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PORTUGAL

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Monte Rei Golf & Country Club

A combination of gorgeous countryside and a world-class course make Monte Rei a bucket list destination for all golfers. The award-winning Jack Nicklaus Signature Course is consistently ranked as the best in Portugal – a spectacular 18 holes that sits on 1,000 acres in the foothills of the Eastern Algarve, between the Serra do Caldeirão mountains and the Atlantic Ocean. And Monte Rei is doubling up when it comes to its golf facilities – work has started on a second Jack Nicklaus course. When you’re not walking the well-tended fairways at Monte Rei, you can choose between three restaurants at the country club – ranging from fine dining to a snack by the pool – or explore the beautiful beaches nearby.

https://www.monte-rei.com/

Vale do Lobo

While there are a lot of memorable holes across the two 18-hole courses at Vale do Lobo (called the Royal and the Ocean), golfing at the Algarve resort really boils down to one par 3. The 16th at the Royal Course is one of the most photographed and iconic holes in the world – a staggering cliff-top offering with views of the Atlantic Ocean. If you hook your tee shot here or misjudge the wind, your ball ends on the golden sands of Praia de Vale do Lobo far below. And if having one special par 3 wasn’t enough, there’s also the 9th at the Royal which is virtually an island. Within the 450 hectares of the resort, you’ll find fitness and wellness centres, a tennis academy and a bar and restaurant scene that caters to all tastes.

https://www.valedolobo.com/en/

Dona Filipa Hotel

No fewer than 10 of the best golf courses in the Algarve are within reach when you stay at the Dona Filipa Hotel on the Vale do Lobo resort. In addition to the Royal and the Ocean at Vale de Lobo, there’s two of the region’s most renowned courses – San Lorenzo and Pinheiros Altos – 15-20 minutes away. The impressive selection of rooms at Dona Filipa includes the Ocean Suites, with its large balcony overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, and the gilded Presidential Suite with marble bathrooms and views over the courses. And whether it’s for breakfast, lunch, all-day dining or à la carte dining, the Kamal Restaurant blends Portuguese and international fair with amazing sea vistas.

https://www.donafilipahotel.com/

Penina Hotel and Golf Resort

Known as the home of Portuguese golf, Penina has three courses set in 360 acres of sweeping grassland, including the first-ever 18 holes to be constructed in the Algarve – the fiendishly challenging Sir Henry Cotton Championship Course with its elevated greens, subtle slopes and cleverly placed water hazards. If that seems too rich your blood, the Resort Course has 9 ‘solid but gentle’ holes for beginners, while the 9 holes of the Academy Course has been designed for the intermediate golfer. The spirit of Henry Cotton is also alive at the traditional golf bar at Penina that bears his name and has a sunny patio ideal for post-round drinks.

https://www.penina.com/

Penha Longa

The only resort inside the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park, Penha Longa nestles among green undulating hills and has a 14th-century monastery and chapel adding to its already considerable charms. Designer Robert Trent Jones, Jr. took inspiration from Sintra’s dramatic landscape when designing the resort’s magnificent 27-hole course (divided into three circuits) which snakes through the surrounding hills and requires players to be brave when approaching the greens. Dining wise, Penha Longa has a (Michelin) star line-up of eateries, including Midori, the only Asian restaurant in Portugal to be awarded a Michelin star, and the 22-seat LAB which has a glass block wine cellar at its heart.

https://www.ritzcarlton.com/

Magnolia Hotel

Like a collection of Lego brick scattered on the doorstep of the Quinta do Lago resort in the Algarve, the colourful Magnolia pays homage to 1950s American motor hotels. The boutique hotel has 74 elegant and comfortable rooms and seven vintage cabin-style cottages that come with rain showers and supremely comfortable beds with 300-thread count cotton sheets. And you’re going to need a good night’s rest before tackling the award-winning three golf courses at Quinta do Lago. To refuel, head for the Magnolia Restaurant for filling meals like mushroom risotto or Portuguese steak followed by a cocktail under swaying palm trees at the Pool Bar.

https://www.themagnoliahotelqdl.com/

Dom Pedro Hotels

Combining convenient locations with beautifully designed rooms and excellent service, Dom Pedro Hotels allow you some time in the lap of luxury before hitting the golf course. The group’s outpost in Lisbon is close to the main tourist attractions in the capital, has views over the city and the Tagus River and offers a ‘round the clock’ menu. Dom Pedro’s series of top-class hotels in the Algarve – three in Vilamoura and one in Lagos – have wonderful sea views and superior spas, while their Madeira properties are the ideal perches to make the most of the most popular beaches and levadas on the island.

www.dompedro.com

Dom Pedro Golf Collection

It’s not difficult to see why Dom Pedro picked Vilamoura as a location for its five Algarve golf courses. With its large marina, sandy Vilamoura Beach and ruined Roman villa with bathhouses and mosaics, the resort acts as a fun and fascinating backdrop to a golf trip. And what a golfing experience it is, whether it’s the Dom Pedro Victoria Course designed by Arnold Palmer; the Old Course, nicknamed the ‘Grande Dame of the Algarve’; the Laguna Course that’s low on trees but high on water hazards; the Pinhal Course, where you play among the wild pine; or the aptly named Millennial Course, which opened in 2000 and where lakes and narrow fairways lie in wait.

https://www.dompedrogolf.com/

Quinta Do Lago

Enveloped by 2,000 acres of the Ria Formosa Natural Park, Quinta Do Lago has a temperate climate all year round, bars and restaurants galore and three of Europe’s best golf courses. Renowned architect Beau Welling and former European Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley designed the North Course and made sure the bunkers and water hazards would be a challenge for even the most skilled player. The South Course, which makes good use of the Ria Formosa Natural Park’s beauty, has hosted the Portuguese Open on eight occasions, while the Laranjal Course has fairways sown with Bermuda grass. Top facilities like the Paul McGinley Golf Academy and Southern Europe’s only TaylorMade Performance Centre further adds to what is a peerless golfing experience.

https://www.quintadolago.com/

San Lorenzo

San Lorenzo’s sublime location within the Ria Formosa Estuary and Nature Reserve means it has holes that run alongside saltwater marshes and fresh lagoons. With Bermuda grass on the fairways providing ideal playing conditions, the 18-hole course is laid out in a figure of eight with, at its centre, the San Lorenzo Club that has a pro shop, changing rooms and a bar and restaurant. Course highlights include the par 3 hole 5, which is set against a backdrop of sandy beaches and the Atlantic Ocean; the par 4 hole 6, where the lurking estuary makes accurate tee shots crucial; and the signature 18th, a par 4 that’s as pretty as it’s tough to play, with the green closely guarded by water and three bunkers.

https://sanlorenzogolfcourse.com/

Pinheiros Altos

Located in the Ria Formosa Nature Park, the Pinheiros Altos Golf Resort has three very contrasting 9-hole courses. The Pines Course takes its name from the surrounding trees and is famous for its signature 9th hole where many a golf ball has landed up in the water hazard sitting snugly next to the green. The Corks Course is seen as the most demanding of the trio, especially the brutal 8th hole – a par five with a double dog leg of 580 yards. Meanwhile, the Olives Course, with its signature island green par 3 8th hole, feels a bit more tranquil and is the best stretch to see the abundance of birdlife Pinheiros Altos is famous for.

https://pinheirosaltos.com/

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