Good climate, delicious seafood, tasty wines and stunning golf courses are just a few good reasons why a holiday in the Algarve will never disappoint...
If you’re thinking of going on a golfing trip to the Algarve this year, then there are a few things that you should consider. Firstly, and most importantly, is where are the best courses, followed by should you take your own clubs or simply rent some when you are out there?
The Algarve is renowned for it’s wide offering of good quality golf resorts and it is impossible to just narrow them down to one. But here are a few courses that we happen to think are rather special…
STUNNING CLIFF-TOP VIEWS.Pine Cliffs Residence is located, as the name implies, above cliffs with views out over the Atlantic Ocean. Pine tree woods and the beautiful orange sandstone cliffs border this resort, which is just 30 minutes’ drive from Faro International Airport. Pine Cliffs is a truly magical location. It has 217 rooms offering a selection of choices for all budgets, all with views either to the ocean or the resort grounds. In addition to the golf, there are a plethora of activities and facilities on site, including cookery courses at the Mimo Cookery School, water sports, a lovely spa, plus academies for tennis and football.
The golf course is set in an elevated position above the blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Original and unique, it works its way through a pinewood setting, with tree-lined fairways running parallel along the Atlantic Ocean. Architect Martin Hawtree’s main concern was to maintain the natural surroundings so that the course fits perfectly into its environment.
The signature sixth hole is the Devil’s Parlour. It’s a par-3 and straddles a ravine. This challenging hole demands a 197-metre carrying shot over the cliffs to a deep but narrow green. It’s a stunning place to play a round, if you can handle the heights!
GOLF ACADEMY. If you want to polish your game, then book yourself in for some expert coaching. Superbly equipped with the latest technology in teaching systems, the Golf Academy is manned by a team of internationally qualified PGA professionals. They offer a tuition service second to none for all parts of the game. Plus there is a dedicated short game practice area, specifically designed to aid both the beginner and the experienced golfer.
AL FRESCO DINING.Pine Cliffs Hotel has cuisine to suit every palate. Piri Piri is one of the finest steak houses in the Algarve, while O Pescador provides a relaxed, refined setting, serving up speciality seafood that is caught daily. Whether its international cuisine, found at the buffet-inspired Jardim Colonial, poolside salads at Corda Café or refreshing drinks served at the Beach Club, guests can enjoy varied al fresco dining in true Algarve style.
UNLIMITED GOLF. Of course, there are other golf resorts to consider when planning your visit to the Algarve and one of them is Pestana Gramacho. Great golf and varied accommodation options are promised when you visit here. There are two stunning 18-hole golf courses, Gramacho and Vale da Pinta, although Pestana has a further three courses in the Algarve, and all only a short drive from Gramacho. The best part of staying at Pestana is the unlimited golf offer. The concept allows guests to play as much as they want at all five of the Pestana golf courses, at no extra cost.
STAY FOR LONGER. With a selection of villas and apartments available for rent right next to the course, there is a place here to fit everyone’s requirements. For those looking for something a bit more permanent, then there are two new real estate developments presently underway. The Gramacho Residences, which is located near the eighth hole, has a selection of 34 luxury studio, one and two-bed apartments, all finished to a high standard and surrounded by the golf course on one side and countryside on the other.
The second, and much larger development, is located at the Pestana Silves Golf Resort, only a ten-minute drive away and near the historical town of the same name. Silves comprises a selection of apartments and a separate hotel, as well as a larger project of villas. The Algarve is a popular location for second-home buyers and what could be better than your very own place on one of the best courses in the area.
WHAT ABOUT THE CLUBS? So that’s a few great resorts to chose from, but what about the other important consideration, raised at the beginning of this article? Do you bring your own clubs or hire when you’re out here? That is the question.
Golfers tend to be of mixed opinion on this. Some insist that if they do not take their trusty set of clubs, they simply cannot play. But for many who have already tried renting while on holiday, it’s a bit of a no-brainer. Carting an oversized bag around is just not what a holiday is all about. Firstly, you have to ensure that the taxi to the airport has enough room along with the numerous suitcases your family or friends have, then you have the rigmarole of checking them in to oversized luggage. When you land, you will wait nervously by the carousel, hoping that what comes out does not resemble metal origami, only to go through the whole taxi business again. And what if your precious cargo is lost en route? It’s enough to make you take up tennis!
This is a rather stressful way to begin your vacation; surely it’s better to have one less thing to worry about…
BLUE SKIES. One company offering this service is Blue Sky Golf Rental, established in 2010 by avid golfer Andy Pope. Having experienced the hassle of transporting his golf clubs, Andy came to the conclusion that there had to be a better way. Here was an opportunity to provide golf equipment to golfers when they arrived, delivering the clubs directly to their accommodation. Blue Sky Golf Rental have made a career out of understanding and addressing the inconvenience of travelling with golf equipment. The hassle of extra baggage and car hire charges, as well as increased insurance premiums to cover damaged or lost equipment, do not make for a peaceful holiday. It really is stressful enough just getting to your holiday location, without dragging a large, heavy bag of your precious clubs around. Blue Sky Rental simplifies the process, you just decide which clubs you want and then book online, via the live availability website or the Blue-Sky app.The company delivers seven days a week and provides the latest golfing equipment from the world’s leading suppliers, including Callaway, Mizuno, Ping, TaylorMade, Titleist and Wilson.
And this service isn’t just available in Portugal; Blue Sky Golf Rental also covers Spain and the islands of Mallorca, Tenerife and Gran Canaria.
So, wherever you decide your next golf trip should be, be sure to consider the Algarve – there’s a very good reason why it’s so well known for its golf courses, because they really are stunning.