Portugal is synonymous with culture, history, leisure, gastronomy and, of course, golf. Especially in the Algarve region. Considered one of the best holiday destinations in the world, Algarve golf courses stand out exceptionally in every corner of this Iberian paradise.
The fantastic weather is one of the best-kept secrets of this region, populated with olive trees, vineyards, fig and almond trees. With ideal temperatures throughout the year, golfers from different parts of the world come to enjoy its undulating and entertaining layouts. The climate is the Mediterranean: with hot, dry and sunny summers and mild, wet winters. It is one of the brightest regions in the country, with more than 2,700 hours of pure sunlight per year.
Faro International Airport (FAO) serves as one of the main gateways to this region and is one of Algarve’s tourism engines. It is the third most important airport in the country, to the point that in 2019 it had annual traffic of over 9 million passengers.
The history of golf in Algarve began in 1966, with the inauguration of the Championship Course in Penina, designed by Sir Henry Cotton. Since then, the construction of exceptional courses has not stopped. Players can enjoy more than 50 golf designs, many of which are ranked among the best in Europe. Three of those designs are Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course, Monte Rei Golf & Country Club (The North Course), and Amendoeira Golf Resort (Faldo Course).
Since 2007, The Portugal Masters on the European Tour is the most important tournament in the country and is played in Algarve. In Vilamoura, the Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course gathers several of the best golfers in the world on a challenging course designed by game-legend Arnold Palmer. Players like Englishman Lee Westwood, Irish Padraig Harrington and Shane Lowry, and the Spaniard Alvaro Quirós, are winners of the prestigious tournament.
The construction of the Dom Pedro Victoria golf course (par 72, 7273 yards) was, at the time, the most important golf project in Algarve. Today, the project covers more than 222 acres and is one of the most exceptional in Europe. In addition to hosting The Portugal Masters, it also hosted the World Cup in 2005, won by the Welsh Stephen Dodd and Bradley Dredge.
We should know that the golf courses in Portugal have a trademark quality, especially in Vilamoura: the typical vegetation and the natural wetlands give them their distinctive characteristic and stamp. This course certainly reflects these conditions. Up to six teeing options on each hole make this course a huge challenge for all players. In addition, undulating fairways and strategically placed water hazards lead every golfer to think about tackling each of their strokes very carefully. In total, the complex has five golf courses and enough top-notch entertainment to make Dom Pedro Victoria one of the most exclusive sports experiences in Europe.
The North Course (par 72, 7182 yards) is an excellent design with undulations that challenge players with different play levels. The wide slithering fairways wind through trees and fantastic villas, giving each hole breathtaking views with mountains and the Atlantic Ocean as silent witnesses. Undoubtedly, tranquillity is a hallmark all over this Country Club. The owners are below the construction of a second course, also under the supervision of Nicklaus.
With 73 PGA Tour victories and 18 majors, “The Golden Bear” turned his winning mark on The North Course. For many years, this court has been listed several times as the best in Portugal.
In 2007, Sir Nick Faldo visited Algarve and, after seeing the project site of the Amendoeira Golf Resort said: “the construction of the course will not be easy. But we are going to do something good.”
And so he did.
With a design that runs through the vegetation of the place, where cactus and centuries-old trees are displayed, the Faldo Course (par 72, 7216 yards) results from the multiple champion’s passion for strategic course design. Awe-inspiring views from every hole on the course take the breath away from all golfers. Especially the final one: this demanding uphill par 5 (542 yards) offers a unique moment when reaching the green, from where you can enjoy the beauty of the course and the resort.
Located 12 miles from the ever-active and entertaining city of Portimao, the Faldo Course respects the “classic Mediterranean desert style.” In any case, the design invites you to play carefully and wisely: the most observant will find some details typical of the courses on the outskirts of London. And that is where the unmistakable stamp of Faldo’s designs appears.
The Algarve region has become a symbol of golf.
Over the years, their best courses have welcomed and hosted world-class tournaments. This appeal makes many fans want to play where “the best compete.” In addition, the clubs mentioned above (and the vast majority of the clubs in the region) have excellent golf academies for those who want to take their first steps or perfect their game.