Best golf courses in the Algarve
A golfing favourite amongst our customers, we count down our top courses to play on a break to the sunny Algarve.
The Algarve doesn’t need glamorising; its reputation speaks for itself and constantly the top spots in the ‘Europe’s Top 100 rankings’ are stolen by Algarve courses.
We are often asked by our customers, what are the best golf courses in the Algarve? This southern region is home to many stunning golf courses and with so much variety it can be difficult to decide where to go. For many, Vilamoura is the beating heart of golf in the Algarve. However, there are also many other incredible places to go and play. Check out our ‘Quick 9’ for our top golf courses in the Algarve…
Meandering through thick pine forests and passing the spectacular lagoons of the ‘Ria Formosa Nature Reserve’, San Lorenzo is a beautiful course that lays claim to being the best in all the Algarve. Holes 6-8 and then 15 play alongside the water garner claiming all the attention and rightly so, this is a truly great course.
Located in a privileged position right in the foothills of beautiful Eastern Algarve, the Serra do Caldeirao Mountains provide stunning views from start to finish. Golf at Monte Rei is all about the ‘experience’, tee time intervals are longer than normal and each hole naturally blends into the canvas of the landscape. The course sets up the perfect environment for golfers to enjoy their game in a relaxed and undisturbed atmosphere.
A European Tour course, the South at Quinta do Lago is the original and regarded by most as the best on the property. It’s hosted the Portuguese Open numerous times and the conditioning is always superb as you would expect. Elevation changes from hole to hole and the amazing par-3s and rapid greens make for a round you won’t forget as this course staples it's position in our top Algarve golf courses.
Recently reopened after a €10m renovation by Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley and Beau Welling, the North course at Quinta is a stunning place to play, with all tees, greens and bunkers having been completely rebuilt. Don’t look straight to the South course without also considering playing here, this magnificent ‘New’ course is fit to rival anything in the area.
Designed by the great Arnold Palmer and host to the Portugal Masters every year on the European Tour, the Victoria Course is a brilliant test. With plenty of sand and water to avoid this is not one for the faint-hearted. Not least on the tough closing stretch, drama is guaranteed at this iconic venue.
The famous Sir Nick Faldo designed course, known for its challenging layout, dramatic elevations and constant undulations. Although this one doesn’t play right alongside the coast like some of the others, it makes up for this 100 fold. The course is always immaculate and the hospitality second to none. Everyone enjoys playing here. It’s consistently rated amongst the top five / ten in Portugal and for us, it’s a must-play!
The second oldest layout in the region, the Old Course was built in the late 1960s and is very much the Grand Old Lady of Algarve golf. It’s every inch the classic Algarve course it was built to be, demanding precision play through the stunning umbrella pines. Such is the majesty that each picturesque hole will stay with you. The updates in 1997 improved the course even more, it now competes with the very best in the region for quality and has kept its rich heritage.
Comparisons have been made with the legendary Cypress Point in California and what a compliment. The Royal Course at Vale de Lobo is famed for its photogenic 16th that plays across the cliffs to a green more than 200 yards away. It’s a spectacular hole that’s worth the green fee alone, but the rest of the course is also awesome. If you want stunning views and perfect fairways this course won’t disappoint.
Situated in Lagos, perhaps one of the most beautiful towns in the Algarve. The Palmares course was recently renovated with the new Robert Trent Jones designs and golfers now flock to this world-class destination for the experience. It’s wonderful high tees elevate you well above the beaches and the local marina and provide the most spectacular views. Robert Trent Jones said “Palmares Golf Course is special on so many levels, the expansive ocean vistas, dramatic elevation changes and quintessential Mediterranean intimate valleys”. Don’t take RTJ’s word for it, play Palmares and see for yourself.
Senior European Travel Consultant