30th April 2009: Real Estate & Algarve Property News
The Algarve is famous for quality golf and with over 40 courses in a 200-mile area, there is something to suit every mood. With excellent year round access to Faro international airport from Europe and all courses within an hour or so from here, getting to them is also very easy.
Serious and hobby golfers alike will not be disappointed. The Algarve has attracted golf tourists for years and the facilities are mature and very well maintained.
The fabulous summer weather and dramatic scenery for which the region is renowned are perfectly combined with warm winters to make year round golf a pleasure - high golf season is from late autumn to late spring.
In addition to golf, the white sand beaches along the entire length of the Algarve coastline are beautiful and rated amongst the best in Europe. Most have the “Blue Flag” classification, awarded for the highest standards of cleanliness.
At the Western end the landscape is rugged and breathtaking and in addition to golf is fantastic for sailing and water sports. The Eastern and Spanish Algarve is the most sheltered part of this Atlantic coastline and the sea in the region is shallow, safe and warm for swimming all year.
Unlike the Costas of Mediterranean Spain there are still miles of completely unspoilt coastline. The Portuguese authorities are very conservative and strict planning regulations mean that over development will never be repeated here.
In general, you will find that the Algarve, with its warm climate, reasonably priced restaurants, breathtaking scenery, friendly people and excellent golf courses all combine to make it an ideal place for a holiday home.
Here are some details of golf courses in the area to give you a flavour.
Parque da Floresta, 18 holes, par 72, 5,670 metres. This wonderful course is located at the south westerly tip of Portugal – at the lands end” of Europe. It is a rolling and undulating course that works in harmony with the surrounding countryside and was designed by Pepe Gancedo, a Spanish amateur champion. With real character, many of the holes are challenging and so the course attracts many expert golfers looking for a test.
Pinta, Carvoeiro, 18 holes, par 72, 5,679 metres. Ronald Fream designed this Championship golf course which features a good natural diversity, bunker distribution as well as some lovely man made water features. Located near Carvoeiro, Vale do Pinta has recently managed 5 Seniors Tour events in a row that is testament to the courses’ high standard. At the same time it manages to appear to golfers at all levels.
Boavista, Lagos, 18 holes, par 71, 5,751 metres. Quinta da Boavista is located by to the sea next to the town of Lagos on the Western Algarve. An absolutely stunning course, there are almost too many features to mention in a summary but these include fabulous sea and mountain views, natural lakes and waterfalls, holes by deep ravines and chasms and panoramic views to Lagos and Portimao. A must play for Algarve golfers of all standards.
Penina, Portimao, 18 holes, par 73, 6,273 metres. One of the first golf courses in the Algarve, Penina is the grandfather of golf tourism in the Algarve and designed by the late Sir Henry Cottons. A high standard Championship course of renown, Penina is an open course with many water features and extensive planting and tree cover.
Millennium, Vilamoura, 18 holes, par 72, 6,157 metres. Vilamoura is one of the world’s premier golfing communities mainly because of its fantastic array of courses (6 in total) in addition to comprehensive leisure, commercial and entertainment facilities. Located by one of Portugal’s largest marinas the resort has something for the whole family and over 250000 rounds of golf are played per year. Designed by Martin Hawtree, the Millenium course is well known for its beauty, playability and precision. Set in rolling countryside, the course benefits from well-designed water and bunker hazards, extensive planting and natural flora including wonderful umbrella pines that are common in this part of the Algarve.
Vila Sol, Vilamoura, 27 holes, par 72, 6,950 metres. Vila Sol is one of the most well managed courses in the Algarve and is always pristine and well maintained. Only 8 months after it opened in 1991 it hosted the 1992 Portuguese Open.
Ocean, Vale do Lobo, par 18, 72 holes, 5,815 metres. Re-opened in 1996, this course is the result of merging 2 older courses previously known as the Green and Orange. In the prestigious Vale do Lobo area, there are several very challenging holes some of which travel right past the beach and make this a must play for competent golfers.
San Lorenzo, Quinta do Lago, par 18, 72 holes, 6,238 matres. Officially rated as one of the top 3 golf courses in Europe, San Lorenzo has been open since 1998 and has an exclusive reputation as the Algarve’s best golf course. With many celebrity patrons and events being held here, it is a must play for anyone serious about their golf. Its beauty is enhanced by the Ria Formosa national park by which it is located.
Monte Rei, Tavira, 18 holes, par 72, 6,591 metres. Designed by Jack Nicklaus, Monte Rei has 2 signature courses located in the Eastern Algarve hills before the Serra do Caldeirão mountains. As you would expect from Nicklaus design, the course integrates fantastically into its natural environment and is home to dramatic landscaping, golf hazards and an excellent golf academy.
Castro Marim, Castro Marim, 18 holes, par 71, 5,092 metres. The Castro Marim Golf & Country Club is located by a traditional Portuguese town of the same name and has developed steadily over the last 10 years into a fantastic and mature golf course. With excellent views of the ocean and Guadiana River, the course is the furthest East of any Algarve golf course but has a loyal following of regular players.
Quinta da Ria, Cabanas, 18 holes, par 72, 6,016 metres With beautiful views of the sea and Ria Formosa Natural Park this course is in rolling countryside by the pretty town of Cabanas. With mountain and sea views from all areas the course is a joy to play and the surrounding vineyards only add to the beautiful setting.
Costa Esuri, Ayamonte, 18 holes, par 72, 6,698 metres Isla Canela, Ayamonte, 18 holes, par 72, 6,248 metres Islantilla, Isla Christina, 27 holes, par 72, 5,697, metres El Rompido, Cartaya, 36 holes, par 72, 5,834 metres