Best golf courses in Portugal
Massively popular among our customers, Portugal has so many options for a golf break. Take a look at our comprehensive guide to the very best golf courses in Portugal.
With immaculate playing conditions, glorious weather year-round, and an abundance of incredible courses to choose from, it's no surprise as to why Portugal is a golfer’s dream destination.
We are often asked by our customers, what are the best golf courses in Portugal? Naturally, Vilamoura springs to mind when exploring the Algarve for ideas, but do not forget about the country's capital, Lisbon, with its own fair share of iconic coastal layouts to brag about. We've put together our list of the best and most popular layouts for your next Portugal golf trip, in no particular order.
Inaugurated in 2001, Oitavos Dunes bears a delightful mix of links and woodland type holes that are settled seamlessly into the landscape of Sintra-Cascais National Park. The par 71 Course was built at the most westerly point of mainland Europe and has astonishing views of the Atlantic Ocean, clearly no mistake when Arthur Hills decided on the idyllic location. A multiple time host to the European Tour's Portuguese Open and GolfSixes, why not try your hand at tackling this incredible championship spec course.
Jack Nicklaus was definitely aiming for perfection when designing this course, but the service and precise attention to detail is what makes the entire experience at Monte Rei a truly memorable one. Be prepared for your round, a hazardous selection of water and bunkers will make the shot choice difficult with delicate approaches and aggressive risk and reward tee shots. This course has been leading the way in the top 100 since 2007 and with plans to expand, deserves its place in our best golf courses in Portugal list.
Sandwiched between Sado Estuary and Arrabida mountain, the Troia par 72 course has some of the best golf in Portugal, with the incredible 3rd hole regarded as one of Robert Trent Jones Senior’s finest creations. Kick off the experience with a ferry across the Peninsula of Troia and prepare yourself for sand aplenty and tough pine-lined doglegged fairways. We hope you bring your a-game as a strategic and technical approach is needed here for a good score.
Perfect Bermuda grass fairways and an undulating woodland topography make this incredible course a firm Faro favourite. This beacon of class and allure was the brainchild of American architect Joe Lee who has done a dazzling job, creating a course that feels like three courses in one. No matter what your handicap, the cocktail of 18 holes will need a high level of concentration on the San Lorenzo Golf Course.
Mostly known for its continuous connection with the Portugal Masters since 2007, the Dom Pedro Victoria Course has been a staple of quality and consistency in the world of golf. Do not be deceived by this relatively flat course as threatening bunkers and ominous water hazards will catch you off guard and your scorecard will pay the price. Mammoth undulating greens will leave you fighting for par, as three-putting here is nothing to be ashamed of under the intense Vilamoura sunshine.
With a number of holes overlooking the Ria Formosa Natural Park, William Mitchell’s brainchild is well up in the top class of courses not only in Portugal but Europe. Being a Quinta do Lago championship course and host to the Portuguese Open no less than eight times, this course should still not scare off players of any handicap. There is a real sense of fluidity that snakes through the fairways scattered with Japanese umbrella pine that make the South course a real work of art.
Whilst trying to battle the gusts from the lively Atlantic Ocean, the breath-taking Praia D'El Rey course will throw all it can at you to disrupt your game. Devilish rough and ominous deep bunkers encase the greens requiring a high level of concentration and patience to prevent any damage to the scorecard. Regardless, take a step back, relax, and take in the most incredible scenic views of the resort that accompany you throughout the round.
Robert Trent Jones Jnr has once again pulled out all the stops with a magical 27-hole course overlooking the beautiful Bay of Lagos. A mixture of 3 loops of 9 provides a number of different scenarios from large sand dunes with links-style holes to woodland and tree-lined fairways. Dramatic elevation changes and depth of challenging environments earn the ‘jewel in the crown of the Algarve’ its place in our list of top golf courses in Portugal.
9. West Cliffs Golf Links
The latest addition to golf in Portugal, West Cliffs Golf Links was introduced in 2017 by Cynthia Dye, Pete Dye’s niece, and has received critical acclaim ever since. The layout is simply stunning, with views of the Atlantic Ocean and/or the Obidos Lagoon on every hole.
Despite being a new design, West Cliffs has a classic links feel, with natural, undulating terrain, expansive bunkers, large sand dunes, and a strong sea breeze on a windy day. This is truly a modern great, and when twinned with its older sibling, Praia d’el Rey, provides a world-class golf holiday.
Over the years, the beautiful coastal town of Vilamoura has become synonymous with golf holidaymakers for its easily accessible location and buzzing town centre. There are a selection of fantastic golf courses in a small area and The Old Course is perhaps top of the pile.
As the name suggests, The Old Course is the second oldest layout in the Algarve, dating back to 1969. This matured gem makes full use of its natural land, with gently undulating terrain and beautiful pine trees throughout. Although it may look like a straightforward course, the small, sloping greens, strategically placed fairway bunkers and gentle doglegs make for a tough but worthwhile challenge.
The second Quinta do Lago course to be included on this list, like the South Course, the North Course plays through beautiful and mature Japanese umbrella pines throughout. The course is consistently in pristine condition, with lightning-fast greens, large bunkers, and tree-lined fairways. There is also plenty of water, so precise shot-making is the key to scoring well.
Following a 2014 refurbishment by Beau Welling and Paul McGinley, the North Course has become one of Portugal’s premier layouts and a must-play when visiting the Algarve.
Situated just outside of Albufeira, Amendoeira is a first-class golf resort with two exceptional on-site courses in the O’Connor and Faldo. The latter is undoubtedly the more popular of the two and won Portugal’s Best Golf Course at the World Golf Awards in 2016. The course calls for strategic play through rocky terrain, desert bunkers, water hazards, and olive trees. It’s a great addition to any Algarve golf itinerary and offers a great contrast to the other courses in the area.
The Atlantic Championship Course has managed to maintain an elegant charm amongst the lush vegetation and wonderful surroundings of the Penha Longa Resort. The secluded feel will pose an intimate and engaging course experience on this Trent Jones masterpiece.
With exciting and challenging shots throughout the round lookout for the par-3 15th as wrong club selection could be the difference between making par and swimming with the fish. With views overlooking the neighbouring coastal towns of Cascais and Estoril, this is a truly breath-taking golf course.
Senior Groups European Travel Consultant