Golf in Portugal-Still a favourite for golf in the sun
Golf in Portugal continues to be the first choice destination for many golfers and accompanying travellers. It is no surprise that Portugal continues to receive many accolades from organisations such as the World Travel Awards. With an abundance of top quality golf courses, superb beaches and cultural attractions for the non golfer, plus easy access from many major airports. Golf in Portugal has seen a significant rise in popularity during the last 12 months with the number of rounds being played increasing in the past 2 years.
Why Golf in Portugal?
With its mild climate, 3000 hours of sunshine per year and 850 kms of splendid beaches bathed by the Atlantic Ocean, Portugal is the perfect holiday destination all year round.
Golf in Portugal is popular because it is a country with a rich diversity of landscapes within its borders, an abundance of leisure and sports activities and a unique cultural heritage, where tradition and modernity blend together in perfect harmony. The fabulous cuisine, fine wines and hospitable people make this a golf and tourist destination of the highest quality.
Situated in the very far corner of south-west of Europe and only a few hours from most European capitals, Portugal attracts visitors from all over the world and is so easy to access from many major airports. Portugal also has its own paradise island of Madeira which is situated off the coastline of North Africa and is blessed with fabulous scenery and perfect all year round weather.
Golf in Portugal-How to get here and travel around
Air Travel to Portugal
Portugal is served by a number of major airports throughout the country and is easily accessible from most major airports in Europe. Within an average flying time of between 2.5- 3.5 hours from many UK and European destinations Golf in Portugal can be an easy journey for a weekend or longer golf break. The major airports are as follows
Lisbon Portela– Serves Lisbon and the Silver Coast region and many national and low cost airlines operate to/from Lisbon
Faro Airport – The major gateway for visitors to The Algarve and served by many national and low cost airlines
Oporto Airport– Principal airport serving Porto, northern Portugal and parts of north west Spain.
Funchal Airport– Serving the island of Madeira and approximately 4 hours flying time from most of the UK and northern Europe.
Train services in Portugal
The train company CP-Comboios de Portugal provides a comprehensive train service across mainland Portugal as well as international services to Vigo, Madrid and Lisbon. For the more leisurely traveller it is possible to travel from London to Lisbon and the Algarve in 36 hours.
The high speed trains operate between Lisbon and the Algarve and to Porto and the north of Portugal. More intermediate services and local commuter and suburban services are also available. A highly recommended service is the local service between Cascais and Lisbon which travels along the coastline of the River Tagus and very inexpensive.
Road Travel in Portugal
Portugal has a good network of roads across the mainland including Motorways (AE), major trunk roads(IP) and secondary trunk(IC) and secondary/municipal roads.
There are two types of motorways in Portugal. The first those with traditional toll booths where payment is made by cash or bank card and also a green channel where payment is made by bank card via an electronic device fitted. More details can be found on the website www.viaverde.pt
The second are completely electronic toll roads where cars are detected passing through various points of the motorway and payment is made later through various methods. For further details visit www.portugaltolls.com
Weather in Portugal
The climate is perfect for golf in Portugal is very much affected by the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea . The south, experiences the slightly warmer conditions with particularly mild winters and hot summers. Further north, the coast is warmed by the Gulf Stream, so winters are still mild and summers are warm. More inland summers are hotter but the winter temperature drops. In winter you can even find snow in Portugal.
In the Algarve summers are particularly dry and sunny with 12 hours of sunshine each day and an average maximum temperature of 28 degrees Celsius (82° Fahrenheit) and minimum of 20 degrees Celsius (68° Fahrenheit). Although temperatures in the north are a little lower, there is still around 11 hours of sunshine each day and the cool sea breeze makes it pleasant for a summer break. A good reason to look at Portugal as an all year round destination.
Rainfall totals do increase in Portugal during November through to February and the weather in the Lisbon and Porto regions can be rather unsettled. The Algarve is normally more settled earlier and later in the year although the Portugal Masters in Vilamoura during mid October has seen more occurrences of bad weather during the tournament. The peak seasons for golf in Portugal tend to be mid February to May and mid September to the end of October so do book early if you intend to visit during these months.
Golf in Portugal by Region
The most popular region for golf in Portugal is The Algarve at the very far southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula. Since 1966 when Sir Henry Cotton created Penina golfers have continued to flock back every year to enjoy the superb climate and all year round golf. With a coastline stretching over 155 kilometres and 300 days of sunshine every year the Algarve can offer everything. The Algarve has a mild all year round climate where temperatures rarely drop below 10 Degrees C but it is advisable to remember that temperatures in July and August can often climb close to or above 40 Degrees C. Always ensure that you have plentiful water and sunblock with you before commencing your round of golf.
Most of the Algarve golf holiday activity is is centred around the resorts of Vilamoura, Albufeira and Lagos. Vilamoura with it’s renowned Marina is one of the most popular destinations for golf in Portugal with superb courses such as Vale do Lobo and Quinta do Lago on its doorstep. The Dom Pedro group has a number of courses within its vicinity including Victoria and the Old Course. Vilamoura has no shortage of top quality accommodation including Tivoli Marina , superb apartments at The Old Village and the Pestana Vila Sol Resort close to the Marina. Further afield there excellent courses close to Albufeira, Carvoeiro and Alvor such as Amendoeira Golf Resort and the Pestana Golf Resort.
The Algarve also celebrated 50 years in 2016 as a major golf destinations and Penina Hotel and Golf Resort was the first major golf courses opened in 1966 and designed by the legendary Sir Henry Cotton.
For families and non golfers there are the superb beaches plus a great choice of nightlife options in Vilamoura, Albufeira and Alvor. Albufeira with its Old Town district is a popular all year destination with visitors often combining stag and hen weekends to frequent the lively nightspots of Albufeira.
Alvor is a traditional fishing village that has a great variety of bars and restaurants and local fish dishes are naturally a speciality. Carvoeiro is a quieter destination situated within a superb sandy cove but there are plenty of bars and restaurants to keep visitors occupied. There are numerous family attractions including Algarve Aqualand and Zoomarine that will satisfy the requirements of many families that will visit the Algarve every year.
Lagos is a town still to be in the more traditional Algarve fashion with a superb marina and centre with many bars shops and restaurants. Lagos is an excellent base to explore the western Algarve including Sagres, Monchique and Silves.
Lisbon Golf Coast
Voted the top European Golf Destination for 2016 the Lisbon Golf Coast is fast becoming just as popular for golf in Portugal with superb golf courses such as Oitavos Dunes and Estoril only 25-30 minutes from Portugal’s capital city. Lisbon and the surrounding area is spoilt for choice with cultural places such as Sintra to visit and Lisbon is regarded as one of the most safest capital cities in Europe to visit.
One or our personal favourites is Cascais where there is a superb collection of hotels, apartments and guest houses to cater for visitors. On the edge of Cascais is Quinta da Marinha Golf Resort with its 5 star hotel and selection of villas and townhouses providing a varied selection of accommodation. The Hotel Baia Cascais is a superb hotel overlooking Cascais Bay with its own roof top swimming pool and bar. Cascais has a rich mixture of bars and restaurants and is very popular with local people. Great road and public transport links make Cascais an ideal destination for golf and sightseeing in the Lisbon region
Further along the Silver course are a group of courses including Royal Obidos, Praia del Rey and Dolce Camporeal . The nearby traditional town of Obidos is popular for visitors on a day trip from Lisbon and the local beaches such as Praia do Guincho are perfect for surfers looking for the big Atlantic waves. For the night time the Bairro Alto and Cais do Sodre districts of Lisbon are full of nightclubs, bars, restaurants and late night shopping to complete a full day’s exploration of Portugal’s capital city. Alternatively leave the traditional narrow streets and enter the impressive Praco do Comercio with its chic restaurants and bars on the edge of the square that leads to the waterfront on the River Tagus.
Golf in Portugal does not have to expensive. To the south of Lisbon across the majestic Abril 25 bridge that spans the River Tagus there are great value courses such as Aroeira and Quinta do Peru with a great selection of hotels and apartments to cover every budget. Many of our holidays are based in the fabulous seaside resort of Sesimbra with the SANA Sesimbra and Sesimbra Spa hotels providing fabulous beachfront holidays for the non golfer.
Look out for our special Lisbon golf and cultural packages with visits to local vineyards such as Jose Maria da Fonseca and a must do is a visit to Pasteis de Belem to taste the local Natas. Football weekends where you can include in your golf in Portugal visit a match including the great football giants in Portugal- Benfica and Sporting Lisbon.
Lisbon has survived it’s fair share of tragedy especially the earthquake and tsunami of 1755 but is now one of the most popular and diverse capital cities in Europe. For more information visit www.visitlisboa.com
Porto and northern Portugal
Often overlooked for golf in Portugal the region around Porto and northern Portugal offers a completely different golf holiday compared to the Algarve. With a number of superb courses and hotels such as Vidago Palace and excellent value golf resorts such as Axis Ponte de Lima there are plenty of choices for the golfer. The local golf passport can also include a selection of golf courses in north west Spain.
Porto is at the centre of the wine region producing the fabulous Port that Portugal is renowned for. Our Porto Golf and Wine Experiences incorporate experiences such as a cruise on the River Douro and tours of local vineyards, a helicopter ride across Porto plus great golf naturally!
The islands of Madeira and Porto Santo are Portugal’s dream islands in the Atlantic. Lying off the coast of north Africa, Madeira and Porto santo enjoy a fabulous all year round climate. From exploring the capital of Funchal to the lush inland green vegetation of the mountain region Madeira has something for everyone. Take a cable car ride from the centre of Funchal to the magnificent Palheiro estate 500 metres above sea level. Funchal is also a stop over on many routes for cruises so why not grab a game of golf at nearby Palheiro.
Madeira and Funchal have many festivals all year round culminating in its famous New Year firework festival. Explore the coast with many of the boat rides on offer including a fabulous excursion on a replica of the Santa Maria
Golf in Portugal offers on the island of Madeira include unlimited golf offers at Palheiro Golf with options to play Santo da Serra(host of the Madeira Open) also available
To book your golf in Portugal check out our fabulous Portugal golf holidays and experiences from as little as £109 per person. Contact us today for our personal experience and expertise on for Golf in Portugal