forever, make sure to get your next golf break in the diary so that you have something to look forward to.

 

Monte Rei’s Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course opened in 2007 and quickly established itself as one of the finest courses on the Algarve. From the moment that you arrive at the club which is set in the hills to the northeast of Tavira, you will know that you are going to be taking on a stunning course due to the beautiful scenery that greets you. The course boasts five lakes which are all bordered by indigenous trees and plants as well as many strategically placed bunkers which all are lying in wait for any errant shots.

As you play the course, the holes just get better and better but some of the best holes of the course include the 13th which is a downhill par-4 with bunkers situated at the drive landing point and a lakeside green that is treacherously undulating. The prettiest hole of the course is undoubtedly the 14th which is a medium-length par-3 where you must carry your tee short over the lake in order to reach the green, anything off to the left will land right in the water. Of course, a course like Monte Rei has a special finishing hole, the 18th is a brilliant finishing hole, it is a par-5 that is in reach for big hitters, but you must watch out for the lake that can mess up anyone’s 2nd or 3rd shot! If you are looking to play a very special round of golf, look no further than a round at Monte Rei.

 

Next up, we have Palmares which boasts three loops of nine fantastic holes: Lagos, Alvor and Praia. The 27-hole complex is situated above and along the Atlantic coast close to the Meia Praia beach and boasts some of the most beautiful views from different points along the course. The Alvor course starts as you wind through pine tree-lined undulating fairways before dunes and links-style holes come into play, you then finish playing in parkland. The course boasts three fairways which are laid out across a road in a lovely valley in the middle of the loop and the loop’s final two holes face directly uphill towards the clubhouse.

The Lagos loop maintains the same parkland and links characters as Alvor, but also boasts two water hazards that you must contend with along the way. The Praia rolls its way down towards the beach and is mainly a classic links course with four beautiful coastline holes. All 27 brilliant holes of golf are fully matured making Palmares one of the Algarve’s must-play golf courses. It is not really surprising that this club made our list of top nine courses in the Algarve due to its fantastic setting, unique layout and brilliant clubhouse which boasts stunning views over the course.

 

Quinta Da Ria opened for play in 2002 and was designed by the well-known architect, Rocky Roquemore. This brilliant course can be found in the Eastern Algarve and is situated within the beautiful Ria Formosa Nature Reserve which stretches from Faro right along the coast towards the border with Spain. The course measures 6,016 metres from the back tees and is a fairly flat parkland course but there is normally a breeze coming in from the coast which can make your round a little difficult. A round here is a great choice for golfers of all abilities due to its wide landing areas but if you manage to miss these, you will be in trouble. There are five strategically placed lakes, many bunkers and carob and olive trees situated around the course which all lie in wait for any errant shots.

There are some brilliantly-designed, tough holes on the course including the 5th which is an impressive par-3 which has two differing tee areas, but both require you to carry a good tee shot over a lake towards the shallow green which is heavily guarded by bunkers. Another very special hole is the 10th which is a very difficult hole measuring 422 metres from the back tees with out-of-bounds running all down the left-hand side. Then, there is a large lake guarding the green 100-metres out! With an excellent range of holes, beautiful landscape and a superb location, look no further than the Quinta da Ria course for your next golf escape.

 

The coastal town of Vilamoura boasts a wonderful, central location and it is no surprise that it has earned a reputation for being one of Europe’s largest and most successful golfing destinations. The Dom Pedro Old Course is one of the gems situated near to Vilamoura and it is no surprise that this course is on our list of recommendations. The course opened for play in 1969 and has gained a brilliant reputation since partly due to its sympathetic use of the existing natural landscape. The tees and greens are always beautifully kept, and the fairways are lined with trees which means that if your drive isn’t straight, you may struggle to end the round with a good scorecard!

Each and every hole will remain with you for long after you have finished your round on the Old Course. The round begins with a straightforward set of four holes but the rest of the front nine is tricky and pose a challenge to even the best golfers. The signature hole is arguably the 8th hole which stretches over 400 metres from the medal tees, the hole slopes downhill to a fairway bunker before doglegging gently to the right and then rising back up towards a narrow green which is heavily guarded by trees! If you score a par on this hole, you have played very well. The back nine are also very tricky and you should watch out for the collection of strategically placed bunkers which come into play on the 12th hole and are lying in wait to catch your second shot. After your round, enjoy a few drinks in the well-designed clubhouse. A round here is a spectacular one and no discerning golfer should miss out.

 

The Penina Championship course opened in 1966 but was then completely rebuilt in 1995 and boasts two loops of nine holes. The sun is often shining during your round here and you can enjoy the smell of eucalyptus trees whilst you tackle this impressive course. The fairways are gently rolling and well-manicured but feature many strategically-placed hazards including deep bunkers and trees. Right from the moment that you tee off here, you will know that you are in for a challenge as the 1st hole is a long dog-leg left towards a heavily-guarded narrow green. Another impressive hole on the front nine is the 5rh which is the only par-5 on the front nine and only measures 451 yards from the back tees. However, this hole is the perfect risk-reward hole as if you place your tee shot well, you may want to try for the green in two shots but there is a large lake and out-of-bounds waiting for any slightly errant shot.

In contrast to the front nine, there are four par-5s, but the two standout holes are considered to be the 12th and the 13th. The 12th is a long par-4 which is a very straight hole with only one bunker but once you arrive for the approach shot, you will find that the small green sits directly behind a lake which goes on to cause further problems for your scorecard on the 13th hole. Lots of golfers fall foul of the lake which guards the 13th hole which is a long par-3 which boasts a narrow and sloped-towards-the-water green. There is no doubting that this is a very impressive course and the Penina Hotel is a fantastic option for your next golf escape…

 

Situated in the Quinta do Lago Estate is the San Lorenzo course which has been ranked in the past as being the second-best course in the whole of Europe. It isn’t hard to see why San Lorenzo was given this title with its beautiful location alongside the Atlantic on sandy, undulating terrain and variety of interesting and challenging holes. The first five holes of the course run through a pine tree forest, you will then find water holes which boast stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean. The par-3 5th hole is where you will get your first glance of the Atlantic Ocean and is a delightful short hole with a green perched at the top of a valley which is heavily guarded by trees and bunkers.

At the 8th hole, you will turn back inland and tackle the larger of the course’s two lakes. The finishing holes are particularly strong and entertaining as you head back out to sea. The 18th hole is a difficult and long par-4 at over 400 yards from the back tees. You will find water all the way up the left-hand side and a semi-island green. This is a classic risk-reward finish which tops off the very special round of golf here nicely. After your round, take a visit to the clubhouse and enjoy a few drinks and a bite to eat whilst discussing this impressive course. For any discerning golfer, a trip to San Lorenzo is a must.

 

Quinta do Lago Estate boasts three other courses besides San Lorenzo: North, South and Laranjal. These are all fantastic courses that are different and exciting in their own ways. The North course is one of the Algarve’s most charming courses, many of the holes are framed with umbrella pine trees and some of the greens are nestled in truly magnificent sites.

One of the most beautiful holes on this course is the par-4 12th which measures 361 metres and features a 3-acre lake. The hole doglegs its way around the leg which leaves you to make a treacherous approach shot in order to land on the undulating green. The course was recently redesigned in close collaboration with European Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley and is considered to be a very special course indeed. This is a course that golfers can enjoy again and again making it an ideal holiday course.

 

Quinta do Lago South is one of the most requested courses on the Algarve. The course was designed by William Mitchell and opened for play in 1974 and became well-known after it hosted the Portuguese Open on seven occasions. This course is the most famous in the area due to the Portuguese Open and can be enjoyed by golfers of all abilities due to its relatively generous fairways. This eye-catching course is great for big hitters, but accuracy is also required if you want to finish the round with a good scorecard. It is no surprise that the South course made our list of recommendations and if you haven’t played this one already, make sure that you book it in.

Last, but certainly not least, Quinta do Lago Laranjal was originally an orange grove but today, it is a beautiful 18-hole championship golf course which offers its players a fantastic and challenging round of golf. The course is known for its narrow, undulating fairways, five stunning lakes and well-defined greens. The course is the newest of the three on the Estate as it only opened for play in February of 2009, but it is quickly gaining a stellar reputation. This is a fun and exciting course and is the perfect addition to your golf escape to the Algarve.

Whatever you are looking for from your next golf break, the Algarve has it all from luxurious resorts to boutique hotels and self-catering accommodation. Give us a call today to discuss what you are looking for from your next golf break and let us do the work to find you the perfect holiday.

This week’s blog is a guide to our seven top courses of the Caribbean and the hotels that you may choose to stay in to play these very special courses. Whether you are looking for a real challenge or a nice, holiday course, you can find it all within this blog.

 

The brilliant Westin Puntacana Resort and Club is an extensive golf resort situated just moments from the pristine sands of Punta Cana. This resort is stunning with gardens, swimming pools and other leisure activities to keep you busy. These leisure activities include a gym, tennis courts and a large spa area which is perfect for relaxation therapy after taking on the challenge of one of the local golf courses. The hotel boasts 200 well-equipped guestrooms featuring air conditioning, a rain shower, a flat-screen TV and a private balcony from which you can enjoy breathtaking sea views. Here, you can enjoy an all-inclusive board basis and the resort offers an abundance of restaurants as part of the all-inclusive programme with eight different international restaurants to enjoy. There are also an abundance of bars and public areas for you to grab a few drinks and soak up the atmosphere of this beautiful resort. The two golf courses, La Cana and Corales, are located just a short drive from the resort.

 

La Cana Golf Club was designed by Pete Dye and is a brilliant 27-hole Championship course which has been frequently described as being one of the best courses in the Caribbean and it isn’t hard to see why. There are three unique sets of 9 holes, the Tortuga, Hacienda and Arrecife. There are 14 shoreline holes, which boast consistent and stunning sea views as you take on these challenging holes. The first of these is the 5th hole which is played to a rock-walled green that protrudes out into the sea, you reach the beach again at the 7th hole. As you venture further inland, there are ponds which come into play which can mean that you lose a couple of balls here! One of the best parts about the course, are the two closing holes where if you place your ball too far left at either hole, it will end up caught in the waves. This course is playable by golfers of all abilities but will still pose a firm challenge to even the most discerning golfer. Another attraction of this course is the 19th hole at La Cana Golf and Beach Club where you can enjoy a few drinks and views of the Caribbean Sea.

Corales Golf Course was designed by Tom Fazio and is an exclusive, 18-hole course located not far from the Westin Puntacana. This course is well-known among keen golfers and was designed along the natural cliffs, bays and coves which are all signature features of the beautiful West Coast of the Dominican Republic. The course is not to be taken lightly as it stretches to over 7650 yards from the back tees, this means that this course is perfect for those who want to power a drive whilst soaking up the stunning views and scenery which surrounds this course. There are six oceanside holes which weave their way through inland lakes and coralina quarries, this is an exhilarating round of golf with beautiful views and challenging and unique holes to tackle. It is not surprising that this course has a brilliant reputation and is considered to be one of the best courses in the Dominican Republic. The 18th hole is one of the most special holes of the course, those of all abilities will be challenged with a daunting drive over the ocean and rocky cliffs to reach the distant fairway on the other side. After you round, take a visit to the clubhouse where you can enjoy stunning views over the bay of Corales.

Whether you are travelling with family, friends or with a partner, a golf break to the Westin Puntacana where you can enjoy two breath-taking golf courses is surely one for you to consider for 2019…

 

Situated in the South East of the Dominican Republic is the special golf resort of Casa de Campo. This resort offers its guests an unrivalled golfing experience with three distinctly unique and impressive golf courses situated onsite. There is no surprise that 7,000-acre this resort has been considered to be one of the world’s leading golf resorts. The style of the resort replicates a 16th-century Mediterranean village and amphitheatre. Each of the hotel rooms boasts rich mahogany furnishings and either a private balcony or terrace from which you can enjoy beautiful views of the resorts’ surroundings. The rooms are all equipped with everything that you would expect from a hotel of this standard. You can enjoy an all-inclusive board basis within the hotel and there are seven divine restaurants for you to try whilst you are here. From the Mediterranean to seafood to Italian and other international restaurants, no one could go hungry here! To get around the resort, you can use your own 4-passenger cart, within the resort you can find water sports, horseback riding, a health spa, tennis and polo facilities as well as the three championship golf courses.

 

Teeth of the Dog golf course is ranked as the best course in the Caribbean and it isn’t hard to see why this course earned such a prestigious ranking. The course was designed by Pete Dye in 1971 and this course was the one that put the Dominican Republic on the golfing map. The course is incredibly challenging with 18 beautiful but unique and difficult holes for you to take on. There are seven holes which hug the shoreline, and these are particularly memorable. The course boasts numerous tricky shots including tough doglegs, signature Dye hurdles, very long fairways and when the breeze is blowing from the Caribbean Sea, you are guaranteed a challenging round. The course was renovated in 2005 and now measures a whopping 7,350 yards from the back holes so make sure that you select your tee box carefully!

Dye Fore is another of the impressive golf courses situated on the impressive golfing resort of Casa de Campo. This course was also designed by Pete Dye, but this course boasts a links layout. Dye Fore offers panoramic 360-degree views 27 exceptional holes of golf, seven of which are cliffside and drop 300 feet into the Chavon River. The course boasts a magnificent backdrop of the Dominican mountains, the Chavon River, Marina and Caribbean Sea. On this course, you can find arguably two of the greatest par-3 holes in the world (the 12th and 15th hole). The Chavon River cuts a deep path through the landscape as it tumbles down from the Dominican mountains right to the coast, the Dye Fore course sits high above the waters with many of the holes on the back nine routed along the top edge on one side of this valley. Some people consider Dye Fore to be an even more special course than Teeth of the Dog as it offers an unrivalled round along the shoreline of the South East of the Dominican Republic. After your round, make sure you take a visit to the clubhouse where you can enjoy a few drinks in a delightful setting. Playing at Dye Fore is a once in a lifetime golfing experience as you can find 27 holes of brilliant golf with breath-taking views from start to finish.

Another Pete Dye creation sits on the Casa de Campo golf resort, The Links course was created in 1975 and underwent extensive renovations in 2012 to make it as challenging as its fellow Casa de Campo courses. The course is reminiscent of a classic links-style course which you would often find on the British Isles, but the scenery is very different from that of which we have at home! The course’s beautiful layout meanders through the resort of Casa de Campo and boasts very special views of the Caribbean Sea. Although unlike the other courses, it may not be next to the ocean, it is still a very exciting course to play as you can tackling rolling fairways, elevated landscape, water hazards, small greens and numerous strategically placed bunkers which are lying in wait to catch any errant shots! Many consider The Links to be as challenging as Teeth of the Dog due to its difficult terrain and long, rough areas.

As you can see, there are three spectacular courses for you to choose from should you choose Casa de Campo for your next golf holiday. Whether you are looking for a real challenging course or a more relaxing round of golf, you can find it all here.

 

Sandy Lane is an exclusive resort nestled on the West Coast of Barbados. The resort boasts 45 holes of golfing brilliance across three world-class golf courses: The Green Monkey, The Country Club and The Old Nine. The resort is located within an ancient grove and former sugar cane plantation, you can enjoy overlooking the beach and crystal-clear waters of the ocean. Besides fantastic golf courses, you can find a brilliant spa, a fitness centre and tennis courts. This resort is particularly perfect for couples who are seeking a romantic golfing getaway!

The Country Club is a brilliant 18-hole parkland course which opened in 2001. The course has been maintained to the highest standards and boasts immaculate greens, fairways and five large lakes. This course is a lot more open than its sister courses, The Green Monkey and The Old Nine, and stretches over 7,000 yards so you can really enjoy hitting those power drives whilst enjoying beautiful views over the Caribbean Sea. This course is considered to be a golfers’ paradise so make sure that you come and find out why…

The Green Monkey course was carved from an old limestone quarry which means you can enjoy interesting scenery and a unique layout of some very special holes of golf. This course is the most famous of the three courses at Sandy Lane which is probably because this course offers all golfers an unbelievable round of golf situated in a dramatic setting. You can enjoy lush rolling fairways, steep elevation changes and dramatic views out to the Caribbean Sea. Make sure that you watch out for the 16th hole which is a striking par-3 with a grass island situated in the middle shaped like a monkey! A round on this course is unforgettable so make sure that you check out Sandy Lane as the destination for your next golf escape.

Last, but certainly not least, situated at Sandy Lane is The Old Nine. This short course was constructed in 1961 but it is still a firm favourite with many repeat guests. The course measures just over 3,345 yards and weaves its way through the colourful Sandy Lane Estate. The course boasts narrow, tree-lined fairways which means that any errant shots may be caught up in the trees. It is a course which will perfectly test your accuracy and consistency throughout. Make sure that you don’t disregard this lovely, short course when you are faced with the other courses at Sandy Lane as it is the perfect choice for those wanting just a couple of hours golfing.

Sandy Lane Resort boasts three superb golf courses, extensive leisure facilities and a stunning beach right on its doorstep – what more could you be looking for?

 

The ninth course that we consider to be in the top seven courses of the Caribbean is the White Witch Golf Course. This course was carved from the countryside of the prestigious Jamaican estate of Rose Hall and is a brilliant 18-hole championship golf course. The course was designed to utilise the dramatic elevation changes of the natural landscape which creates some spectacular views of the coast and beyond. The layout of the course weaves its way through the Rose Hall Estate and is nestled within 200 acres of beautiful Jamaican countryside. The course poses a stern challenge to golfers of all abilities but there are five different tee boxes that you can choose from to make this course playable for golfers of all abilities.

We hope that you have enjoyed this week’s blog and that some of these courses have caught your eye as destinations for your next golf break…