Golf holidays in Portugal

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If your dream is to go on a golf holiday in Portugal then you are definitely going to the right place because, when it comes to golf, Portugal has got it all: well maintained golf courses in beautiful locations and the perfect climate to match. Southern Portugal, in particular, has a large number of championship golf courses. There are 26 in the Algarve and eighteen in Estremadura and Ribatejo. In fact, the south coast is known as golf in Portugal's "Golden Coast" and for some, the Algarve is synonymous with playing golf in the sunshine all year round.

The northern regions have their fair share as well with eight in Beira Alta and the Minho, and one in northern Alentejo, but the slightly cooler climate makes the golfing season shorter. Portugal's first golf course was built in 1890 near Espinho, just south of Porto, and that area now has several golf courses. You will find a good number of courses near Lisbon as well, and if you are headed to the Azores and Madeira there are several courses on the islands too.

Fees vary widely for Portugal's various golf courses and you should look out for seasonal discounts. The peak seasons for golf in Portugal are in the spring and autumn, when it is sunny but not too hot to stay outside for long periods of time, where as the winter and summer months are less popular with golfers. Exclusive courses such as Pinheiros Altos and Quinta do Lago charge up to €150 for a round of golf, but it is quite possible to find academy courses or courses attached to a resort (in Penina, for example) where fees are still under €50 for a round. Out of season even the top courses reduce their prices to as little as 60 per cent of the full rate.

As exclusivity may seem to be the key when it comes to playing golf in Portugal, you may find it cheaper to go on a golf package holiday. For around £550 per week tour operators will organise your flights, transport links, hotel and golf course arrangements for you. Alternatively, stay in a resort or hotel complex that has its own golf course, or at one of the hotels attached to golf courses, and you may find that there are discounts for hotel guests on the course. This is a good idea if you are only planning on the odd round or two, rather than spending your whole holiday out on the courses.