Golf in the Lisbon area is on the increase but it is still a largely undiscovered region for UK golfer. It’s extremely popular with Scandinavian and German golfers and it remains a mystery why more Brits don’t go there. The immediate reaction when asked why they haven’t been is that it won’t be warm enough but its usually only 2 degrees cooler than the ever popular Algarve and in terms of quality it offers good golf with excellent accommodation at a very economical price.
The main golfing destination lies about 30 minutes North West of Lisbon around the towns of Cascais and Estoril. Cascais is a great little seaside town with bars and restaurants offering something for everyone’s taste and budget. There are lots of hotels in the area with some exceptional 5 star Hotels such as Penha Longa, Sheraton Cascais resort and Quinta da Marinha which would be at the top of anyone’s wish list to provide luxury accommodation and facilities.
Estoril is next door to Cascais and also offers several very good hotels as well as having Europe’s largest casino which even if you are not a gambler is well worth a look inside.
There are several very good golf courses within easy travelling distance of Cascais and Estoril our favourite would be Oitavos Dunes which is ranked in the world’s top 100 golf courses according to Golf magazine. It’s a relatively flat with reasonably generous fairways and has great views over the Atlantic Ocean. The undulating greens are well bunkered and although it’s the most expensive course in the area it’s well worth a visit.
Penha Longa would be our second choice to visit. Set amidst rocky hillsides and tall pine trees this is a quality golf course that will test all aspects of your shot making ability. The onsite hotel is a Ritz Carlton property so you know that quality and luxury are guaranteed and its one of our favourite places to stay.
Oitavos Dunes and Penha Longa have played host to the Portuguese Open but the course that has held it more than any other in the region would be Estoril and that would be our third choice to visit . Opened in 1936 the course has a traditional feel to it with just a hint of quirkiness to make it a very interesting course to visit.
There is a very good Robert Trent Jones course alongside the 5 star Quinta da Marinha hotel that is well worth a visit. Flat and easily walk-able its set amongst unadulterated natural surroundings and offers great views to the Atlantic Ocean and the Sintra mountains.
Finally we would play at Belas which isn’t as well known as the other courses but offers a very fair test of golf at extremely reasonable rates. Situated closer to Lisbon than the other courses it would be a great place to either start or finish your holiday.
Without a doubt Lisbon deserves to be more popular as a golfing destination and although it’s a little more expensive than staying in the Algarve it offers very good golf courses, exceptional hotels and food and drink that will satisfy any ones taste.
Do you have any other recommendations for top golf courses in and around Lisbon? Let us know in the comments below…