Most UK golfers arriving at Faro airport head West towards the well-known golfing destinations of Villamoura, Albufeira and their like. However if you head East you discover a different region that offers a less commercial or developed area but has a lot to offer golfers looking for a golf break.
The jewel in the crown is the fantastic Monte Rei Golf and Country Club a 30 to 45 minute drive from Faro Airport. This is a Jack Nicklaus designed Signature golf course and although only opened in 2007 it has already established itself as one of Portugal’s leading golf courses regularly ranked number 1 in the country it is probably better than any other course that the Algarve has to offer. It’s a tough par 72 spread over nearly 7000 yards from the back tees with typical Nicklaus design features. Large elevated greens ingeniously shaped and sculptured bunkers and reasonably wide fairways and a design that seems to flow into the surrounding landscape make it a must play course for serious golfers. It is playable from several different tee locations so it is suitable for golfers of all abilities and whatever your handicap you can’t fail to be impressed with this gem of a golf course.
For those wanting to stay on site there are some luxurious villas surrounding the golf course that offer the very best in comfortable accommodation in 2 and 3 bedroom properties. The attractive town of Tavira is just a few kilometers away and here you can experience more of a touch of the real Portugal than the more commercial Western part of the region has to offer. It’s an 18th century fishing port that has many restaurants offering some of Portugal’s finest sea food and there are more than enough bars to keep you entertained in the evenings.
Whilst not quite up to Monte Rei’s standards there are several other very good golf courses in the area offering value for money golf breaks. The Castro Marim resort is probably one of the best known and the 27 hole complex offers an interesting challenge to golfers of all abilities. Situated close to the river Guadiana the course offers some great views across the river and over the border into Spain. It’s an undulating course and probably best to take a buggy here as the holes wind their way through pine trees taking advantage of the rolling terrain. For an unforgettable golf break play here and stay at the Praia Verde Boutique hotel set in a pine forest near to Tavira.
That hotel is also ideal for those wanting to play at the Quinta do Vale golf course. The Ballesteros designed layout sits in a natural valley and its many doglegs wind their way over a landscape that is reasonably flat.
All in all the Eastern Algarve is a great destination for a golf break.