In Portugal, the Algarve and Lisbon are first and foremost. The weather is gentle year round, with only minor variations in temperature. The Algarve is all about verandas perched high on reddish, sandstone cliffs overlooking the sea with a carafe of white after a round of international class golf.
For sheer quality and variety, a golf break in Portugal is hard to beat. Whether it’s the golfing heartlands and tournament venues of the Algarve and the Lisbon Coast, or the calmer and more cosmopolitan delights of Porto and Madeira, the wide range of golf resorts in Portugal will appeal to all golfers, whatever their standard or budget. This really is the golf destination that has it all.
Sintra and its mystical hills dotted with fairytale palaces and extravagant villas which have bewitched visitors for centuries. Its history back to Roman times, through the Moors occupation and latterly it became the summer residence of the Portuguese Royal family and attracted a number of wealthy aristocrats who built huge mansions and villas. It is an extraordinary place with a surreal mixture of history and fantasy, protected by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, with fairytale palaces, incredible vistas, and notable museum collections.
Portugal's capital city, Lisbon has been razed to the ground following the earthquake in 1755; the city is essentially 18th century with carefully planned elegant streets of the Baixa, to the narrow streets of the Alfama and Bairro Alto. Since its glory days during the Age of Discovery, Lisbon has been an important port. The great monuments in Belem bear witness to the city’s maritime past and where the visits will commence.
Arrive at Lisbon Airport and transfer your luggage to your preferred stay arrangement. Evening is free to relax.
Located on the famous Estoril coast, 25 kilometers from Lisbon. The Arthur Hills designed course is set among pine woods and reforested dunes, in an area of great natural beauty. Surrounded by the Sintra mountains to the North and by the Atlantic Ocean to the South and West. Since its opening in 2001 it has held 7 professional tournaments and is currently host venue to the European PGA Tour Portuguese Open.
Sintra Day Tour
Exploring on foot will involve a lot of walking and climbing up and down its steep hills. For a more leisurely tour take one of the horse and carriage rides around the town. In the main square is the National Palace, dating from the 14th century. Its two gigantic conical chimneys are the town’s most recognizable landmarks, while the rest of the building is a combination of the Moorish, Gothic and Manueline styles.
The most famous building in Sintra is Pena Palace. Built in the 1840′s from the ruins of the old monastery, it is one of Europe’s most fantastic palaces, it includes a drawbridge, a conglomeration of turrets, ramparts, and domes, and a gargoyle above a Neo-Manueline arch, all washed in an array of pastel shades. The extravagant interior is decorated in late Victorian and Edwardian furnishings, rich ornaments, paintings, and priceless porcelain preserved just as the royal family left them. Surrounding the palace is the mystical Pena Park, filled with a variety of trees and exotic plants from the former colonies of the Portuguese empire, ponds, fountains, and black swans. Overlooking it all is the 8th century Moorish Castle, standing on top of Sintra’s highest hill. Snaking along the mountain ridge, it offers breathtaking views of the area.
Play at Praia d’el Rey
Designed by American golf architect, Cabell B. Robinson it is one of the most picturesque layouts in Europe. Set in extensive grounds of pine forest and undulating dunes with spectacular views over the Atlantic and the Berlenga Islands beyond. A complete golfing challenge with bold deep bunkers, undulating greens, and natural sand border areas contrasting sharply with the lush green fairways. Rated the 13th best course in Europe by Golf World magazine.
Lisbon Day Tour
Visit Belem Tower, the city’s most photographed landmark dates back to 1515. The tower was built as a fortress in the middle of the River Tagus and was the starting point for the navigators who set out to discover the trade routes. Visit the nearby Monument to the Discoveries, with its huge pavement compass and then onto Jeronimos Monastery. This magnificent monastery is considered one of the most prominent monuments in Lisbon and is certainly one of the most successful achievements of the Manueline style of architecture.
Continue into Lisbon for lunch and head into the Alfama. A visit to Sao Jorge Castelo also commands impressive vistas, with the rambling Alfama old town rumbling away below the ramparts and the grid-like order of the Baixa visible just to the west. The Baixa is the business and shopping centre of the city, boasting its grandest square, Praca does Comercio, which lies right on the banks of the River Tagus. Baixa borders the Biarro Alto, a hilly coil of narrow streets that buzzes with shoppers by day and partygoers at night.
Play at Atlantic Course at Penha Longa
This 18 hole, par 72 championship course of 7,000 yards is particularly attractive due to the conditioning and breathtaking views of the ocean with Estoril and Cascais in the foreground, and also of the Sintra Hills. It hosted the 1994 & 1995 Portuguese Open Championships.
Depart Portugal from the Lisbon Airport.