The Parque Natural da Costa Vicentina, which prohibits extensive building on the coastline along the Western Algarve, means that the region remains largely untouched, and beautiful beaches, craggy coastal paths and enchanting villages awaits golfers who head away from the developed resorts further east.
Golfers who make their base at Lagos will be spoilt for choice, with a selection of fabulous courses to pick from, many of which do not experience the same level of traffic as the better-known courses in the centre of the region.
Oceanico’s O’Connor Course at Amendoeira Golf Resort, which opened in 2008, delivers a test to rival the very best that Portugal has to offer. The course is littered with water hazards, and with the designer - Ryder Cup hero Christy O’Connor Jr - wanting to replicate the local landscape, he had orange groves planted down both sides of the fifth, making it one of the most spectacular holes in Portugal. Water, be it creeks, lakes or wetlands, come into play on almost all of the holes, making for a tight test, particularly on the demanding par-3s.
Designed by six-time Major champion, and namesake, Sir Nick Faldo, the Faldo Course at Amendoeira has become a favourite among the Algarve’s international golf tourists, and is the signature course at the resort. Desert scrub bunkers, rocky outcrops, olive groves and water hazards aplenty are just some of the challenges that the golfer must navigate, and careful ball positioning is essential if the golfer is to make it round with their scorecard intact.
Amendoeira Golf Resort is located in an area of stunning natural beauty in the rolling hills of the Algarve, just 25 minutes from Faro Airport, and has recently been nominated in the category of Portugal’s Leading Villa Resort at the prestigious World Travel Awards.
The resort boasts a wide range of accommodation offerings with picture-postcard views over the golf courses. There is also a par-3 academy course and extensive sports facilities for guests to enjoy.
The beautiful Vale da Pinta, one of four courses at Pestana Golf Resort, has received wide-acclaim since opening in 1992, and is one of the standout courses in the Algarve.
Designed by American Ronald Fream, the undulating course meanders its way through olive groves and indigenous trees, and is one of the most authentic courses in the area. Framed by the Monchique Mountains, there are several standout holes, with clever bunkering and undulating greens challenging the golfer throughout.
Following his success designing the Vale de Pinta course, Fream teamed up with the former world No.1 Nick Price to create the unique design at Gramacho, which has played host to the Portuguese Ladies Open on several occasions.
Meanwhile the Alto course emanates its own charm, and is the last design by architect Sir Henry Cotton, with the beastly par-5 16th having become coined the Sir Henry Challenge.
The Silves course, named after the beautiful area in which the resort is situated, poses a distinctive test, with most holes offering magnificent mountain views overlooking palm trees and olive groves. With golfers required to play over a sharp ravine on two of the holes at Boavista, the picturesque layout is certainly not for the faint hearted, but is also among the best courses in the Western Algarve, with the immaculately maintained layout affording views of the Atlantic Ocean on almost every hole.
The testing challenge at Espiche prides itself on its sustainable and eco-friendly course, and complements the Western Algarve landscape beautifully, with lakes and indigenous planting designed to enhance the region’s biodiversity.
Robert Trent Jones II, one of the most revered contemporary architects, has moulded three outstanding and distinctive loops of nine at the Onyria Palmares course, which, sitting just off the Meia Praia beach, boasts a collection of links and parkland style holes. The course is sandwiched between the sea and the mountains with dramatic views throughout. Morgado Golf, which carves its way through a valley, boasts two enjoyable courses played against the backdrop of the Monchique mountains.
Lagos, which sits on the banks of the Rio Bensafrim, is a beautiful place dotted with picturesque piazzas and churches, with 16th-century walls enclosing the old town’s pretty, cobbled lanes. The town has several good restaurants, fantastic beaches in easy reach, and a buzzing nightlife. Up in the mountains there are several beautiful whitewash villages to explore, while by the coast, dolphins and a diverse array of birdlife can often be spotted.
WIN A HOLIDAY TO THE ALGARVE
For your chance to WIN a holiday to the Algarve, don’t miss out on the following competition:
Have you already planned your 2018 golf holiday? It might just be your ticket to a five-star luxury golf break, complete with helicopter and limousine transfers, dinner at a Michelin-starred restaurant and so much more!
All you need to do to enter, is to book a 2018 golf break in the Algarve before the end of December 2017!
Go to www.visitgolfalgarve50years.com for more details and full terms & conditions.
The luxury golf holiday of a lifetime awaits!
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