By Elliott Heath published
There’s more to golf in Portugal than the Algarve, especially if you venture north to Lisbon…
Your Lisbon Golfing Retreat - The Perfect Portuguese Weekend
Portugal is famed for its golfing treasures, especially in the south, but the rest of the country has plenty to offer too.
This is certainly true of the Lisbon area, where the courses rival those on the Algarve while being less busy and offering outstanding value.
Orizonte’s collection of seven courses is a fine example. Each lies close to the capital in the beautiful Costa Azul region, which is becoming firmly established with golfers across Europe.
Located 30 minutes from Lisbon city and framed by the Arrábida Natural Park, Quinta do Peru is a beautiful Rocky Roquemore design regarded among continental Europe’s finest.
This parkland layout, which opened in 1994, meanders through verdant pines, with astute bunkering and true-rolling, quick greens.
The front and back nines both open with a par 5; the 10th presents a tight drive but the hole opens up later on.
Fairways are often generous, but the course does pack some punches.
The 8th is a tough challenge at 218 yards off the whites, playing over a lake that nestles up to the front and right of the green.
The 16th, a shorter par 3, also involves a carry over water.
Aroeira is located close to the coastal town of Caparica and comprises two courses and a host of impressive mansions.
Aroeira I, designed by Frank Pennink and opened in 1973, was affectionately christened the ‘Wentworth of Lisbon’ by the UK press.
The course plays through tall avenues of pines and demands accuracy and placement off the tee.
It hosted the Portuguese Open in 1996 and 1997 and significant investment has been made since 2014 to upgrade the conditioning and enhance the guest experience.
Aroeira II, designed by Donald Steel, opened in 2000.
At over 7,000 yards from the tips, it can really bare its teeth, with large, undulating greens and water in play on nine holes.
It, too, benefited from major investment in 2014.
Once described as the ‘Valderrama of Portugal’, Ribagolfe I, half an hour east of Lisbon, provides a superb test in a unique and natural setting.
Many fairways are tight corridors carved through the undulations of a cork-oak forest, and three of the par-5 holes have a risk-reward element.
It was built with a view to staging professional tournaments and since 2009 has hosted European Tour Q School first stage.
The No. 2 course plays over the same undulating terrain of forest, valley and lakes.
It was designed as a members’ course and is more forgiving with shorter, wider holes and huge greens.
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Santo Estêvão, designed by Donald Steel and opened in 2004, is set in the rolling landscape of the Northern Alentejo region.
Memorable shots include the drive on the 3rd over the first of two lakes, and the approach to the par-4 7th over the second lake.
Oeiras is a nine-hole 3,515-yard course that offers an enjoyable and challenging game in a quiet, secluded setting just 15 minutes from Lisbon.
Visit Lisbon City Centre
If you fancy extending your stay to soak up the culture, Lisbon really is a must-visit city.
Cobbbled street, wooden century-old trams and beautiful food make Portugal's capital city a joy to visit.
Whether you take in the views from the Sao Jorge castle, visit the Golden Gate-esque Ponte 25 de Abril suspension bridge or just enjoy the local cuisine and wine, you're bound to want to come back as soon as you leave.
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Elliott Heath is our Senior Staff Writer and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016. He graduated in Sports Journalism in 2016 and currently manages the Golf Monthly news, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. Elliott has interviewed some huge names in the golf world including Sergio Garcia, Thomas Bjorn, Bernd Wiesberger and Scotty Cameron as well as a number of professionals on the DP World and PGA Tours. He has also covered three Open Championships on-site including at Carnoustie in 2018 when he was inside the ropes with Tiger Woods. He has played 31 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Old Head and Alwoodley. He currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats between 3-5. His golfing highlight is making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, and he has made one hole-in-one.
Elliott is currently playing:
Driver: Honma TR20
3 wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max
Hybrid: TaylorMade SIM Max
Irons: Mizuno MP5
Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design
Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
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