Southern Portugal Golf Escape & Relaxation Itinerary

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Total Trip:

8 Days
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Countries Visited:

Portugal
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Places Visited:

Faro
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Departure Dates:

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.
Southern Portugal defines golfing escapism. A sublime natural setting with courses weaving through nature reserves and cliff-strewn coastline. A selection of championship challenges that test you while offering grandeur and flair, clubhouses within steps of the ocean, and the serenity of a boutique five-star golf resort that is nestled between the waves and the fairway. Handcrafted with six of the Algarve’s most iconic courses, this is Southern Europe’s eminent one-week golf getaway.

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Day 1

Faro to Quinta do Lago – Relaxing on the Algarve Coastline

The sound of the surf floats gently across the fairway. Scents mingle, eucalyptus trees mixed with the salt that comes in off the Atlantic waves. From a deluxe suite, you gaze out over a dramatic coastline where the cliffs are multihued, and an estuary leads your eye toward a protected nature reserve. You are staying at one of Southern Portugal’s most revered estates, where the five-star Hotel Quinta do Lago is set against a backdrop of coastline and four sublime golf courses. Earlier in the day, you are greeted at Faro Airport and transferred to the hotel, a 20-minute transfer that takes you away from the town’s bustle and into the tranquility of the Algarve. The golfing starts properly tomorrow, but there are various putting greens and driving ranges within the complex, as well as a clubhouse that you are going to get to know over the next week.

What's Included:

included

Transfer

included

Accommodation

included

Breakfast

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Day 2

Quinta do Lago – Playing Quinta do Lago – Algarve’s Pre-Eminent Golf Club

The Algarve has quickly established itself as Europe’s golfing escape, the consistent sun and contrasting courses making it the continent’s favorite golfing destination. It all started at Quinta do Lago in the early 1970s, a resort and course that was way ahead of its time. Of the four courses at Quinta do Lago, it is the south that most demands the attention, an undulating challenge that has hosted the Portuguese Open on seven occasions. Serene and sublime, this is a course that is emblematic of the region’s appeal, a course that is incredibly eye-catching and tailored to the discerning golfer. And while a championship course, the pine-lined fairways are a good place to start a golfing escape as they are certainly more generous than other courses in the region.

Teeing off at the first, you can immediately tell you are in a special place. The par-four third is always a standout, along with the twisting par-five fifth. Most holes have some serious changes in elevation, as well as Quinta do Lago South’s trademark – greens protected by a splash of water and bold bunkering. You need tight approach shots to score well on this course. As an example, the par-three 15th leaves no room for error when approaching over the estuary. You are transferred to the first tee for a morning round which ends in the Quinta do Lago clubhouse, before an afternoon and evening at leisure along the Algarve coast.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Transfer

included

Activity

included

Breakfast

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Day 3

Quinta do Lago – Playing Penina – Algarve’s Historic Championship Course

The Algarve’s most historical course does not quite have the same history as those in the UK – Penina was only constructed in 1966. However, the estate and clubhouse emanate a much older grandeur, as well as showcasing Penina’s role in the global golfing calendar. The course has hosted the Portuguese Open eight times, an unusual par-73 with four par-fives on the back nine. From the first tee, you are consumed by the communion of golf and nature, the parklands creating a tranquility that has not changed since the 1960s. But this is no easy round, something you will discover as soon as you approach the hidden domed green on the par-four second.

Penina is a course that hides its treasures, only truly revealing itself when you are deep into the round. Spectacular water features add further hazard, particularly the lake that must be crossed to a narrow green on the par-three 13th. This is the standout hole for many, one that was entered into Golf Magazine’s 500 World’s Greatest Golf Courses, and regulars in the clubhouse will be quick to tell you that one in five see their tee shot wind up in the water. While dozens of courses have been built in the Algarve over the last 50 years, Penina remains the spiritual home of golf in Southern Portugal. The course is a 45-minute transfer from your hotel, and the clubhouse reflects the esteemed local history.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Transfer

included

Activity

included

Breakfast

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Day 4

Quinta do Lago – Playing Vilamoura Old Course – Grandeur of the Algarve’s Second Oldest 18 Holes

The old course at Vilamoura is a quintessential Portuguese experience, long established as one of the finest in Europe. The scent of tropical trees welcomes you, along with the fragrance of pine as you continue the round. Fairways are perfectly crafted, long and narrow, and framed by extensive woodland. The small greens are testing, especially at each of the par-three holes. It is a real challenge, yet one that lets you ease into the round, and the first four holes reveal little about the challenge that is to come.

While it was initially designed as a resort-style course for British golfers seeking an escape in the sun, this is a no-frills course that will test every part of your golfing ability. In particular, the start of the back nine requires the full range of skills, while the par-five greens are exceptionally well protected, causing even the most ambitious to refrain from attempting them in two. Finishing on the 18th, you step into the small and traditional clubhouse which is full of wood panels and refined service. Most prefer Vilamoura’s old-world style to the flashier resort courses and clubhouses that are more recent to the Algarve. There is also an excellent restaurant here to end the round before a transfer back to Quinta do Lago.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Transfer

included

Activity

included

Breakfast

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Day 5

Quinta do Lago – Playing Vilamoura Victoria – Driving Long at Arnold Palmer’s Algarve Course

The fifth course to open at Vilamoura, the Victoria immediately gives off an impression of tournament play. The holes are long and have hosted numerous important tour events over the last decade, including the WGC World Cup and the inaugural Portugal Masters. Designed by Arnold Palmer, the course now has its annual slot in the European Tour calendar. It is certainly a challenge to build up to, rather than start with. Severe hazards demand accuracy and the fast, undulating greens are among the trickiest in the Algarve. After completing the round, you have time to explore some more of the Vilamoura’s facilities before another leisurely day along the beach.

This is one of Europe’s most spectacular stretches of coast. Marshes provide snippets of fresh color, sand dunes rise around the cliffs, and isolated rocky pinnacles stand like sentinels above the waves. Most of the coast is protected as various nature reserves, with migratory birdlife prolific throughout spring and autumn. It is not the classic beach landscape, but one where serene strips of sand are backdropped by the excesses of nature. While there are stretches for sunbathing on the sand, this is more a coastline for beautiful cliff-line walks, admiring the panoramas, and a faint call of the wilderness whispering into your ear.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Transfer

included

Activity

included

Breakfast

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Day 6

Quinta do Lago – Playing Quinta de Cima – An Iconic Algarve Challenge

Much like the Algarve coastline, the region’s golf courses are a celebration of nature. Quinta de Cima epitomizes this, built completely within the Ria Formosa Nature Reserve, the only thing artificial in the vista is the pin. Streams run across the fairways asking questions of the strategic golfer. The par-three 17th takes you over a pond, while water is the defining feature on the trademark 18th. It is a course that eases you in over the front nine before some really tough holes on the back nine. A good score here requires a strong day with your driver, finding the balance between length and accuracy.

Returning to Quinta do Lago, there are various ways to spend an afternoon, beyond the charms of the golf resort and the coastline. Historic towns dot the Algarve region, Faro the most majestic in its reflection of a bygone era. Though a little heavier with tourist traffic, Lagos is also glistening white and full of cobblestone streets. Small fishing villages are hidden by the cliffs, distinguished by colorful boats and the omnipresent white shimmer of their facade. Boat and canoe trips explore inaccessible parts of the coastline, taking you into caves that change with the tide. You can find spectacular restaurants all along the coast, with the most esteemed often those in the smallest villages. Your driver can provide suggestions as there are dozens within reach of the hotel.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Transfer

included

Activity

included

Breakfast

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Day 7

Quinta do Lago – Playing Vale do Lobo – A Beautiful Ocean Course to End the Week

Completing the golf escape are 18 holes along the ocean, where the tees have sublime views over the waves, and the greens are raised above the beach. While the Royal is the more famous course at Vale do Lobo, the Ocean course provides a great contrast to the others featured on this trip. No two holes are the same, looping through woodland then running parallel to the ocean. It is the closest of all the Algarve courses to the waves, with the beach holes along the back nine particularly inspiring. An afternoon tee time is always recommended as the coastline has a wonderful ability to change colors as the sun crosses the sky.

You might want to come a little earlier for lunch on the terrace of the clubhouse which is also replete with views. The front nine provides some opportunities to open your shoulders and drive long, with the fairways hemmed -by umbrella pines and eucalyptus trees. The stretch of holes from 7 to 11 live long in the memory, then the rest of the back nine is all views, with some sublime approach shots to greens raised above the beach. Vale do Lobo is only a 15-minute drive from your hotel, and the clubhouse is an elegant place to stop following your round. Even after lunch here, you may want to stay and also enjoy dinner.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Transfer

included

Activity

included

Breakfast

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Day 8

Quinta do Lago to Faro – Departure

After breakfast, it is a 20-minute transfer back to Faro International Airport. Transfers to other destinations in Portugal can also be arranged to complement the golfing escape, with Lisbon a two-and-a-half-hour drive to the north.

What's Included:

included

Transfer

included

Breakfast

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