A WEEKEND ON THE GOLF COURSE IS JUST WHAT YOU NEED
by Sarah Scaddan, Travel Planner at Inspire my Travel
Both the Algarve and Andalucia are pilgrimage destinations for discerning golfers. In the Algarve alone there are 30 golf courses to choose from. With 300 days of sun each year, you are virtually guaranteed good playing conditions. But how about Marrakech for a golf destination? You can choose from a surprising number of excellent courses, play in the sunshine, and with the impressive Atlas mountains in the background. Or Italy for some great golf teamed with gourmet food? Here are some great places to stay and play in all areas, it is time to secure your sunny weekend jolly on the golf course.
Average daytime maximum temperature in October
Portugal, The Algarve – 23 degrees
Portugal, Lisbon – 22 degrees
Spain, Marbella – 22 degrees
Italy, Puglia – 21 degrees
Italy, Sicily – 22 degrees
Morocco, Marrakech – 27 degrees
PORTUGAL – THE ALGARVE
FLIGHTS: Easyjet fly direct to Faro and TAP Portugal via Lisbon. Flights on a Sunday to Geneva are via Lisbon, but there are direct flights on a Monday morning. Transavia fly direct from Lyon.
RESORTS/HOTELS: The Pine Cliffs Resort enjoys a prime seafront location and a stunning coastline. It has its own 9-hole golf course and can also arrange for guests to play at other courses across the Algarve. The jewel of the hotel course is the Par 3 sixth hole known as the Devil’s Parlour. It is built over a ravine that requires a 197 metre carrying shot over the cliffs to a deep but narrow green. If you crash and burn at Devil’s Parlour, there are eleven bars/restaurants in the hotel to drown your sorrows in. Price for a Friday and Saturday night stay in October – 450€ for a townhouse for four people.
Alternatively, the luxury hotel Conrad Algarve is situated in Quinta do Lago, an area renowned for its three famous golf courses and fine dining restaurants. The courses Quinta do Lago North, South and Laranjal are a favourite amongst European tour players. The hotels boasts an incredible spa too. Price for a Friday and Saturday night stay in October – 450€ for a king deluxe room for two people.
PORTUGAL – LISBON
FLIGHTS: Direct flights with Easyjet, TAP Portugal and Swiss. Plenty of time options and daily flights.
RESORTS/HOTELS: The Penha Longa Resort is located within a 545-acre national Park on the southern Sintra Mountains and is set in a stunning location, which encompasses a luxurious hotel, a nineteenth century palace, 27 golf holes set within historic ruins and a Spa and Wellness center. Once the retreat for the Portuguese Royal Family, Penha Longa lies just 16 miles (30 minutes drive) from downtown Lisbon, or a ten-minute drive from the beaches of Estoril and Cascais. Penha Longa golf course is ranked in the top 30 courses in continental Europe. There are seven restaurants on the site, including LAB recently awarded with a Michelin star. Price for a Friday and Saturday night stay in October – 644€ for a deluxe room for two people.
Also worth a look at in this area in The Martinhal hotel in Cascais. It has no golf course on site, but is in between two championship golf courses and is in a good position to visit Lisbon or explore this coast. Price for a Friday and Saturday night stay in October – 450€ for a deluxe room for two people.
SPAIN – MARBELLA
FLIGHTS: direct to Malaga with Easyjet or indirect with Vueling.
RESORTS/HOTELS: The Puente Romano Beach Resort and Spa includes a Six Senses Spa, a Plaza Village with five divine restaurants and direct access to the beach. Two golf course are within 20 minutes of the hotel, including the Marbella Club Golf Course. Guests of Puente Romano Beach Resort & Spa enjoy complimentary green fees and shuttle service to the Marbella Club Golf Course throughout their stay. Price for a Friday and Saturday night stay in October – 760€ for a deluxe room for two people.
ITALY – PUGLIA
FLIGHTS: Direct flights with Easyjet to Brindisi, or with connecting flights to Bari with Alitalia.
RESORTS/HOTELS: The lovely and very swanky Masseria Torre Coccaro hotel is set on a fortified farm estate with pools & a day spa, plus fine dining. It has its own golf course, the Coccaro Golf Club, and is also very close to a championship course at the San Dominico Golf Club. Four other 18 hole courses are within a one hour drive. Price for a Friday and Saturday night stay in October – 584€ for a superior room for two people.
ITALY – SICILY
FLIGHTS: Swiss Air and Alitalia fly to Palermo in October, with a short stopover in Rome.
RESORTS/HOTELS: On the southern shores of Sicily, the Verdura Golf & Spa Resort is a five-star luxury destination. With world-class golf courses and one of Europe’s largest and most advanced wellbeing centres, this latest jewel of the exclusive Rocco Forte Collection. There are four restaurants and five bars, two 18-hole golf courses and one 9-hole course. Price for a Friday and Saturday night stay in October – 660€ for a deluxe for two people.
MARRAKESH – MOROCCO
Its exceptionally sunny climate, coupled with the diversity and quality of its golf courses, has turned Morocco into a must-visit golf destination. There is a vast choice of accommodation, and golf courses too numerous to list.
FLIGHTS: Marrakesh is easy to get to in October. Easyjet and Swiss fly direct from Geneva, and Transavia and Royal Air Maroc fly direct from Lyon. The flight is 2hrs50 long. There are also direct flights from Lyon to Casablanca.
RESORTS/HOTELS: Located in the centre of a resort, the PalmGolf Marrakesh Palmeraie, is one of the most beautiful golf courses in Marrakesh with fabulous views of the Atlas mountains. This 27-hole golf course hosts some of the largest professional tournaments. The luxurious Hôtel du Golf is also situated in this resort, only 20 minutes from downtown Marrakesh. Price for a Friday and Saturday night stay in October – 220€ for a standard room for two people.