Golf In The Algarve
As some of you may know I have rekindled my love of golf recently as I look to extend my exercise routine. I have played golf intermittently over the last twenty years on many different courses, both in the UK and abroad. I have even bought myself some lovely golf clubs ( pink of course ) in anticipation of my new found hobby.
GOLF IN THE UK
Golf is such a fabulous way of keeping fit ( especially for the over 50’s ) and is also a great way of socialising with others. There is nothing nicer than walking round a beautifully manicured golf course in the sunshine followed by lunch on the terrace in the clubhouse. Of course there is one problem with this, living here in the UK. The weather ! With all the will in the world, I cannot play golf in poor weather, especially when it is cold and damp. I just feel miserable and end up cutting short the game, much to my husbands disappointment. Sadly, here in the UK, we just cannot rely on good weather, even in the summer ! I did, though, enjoy a lovely golf weekend at The Belfry Hotel near Birmingham, where we were very lucky with the weather. Check out how I got on there with my new found love of golf by clicking here.
GOLF IN THE ALGARVE
So I thought I would write about golf in the Algarve, Portugal, where the sunshine is almost guaranteed year round. I visited the Algarve to play golf in mid February and it was perfect weather for playing. I wore short sleeves and shorts while playing during the day and only needed a light cardigan at night time.
The Algarve is one of the premier destinations in Europe for all year round golf and with an average 2.5 hours flight from the UK to Portugal. So it is easy and quick to get to, even for a long weekend. The temperatures in The Algarve rarely drop below 16 degrees, even in winter, so you can play all year round.
There are about thirty five golf courses along the Algarve stretch of coast so you have lots to choose from. I have played on a handful of these courses and they are all stunning. They are great for beginners and more advanced players alike. It is simple to book a tee time at any course and don’t forget to book a buggy which is so useful, especially if you are playing in the height of summer when it can be very hot. Alternatively try booking a twilight tee time when the heat of the sun is less oppressive ( and the booking fee is also reduced ! )
AWARD WINNING GOLF DESTINATION
Did you know that The Algarve golf region has won two highly regarded golf awards recently ? The Annual Travel Awards 2018 awarded The Algarve – the ‘Best Golf Destination In Continental Europe’ and ‘Best Value Golf Destination In Continental Europe’ ! And it’s not just the golf courses that are fabulous. All these golf courses have fabulous after game facilities, offering drinks and food, usually in a lovely, relaxing setting.
Of course, The Algarve is not all about golf, so if you or your partner do not fancy a game of golf then there are plenty more things to do in the area. The Algarve is known for its fabulous, clean and safe beaches. From experience, I can honestly say you will be spoilt for choice for beaches. Most beaches have soft, white sand and are so wide and expansive that the beaches very rarely feel crowded. I have also visited The Algarve in July and I never felt the beaches were overcrowded.
FOOD IN THE ALGARVE
The area is littered with traditional fishing villages and marinas full of luxury yachts. There are authentic style restaurants serving the most amazing Portuguese food and excellent local wines. Fresh grilled sardines happen to be a favourite of mine. One of my favourite places to eat was a tiny mountain restaurant on the hill top road to Monchique. Here, we ate a fabulous meal consisting of a sausage and cabbage stew accompanied by the freshest bread I have ever tasted and all washed down with a glass of local wine. Sometimes it is worth travelling out of the main tourist centres in search of a more authentic Algarve.
FAMILY ACTIVITIES IN THE ALGARVE
If you are taking children or grandchildren to The Algarve as well as a golf playing partner then do not despair. There are plenty of fabulous children’s activities to keep the little ones happy ( and you ) while your partner plays a round of golf in peace ! Zoomarine is a popular water theme park just outside Albufeira and is a full day out. There is plenty here to keep children of all ages fully occupied. Be aware though that this park closes over the winter months so check opening times before travelling.
Another great family day out is the Dolphins Driven experience which allows visitors to see dolphins close up in their natural habitat at sea. This is a wonderful experience that all ages will enjoy and treasure forever. Seeing dolphins swimming alongside the boat is just breathtaking.
Finally for part time golfers ( or those that find the full size courses a little daunting ) why not pay a visit to the Family Golf Park in Vilamoura. This is wonderful for children of all ages and is a great introduction to the sport of golf.
Have you been to the Algarve ? And did you play golf there ? Let me know your thoughts of this beautiful area and any tips you may have for my readers who may be thinking of visiting the area.
Until next time dear friends