Golf World Directory’s Top 10 Golf Courses in the Algarve
As the southernmost region of Portugal, the Algarve, is a popular destination for golfers of all abilities looking for somewhere to enjoy both sunshine and quality golf. Despite its popularity it wasn’t until 1966 that the Algarve became a golfing destination, let alone a popular one. It was then that Henry Cotton, a leading golfer of his generation, helped to lay the first course. Since then some of the best golf courses in Europe have been designed and laid in this very location, making the Algarve a top destination for golfers from all over the world to visit. With this in mind, we at Golf World Directory have worked on ranking our Top 10 Golf Courses in the Algarve to make it easier for you to plan where to play when you decide to visit. Believe us it was no easy feat to whittle the list down to just 10 courses, but using our own experiences, opinions and research, as well as considering reviews and rankings across the net we finally decided on our Top 10.
First Place in our Top 10 Golf Courses in the Algarve – Monte Rei Golf & Country Club (North Course)
Monte Rei G&CC is one of the more modern courses in the Algarve, introduced in 2007 and is a signature course design of world-renowned Jack Nicklaus. Set between the mountains and the ocean this course is as much a sculpted piece of art as it is a golfing experience. Water on 11 of the 18 hole layout and uniquely crafted bunkers; this golf course belongs at the top of the list in the Algarve and is a challenger for one of the best in the continent!
Yardage: 7181 Yards (6567 Metres)
Second Place in our Top 10 Golf Courses in the Algarve – Oceanico (Faldo)
The Oceanico Faldo Course, as the name suggests, was designed by Sir Nick Faldo. A classic course with a twist. Incorporating elements from the region, you have the opportunity to enjoy Cacti, wild herbs and bunkers of crushed limestone; Though don’t enjoy them too much because they can prove to be quite the hazard! A trait of Faldo was his calm under pressure – this course asks exactly that of its golfers; designed for your strategic side, you’ll need to keep a clear head and make sure your shots are well thought out.
Yardage: 7215 Yards (6598 Metres)
Third Place in our Top 10 Golf Courses in the Algarve – Oceanico (Old Course)
Oceanico Old Course is one of the originals in the area. They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but the modernisation programme has brought this course to life. A challenging course with a welcoming start on the first 4 holes, including a Hole-in-One opportunity on the 4th for those that think they can manage it. Surrounded by large striking pine trees inviting you down undulating fairways this is course that is a mainstay for many years to come.
Yardage: 6839 Yards (6254 Metres)
Fourth Place in our Top 10 Golf Courses in the Algarve – San Lorenzo
San Lorenzo Golf Course takes full advantage of its natural landscape, allowing golfers to enjoy winding, undulating fairways, lined by pine trees and looking out to sea over the Praia da Quinta do Lago on one side, with the salt water lagoons on the other. Designed with a Figure of Eight layout around the impressive clubhouse and Pro shop, this course has all of the facilities you need and an experience not to be missed.
Yardage: 6822 Yards (6238 Metres)
Fifth Place in our Top 10 Golf Courses in the Algarve – Quinta Do Lago (South)
Quinta Do Lago South Golf Course is the mother of all courses at this resort, no easy feat when all 3 of them are listed in the Top 10. Spectacular year round this course is a must visit. Host of the Portuguese Open on numerous occasions, this challenging course features various dog-legs, well place hazards and an extra test on the 8th, 15th & 18th for the low handicapper. Each hole differs from a fade to a draw, providing a well rounded course that will be an enjoyable challenge to all levels of golfer.
Yardage: 7108 Yards (6500 Metres)
Sixth Place in our Top 10 Golf Courses in the Algarve – Quinta Do Lago (Laranjal)
Quinta Do Lago Laranjal takes its name from its origins as an orange grove. Set in the Ludo Valley the course keeps to its natural landscape combining orange trees, cork-oaks and pines around a well kept an picturesque course. With a variety of Par-3’s, 4’s & 5’s set around five spectacular lakes this course is renowned for its beauty and world-class golfing experience.
Yardage: 7087 Yards (6480 Metres)
Seventh Place in our Top 10 Golf Courses in the Algarve – Oceanico (Victoria)
Oceanico Victoria Course is as great as its legendary designer, Arnold Palmer. A course that has it all, from a driving range & putting green to lakes providing reservoir irrigation. Operating with the sophistication of a machine while providing the beauty and luxury expected of an Arnold Palmer design. Hazards in the form of lakes and bunkers, the holes offer as many as 6 tees, suitable for a range of abilities; including Palmer tees for the hardest test where the course measures in at 7273 Yards.
Yardage: 7273 Yards (6651 Metres)
Eighth Place in our Top 10 Golf Courses in the Algarve – Quinta Do Lago (North)
Quinta Do Lago North Course is the most recently redesigned, the newest layout from 2014 has been built to the highest expectations. The golfing experience has been well thought out in the redesign, ensuring 4 tees on every hole, seasonal rough grass along with low cut Bermuda grass for the approach allow this course to remain challenging while playable for golfers of all levels.
Yardage: 6739 Yards (6126 Metres)
Ninth Place in our Top 10 Golf Courses in the Algarve – Gramacho
Gramacho boasts 18 holes with 27 greens, playable from several different tee points, each providing a slightly different challenge. One of the joys of this course is how it blends into its traditional landscape. Golfers are taken on a journey through a golfing countryside lined by historic stone walls, original trees with the layout sculpted through the natural stone outcrops. All of this is combined with the modern and impressive lakes and bunkers to provide a enjoyable, challenging golfing experience.
Yardage: 5584 Yards (6107 Metres)
Tenth Place in our Top 10 Golf Courses in the Algarve – Vale Do Lobo (Ocean Course)
Vale Do Lobo’s Ocean Course originated as two 9-hole layouts, each designed by Sir Henry Cotton. The course runs alongside a nature reserve before leading golfers down towards the Ocean where they will face one of the signature holes in the Par-3 15th which runs parallel to the beach. Golfers should expect a challenging course with some of the best views from a golf course in the Algarve.
Yardage: 6711 Yards (6137 Metres)
Special Mentions in the Algarve –
Vale do Lobo as already mentioned gets into Golf World Directory’s Top 10 Courses in the Algarve with its Ocean Course. Though it was a tough decision between its two courses. A special mention therefore has to go to the Vale do Lobo Royal Course, specifically for its Par-3 16th Hole. One of the most photographed holes in Europe this stunning Par-3 provides one of the best views in the Algarve. Running alongside the beach, this 226 Yard (205 Metre) hole has golfers contesting all the elements in a cliff-top carryover – a challenge to golfers of all abilities if the wind is against.
Not to miss:
Portugal is a favourite destination to golfers worldwide, more specifically the Algarve which is voted the best golfing destination in the world by magazines and golf critics year after year. This year, 2018, the Portugal Masters – part of the European Tour – will be based in the Algarve, hosted by Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course (7th place above). The Portugal Masters will take place between the 20th September – 23rd September – this would be the perfect time for avid golfers to plan a visit. Book a golf trip and enjoy the best of both worlds; Enjoy playing some of the best courses worldwide in the most popular destination, while also supporting your favourite professional players.