Tee time: The golf courses of Estoril

There is little chance of this happening on the seven courses within half an hour's drive of Estoril - and not much further from the centre of Lisbon - which offer as much to the nature-lover as the player. Almost everywhere you take your clubs, there are unforgettable vistas of ocean and mountain; quiet corners of shrub, blossom and wildlife; holes where taking a divot out of the immaculate, sprinkler-fed fairways feels like an act of vandalism. In this part of the world, golf - not football - is the beautiful game.

The rolling landscape and wild Atlantic coast to the west of Lisbon have been the spiritual home of Portuguese golf since the Estoril Golf Club (00 351 21 468 0176; www.hotel-estoril-palacio.pt) opened in its present form in the 1940s. Set among pine, mimosa and eucalyptus trees, the narrow fairways demand extreme accuracy, with especially tricky approaches to the five shorter holes. You need a handicap certificate to attempt this, but another nine, less demanding holes have recently been added for the casual visitor.

Penha Longa (00 351 21 924 9011; www.penhalonga.com), another 27-hole complex, is a beguiling combination of history, beauty and luxury. History, as it's an ancient monastery. Beauty, as the main Atlantic course winds through the foothills of the wooded Serra de Sintra. The luxury option is the five-star hotel that adjoins the course. Opened in 1992, Penha Longa has twice staged the Portuguese Open, as well as testing the skills of former American presidents George Bush Senior and Bill Clinton.

Another great course of the region is Quinta da Marinha Oitavos (00 351 21 486 0600; www.quintadamarinha-oitavosgolfe.pt), overlooking the Atlantic in a conservation area north of Cascais. While the majority of Portugal's golf courses are the result of bulldozing, Oitavos has been designed around its natural, protected features of pine woods and sand dunes, with the course changing in character as it progresses from one to the next.

Not to be confused with the Oitavos course is the similarly named Quinta da Marinha Golf (00 351 21 486 0100; www.quintadamarinha.com), another championship course on a neighbouring stretch of the coastline. With plenty of lakes and forbidding traps, the first nine holes are inland; the second nine straddle spectacular cliffs.

Over the last 20 years, Estoril has faced a vigorous challenge from the Algarve as a year-round golfing destination for Northern European visitors. The Algarve's climate is more benign, and the scale of its golf resort construction has been phenomenal. Estoril has just about managed to keep its nose in front through the quality and pedigree of its courses, and the sensible pricing of its green fees. In high season, a midweek round at Penha Longa and Oitavos costs €90 (£63) - with two-for-one deals at the latter during five months of the year. The weekday green fees at Quinta da Marinha are €88 (£61), while the Estoril Golf Club charges just €57 (£40) - an extraordinarily low price for a course that has attracted some of the world's greats. On equivalent courses almost anywhere else in the world - the Algarve included - you can expect to pay up to twice that amount. Estoril strives to make the beautiful game accessible too.

For more on golf in Estoril, see www.estorilsintragolf.net

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Car Sales Executive - Franchised Main Dealer

    £30000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity for...

    Recruitment Genius: Group Sales Manager - Field Based

    £21000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Located on the stunning Sandban...

    Guru Careers: Email Marketing Specialist

    £26 - 35k (DOE): Guru Careers: An Email Marketing Specialist is needed to join...

    Recruitment Genius: Tour Drivers - UK & European

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity to join a is a...

    Day In a Page

    Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

    Isis hostage crisis

    The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
    Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

    The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

    Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
    Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

    Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

    Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
    Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

    Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

    This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
    Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

    Cabbage is king again

    Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
    11 best winter skin treats

    Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

    Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
    Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

    Paul Scholes column

    The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
    Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

    Frank Warren's Ringside

    No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
    Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

    Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

    The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
    Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

    Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

    Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
    Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
    Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

    Comedians share stories of depression

    The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
    Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

    Has The Archers lost the plot?

    A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
    English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

    14 office buildings added to protected lists

    Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

    Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee