Since the first course in the Algarve was opened more than half a century ago at Penina, golf in the region has boomed and it now offers golfers a huge choice to play some of the top-ranked courses in Europe.
It also has an envious reputation for a warm welcome, relaxed holiday atmosphere, exceptional accommodation options, wonderful off-course amenities and regular direct flights from across the UK.
Topping all that is the climate, which is perfect for golf thanks to 300+ days of sunshine per year. Plus, it provides the kind of value-for-money few destinations can match.
In total, there are more than 40 golf courses to choose from, with the holiday golf haven split into three geographical section: Western, Central and Eastern.
One of the leading facilities in the Western Algarve is the Oceanico Amendoeira Resort, boasting two courses named after Ryder Cup legends.
The Faldo Course, above, offers more elevation with exhilarating views across the landscape, while the O’Connor Course is flatter but throws in water hazards and tricky holes. The gently undulating course at Morgado, meanwhile, hosted the European Tour’s Open de Portugal last year.
The Central Algarve is almost certainly the best-known corner of the Algarve landscape when it comes to golf course notoriety.
Among some fine courses here is Victoria, below. An Arnold Palmer design, it covers over 90 hectares and is a regular host of the Portugal Masters on the European Tour.
The course comes under the ownership of Dom Pedro Golf and is joined by four other courses, all situated in Vilamoura. The Old Course is perhaps the best rated of the remaining four and is an exceptional inland test.
Other highly-rated places to play in this area include the three courses at Quinta do Lago, San Lorenzo and the two courses at Vale do Lobo.
The Eastern Algarve is the region’s best kept secret and provides an excellent opportunity for even well-versed Algarve visitors to try something new.
The leading course here is Monte Rei, main image, a spectacular Jack Nicklaus design that feels as if you’re completely alone for almost the entire round. The stunning course has been open for more than a decade now and is one of Europe’s finest tests.
World-class golf, great beaches and excellent off-course options - this is why the Algarve remains No.1.