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The 13 Best Golf Courses in Portugal You Can Play

July 10, 2024
Portugal

Nestled along Portugal’s stunning coastline lies a collection of golf courses renowned for their beauty, challenge, and impeccable design. 

From the sun-drenched Algarve to the lush fairways of Lisbon, Portugal has established itself as the premier destination for golf enthusiasts in continental Europe. 

Discover why these courses consistently earn acclaim as some of the finest in the world, offering an unforgettable blend of scenic landscapes, expertly crafted layouts, and a commitment to delivering the ultimate golfing experience.

1. Monte Rei Golf & Country Club

Listed on several World Top 100 rankings, Monte Rei is one of only a few Jack Nicklaus “Signature” courses in Europe. Located in the east part of Algarve, the Monte Rei offers some of the best bunkering in the world along with copious water hazards. 

The course provides picturesque views amongst all 18 holes with vast trees and lakes throughout the landscape. Not only does Monte Rei have a beautiful golf course, but it also houses a world-class clubhouse and an exceptional customer service reputation. 

Opened: 2007
Par: 72
Length: 7181 yards
Designers Include: Jack Nicklaus (2007)
Difficulty: Slope 147 / Rating 75.6

2. Dunas Course – Terras da Comporta

The Dunas Course opened in 2023 and quickly found its name listed on the World’s Best New Courses, but this is no surprise. Like other courses designed by David McLay Kidd, the Dunas Course offers a challenging, yet fun 18 holes that require strategic play.

However, the most capturing aspect of the course would be the spectacular ocean view.

Opened: 2022
Par: 71
Length: 7268 yards
Designers Include: David McLay Kidd (2023), Conor Walsh (2023)
Difficulty: Slope 140 / Rating 74.4

3. Oitavos Dunes Golf Course

Oitavos Dunes is situated on the westernmost point of Europe, offering breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean and the picturesque Sintra Mountains. Designed by the acclaimed Arthur Hills, it stands as one of just two courses in Europe bearing his prestigious name.

 A challenging, yet rewarding course to play, Oitavos Dunes presents rolling dunes and wind exposure which requires strategic shot-making. 

Be sure to check out the views on holes 14 and 15.

Opened: 2001
Par: 71
Length: 6968 yards
Designers Include: Arthur Hills (2001), Drew Rogers (2001), Steve Forrest & Associates (2001)
Difficulty: Slope 128 / Rating 74.1

4. West Cliffs Golf Course

With expansive vistas of the Atlantic, Berlengas Islands, and Óbidos Lagoon, this striking coastal course spans 200 hectares of rolling sand dunes and coastal flora. Designed as two interconnected 9-hole circuits, the layout includes standout par threes at holes 2, 5, 12, and 16. 

The front nine is anchored by consecutive par fives at the 6th and 7th holes, while the back nine concludes with challenging par fours at holes 17 and 18, offering a memorable conclusion to the round.

Opened: 2017
Par: 72
Length: 6930 yards
Designers Include: Cynthia Dye McGarey (2017)
Difficulty: Slope 134 / Rating 73.9

5. Atlantic Course – Penha Longa Resort

The Atlantic Course was designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr. in 1992 and quickly garnered widespread praise, which led to the course hosting the 1994 Portuguese Open. 

The course spreads throughout the hills from the clubhouse and provides breathtaking views of the coastal towns of Estoril and Cascais, as well as views of the Atlantic Ocean. The lush trees and natural contours of the Atlantic Course line the fairways to create excitement and challenges at every shot.

Opened: 1992
Par: 72
Length: 6904 yards
Designers Include: Robert Trent Jones, Jr. (1992), Kyle Phillips (1992)
Difficulty: Slope 119 / Rating 71.0

6. Monastery Course – Penha Longa Resort

The Monastery Course opened in 1995 and is the perfect complement to its sister course. Unlike the Atlantic Championship, this 9-hole course features gentler terrain, offering accessible challenges suitable for players of every skill level.

Known for its fast greens and narrow fairways, the Monastery golf course is set amidst the breathtaking landscapes of the National Park.

Opened: 1995
Par: 35
Length: 2830 yards
Designers Include: Robert Trent Jones, Jr. (1995), Kyle Phillips (1995)
Difficulty: Slope 113 / Rating 33

7. Royal Golf Course – Vale do Lobo Golf Club

The Royal Golf Course located in the Algarve region is a prestigious 18-hole championship course, considered one of the most challenging courses in the country.

The Royal course offers amazing views, especially on the par three 16th which features a cliff-top carry. 

Opened: 1997
Par: 72
Length: 6567 yards
Designers Include: Rocky Roquemore (1997)
Difficulty: Slope 139 / Rating 73.8

8. Ocean Golf Course – Vale do Lobo Golf Club

Though it may be considered the understudy to the Royal course, the Ocean course at the Vale do Lobo Golf Club presents a handful of ocean holes that take you closer to the water than any other course in the Algarve. 

When the Portuguese Open was held at Vale do Lobo in 2002 and 2003 the 18-hole composite course comprised holes from both the Royal and the Ocean layouts.

Opened: 1968
Par: 73
Length: 6695 yards
Designers Include: Henry Cotton (1968)
Difficulty: Slope 140 / Rating 74.1

9. Praia d’El Rey Golf & Beach Resort

Praia d’El Rey blends magnificent holes carved through dense vegetation that hug the coastline. The course weaves through sand dunes and presents challenges reminiscent of links-style golf. The Praia d’El Rey offers stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean and the nearby Berlenga Islands. 

Featuring sizable bunkers strategically placed and greens thoughtfully designed, each hole requires careful consideration and strategy from tee to green.

Opened: 1997
Par: 73
Length: 7099 yards
Designers Include: Cabell B. Robinson (1997)
Difficulty: Slope 129 / Rating 72.4

10. Royal Obidos SPA & Golf Resort

The Royal Obidos is known for its challenging layout and scenic views, this 18-hole championship course spans rolling hills with panoramic vistas of the Atlantic Ocean and Óbidos Lagoon. 

It blends natural elements of local flora and strategic water hazards, offering a diverse experience for golfers of all skill levels, with undulating fairways, strategic bunkers, and fast greens requiring precise and strategic play.

Opened: 2012
Par: 72
Length: 7321 yards
Designers Include: Severiano Ballesteros (2012)
Difficulty: Slope 135 / Rating 74.0

11. North Course – Quinta do Lago Golf Club

The North is one of the Algarve’s most charming courses with its serene and scenic backdrop. One of the most visually striking holes is the impressive 361-meter par four 12th, highlighted by a substantial 3-acre lake. The hole bends sharply around this lake, creating a challenging approach shot to a generously sized and undulating green.

Opened: 1974
Par: 72
Length: 6699 yards
Designers Include: William F. Mitchell (1974), Rocky Roquemore (1989), Beau Welling (2014), Paul McGinley (2014)
Difficulty: Slope 131 / Rating 71.8

12. South Course – Quinta do Lago Golf Club

The South Course at Quinta do Lago is a renowned championship golf course located within the Quinta do Lago resort in the Algarve and has undergone significant renovations to maintain its high standards and appeal to golfers of all levels. 

The course offers strategic bunkering and occasional water features add challenge and interest to the layout, requiring thoughtful play to navigate successfully. 

Opened: 1974
Par: 72
Length: 7095 yards 
Designers Include: William F. Mitchell (1974)
Difficulty: Slope 127 / Rating 73.5

13. Laranjal Course – Quinta do Lago Golf Club

The Laranjal is the newest course at the Quinta do Lago and is named after being routed through orange groves. The course presents a quite different configuration than most courses with five par fives, eight par fours, and five par threes.

Opened: 2009
Par: 72
Length: 7086 yards
Designers Include: Jorge Santana da Silva (2009)
Difficulty: Slope 136 / Rating 74.3

FAQs

The Portuguese Open, the Portugal Masters, the Ladies Portugal Open, as well as several amateur championships are held in Portugal.

To avoid the heat, the most popular months are typically April – June and September – October.

There are 75 golf courses in Portugal with the Southern region of Algarve being home to 31 of them.

Lisbon and the Algarve are the most popular regions for golf in Portugal.

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