Some people have all the luck and the residents of the Costa del Sol certainly fall into that category!
Voted European Golf destination of the year again in 2019, the region boasts some 300 days of sunshine per year, nearly 100 golf courses and downright excellent cuisine. Fortunately, it’s incredibly accessible by plane, so playing golf in your short sleeves is just a flight away.
For the less fairway-inclined holidaymakers, there are beaches, cultural sights and recreational activities galore in the region, making it the ideal family or group destination.
If you like your golf courses with the ocean on one side and mountains on the other, you couldn’t go far wrong with La Cala Golf Resort. Carved into a nature reserve with views of the Mediterranean, the resort’s three onsite 18-hole courses offer priceless scenery and excellent value for money.
Each course brings its own challenges. Campo America may have generous fairways, but its hilly topography will put you through your paces when it comes to accuracy and shot judgement. Campo Asia is short, challenging and exciting with narrower fairways and water guarding the greens. Campo Europa is wider and less hilly than its counterparts, but those fairways sure are well bunkered!
Fly to: Malaga Airport from Southampton in two and a half hours.
From its dramatic sea cliffs to its volcanic summits, Mallorca has more than earned its status as a landmark for golfers the world over. It’s got the climate (300 days of sunshine), the culture, the gastronomy, the scenery and – of course – a network of 22 quality golf courses across the island. It’s also incredibly accessible by plane and easy to get around once you’re there too.
Like its incredible landscape, Mallorca’s golf resorts are unique and varied. One of our favourites is Pula Golf Resort on the eastern side of the island. Built into an 1851 chateau, surrounded by olive groves and with views of the coast, the resort itself has a feel unlike any other that makes it well worth the one and a half hour transfer from Palma airport. But the main event is the course! The longest on the island, the Pula Golf Course is best known for hosting the PGA European tour and, although fairly flat, its guarded raised greens pose a worthy challenge! The resort also has excellent onsite practice facilities, ideal for practising your game or initiating a non-golfing partner.
If you prefer to be where the action is, why not stay in Mallorca’s capital? A base at the Costa Azul Hotel in central Palma not only gives you access to the city’s beaches, restaurants and cultural spots, but you’re in a great location for playing some of the island’s most popular courses too.
West of the city, the course at Real Golf de Bendinat is certainly one for the shortlist. It may not be a long course, but it will get the cogs turning as it twists through an undulating pine valley. The clubhouse is (in our opinion) one of the best on the island and well worth a visit!
Head east from Palma and you’ll find Golf Park Puntiro, one of our favourite golf courses in Mallorca. Designed around the natural landscape, the fairways are wide, inviting and deceptive: there’s usually trouble to be found just ahead of the green! The 8th will challenge your driving, as your first and second shots will need to carry across the water.
Fly to: Palma Airport from Southampton in about 2 hours.
As far as holidays go, the Algarve ticks all the boxes: dramatic sea cliffs, miles of golden beaches, mountains and (of course) year-round sun. To top it off, it’s one of Europe’s leading golf destinations too. No surprises there!
Not only does the Algarve offer 300 days of sunny skies and 40 golf courses just a direct flight away, but the variety is incredible! You’ll have a good choice of links and parkland courses - flanked by mountains or lined with woodland - no matter your age, ability and budget. And although you’ll be teeing up alongside stunning nature reserves, you won’t be too far from the hustle and bustle of the city either.
Just a 30-minute drive from Faro International Airport, the Dom Pedro Marina Hotel is an excellent base for teeing up on some of the region’s most popular golf courses as well as sampling the city’s culture.
An open course with a forgiving nature and some narrower fairways to challenge your accuracy, the Victoria course is a firm favourite for golf breaks. The rolling parkland-style of The Old Course is impressive but by no means straightforward with narrow tree-lined fairways, whereas the Laguna course has a links-feel and more than its fair share of water hazards!
Located in central Vilamoura, there’s plenty to do for non-golfers in your party and you’ll be well-placed to make the most of the city’s nightlife.
Venture further west and you’ll reach the 5-star Penina Golf Resort, with its 3 golf courses, 5 tennis courts, spa, pool, gym, restaurants, views of the fairway… in fact, everything you need onsite for golfers and non-golfers alike. Penina is the fatherland of golf in the Algarve, home to Portugal’s first developed course – the 18 hole championship quality Sir Henry Cotton Course – as well as two 9 hole courses in a carefully landscaped setting.
Fly to: Faro International Airport from Southampton in two and a half hours.