Are you looking for a fabulous golf destination, with challenging courses and great opportunities to play your best golf ever? Travel writer, Polly Allen of EasyJet Holidays recently wrote to me at golfgurls.com about such a special place. I’ve never been to this region, but it sounds like a preferred destination, and after reading what she has to say, I’m ready to pack my bags and fly. 🙂
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Golf in the Algarve for Women
Portugal’s is one of the world’s most popular golfing destinations, with Algarve golf holidays being a firm favourite. The Algarve is situated in southern Portugal, framed by the Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea. The Portuguese leg of the Masters takes place here annually at Vilamoura, which is one of many hotspots for the sport, and us women can certainly feel at home when we visit. With a staggering 39 courses in the region, you’ll be spoiled for choice as you work on your handicap. Here’s the lowdown on what to expect.
Eastern Algarve – Featured Course: Close to the ancient city of Tavira, Quinta da Ria and Quinta de Cima are two courses you can’t afford to miss. Regular players will tell you how exciting the final few holes of the elevated Quinta da Cima are, with the fairway divided by a stream at the 16th hole and strategic ponds for the 17th and 18th. Quinta da Ria is a great choice if you’re seeking a flatter route alongside lakes and local landscape views.
Other Courses: Also in the Eastern part of the region are several smaller 9 hole sites, including Colina Verde and Castro Marim. Large sections of the area are not devoted to golf because the Ria Formosa Natural Park stretches across it, bursting with wildlife such as flamingos and lizards.
Exploring the Area: You won’t find it in the brochures, but Pego do Inferno is a site that’s been popular with locals for years. This waterfall is just outside Tavira and is framed by a beautiful lagoon, making it an ideal place to have a picnic with your friends or take some atmospheric holiday photos.
Central Algarve – Featured Course: Oceanico Victoria is an expansive 90 hectare layout where the Masters is played every year. This is a premium course dating back to 2004, with a golf shop and buggy bar. You’ll need to bring your handicap certificate for access, then you can become immersed in the large putting green, the almond trees and the wetlands dotted around the greens. Ladies’ Week is held between 19th and 22nd September.
Other Courses: the central part of the Algarve has the biggest concentration of courses, including three at Quinta do Lago and 9 simple holes at Balaia. It’s really about finding the one that is right for you! Vilamoura’s Vila Sol has an incredible 27 holes to really put you through your paces.
Exploring the Area: visit Albufeira – it’s a very popular town set in the middle of the region, with a great nightlife scene as well as a range of three beaches to discover. If you’re bringing the family then make sure you pop into Zoomarine, which is a marine theme park that’s on the outskirts and is a tourist favourite.
Western Algarve – Featured Course: Espiche is worth mentioning in this area of the Algarve because it’s a unique course based on ecological principles, so that means sustainability is a number one consideration. Not only will you find local plants and special grass that fits in with the environment, but the course also works with biologists to ensure they’re doing things right. As for the greens themselves, manager Peter Tacon Thornton thoroughly recommends Espiche for women players as they can play short.
Other Courses: Boavista is suitable for golfers of varying ability and it includes a vast range of water features from the 13th to the 17th hole. Views of Praia da Luz and the surrounding beaches mean that there’s plenty to take in when you play here.
Exploring the Area: The natural spa waters of Caldas de Monchique are set high into the Monchique hills and have been drawing visitors since Roman times. Visit the village and see what all the fuss is about, then head to the nearby town of Silves to experience its Moorish castle and the traditional market square.
As you can see, there’s plenty of choice no matter where in the Algarve you choose to go. This region truly has everything when it comes to golf!