Beat the winter blues and take a golf trip to the historic city of Lisbon

Is winter dragging on too long? Dying to get the clubs out and hit the links? Enjoy traveling and want to experience a new culture? Then you should consider a golf trip to to Portugal. Portugal is one of Europe’s best golf destinations. With hundreds of courses spread throughout a fascinating country, it is not hard to find a resort or city that will provide you with a rich cultural visit and an amazing golf experience.

Golfers typically think of the Algarve when they think about Golf in Portugal. But if you want to really get beneath the surface and discover Portuguese culture and still get to play some phenomenal golf courses, then Lisbon is the perfect place.


With springtime temperatures whilst most of Europe is experiencing winter, the Costa de Lisboa has natural beauty, rich architecture and some of Europe’s best golf courses. There are over 20 courses surrounding Lisbon and most of them are better value and quieter than those on the Algarve.

penhaPenha Longa Golf Course is located in the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park and is ranked among the top 30 courses in Europe. It is a first class golf facility boasting 36 holes of championship golf and a splendid five star hotel and spa. The Atlantic Course is a par 72, measures 6,290 meters and was designed by Robert Trent Jones jr. The layout is extremely challenging and provides breathtaking views of the ocean with Estoril and Cascais to the South and the Sintra hills to the North. Pehna is the current host of the Portuguese Open and at 70 EUR per round, it is a “must play” course.

estoril2The Estoril Championship Golf Course is situated 25 minutes away from Lisbon and is the oldest golf course in Portugal. Designed by MacKenzie Ross in 1936, its fairways overlook the town of Estoril and the Atlantic Ocean. It is set amongst Eucalyptus, Pine and Mimosa trees and measures 5262 meters. Although the course is short, the heavily contoured fairways and elevation changes make it a test of accuracy not distance. Strategic thinking and respect for the course will give you the best chance of a good score here. It is no surprise why it has hosted the Portuguese Open 20 times.

A great place to stay whilst visiting this area is Cascais. This once tiny fishing village has turned into an elegant beach town without losing its charm. This a great place to absorb the best of Portuguese culture. Portuguese food is fresh and healthy and in Cascais you will find an abundance of quality seafood restaurants. Try langostinos, fresh fish, ceviche, fine local wines and vintage ports. You can also visit the boutiques and markets where you will find great value high-end fashion and local art. Be sure to pay a visit to the ancient town of Sintra where you can take a horse drawn carriage tour through the medieval streets and take in the several castles and palaces.

For championship golf, a relaxing break and an intense cultural experience you have to visit this area of Portugal.

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David MacKenzie

is a golf coach and golf publisher and lives in Washington DC. He is the founder of Golf State of Mind a teaching program designed to help golfers eliminate negative mental interference and play with confidence.

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