Playing Golf in the Algarve

Find out more about this popular golfing region of Portugal, with its numerous championship courses and golf clubs and facilities specifically for visiting golfers...

The Algarve is the most popular destination for golfing holidays in Portugal and offers a wide choice of well-equipped golf courses for all levels of expertise. Mild weather conditions in the region mean that golf can be played all year, but the high season tends to run from October to May.

There are over 29 courses in the region. The main clubs are found in central Algarve around Vilamoura and along the coastline stretching west to Lagos. All clubs are open to visitors. However most require an official handicap certificate and have a dress code.

Golf Courses and Facilities in the Algarve

Main championship courses

The Algarve is considered as one of the best golfing destinations in Europe. There are several championship courses in the region that have hosted tournaments such as the Portuguese Algarve Open, the President's Cup, the Vilamoura Grand Trophy, the Expresso/BPI Golf Cup and the Algarve World Cup.

  • Penina Golf & Resort: One of the first golf courses to be designed by Sir Henry Cotton in the 1960s, this flat 18 hole golf course has hosted the Portuguese Open on several occasions. The course is built on former scrub land and its challenges include water hazards and wooded areas. Other facilities include a driving range, putting green, associated golf academy and pro shop
  • Victoria Clube de Golf: An 18 hole, par 72 championship golf course that has hosted the Audi World Final, Algarve World Cup and Expresso/BPO National Final. It was designed by Arnold Palmer and was the fifth golf course to be constructed around Vilamoura
  • Vale de Lobo: The Royal and the Ocean golf courses are situated close to Almancil. Both courses have 18 holes and have hosted the Portuguese Open
  • Royal Golf Course: The course was built by Rocky Roquemore from Sir Henry Cotton's plans. It spans 6,059 metres and encompasses pine woods and lakes. Its 16th hole is said to be the most photographed and has become the symbol of golf in the Algarve
  • Ocean Golf Course: Originally two 9 hole courses designed by Sir Henry Cotton and Robert Trent Jones, the Ocean golf course has sandy fairways and wooded areas. It hosted the Portuguese Ladies Open in 1987
  • Quinta do Lago: The two courses at this resort cover similar terrain, but have different challenges for the golfer
  • Quinta do Lago North: An 18 hold par 72 golf course designed by William Mitchell and Rocky Roquemore. It spans 6,126 metres of land including sandy holes, lakes and pine tree woods
  • Quinta do Lago South: Designed by American golf architect William Mitchell, this 18 hole course hosted the Portuguese Open on 8 occasions
  • San Lorenzo: Designed by Joe Lee and opened in 1988, this Almancil golf course is considered one of the finest in mainland Europe. It has hosted the British Daily Telegraphy Junior Golf Championship Finals and Jimmy Tarbuck's Gold Classic event
  • Vila Sol Beach Golf & Country: A 27 hole course designed by Donald Steel and located close to Quartiera. It hosted the Portuguese open in 1992 and 1993. Holes are divided into three difficulty levels including prime, challenge and prestige loops. The golf course also has its own academy
  • Quinta da Ria: One of two 18 hole courses on the resort in Tavira in eastern Algarve. It has two loops of 9 holes around natural lakes and more 300 trees in the Ria Formosa Nature Reserve. The course has hosted the Golf Pro Tour and the Algarve Seniors Tournament and continues to host tournaments such as the Quabramar Tournament
  • Palmares Golf Course: Located close to Lagos, this 18 hole golf course was designed by architect Frank Pennink and opened in 1975. The course covers a terrain of sand dunes and grassy hills and provides a view over Lagos bay. It has hosted numerous golfing events such as the TAP Open, the qualifying competition for the XXXII World Cup, the Almond Blossom Tournament (Torneio Amendoeiras em Flor), PGA Europrotour and the annual Pro-Am Tournament Algarve-Andalucia. Other course facilities including a driving range, putting green, pitching ground and golf shop. Lessons are also available
  • Parque de Floresta: Designed by Spanish amateur champion Pepe Gancedo, this 18 hole course is encompasses a hilly coastal terrain near Sagres. It hosted the Europro tournament
  • Alto Golf & Country Club: Located in western Algarve, this 5,812 metre, 18 hole golf course was designed by Sir Henry Cotton. It has opportunities for all levels of golfer and includes the O Gigante, the longest par 5 in Europe.

Golf Academies

Many of the golf courses have their own associated academies or offer lessons.

Further Information