Thinking of heading to Portugal for a golf holiday? The capital of Lisbon would be a fantastic choice.
Lisbon has a growing golf population in Portugal and is becoming increasingly popular amongst golfing tourists. With exceptional golf courses such as West Cliffs, Oitavos Dunes and Troia all within driving distance it is perhaps no surprise.
A beautiful city with stunning views and a vibrant culture, Lisbon also has so much to offer outside of the golf courses. With a buzzing nightlife, stunning restaurants and bars, stunning beaches and luxury hotels and resorts, you will never be short of things to do. In this article, we will share a golfers guide for a holiday in Lisbon, including a rough itinerary and our reviews of the best nearby golf courses.
There are plenty of options for airports to fly from when travelling to Lisbon from the UK. The below airports offer flights all year round direct to Lisbon International Airport:
Birmingham | Bristol | Edinburgh | London Gatwick | London Heathrow | London Luton | London Stansted | Manchester
The flight time is typically around 2.5 to 3 hours.
A course that provides a unique experience with lots of memorable moments. There is no rough to speak of, expect just a mixture of tee boxes, fairway, greens, water and sand. The seaside location will result in at least a one-club wind most days, plus small raised greens and tight fairways result in a challenge test for any golfer. Higher handicappers will want to choose their tees wisely to have the most enjoyable experience.
Once you have played Troia you can head back to Lisbon and explore some of what the city has to offer outside of the golf course. A single day won’t be enough to see everything that Lisbon has to offer, but you can still immerse yourself within this picturesque and vibrant city.
Culture lovers will find several must-visit attractions. You can take in the city’s history as well as some amazing views from the Sao Jorge Castle. Equally, the National Palace and Belem Tower are both well worth a visit. Fans of magnificent architecture should head to the Jeronimo Monastery to take in all the eye-catching vaulted ceilings, towering columns, and stained-glass windows.
A city with a fantastic and diverse culinary scene, you are spoilt for choice when it comes to places to go for food and drink. There is also excellent nightlife, so you will find plenty of brilliant bars and places with live music.
You cannot have a golfing holiday to Lisbon without staying at least a couple of nights in Cascais. After Lisbon, we recommend making the 30-minute drive west along the coastline, where you will find two excellent golf courses – Oitavos Dunes and Penha Longa.
Beyond the golf courses, there is plenty else to see and do in Cascais. Known for its lovely beaches, you will have plenty of choices of places to relax on the sand after 18 holes.
It is also worth heading to the old town for a wander around the charming streets where you will find shops selling clothes and local food and wine. To get a full cultural experience you should go to Bairro dos Museus. Here you will find the Santa Marta Lighthouse Museum and Paula Rego’s House of Stories, which are both must visits in Cascais.
A modern golf course that only opened in 2001, Oitavos Dune has already hosted four Portuguese Opens and is considered one of the finest in the country. The course is one of only two in Europe designed by renowned American golf course architect Arthur Hills. Located in the Sintras-Cascais Natural Park there are beautiful surrounding views of the Sintra Mountains and Atlantic Ocean.
Oitavos Dunes mixes links and parkland style golf holes, all built on sandy terrain. Many of the fairways are wide and relatively flat, however the course’s main defense lies in its firm and tricky greens. Oitavos is a resort course that will be enjoyable for a variety of abilities and is always kept in good condition.
If you are looking for a place to stay in Cascais, then the Oitavos Hotel is an excellent option. Offering a five-star experience and located a mere 100 yards from the first tee, golfers can get the best of both worlds. There are extensive sporting facilities as well as excellent restaurants and a spa. The rooms offer stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean and local pine trees as well as an incredible sunrise or sunset depending on which side of the hotel you are on.
Whilst staying in Cascais playing the Penha Longa Atlantic Course is a must. Set high in the hills, you are greeted with spectacular views throughout the course of nearby Estoril and Cascais as well as the Atlantic Ocean and Sintra Mountains.
Penha Longa was designed by Robert Trent Jones Jnr and is a course that is full of intrigue and memorable golf holes. You will be faced with daring drives and tough approaches that weave through one of Portugal’s most fascinating landscapes. Previous host of the Portuguese Open, this is a championship course with excitement around every corner. The conditioning might no longer always reach the high standards set by Troia or West Hills, but the scenery and layout make this course a worthwhile visit.
West Cliffs Golf Course might be a little over an hour drive away from Cascais, but any keen golfer should definitely be willing to make the drive for this sublime course.
Opening in 2017, this Cynthia Dye designed golf course was voted the Best New Golf Course at the World Golf Awards. Despite still being so new, it is already recognised as one of the best in Portugal. As the course continues to improve and bed-in, it is likely to become recognised among the elite courses in Continental Europe and host some of the world’s most prestigious golf tournaments.
West Cliffs is a magical course that offers the opportunity to play your way through 200-hectares of beautiful unspoilt sand dune terrain, whilst enjoying breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean and Cape Sagres. The 18 holes measure just less than 7,000 yards long and with undulating greens, natural hazards and cliff edges the course will test even the best golfers. The fairways are quite generously wide, but there are some long carries so make sure you play from the correct tees.
There is an excellent variety of holes throughout the course, with tee shots clearing the dunes and approach shots over water hazards. The final three holes finish in spectacular style, working down from the highest point on the course to offer challenging shots with a backdrop of incredible panoramic views.
Located 10 minutes drive away from West Cliffs, Praia D’El Rey is another exceptional golf course that you will want to play on the Silver Coast. Praia D’El Rey is a Cabell Robinson design, who can count some of the greatest modern layouts in Continental Europe among his portfolio. Similar to West Cliffs, you will find an excellent variety of holes and amazing views.
Golfers not wanting to play 36 holes in a day can stay at the Praia D’El Rey Golf and Beach Resort. It is an excellent five star hotel set within the natural beauty of sandy beaches and pine tree forests. The hotel has luxury rooms, great food at four different restaurants and stunning views over the Atlantic Ocean. You can also make the most of your stay by visiting the nearby historic walled town of Obidos.
Interested in visiting Portugal? Get in touch today and find out how we can help you organie your next golf break.