Why Madeira is a Special Destination For Golf
Renowned for its beauty and spectacular scenery, the tropical island of Madeira has become increasingly celebrated for its qualities as a golf destination, offering visitors immaculate courses that take full advantage of the year-round summer climate, making it an attractive prospect for anyone in search of an unforgettable experience.
For UK holidaymakers, the Autumn is a popular time of year to make the journey to the archipelago, where layouts that can be played include the likes of Palheiro Golf Club, Porto Santo Golfe, and Clube de Golf Santo da Serra, which is a regular venue for the European Tour.
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It's hard not to be distracted by the surrounds and the weather, but the courses here are rather good too. Designed by Cabell B Robinson, Palheiro Golf Club sits within the magnificent and historic Palheiro Estate, positioned nearly 1,640ft above sea level, the course features panoramic views of Madeira’s mountainous skyline and the vast Atlantic Ocean.
Boasting three loops of nine holes, Clube de Golf Santo da Serra was first unveiled in the 1920s and was redesigned by Robert Trent Jones Snr in the 1990s and enjoys vistas of Porto Santo and the bay of Machico. Split into a trio of courses, the Machico and Desertas have hosted the European Tour’s Madeira Islands Open, while the Serras Course offers an easier test on flatter terrain. The third and fourth on the Machico are regarded as the signature holes, sitting atop cliffs more than 2,200ft above the Atlantic.
Another standout and imagined by the great Seve Ballesteros, Porto Santo Golfe features two contrasting loops of nine and can play up to a lengthy 7,034 yards. It is a course of variety and is laid out along the coastline, providing visuals out to the Atlantic and the island interior. Demanding strategy and smart thinking, the rolling fairways lead onto undulating greens that are guarded by a number of water hazards.
The courses are hard to beat - and so is the accommodation. There is plenty of choice available, but notable possibilities include the luxury Dom Pedro Madeira 4*, which has been completely redeveloped and is located in the small city of Machico. Many of the 218 guestrooms and suites have great sea views and all the amenities you could need, while among the other facilities you'll have access to an outdoor heated seawater pool surrounded by local vegetation, where guests can look towards the mountainous peninsula of Sao Lourenco.
For the perfect base, Casa Velha do Palheiro 5* sit on a hillside location high above the capital city of Funchal, offering 37 luxurious rooms with other attractions including a sauna, steam room, one outdoor and one indoor swimming pool, badminton, croquet, tennis, fitness room and a Spa with a large choice of treatments and massages.
Finally, Vila Gale Santa Cruz 4* is a modern setting that consists of 262 rooms all fitted with air-con, satellite TV, and mini bar. Being only minutes away from Funchal, it's a terrific location from which you can indulge in the famous cuisine and nightlife that is available in the city.
When you bring together the unsurpassed beauty, the quality of the courses, and then the accommodation options, it's easy to understand why Madeira has become such a hot golf destination.
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