Golf tour in Portugal the trip of a lifetime
By Manon Lafontaine, Golf Travel Consultant for 22 years
I will always fondly remember my trip to Portugal— the perfect combination of golf and culture.
Our adventure began in Algarve. This absolutely stunning region is characterized by an abundance of ocean, gorgeous beaches as far as the eye can see and some of the most welcoming people you will ever meet. We stayed at the Vale de Lobo Resort where we enjoyed some magnificent oceanside courses: the aptly named Ocean Course as well as the Royal Course. Discovering this region was a true joy for golf lovers like us!
A visit to the Lisbon region, located at the heart of Sintra-Cascais Natural Park, was a definite must for us during our trip. Since this particular area is located at the southernmost tip of the country, the Portuguese long believed it was where “the world ended and the ocean began.” Characterized by cliffs rising more than one hundred metres above ocean level, the scenery here is absolutely amazing. At the Quinta Da Marinha Resort, there are two superb courses for you to enjoy: the Quinta da Marinha and the Oitavos Dunes. The Cascais region, for its part, was simply delightful. We enjoyed its beautiful beaches, excellent bars and restaurants as well as the countless tourist and historical attractions in the downtown core.
We continued our journey through land and sea as we made our way towards the town of Sintra and the Penha Longa Resort, a fine gem tucked away in the mountains—a place we fell head over heels in love with. Host to the prestigious Portuguese Open, this 27-hole, Robert Trent Jones-designed course is one you definitely don’t want to miss!
And, it doesn’t stop there—on to Obidos next. Put this quaint mountainside medieval village at the top of your list if you want to discover one of the most beautiful oceanside courses Portugal has to offer: Praia D’El Rey Golf, a Robert Trent Jones design. If you have the time, I suggest a leisurely walk through the maze of streets lined with striking white houses located within the castle walls. You’ll be mesmerized by the sheer beauty of it all. In the Douro Valley, we were seduced by the charms of Casa da Calçada, a castle-inn located in the lovely little town of Amarante. The views of the old town are like something out of a fairy-tale and the on-site golf course is a dream come true.
Next stop on our journey? Pinhão and the Vintage House Hotel, a 19th-century manor house located along the Douro River and birthplace of Port wine!
We ended our unforgettable journey on an incredibly high note, choosing to spend our final days in Portugal exploring the spectacular coastal city of Porto. Listed as a World Heritage site, this city—and its region—boast a remarkable cultural and natural diversity. Our accommodations of choice, the Yeatman Hotel, with its picturesque vistas overlooking the city and delectable cuisine worthy of its Michelin star, proved to be a true testament to the authentic nature of this magnificent region.