Portugal – The best golf destinations in the Algarve
The Algarve’s golf courses meet the requirements of even the most demanding players, making it a must-visit destination for those looking to enjoy this sport and take in events such as the Portugal Masters, the Algarve World Cup and the Copa de las Naciones.
The challenging 18-hole, par 72 course at Espiche has been designed to complement the distinctive Western Algarve landscape by embracing a sustainable and eco-friendly ethos. The lakes, streams and indigenous planting scheme works to enrich the local biodiversity while creating a unique golfing game and environment for golfers in the Algarve. The tree-lined fairways of Espiche Golf are tight yet forgiving, providing a challenging short game experience, while the bunkers along the majority of the large undulating greens require precise technique. The overall Espiche Golf experience is one that allows golfers of all levels to push their game on an exciting and sustainable course unlike any other in the Algarve.
NAU Hotels & Resorts aligns itself with the same quality and diversity principles, offering three golf courses for completely different experiences and challenges for any handicap, whether you are looking to play a round with friends, enjoy your holiday with the family, or practise this sport at any time of year.
Morgado Golf Course and Álamos Golf Course are located near the Monchique Mountains just 4 kilometres from Portimão. They are surrounded by exuberant nature. Both courses have 18 holes and they are complemented by the Academia de Golf do Morgado, which offers unique practise conditions in Portugal.
Salgados Golf Course, which is situated next to Salgados Beach, enjoys the sea breeze and a setting of environmental richness. It is next door to one of Europe’s unique nature reserves, which has a lake and is home to exotic birds. This course, which is located in Herdade dos Salgados, just 10 minutes from the centre of Albufeira, has 18 holes.
Each NAU course has a clubhouse that will meet your practical and emotional needs. With changing rooms, a golf shop and reception, you will find everything you need for your round and a bar-restaurant that serves as a meeting point, place of interaction between players and sun terrace, all in one. With NAU Hotels & Resorts you can fully make the most of the Algarve.
A course for those who prefer Nature, for Nature lovers, for those who respect her and wish to share unique and magic moments with her. Salgados Golf Course is located at Herdade dos Salgados, close to Albufeira. Next to Salgados Beach and Salgados Lagoon Nature Reserve, linking the dunes to the sea, Humanity to the Universe.
A shelter for various bird species, some under threat of extinction, this course offers golfers a unique experience with impressive views over the ocean and unique birdsong. We recommend walking over the green, as it is simple, beautiful and almost always flat. This is a very technical course, more cerebral than physical. Due to the wind, its changes, this course is never the same.
Here, almost all the holes are flanked by lagoons and one (number 6) is considered one of the most difficult of the world, as it has a lot of water and is very long. Holes 7, 8 and 15 are among the loveliest of the course (and region!). For golf enthusiasts, playing in the yellow tees is a delightful experience.
One of the reasons people enjoy playing Boavista is that it’s always in a first-rate condition. Another is the attractiveness of the course with its far reaching views of the Bay of Lagos to the east and the Monchique mountains to the north. Designed in 2002 by Howard Swan the golf course uses the natural contours of the terrain and as a result, it presents plenty of challenge – especially on holes six and eight where you have to hit your ball across a ravine!
With two distinctive sections, the course offers a variety of holes commencing with the welcoming first hole, a meandering downhill par-4, bordered by beautiful sub-tropical landscaping leading to harmoniously designed properties. The first nine, in general, climb to the highest point of the resort, where a pause at the eighth tee will allow one to experience panoramic views. Subsequent holes descend to an area where water features, streams, lakes and arched bridges, reminiscent of landscaped gardens abound.
In a setting of expansive panoramic views across the Bay of Lagos, Robert Trent Jones II has fashioned Europe’s next great golf course, Palmares Golf Resort. The charge given to Robert Trent Jones II was to craft a 27-hole golf course capable of showcasing this extraordinary environment to its fullest. The result is a breath-taking golf course that provides an engaging and fascinating experience. While the physical beauty of Palmares’ setting is prominent, the golf course itself is challenging. Robert Trent Jones II designed the golf course with the highest level of international tournament golf in mind. Palmares is composed of three returning nine-hole loops that can be played in any sequence. The genius in the routing is that, depending on the sequence of play, the Palmares golf experience is different. Each nine-hole loop has its own character and ambience.
The original 18-hole course of Pinheiros Altos, designed by Californian architect Ronald Fream, was well-known for its contrasting nines. While the first 9-hole are over rolling sandy undergrowth with gentle pine trees, the shorter second 9-hole runs through hills dotted with lakes that present the main obstacle for the golfers on this course. Jorge Santana da Silva, a disciple of famed architect Robert Trent Jones, was selected to design the new holes. The latest are inserted in amongst the original opening nine, with 4 (holes 4 to 7) in the Pinheiros (Pines) 9-hole course, and the remaining new five5 (holes 2 to 6) in a loop called Sobreiros (cork-oaks). All three loops start and end conveniently near the clubhouse area. 27 holes, Par 108, 9182 yards
The compact 9-hole golf course is surrounded by magnificent old pine trees and requires a precise game. World famous ‘devils parlour’, a challenging Par 3 crossing the cliffs, offers breathtaking views to the near Atlantic Ocean.The Pine Cliffs golf course provides a well-equipped golf academy that meets the requirements of both the hobby golfer as well as the tournament player. The practice area includes a driving range with 9 different flag positions, a chipping & pitching area and a large putting green. At the pro shop, you cannot only complete your golf equipment but also rent all you need for a perfect round of golf. The sunny terrace of the Club House & Corda Café invites you for a drink or snack after the game. 9 holes Par 65 4871 yards
Designed by Sir Nick Faldo with strategic play in mind this championship course demands careful positioning to score well. In a modern twist of a traditional recipe, cacti and wild herbs replace the role of Sunningdale’s heather, spartan Holm oaks and ancient olive trees take the place of lush English woodland, and desert scrub bunkers of crushed limestone replace Berkshire’s sandy tracts in a golf course that revels in the classic principles of strategic play. Nick said “The real skill is that when you stand on the tee, the golf hole tells you what to do and if you do what it tells you there is reward, but if you don’t you’re penalised. The back nine is quite hilly, which is fantastic because we’ve got some great views to complement the course.” 18 holes par 72, 6598m
Alto Golf & Country Club, located in Portugal’s Western Algarve, is a premier golf and country club resort, set in beautifully landscaped gardens, with villas, apartments, and townhouses, many with superb views of the sea, the golf course or the fabulous gardens. Our 18 hole, Par 72 golf course, was the last to be designed by the legendary Sir Henry Cotton. The winding fairways and elevated greens reflect Sir Henry’s golfing philosophy of providing low handicap players with a testing game and still affording plenty of enjoyment for players at average club level and providing satisfaction and inspiration for beginners. 18 holes Par 70 6356 yards
Nick Price, the former world No.1 player, has teamed up with the well-known golf course architect, Ronald Fream, to create a uniquely designed 18 hole course with 27 varied greens that enable the golfer to play the same course several times with different greens and new challenges. The design technique has positioned the greens and protective bunkers so that an 18 hole round is a genuine challenge. The positioning of the tee markers helps to increase this variety still further. As in the case of the Pinta Course, this course is maintained at tournament standard all the year round. 18 holes, Par 72, 6679 yards
Previously The Penina, but known as the Sir Henry Cotton Championship Course, the main 18 holes provide the most demanding test of a player’s skills in the Algarve, if not in Portugal. With the inevitable difficulty that a flat landscaping and terrain creates with club selection, the holes are crossed and flanked by a series of streams, ditches, and water hazards, demanding precisely executed shots to avoid trouble and achieve par. The course is beautifully maintained, winding past tall stands of eucalyptus and clumps of palm to mainly elevated greens which have subtle slopes and sometimes treacherous speeds. 18 holes, Par 73, 6912 yards
Quinta do Lago is an exclusive golf and residential estate nestling in nearly 2,000 acres of picturesque countryside and pine forests, bordering the Atlantic Ocean and the Ria Formosa Natural Park in the Algarve. Since its creation in 1972 it has won several awards for excellence and is a symbol of quality tourism, a place where outstanding natural beauty is perfectly complemented by gracious living.Each course is an experience of Augusta type fare and generous, lush fairways are intermittently decorated with clusters of pine, heather, broom and wild flowers and the carefully tended greens, considered among the best in Portugal are fast, true and sometimes humbling. Natural water features are sprinkled throughout and bunkers break the landscape almost as a constant reminder, to golfers of all experience and ability, of the great challenge that lies ahead.
Designed by William Mitchell from the USA and opened in 1974, Quinta do Lago South Course hosted the “Portuguese Open Championship” eight times as well as many important professional and amateur championships. The favourite of many tour players, Quinta South is a par 72 with 6,500 metres set in a natural setting surrounded by umbrella pines, lakes, wild vegetation and with the stunning Ria Formosa in the backdrop. Each hole has generous landing areas off the tees and well-defined routing amongst the woodland pines’ setting. This layout encourages the average player to hit their drivers, but calls for accurate driving and fairway shot precision to reach the greens in regulation. The players will discover a good variety of doglegs and strategically well located hazards obstructing the line of play for anyone who strays far from the optimum line
Quinta do Lago North course has two architects. William Mitchell designed holes 1 to 5 and 15 to 18 in 1974. These holes (as with the other course) share a unique character. The terrain is typical of the area: sandy and strewn with pine trees, heather, gorse and wild flowers. Holes 6 to 14 were designed by Joseph Lee with the collaboration of Rocky Roquerome, both from the USA, and opened in 1989. The terrain is superb, sandy and littered with umbrella pines. In the spring, the rough is covered with a blanket of wild flowers. The greens are sown with Penn Bent Grass guaranteeing high quality putting surfaces all year round. Fairways and tees are covered with Bermuda 419 hybrid, which provides year-round, top quality swards. Quinta North is an enjoyable challenge to golfers of all standards, the natural woodland, pine setting, the combination of undulating greens, well-positioned bunkers and water hazards ensure a unique golf experience. Walking off the 18th, the course may leave you with a sense of accomplishment or thoughts for what might have been – but always a longing to address the tee on the first green and do it all again.
Laranjal, originally an orange grove, is today a beautiful and totally different golf experience. It is a sanctuary for those seeking the finest in golf and personalized service. Its narrow fairways and well defined greens require concentration and accuracy to navigate this testing route laid out on a rolling and distinctive terrain. It is a par 72, 6,480 meters, with five par 5s, eight par 4s, five par 3s set amongst umbrella pines, cork-oaks and orange trees with a natural water course and 5 beautiful lakes. Penn A4 was selected for the greens to help guarantee good putting surfaces all year round and the Fairways are sown with Bermuda. Laranjal has won the Best Golf Course Category in the Portuguese Travel Awards 2011. After being short listed among 5 other Top golf courses in Portugal
Designed by Severiano Ballesteros, Quinta do Vale Golf Resort features and 18 hole Championship layout including 6 par 5’s, 6 par 4’s and 6 par 3’s. Superbly integrated into the landscape and with stunning views over the Guadiana River, the course sits in a natural valley overlooked by the Clubhouse. At Quinta do Vale, players will notice Seve’s creativity as well as his promise: To please everyone no matter what their handicap is. The course is enhanced by numerous dogleg holes, wide fairways and obstacles all set in breath-taking surroundings… The challenge awaits you at the Quinta do Vale Golf Resort. 18 holes, Par 72, 6511m
The Morgado Golf Course is surrounded by Nature, farming fields, in the type of the Algarvian Barrocal, ensconced between the hilly interior and the coast, graced with partridges and rabbits, is Morgado golf course. Between Portimão and Monchique, in one of the beautiful and largely unknown valleys of the Algarvian hinterland, this course is a challenge both for those taking their first steps in golf as for more experienced players seeking to test or improve their technique.
With 18 holes, this is a more open and easier course, with the features of a links course – with flat fairways and bunkers of Scottish inspiration – but, instead of being along the seaside as the traditional links, it’s placed inside parkland. The card presents a par of 73 strokes, although the length of the round is attenuated by the generous width of the fairways. However, the less accomplished strokes can be penalised by any one of the many bunkers distributed over the course. Surrounded by traditional species of trees of the region, such as citrus and olive trees, at Morgado the player is immersed in a calm and serene Algarve, meeting the inner soul of this region that has so much to offer.
Alamos is the sister course of Morgado Golf, located in the Morgado do Reguengo Resort, north of Portimão and is one of the three golf courses of the NAU group. The third one is the Salgados Golf Course, in Albufeira.
The Alamos golf course is characterised by two large lakes and great views of the Monchique mountains, over the water reservoir and the vineyard, showing the peaceful inner Algarve. Set beside its sister golf course Morgado in the beautiful unspoilt rolling countryside, Alamos Golf Course provides a delightful variety of holes. Alamos is shorter than Morgado Golf Course and its irregular fairways are also tighter and each hole is well delimited by native trees. Greens are smaller but more regular. Bunkers are part of this Par 71 golf course, but in a short figure – just half of Morgado Golf’s number.
Do not be deceived because Alamos Golf Course has been cleverly protected with trees coming into play even before you get to the greens! In conclusion, Alamos and Morgado Golf courses are completing perfectly each other.
We can arrange a Quality Golfing holiday at a number of other courses in Europe, please contact the office as other Courses are available on request.
We are members of the Travel Trust Association so all bookings made with us are secure and your money is always safe, something we think is very important in the current economic climate. We are also members of IAGTO, the International Association of Golf Tour Operators who support golf tourism worldwide.
Quality Golf Destinations Ltd
PO Box 3186 | Biddulph | Staffs | ST8 9AY
Our reviews of the best Portugal Golf Courses, Click on the Logo of each course to visit there website.