1. Vale do Lobo Royal
Located in the prestigious Vale do Lobo resort, only 20 minutes from Faro airport, the Royal is one of two courses resort but is by far the most talked about of the two. This is largely thanks to the famous 16th, widely touted as the most photographed holes in the world and it has to be seen to be believed! With its cliff top carryover, if the wind is in the wrong direction then your ball is heading onto the beach that sits below the cliffs but don’t worry – you won’t be the first!
The Palmares golf course appears to rise from the horizon as you approach it, with the panoramic views of the ocean and course laid out beneath you making this a truly breath taking location. The beauty of Palmares is that it is actually three courses with nine holes each, allowing golfers to play the course in many different ways. A brand new clubhouse was recently inaugurated here too, making it one of the most impressive in the Algarve and the perfect place for non golfers to relax and soak up the views as well as for golfers to enjoy top quality food and drinks after a round in the sunshine.
Penina is the grandfather of golf courses in the Algarve and is often referred to as the true home of golf in the region. Here you can find three courses including the Sir Henry Cotton Championship Course, which was the very first 18 golf course to be constructed in the Algarve. Don’t forget to pop into the hotel after your round and take in the atmosphere, this is where Sir Paul McCartney nipped in to change some money and ended up penning a tune entitled “Penina” while he was there.
Over in the western Algarve you will find Espiche Golf, this course takes an eco-friendly and sustainable ethos and brings it into every element of the course. In the height of the summer the greens may not all be perfectly green because they have chosen to reduce the amount of water they use to protect the delicate environment of the local area. Here you can take in the local plants and wildlife as you also enjoy a challenging round of golf.
5. Dom Pedro Victoria
Play like a pro at one of the most popular golf courses in Vilamoura because this is the home of the Portugal Masters, which it has hosted since 2007. The course was designed by the golfing legend Arnold Palmer and is a firm favourite with golfers in the region thanks to the challenge that it presents to both seasoned and new golfers. Any trip to the Algarve for golf should always involve a game at one of the courses in Vilamoura, a mecca for golf lovers, thanks to six courses in the area.
6. Quinta do Lago North
Located in the upmarket resort of Quinta do Lago you are most likely to be distracted by the familiar faces you see on your round here, as this course is a favourite with celebrities, sports people and the odd starlet. The course has recently been totally redesigned by Beau Welling and Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley (who also has an academy here and can be seen out and about regularly), with the new layout costing an eye watering €9 million but it looks like money well spent as the course is stunning and a real favourite.
7. Quinta do Vale
This is a golfers golf course, and regular players in the region all rate Quinta do Vale very highly as a challenging and enjoyable course that is worth the drive out to Castro Marim to enjoy. Located close to the boarder with Spain you can combine a round of golf with lunch across the border to make a true day of it or if you are feeling like a touch of history then pay a visit to the Castro Marim castle while you are in the area and drink in the views from the ramparts.
A trip to the Algarve to play golf on some of Europe’s most beautiful courses is quick and easy, with flight times from most major northern European cities coming in at around only three hours. There are regular flights throughout the week to Faro airport in the Algarve, including from Munich with Lufthansa, from Frankfurt with either Lufthansa or Ryanair and from Dusseldorf with Eurowings or Ryanair.
As soon as you land in Faro then your Algarve adventure can truly begin, with the airport only a short drive to most of the major destinations in the region.