3.45am in the morning and we are out de-frosting the car ready for the trip to Manchester airport. Shorts packed, sunglasses at the ready it was time to head off and discover the delights of the little known area of Huelva, home to four great golf resorts.
Our 7am flight actually took us into Faro, which is the closest airport to this golfing mecca. Despite being in an entirely different country, our destination was under an hour from the airport and offers great value against the larger resorts offered with Algarve Golf Holidays.
A quick trip across the border and a minor adjustment of our watches (Spain is an hour ahead of Portugal – as I had to keep reminding my colleague when arranging our meetings), and we were at our first resort, El Rompido Golf Resort , which would also be where we are resting our heads for the 2 nights. After a lovely lunch with Raquel from the resort, it was onto the North Course in shirt sleeves for a quick 18. The first couple of holes are fairly bland in all honesty but from the 4th onwards the course became a real delight with the course winding through established tree line fairways and great greens.
After the round is a short walk back to the hotel for a great buffet evening meal and a few drinks in the bar using the great semi all-inclusive option, an open bar from 17.00 to 24.00, something which a group of English golfers staying in the resort certainly took advantage of!
The next morning we were up and away to the stunning Islantilla Golf Resort for an early morning 18. The course has a very “Spanish” feel with a few blind tee shots and plenty of lakes to catch the errant shots! The greens were fantastic and we managed to get 15 holes in before the rain came down and scuppered our chances of any more golf over the weekend. After our round we met with Tino, the Sales Director and had a tour of the 4* hotel which certainly impressed!
In the afternoon it was off to the great value Isla Canela Resort. The clubs were in the car but the torrential rain put a stop to our plans. A spot of lunch and a tour of the friendly 4 star hotel confirmed the resort is a stunning complex with an A-La Carte Half Board option that would be great for couples and smaller groups. With only 50 rooms the staff will soon know you by name and make you feel at home.
The next day we were back in Portugal and touring round Vilamoura, Albufeira and the Vale Do Lobo area to have a re-fresh of the resorts. After a spot of lunch it was back to the airport to the (not so sunny) UK! All that over 2 nights, not bad at all. Now time for a snooze zzz….