Golf Courses in Portugal
While Portugal has been a world golf destination for only a few years, the location and weather in this beautiful country have certainly made it a popular choice for a golf holiday. Among the key attractions of golf courses in Portugal are variety in landscape and the ever-present sunshine. In fact, golfers enjoy about 340 days of sun every year, making it possible to plan a golf holiday at almost any time. Add to this mix the beauty of the Atlantic Ocean and the rich history of the country and you have a perfect setting for a golf vacation. A famous golfer by the name of Henry Cotton is often credited with introducing the world to Portugal as a golf destination. Cotton is considered a legend among golf aficionados and it was this gentleman who designed one of the first great Portuguese golf courses. Perhaps the favourite golf destination in Portugal is the Algarve, the province on the south coast. More than two dozen excellent courses attract players year-round, though the primary golf season runs from autumn through late spring. Mild winter temperatures contribute to the increasing number of golfers who choose the Algarve for their golf holiday, though the travelling golfer would be wise to consider that the winter season can also be the rainy season in Portugal. Family members can enjoy the great beaches of this region while the golfers are on the fairways and greens. Golf packages are available through a number of excellent holiday organizers.
The travelling golfer can enjoy the best of golf courses in Portugal, the attractions of Lisbon and the beauty of the Algarve in one trip for about $3,000 per golfer. This great price often includes a rental car. The Portuguese capital offers great sightseeing, museums and shopping, in addition to unmatched nightlife. A slightly longer golf vacation can include several of the top courses in the country, deluxe accommodations and rental car for about $4,500 per player. Many of the finer golf packages in Portugal include an excellent buffet breakfast every morning. When planning a golf holiday in Portugal, it may be wise to ask about lodging in one of the mansions or large homes available, just to get a bit of local flavour. Some of the great courses included in these plans are Palheiro (considered one of the most beautiful golf destinations in the world), Vilamoura, Palmares and Quinta do Lago. Preliminary planning for a Portuguese golf vacation might include another option - the island of Madeira, which now has a couple of excellent courses. For example, the famed Robert Trent Jones Jr designed Clube de Golfe da Madeira. The word has spread quickly that this is a golf course in a spectacular setting, with mountain scenery dominating the skyline. The course is not extremely long, but can be made difficult by shifting winds. What Henry Cotton started has blossomed into a major industry, with numerous golf courses in Portugal springing up in the south of the country. The increasing numbers of courses and the country's proximity to Europe have made it one of the favoured places to play, not only for continental golfers but also for players from the United States and elsewhere.