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The Best Golf Courses You Should Play in Portugal

By: Kieran Clark | Wed 01 Nov 2023

For many golfers, Portugal is the ultimate destination, offering outstanding courses in immaculate condition, with a beautiful climate making it a consistently rewarding experience throughout the year.

Recently, Chris Hollins, co-host with Paul McGinley of Golf's Greatest Holes, recently joined the Golfshake Podcast for a chat with Ryan Rastall, where he discussed his time filming the latest series in Portugal, the courses they played and his favourite layouts to visit.

Which of them should be on your list to play? Chris has kindly shared his thoughts on several places, with Ryan adding his own choices from a lifetime of regularly venturing to the Algarve, while Golfshake's Travel Editor Andy Waple has also chipped in with a selection that are worth your time too.

If Portugal and the Algarve is an appealing prospect for you, then here are our personal recommendations!

Vale do Lobo

  • Golfshake Rating: 4.00

Vale do Lobo

First up in the list for Chris was Vale do Lobo, where the 16th hole was featured in the most recent series of the show. "It was such a beautiful morning when we played there. The hole, the views and weather made it a magical experience."

San Lorenzo

  • Golfshake Rating: 3.07

Hand picked by Chris for the views and setting, which once again made it a perfect showcase for the show when played on a stunning evening.

"We played golf late in the afternoon and this wonderful course surrounded by the best nature can offer was breathtaking."

Dom Pedro Old

  • Golfshake Rating: 4.61

Don Pedro Old is a maturing classic that Chris also loved. "The trees have grown and developed and aged. They're like mushrooms, huge on top and it just makes the fairways smaller, smaller and smaller. They seem to gobble up the fairway and that little par 3 (the fourth) was just awesome! You know you're you're trying to thread it around and over the trees. It was great."

Amendoeira Faldo

  • Golfshake Rating: 4.29

For Chris this was the complete contrast to the other courses he played on the show, with wide fairways set on top of the mountain offering fantastic views across the area.

"I felt as if we were overlooking the whole of the Algarve up in the hills playing on this testing course. Great holes and such a warm reception after the round made this one of our favourite places."

Quinta do Lago South

  • Golfshake Rating: 4.39

Quinta do Lago

Finally, Chris takes us to the South Course at Quinta do Lago, which he played on a beautiful morning. "What a course and always in such great condition. You were almost too frightened to take a divot! Got to be one of the best in Portugal."

Golfshake Equipment Expert and Podcast Host, Ryan Rastall was fortunate to grow up with regular trips to the Algarve, which has left lasting memories.

"My five favourite courses in the Algarve are hugely influenced by my early experiences of playing golf in Pro-Ams with my Dad and younger brother."

Vila Sol

  • Golfshake Rating: 4.39

"Vila Sol is its own golfing community and very close to Vilamoura and when I first visited in 2003, I remember being really impressed by the whole resort, but the 27 very demanding holes will test golfers of all abilities."

Dom Pedro Pinhal

  • Golfshake Rating: 4.42

"Pinhal is the first course I ever played in Portugal and was a very different style of golf to what I was used to playing back here in the UK. The fairways seem to wind their way through very tall trees and every tee shot demands your full attention."

Dom Pedro Victoria

  • Golfshake Rating: 4.74

"Victoria first came to my attention when it held the World Cup of Golf back in 2005 and I couldn't wait to play it. This Arnold Palmer designed course is not for the faint-hearted and is a real beast off the back tees. It has been home to the Portugal Masters since 2007 and is often the venue where tour cards are kept and lost which always adds to the drama."


  • Golfshake Rating: 3.92

"Penina is on the west side of the Algarve and probably the course I have played the most in Portugal. It was the first 18-hole venue in the Algarve and designed by three-time Open Champion Sir Henry Cotton. The Championship, Resort and Academy Courses have something for everyone and the resort also has a great hotel with a number of bars and restaurants."

Monte Rei

  • Golfshake Rating: 4.47

Monte Rei

"Last but not least is the stunning Monte Rei situated in the foothills of the eastern Algarve. This gem of a course is a must play for any serious golfer and one you will want to return to again and again."

Golfshake Travel Editor Andy Waple provides his top five and having played over 60% of the courses in Portual is well placed to offer some insights!

Dunas at Terras da Comporta

"This new course which opened in the summer of 2023 is truly outstanding, quite probably the best in Portugal. Designed by the Scot David McLay Kidd it plays true to his philosophy. Wide fairways, huge sandy waste areas, multiple strategic playing options and a real links feel - all set on sandy ground amid a vast unspoilt forest."

Palmares Golf

  • Golfshake Rating: 4.33

"Redesigned by Robert Trent Jones Jnr and reopened in 2010, the 27 holes on high ground overlooking Meia Praia in Lagos are a pure delight. I prefer The Praia and Alvor loops, but playing any combination is a sheer delight. Conditioning is excellent and the views over the sea are superb."

Troia Golf

  • Golfshake Rating: 4.29

"Nicknamed 'Troia the Destroyer' this well establised course on a sand spit to the south of Lisbon is a real challenge, Narrow fairways are lined by sandy wastes making straight tee shots a must. It’s a course that can beat up any player who habitually reaches for the driver, yet they will go home wanting a return."

Golf Club Estela

  • Golfshake Rating: 4.36

"A real undiscovered treasure on the Atlantic coast to the north of Porto. An unassuming clubhouse in typically laid back Portuguese style belies a course full of surprises. It is very links-like, particularly on the tough front nine where the fairways run among huge sand dunes. It is also great value for money and well worth a visit."

West Cliffs

  • Golfshake Rating: 4.58

West Cliffs

"This Cynthia Dye creation located about an hour’s drive north of Lisbon on the Silver Coast was the latest addition to a clutch of courses set around Praia d'El Rey. Hated by many due to its relative difficulty, it is however a superb test of golf in a most enjoyable setting. If you keep it straight to avoid the dreaded ball grabbing ice plants off the fairways and use the recommended tee boxes you will come off marvelling at its design and wanting more. The 18th is one of the most stunning finishing holes in Portugal. "

Thanks to Chris, Ryan and Andy for their recommendations!

We hope that this has given you a flavour of golf in Portugal and some places that should be on your list to experience in the future.

Should you wish to put a plan into action, we suggest visiting our travel partners Golfbreaks, while you can also take a read of the following features on Golfshake to enhance your knowledge of what's available in the Algarve and beyond!

Related Content: travel Portugal golfshake golfbreaks Golf Courses Courses Algarve

What do you think? post your thoughts and feedback on the Golfshake Forum: https://forum.golfshake.com/

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