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This week’s blog is a guide to seven of the best South African golf experiences. South Africa has frequently been labelled ‘a world in one country’, and it is hardly difficult to see how or why with its fantastic capital city and unique provinces with their own distinct cultures and characteristics. The Western Cape, home to the capital city Cape Town, is known for its wine vineyards and Boulders Beach. Alternatively, the Eastern Cape is home to some of the best golf courses in the country, including both the Fancourt and the Oubaai golf courses. To truly experience the all stunning scenery that South Africa has to offer, then golfers should head to either Mpumalanga or Kwa Zulu Natal. However, the Rovos Rail experience normally steals centre stage as it enables all golfers to experience the best highlights of South African golf and culture. Yet whatever golfers choose to do, they are guaranteed to have an unforgettable golf escape in one of the world’s most diverse and captivating countries.

The Rovos Rail is one of the most sought-after golf experiences with options ranging from 48 hours to 15 days, spanning across South Africa’s key areas in a golf safari. The train accommodates just 76 people, and the guest rooms range from a comfortable 76 square feet to the lavish Royal Suites that measure out to 172 square feet. This golf safari does not just provide players with an opportunity to play some of the country’s best golf courses, but they can also enjoy some of the country’s key sites and attractions, so it would be an unforgettable experience for even non-golfers. The Rovos Rail offers travellers the perfect mix of both golf and safari experiences, including the Addo Elephant Park, the famous KWV Brandy Distillery, and the stunning Kruger National Park. This golf safari truly provides a one in a lifetime experience, and it is without a doubt one of the best experiences that South Africa has to offer. The Rovos Rail is the perfect option for all those that want to experience the country’s best golf without missing any of the culture or beauty in between. It offers all of its guests a luxury golf holiday experience with impeccable service, fantastic facilities, and most importantly, unbeatable golf.

Another excellent option for an unforgettable golf experience in South Africa is the Fancourt Hotel, a five-star luxury golf hotel set in the heart of the Western Cape. There are just 115 guest rooms at the Fancourt Hotel, meaning guests can enjoy an intimate and personalised stay while they experience some of the country’s best golf. The Fancourt is one of the best-known golf hotels in South Africa due to its two fantastic golf courses located on-site, the Montagu and the Outeniqua. The Fancourt Hotel and its two golf courses are situated on the Garden Route, meaning its guests and golfers will never find themselves without stunning panoramic views of some of South Africa’s most stunning landscapes. Both of the Fancourt golf courses were designed by Gary Player, so players are guaranteed an unforgettable round of golf. Guests will never find themselves short of things to do, even when they are taking a break from challenging the fairways at the local golf courses. They can make the most out of the Fancourt’s setting in the centre of the Garden Route with day excursions to its best sites, or they can take a trip to the Knysna Waterfront, one of the most beautiful areas in the Garden Route. Or alternatively, guests can make the most out of the hotel’s luxurious facilities, including a fantastic spa area or the hotel’s four swimming pools.

Another fantastic hotel located in the Western Cape is the Arabella Hotel and Spa with its beautiful setting overlooking a neighbouring lagoon and the well-known Arabella golf course, one of the best ranking golf courses in South Africa. The final 18th hole at the Arabella golf course has even been voted the best closing whole in the country, so its impeccable quality never goes unnoticed. The Arabella Hotel and Spa is the perfect luxury hotel for all those looking to fully indulge in the five-star relaxation and enjoy a well-deserved golfing getaway. The hotel is home to an excellent spa facility with a huge range of treatments and massages to ensure that all guests have their most relaxing golf holiday yet. Other leisure facilities include a fully-equipped fitness centre, tennis courts and a large outdoor swimming pool area. Even for a five-star hotel, the guest rooms are particularly spacious with modern décor and a bright interior. If its guests can tear themselves away from the hotel’s fantastic facilities, then they can make the most out of the Western Cape’s main attractions, including wine tasting, great white shark watching and the local national parks.

Despite the Pearl Valley Hotel being a relatively new addition to the great collection of luxury hotels in the Western Cape, it has already earnt itself a fantastic reputation for a five-star golf hotel. The hotel is situated in the Pearl Valley Golf and Country Estate which is also home to the prestigious Pearl Valley Golf Course, designed by the world-renowned golf architect Jack Nicklaus. The Pearl Valley Golf Course boasts a fantastic reputation, and its impeccable greens never go unnoticed; for three consecutive years, the golf course was awarded the Best Conditioned Golf Course in South Africa. Golfers can make the most out of the Pearl Valley’s stunning setting throughout their round here, as the holes wind through the neighbouring mountains, creating both an invigorating challenge and a beautiful landscape throughout. The hotel itself is set in the heart of three of best-known wine land routes in the Cape province, including Paarl, Franschhoek and Stellenbosch, so a fantastic day excursion is never far from reach. Alternatively, the hotel offers its guests an excellent range of leisure facilities so they will never find themselves short of things to do, even if they do not fancy a round of golf. For a relaxing afternoon, guests can enjoy a cocktail in the sun around the outdoor swimming pool, or for the more active guest, they can take advantage of the 42 kilometres of mountain bike routes surrounding the hotel in the neighbouring vineyards.

Located just a forty-minute drive away from Cape Town in the heart of the Western Cape lies the Erinvale Estate Hotel. The hotel has just 57 guest rooms, meaning it is the perfect option for all those looking for great facilities with the perks of a boutique-style hotel. With a Gary Player-designed golf course on-site, an excellent spa facility and a great position located just a twenty-minute drive away from Stellenbosch, one of the most vibrant towns in the Western Cape, at the Erinvale Estate Hotel, guests are guaranteed an unforgettable stay. Guests here are in the perfect position to enjoy all of the fantastic experiences that the Western Cape has to offer, including olive picking, mountain biking, and of course, wine tasting at one of the many local vineyards. The guest rooms here offer its guests an unbeatably comfortable stay with modern décor and all of the amenities they could ever need. They are set around the hotel’s lush gardens and the courtyard with a large water fountain and a relaxing ambience. At the Erinvale Estate Hotel, players are guaranteed a relaxing stay so they are well rested to make the most out of the region’s best golf courses, including the Erinvale Golf Course. Players can enjoy a fantastically varied round of golf here with a contrasting front and back nine holes; the front nine are widely considered to be more challenging of the pair, but the back nine offers the best views across the False Bay.

The Western Cape is known for its beautiful beaches, huge nature parks and lush forests. At the five-star Oubaai Resort and Spa, guests are in the perfect position to make the most of all the Western Cape has to offer. The hotel is situated on the Garden Route which stretches from the shores of the Atlantic Ocean right up to the heights of the Outeniqua Mountains. With just one-hundred guest rooms, guests can enjoy a relaxing and personal stay to appreciate the resort’s impeccable service. There are 8 kilometres of hiking trails surrounding the resort, as well as a fitness centre, tennis courts, an outdoor swimming pool, and an excellent spa centre, so guests will never find their days to have an empty itinerary. The resort is home to a signature restaurant, the Waterside Grill, with show cooking and al fresco dining on an outdoor terrace overlooking the neighbouring Oubaai Golf Club. The Oubaai Golf Club is home to a traditional links layout which boasts stunning views across the neighbouring Outeniqua Mountains. The Oubaai Golf Club is a consistent favourite amongst golfers in South Africa due to its forgiving landing areas and stunning backdrop views of the Indian Ocean. With a unique layout, a good mix of short and long par fours and threes and impeccable maintenance, it is fair to say that Ernie Els succeeded in creating one of the most sought-after golf courses in the whole of South Africa.

Last but not least is the Cascades at Sun City, a five-star resort situated in the Northern Province of South Africa. The Northern Province is known for the famous Sun City and the Kruger National Park, as well as some fantastic golf courses. Perfect for those with a nasty case of the winter blues, the Northern Province boasts the best climate with reliable warm weather and sunshine throughout the majority of the year. Furthermore, with some of the country’s best national parks, a golf holiday to the Northern Province of South Africa could easily be combined with a safari holiday to create a holiday of a lifetime. Out of the most popular five-star hotels, the Cascades at Sun City is the most suitable for families with a range of facilities and services for younger guests, as well as specialised family guest rooms. Its main outdoor swimming pool is set in a faux sandy beach area, and the hotel also has a fantastic range of restaurants so guests will never find themselves short of options for a relaxing evening meal. The hotel is conveniently located on the edge of the final 18th hole of the Gary Player Country Club, with a unique location next to an extinct volcano. With a classic parkland layout, beautiful views across the neighbouring Pilanesburg National Park and US PGA standard maintenance, it comes as no surprise that the Gary Player Country Club is consistently ranked in the Top 5 Golf Courses in South Africa.

Here at Golf Escapes, we have tailored a fantastic experiences package consisting of the best attractions of golf that South Africa has on offer. The package is 14 nights long with six rounds of golf at six of the best golf courses, including the Pearl Valley Golf Estates and the De Zalze Golf Estate. For an unforgettable golf escape set in Cape Town, Stellenbosch and South Africa’s famous Winelands, this package is an unbeatable option. South Africa truly has everything any golfer could ever wish for in a golf holiday; unbeatable golf courses, luxury hotels, stunning landscapes and rich history. The package’s grand finale includes seven nights in the five-star Constance Belle Mare Plage in Mauritius, one of the most luxurious hotels we offer.

We hope that you have enjoyed this week’s blog on seven of South Africa’s best experiences. All seven of these options provide all golfers with the perfect opportunity to enjoy a golf holiday of a lifetime in one of the world’s most diverse countries. With a variety of regions and provinces, South Africa truly has something for anyone and everyone. The main beauty with a golf holiday in South Africa is that there is so much more to it than golf; a golf break can easily be combined with a safari experience. If you are still finding yourself unpersuaded, then give us a call on 01342 811777, and we will do our best to change your mind.

Many discerning golfers also love delicious wines and this blog is a guide to our top five destinations for a wine and golf tour. Now that we are in 2019, it is time to start thinking about your next golf break and one of these destinations may just be perfect for you.

The five-star Hotel Peralada Wine Spa and Golf boasts a brilliant location situated in the heart of the Alt Emporda region. The hotel is surrounded by the brilliant Peralada golf course which is a popular course among holiday golfers as it isn’t overly long but boasts some unique and challenging holes along the course. The 18th is a particularly special hole as it is a long par-3 over water which has been known to ruin a few scorecards! Not only is the hotel perfect for golf, but also for exploring the local area as there are some of the best beaches in the Costa Brava region within 15-minute drive.

There are just 64 guestrooms within the hotel and all of them are modern and feature bright décor as well as all of the amenities and facilities that you would expect from a hotel of this standard including plasma-screen TVs and free Wi-Fi access. Besides playing on the brilliant Peralada course, you can work out in the gym, relax in the wine spa which offers a range of treatments or relax around the hotel’s outdoor pool. Guests within the hotel also have complimentary access to the casino which is situated in the medieval Peralada Castle just 800 metres from the resort. The hotel’s restaurant, Restaurant l’Olivera boasts an extensive menu filled with delicious Mediterranean cuisine and magnificent views over the golf course. Within the restaurant, you can also enjoy beautiful wines from the region and abroad which perfectly compliment your meals. Hotel Peralada Wine Spa and Golf is a beautifully well-appointed boutique hotel situated in the heart of the Costa Brava which makes it the perfect base for your next golf escape.

 

Another recommendation for your next wine and golf tour would be Fancourt. You can choose between staying in the Manor House or the Fancourt Hotel but whichever you choose, you will have easy access to the three fantastic Fancourt golf courses as well as beautiful South African wines. The resort boasts four different restaurants which serve international cuisine made from fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. The hotel also boasts a bar that offers regional wines and a spacious garden terrace. Whilst you are staying at either property on the resort, you can enjoy activities such as tennis, running and walking trails, bird watching and fishing.

The five-star Manor House is set on the 1,500-acre Fancourt Estate and was remodelled to create a boutique hotel which is a beautifully luxurious space for couples, families or small groups to enjoy. The Manor House boasts a garden and terrace on which you can enjoy a few glasses of wine and enjoy the views.

 

The five-star Fancourt Hotel boasts luxurious accommodation, a wellness centre and elegant guest rooms which boast beautiful views of the Outeniqua Mountains. All of the rooms boast a minibar and a satellite TV as well as free toiletries and a private bathroom.  The hotel’s spa features an indoor heated Roman Bath as well as a leisure centre where you can find a kid’s club, a fitness centre, a cinema and an outdoor swimming pool.

The three golf courses situated at the Fancourt Resort are the main reason for you to choose this resort for your next golf holiday and it isn’t hard to see why. The Fancourt Links course is a prime example of a magnificently designed golf course and is undoubtedly the most impressive course in South Africa. This course frequently ranks as one of the top courses and it isn’t hard to see why. The Montagu course is beautifully landscape across lush countryside with the majestic Outeniqua Mountains as the backdrop and both this course and the Outeniqua courses also rank highly in the world rankings of golf courses.

 

With three superb golf courses, extensive leisure facilities, world-class restaurant and special surroundings, what more could you be looking for for your next golf break?

 

The five-star Vidago Palace is situated just an hour from the centre of the city of Porto and five minutes’ drive from the centre of Vidago. The hotel is surrounded by beautiful scenery and the hotel itself is the perfect blend between the Belle Epoque style and modern luxury. Whilst you are here, you can enjoy relaxing around the vanity pool, in the extensive spa or play a round on the fantastic Vidago Palace Golf Course. Within the spa, you can find indoor and outdoor swimming pools, vitality pool, a Turkish bath, a sauna, relaxation rooms, a juice bar and a gym as well as twenty different treatment rooms.

All of the rooms within the hotel boast essential amenities and facilities including LCD TVs and work desks as well as spacious seating areas and beautiful ensuite bathrooms. There are four different restaurants within the hotel, including the stylish main restaurant, a spa bar and the poolside bar and grill. For you wine lovers, you can enjoy the most famous export wine from Vidago’s wine cellar.

Of course, the main attraction at Vidago Palace is the very special Vidago Palace Golf. The course reopened in 2010 after extensive remodelling as a new, 18-hole championship golf course. The course has retained many original elements from the parkland holes and there are newer holes which have been carved through the valley. This course is the perfect blend of its original design and new, modern design. The greens were enlarged during the remodel and have been reshaped to USGA standards. Throughout the course, you can enjoy stunning scenery and four different tee positions from different heights as well as lengths to make sure that this course can be enjoyed by all golfers!

If you are looking for a special golf escape to Portugal where you can enjoy delicious food and wine, play a few rounds on a fantastic golf course and enjoy extensive facilities within the hotel then look no further than Vidago Palace. It is no surprise that this fantastic hotel made our list of recommendations for your next golf and wine tour…

 

Situated in the stunning region of Bordeaux is the new luxurious Golf du Medoc Hotel. The hotel is located within 200 acres of French countryside situated just outside of the city of Bordeaux and features two brilliant golf courses onsite. It is no surprise that this resort is considered to be one of the most renowned golfing destinations in France and is the perfect place for you to enjoy wonderful golf and wine in this wine producing region.

The hotel offers beautiful four-star accommodation which is set opposite the two 18-hole golf courses. Each of the 79 rooms and suites are decorated in natural tones and boast complimentary Wi-Fi, air conditioning, flat-screen TV, a minibar, a safe and a hairdryer. Within the hotel, you can find extensive spa facilities which include an indoor heated swimming pool, a Hamman, a fitness centre and beauty treatments including reflexology.

 

You can find two different restaurants within the hotel; La Table du Medoc serves gourmet cuisine and boasts a very impressive wine list whilst Le Club serves a variety of snacks and is situated by the golf courses – perfect for a post-round snack. Besides the great wine, the two golf courses are the most impressive thing about the Golf du Medoc Hotel and it isn’t hard to see why.

Les Chateaux is the bigger course of the two and is highly regarded as being one of the best courses in France and has been awarded titles such as “The Best Course in France” in both 2014 and 2016 at the World Golf Awards. The course spans over 6,900 yards of French countryside and boasts large fairways and extreme rough areas. The idea of the course was to incorporate the best of the Bordeaux region and this course has not disappointed. This is a captivating golfing experience with heather-lined fairways, immaculate greens and strong, coastal breezes to pose a stern challenge to golfers of all abilities. A fantastic course that will require you to use every club in your bag.

The other course situated at this brilliant golfing resort is the Les Vignes course. This superb course was created in 1991 and has been embedded into the landscape of this stunning, wine-producing region. The course is of similar length to its sister course at just over 6,800 yards and boasts plenty of long pars which are finished with immaculate, fast-paced greens which are almost always surrounded by strategically-placed obstacles. Much like its sister course, a round on this course will challenge your consistency and will provide you with an exciting round from start to finish.

A stay at the Golf du Medoc resort is a perfect choice for golf and wine lovers alike.

Our final suggestion for your next wine and golf tour is a stay within the Lisbon region. Lisbon is the stunning capital city of Portugal and is considered to be one of the most vibrant and historic cities in Europe. You can find brilliant hotels and even better golf at Lisbon Sports Club within the area or, if you are happy to stay outside of the city you can venture up to the Obidos region. Of course, as a capital city, you can find an abundance of brilliant restaurants and bars where you can sample some exquisite food and drink, including very special wines.

 

Lisbon Sports Club was designed by Hawtree and Sons and is a charming 18-hole parkland course which is situated just outside the greater Lisbon area just 20 minutes from the city centre. This is a perfect course for you to play either when you just arrive or right before you fly home as it is situated just a short drive from Lisbon airport. The course is a short one at just under 5,300 metres off the back tees, so it is suitable for those looking for a great, holiday-style course which is playable by golfers of all abilities. There is a stream running through the course which comes in to play on 12 of the 18 holes but otherwise, this is a friendly course with lovely scenery and a great location.

Venturing out of the city, you can explore all areas of the Lisbon region including the Estoril, Sintra and Cascais triangles on the coast to the northwest and on the south, you can find several brilliant courses on the Costa Azul. An hour to the north, you can find Praia d’el Rey and Royal Obidos.

The key golfing areas include Obidos and Cascais. Obidos is widely considered to be one of the most picturesque towns in Portugal and boasts beautiful resorts and courses. The Royal Obidos course is a very special course with unique and challenging holes right from the first one. The second nine holes lie in the central and southern section of the development and six of them meander between an intricate ecosystem of lakes which are interconnected by cascading streams. Also, north of Lisbon, is Praia d’el Rey which is one of Europe’s finest courses, this classic links course is spread over dunes and cliffs with pines inland which are lying in wait to collect any errant shots. This course is a real test of golf to even the most discerning golfers and it is no surprise that we recommend this course to any travelling t the Lisbon region. No matter where you choose to holiday within the Lisbon region, you can find great wine, great golf and great weather and culture.

We hope that you have enjoyed this week’s blog and that next time you are thinking about booking a golf holiday, you think of the great golf and wine that you could enjoy if you choose one of these resorts or destinations for your next golf escape.