When people think of golf in Portugal, thoughts immediately drift to the Algarve and its array of fantastic courses.
However, on the opposite side of the country and around the second city of Porto, golf is rapidly growing in prominence. Porto is fast becoming one of Western Europe’s most respected tourist destinations, boasting an extensive history, interesting tourist attractions and a buzzing nightlife. Soon, golf will be added to its USPs.
The award-winning Vidago Palace Hotel – an hour’s drive from the city – is considered one of the leading hotels in the world. Opened in 1910, its centenary year, the layout was rebuilt from scratch and is now a parkland paradise of striking contrasts. The first four holes are within the Centenary Park of the hotel before the 7,000-yard layout winds out into the Oura Valley.
North of the city of Braga, Axis Golfe de Ponte de Lima is a little over 20 years old and is a mountainous course set in a typical landscape of northern Portugal: heavily wooded
with many valleys. It’s home to the longest hole in Portugal, with the
680-yard par-5 third hole also one
of the longest in Europe.
The north-west coast is home to Estela Golf Club, one of the top ten courses in Portugal. Situated near the lively summer resort of Póvoa de Varzim and only 20 minutes from Porto’s airport, it has a very ‘linksy’ feel.
To the east of the city is Golfe de Amarante, a narrow, winding course with several waterfalls. It calls for accuracy, as bunkers and lakes form the defence. The nine-hole Club de Golf Miramar, meanwhile, features tee shots atop sand dunes, while nearby Oporto, founded in 1890, is the second oldest course in mainland Europe.
So, when planning your next break to Portugal, don’t think of the south coast right away because it’s clear that the north has plenty to offer itself.
AVG FLIGHT TIME 2 hours 20 minutes (London - Porto) CURRENCY Euro (€) LOCAL LINGO Portuguese TIME DIFFERENCE GMT+0 HIGH SEASON April to October (21˚C - 29C) PRICE OF PINT £1.30 (average) MORE INFOvisitportoandnorth.travel
Planning a golf break?
If so, make sure you check out the 2019 Travel Guide from bunkered. Available to read online, it is a 48-page digital lowdown on the best holiday golf destinations on the planet.