The Algarve has been rated by specialist golf magazines as well as international golf associations as one of the best golfing destinations not only in Europe but the world, for several consecutive years. The south is home to the best golf courses in the country. The Mediterranean climate, ideal for outdoor activities, and the real estate on offer in luxury resorts make this region an unbeatable spot for investment, relaxation and leisure at any time of year.
The Algarve's golf resorts offer quality, exceptional facilities, award-winning golf courses, a range of services, hospitality, proximity to beaches and dream properties. There are places of rare beauty because most of the courses are set in conservation areas, with stunning views and, in many cases, overlook the Atlantic Ocean. They are internationally renowned for the quality of their facilities, with course architecture by prestigious players and legendary champions such as Sir Henry Cotton, Rocky Roquemore, Arnold Palmer and Ronald Frea.
If you love playing golf and are looking for that perfect paradise to play, while enjoying a holiday or retirement, you don't need to be a golfing champion, you just need the right place. LUXIMOS Christie's Magazine is here to help you discover the 7 most irresistible golf courses in Southern Portugal.
Related: Algarve: Europe's best golf destination awaits you
1. Royal Golf Course, in Vale do Lobo: the famous 16th hole
Strategically surrounded by lakes and lush pine trees and wild flowers, the Royal Golf Course in Vale do Lobo is one of the most prestigious and popular golf courses in the country. It was designed by the American architect and designer Rocky Roquemore ? perhaps the greatest golf course designer in the world ? who based his design on original drawings by Sir Henry Cotton. The course features a Par 3, with an island green at the 9th hole, and the famous 16th hole, exceptionally located over the cliffs, with the sea as a backdrop, making it one of the most photographed in Europe. It also benefits from being situated next to the Algarve's most stunning beaches and surrounded by unique villas. It is the ideal location for those looking for a place to retire.
2. Monte Rei Golf & Country Club: luxury on the other side of the Algarve
Beyond Faro and on the other, more genuine, less hectic, but no less impressive, side of the Algarve lies Monte Rei Golf & Country Club. Voted the Best Golf Club in Portugal in 2017, through the Leadingcourses.com platform, it is one of the highest rated by players. The iconic golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus, along with its exclusive services, impeccable quality facilities and luxury properties, make visiting this Country Club an unforgettable experience.
Located in Vila Nova de Cacela, this 18-hole golf course, over 400 hectares, is ideal for golf lovers and families seeking to combine sport with tranquillity. The cherry on the cake can be found at the centre of the resort: the Vistas restaurant, the first to receive a Michelin star on this side of the Algarve.
3. Amendoeira Golf Resort: the one to play at night
In the heart of the Algarve, you will find the three Amendoeira Golf Resort golf courses. The award-winning Faldo Course, designed by Sir Nick Faldo, three times Masters champion and three times British Open champion. It is also home to the challenging O'Connor Jnr. course which stretches across a valley dotted with lakes and streams. In addition to these two award-winning 18-hole courses, you will also find the only floodlit Par 3 in Portugal, allowing you to play a 9-hole course at night or at dusk.
The resort's properties are set in 270 hectares of pure tranquility and golf course views. Apartments and villas with Moorish-influenced architecture, interior courtyards, tiles and private terraces with stunning views.
Located in Alcantarilha, in the centre of the Algarve, and 30 minutes from Faro airport.
Anyone looking for a property in a luxury golf resort must visit Vale do Lobo, the most coveted place in the Algarve. The award-winning Ocean and Royal Courses golf courses need no introduction, even in a world context, as some of the most current reputable and media-friendly golf events are held here.
Of its two courses, we must highlight the Ocean Golf Course, composed of two magnificent 9-hole courses designed by Sir Henry Cotton, opened in 1968 and 1972. The aim here was to unite the two courses in one grandiose project, which came to fruition in 1985. No wonder, therefore, that it is one of the favoured courses of professional players. For golf lovers, the activities do not end at the fabulous greens. Socializing among peers and friends and the sharing of experiences can be continued in the Clubhouse.
Vale do Lobo, which has direct links to the beach, is home to some of the Algarve's most luxurious properties.
5. Dom Pedro Victoria Golf: stage for the Portugal Masters
Inaugurated in 2004, the Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course Vilamoura, in the Algarve, was designed by the American architect Arnold Palmer to be the most ambitious golf resort Portugal had ever known. Having been an award-winning golfer himself, he knew what it took to add value. On around 90 hectares of land, "The King", as he was known, designed an area with 18 greens. The complex includes a much-praised driving range and a putting green of around 2,500 m2. As one of the most complete resorts in Europe, it's no surprise that, in 2007, Dom Pedro Victoria Golf was chosen to host the Portugal Masters, the biggest golf competition in the country.
6. Dom Pedro Old Course Golf Club: the "Grande Dame" of the Algarve
It is often said that once you get to know the Old Course, designed by the British golfer, journalist and architect Frank Pennink, it is impossible to forget it. This is not because of its longevity – it is the second oldest golf course in Algarve – but because of its idyllic location, hidden away in the middle of a magnificent pine forest, in the heart of Vilamoura, just a 20-minute drive from Faro Airport. The Old Course has 18 holes of varying difficulty; for example, on the first hole, shots must be short to avoid running into the pine trees, from the sixth hole the challenge increases because of the wind and proximity to the sea. At the eighth hole, considered the most difficult in this course, mastery of the game is fundamental. The sixteenth hole is not for the faint-hearted, it is 514 metres in length for a long and straight shot.
It is in the surroundings and the stunning views that the Palmares golf course's greatest asset lies. Located near Lagos, in the Algarve, this course was completely redesigned by the American designer Robert Trent Jones Jr. He designed 27 holes on the side of a south-facing hill, overlooking the Bay of Lagos, transforming this golf course into one of the most attractive in the Algarve. In this natural amphitheatre you will find three circuits with 9 interconnected holes: the Alvor Course, the Lagos Course and the Praia Course. They can be played sequentially or independently, but however they are played, it is impossible to ignore the views. The first circuit passes through woods and descends to the beach, offering a panoramic view of the Alvor estuary and the ocean. The second takes the player to the beach with superb views. The third is situated almost entirely on the beach, among the sand dunes. The infrastructure of this unique resort completes the idyllic landscape with apartments and Clubhouse designed by the 2017 Pritzker Architecture Prize winners.
Related: https: 8 Reasons to rediscover the Algarve this winter
Original release in LUXIMOS Christie's magazine | June 2023