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Author: Ruben van der Zaag

10 best golf courses in the Algarve

18 September 2023
7 min. read
Ruben van der Zaag
Thinking of going on a golf trip? Portugal is a great place to escape the cold winter weather, but temperatures are pleasant every time of the year. The Algarve certainly is the country’s top spot when it comes to playing golf. We’ve put together a list of the 10 best golf courses in the Algarve.
Monte Rei Golf & Country Club is the Best Golf Course in the Algrave. (Photo credits: Monte Rei)

The Algarve is the southernmost region of continental Portugal. It covers an area of 4,997 square kilometres and has about 200 kilometres of coastline. There are 32 golf courses and only one of those courses scores lower than 7,0 on Leadingcourses.com. This is the ranking of the 10 best golf courses in the Algarve.

You can book your tee times for all 10 of these golf courses (plus the rest) on Leading Courses.

This ranking is based on all reviews of golfers on Leadingcourses.com. Updated on September 18th, 2023.

10 Best Golf Courses in the Algarve

1. Monte Rei Golf & Country Club

The Monte Rei Golf & Country Club has been rated as the best club in Portugal for many years on Leadingcourses.com. Green fee rates start at € 220 in the high season (March 1st – November 14th) and € 170 in the low season (November 15th – February 28th). 

It is all about the experience when you visit Monte Rei. The service and hospitality level and the quality of the course are all top-notch. The vistas of the Serra do Caldeirão mountains to the north and the Atlantic Ocean to the south are mesmerizing and the Portuguese cuisine in the clubhouse will make you never want to leave the place.

2. Quinta do Lago

The Quinta do Lago resort is an exclusive golf and residential estate nestling in nearly 2.000 acres of countryside and pine forests bordering the Atlantic Ocean and the Ria Formosa Natural Park, in the Algarve. Since its creation in 1972, The course has won several awards for excellence and is located just 20 minutes by car from Faro International Airport. The golf resort has 3 x 18-hole golf courses: Quinta do Lago North, Quinta do Lago South and Laranjal Golf Course.

3. Ombria Resort Algarve

Inaugurated in April 2023, Ombria Golf Course offers a landmark golf experience, an 18-hole, Par 71 signature course where nature has been fully integrated into the play experience to provide a diverse challenge and setting. At one of the finest resorts in Portugal, players will enjoy the outstanding facilities of a premium branded hotel, an endless choice of sporting activities and the perfect all-year-round climate of an inland Algarve golf course – all surrounded by miles of citrus groves, fig and carob trees, small farms and inland villages with cobblestone streets.

4. The Victoria Golf Course (Dom Pedro Golf)

The Victoria Golf Course – Dom Pedro Golf covers some 90 hectares and is the only Signature project by the legendary Arnold Palmer in Portugal. The course features 5 or 6 tees per hole; wide, undulating fairways; extensive water hazards and cleverly positioned bunkers. The course is located in Vilamoura, only 20 kilometres from Faro Airport.

5. Vale do Lobo

Both of Vale do Lobo‘s 18-hole courses take players through umbrella pine and fig tree-lined fairways to the Atlantic – the Royal playing dramatically along the cliff’s edge, while the Ocean sweeps daintily down to the beach. This combination of links and parkland golf provides an enjoyable game for golfers of all standards.

6. The Old Course Golf Club at Dom Pedro Golf

In the heart of Vilamoura lies the Grande Dame of Algarve courses, The Old Course Golf Club. As one of the first-established layouts in the region, the Frank Pennink-design is well-regarded throughout the golfing world. Although it is but a mere 20-minute drive from Faro Airport, the course finds itself situated amongst impressive pine trees and set out over gently undulating terrain. The Old Course adheres to the strict environmental policies followed by all Dom Pedro courses and it makes for a wonderfully peaceful round, even in such a central area.

7. Quinta da Ria Resort

Situated on the Eastern Coast, Quinta da Ria Resort is a well-known golf attraction in the Algarve. Including two spectacular golf courses, Quinta da Ria and Quinta de Cima, both 18-hole golf courses with unforgettable scenery. Quinta da Ria resort is located just over half an hour from Faro International Airport. Perfectly integrated into the Ria Formosa Nature Reserve, the most significant ecosystem in the Algarve. It is comprised of a line of barrier islands along the coast, making this protected wetland a rich natural habitat for numerous biological species.

8. Amendoeira Golf Resort

The Faldo Course is one of two courses at the Amendoeira Golf Resort. It was designed by Nick Faldo and it is a challenging course – as you may expect from Sir Nick. In a modern twist of a traditional recipe, cacti and wild herbs replace the role of Sunningdale’s heather, spartan Holm oaks and ancient olive trees take the place of a lush English woodland, and desert scrub bunkers of crushed limestone replace Berkshire’s sandy tracts in a golf course that revels in the classic principles of strategic play.

The O’Connor Course is the second Amendoeira Golf Resort course that is listed in this ranking of the 10 best golf courses in the Algarve. The course is widely regarded as the easier of the two courses, but that does not prejudice the quality of the course. O’Connor’s 18th hole brings the course to a fantastic finish, a gentle climb with the river running along the right-hand side. ‘This hole is a humdinger; once you get up here and look down on the golf course, you will feel you have been blessed.

9. Espiche Golf

Located within a nature reserve and just five minutes from Lagos, Espiche Golf is an eco-resort which has been perfectly integrated into the surrounding natural environment and offers a unique and authentic experience in the western Algarve. The 18-hole, par 72 golf course was designed to integrate effortlessly into the surrounding Algarve countryside. The indigenous flora and fauna of the area have been preserved, in keeping with the company’s ethos of nature preservation and conservation.

10. Quinta do Vale Golf

The 18-hole golf course of Quinta do Vale was designed by the world-famous Severiano Ballesteros. The Quinta do Vale golf course has been designed to attract golfers of every level and is a strong candidate for hosting important international championships. Covering an area of 75 hectares, the course is fully integrated into the surrounding natural landscape.

Golf in the Algarve

The Algarve is easily accessible for a golf break through its international airport in Faro, which is located fairly in the centre of the Algarve. Many (low-cost) airlines have direct flights to Faro from large European cities. 

Most golf courses in the Algarve are clustered some 30 minutes from Faro airport in and near the cities of Quinta da Lago and Vilamoura Marina. If you are willing to drive a bit further, there are hidden gems to be found on both the western and eastern Algarve where you can also find the beautiful whitewashed villages and nature reserves full of wildlife.

Bringing along someone without sticks? Not to worry, as there is plenty for non-golfers too, like great shopping of all kinds, lovely (food) markets, pristine beaches and luxurious spas, restaurants with delicious cuisine and bars and nightclubs to have a blast! This will make you enjoy your golf holiday in the Algarve, even if you're not on the course!

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