Costa Brava And Costa Blanca - Play Spain's Best Courses

Costa Brava and Costa Blanca are home to many of continental Europe's best courses. Michael Weston samples some of the best

Las Colinas
Las Colinas
(Image credit: Azalea)

Costa Brava

Costa Brava, which means ‘wild coast’ in Spanish, lies in the north-east of the country.

It is one of Europe’s most unspoilt stretches of coast, and features broad, sandy beaches, beautiful bays and spectacular cliff-top views.

Should you wish to combine golf with a city break, the beauty of playing in this part of Spain is that you can base yourself in Barcelona, and it is an hour north of here that you will find the much-heralded PGA

Catalunya, unquestionably one of the continent’s elite courses.

The Stadium course was designed and built with the intention of hosting the Ryder Cup, and is one of the courses under consideration for the 2031 Ryder Cup.

The back nine is exceptional, especially the signature 13th, where you play from an elevated tee where you can see the rolling coastal hills of Montseny Massif. A par here will feel like a birdie, given the long carry that’s required to find the fairway, while up ahead the green is well protected by water.

In truth, the ‘European Tour’s Sawgrass’ is likely to be too tough for the average golfer, but there is also the Tour course which, while hardly straightforward, does not quite possess the same fear factor.

Acclaimed architect Robert von Hagge – designer of Les Bordes Old course, one of the best courses in France – has also left his mark in this part of Spain at Emporda Golf Club.

The Links and Forest are located in the heart of the Costa Brava region, and they both offer a varied playing experience.

With its treeless and barren appearance, the former has the feel of a British links, while the latter wends through a traditional Mediterranean pine forest.

Anyone wishing to indulge in a more typical Spanish parkland course would do well to visit Llavaneras Golf Club, which was founded in 1945.

It is relatively short and while water frequently comes into play, the course does not have the same intimidation factor as a number of its more famous neighbours.

Visitors are always welcome here, too, and with its sea-front location, there are plenty of stunning views to enjoy.

Emporda Links Travel

Emporda Golf Links

(Image credit: Emporda Links)

Costa Blanca

The ‘white coast’ extends 200 kilometres along the Mediterranean coast through the province of Alicante, stretching from Gandia to Torrevieja.

Its wonderful beaches attract millions of tourists every year, and given the splendour of its natural beauty and excellent accessibility, it is little wonder that the region is so popular with golfers, too.

Stay at sumptuous La Finca Resort, a 30-minute drive from Alicante Airport, and you won’t feel the need to even leave the complex.

La Finca, Villamartin and Las Ramblas combine to offer superb variety, and the beauty of having 54 holes to play is no matter what level you’re at, you are guaranteed an enjoyable round.

La Finca has wide and generous fairways, which means you’re able to open your shoulders with the driver.

Las Ramblas, meanwhile, requires a little more finesse as you meander through the pines. Then there is Villamartin, an absolute gem with over 40 years of history.

The resort has benefited from a €6 million renovation project, which has seen all three layouts undergo major developments – including the restoration of bunkers and green complexes.

With three new restaurants and a winery, plus a whole host of other activities on site, this is very much Costa Blanca’s go-to destination.

Elsewhere, Las Colinas Golf & Country Club, which is set within an upmarket residential development, is only a short distance away.

The fairways are large and generally forgiving, so it gives golfers of all abilities a chance to score, or at least get the ball in play.

The real challenge, as you play across a valley, comes in avoiding the large sprawling bunkers with distance control crucial on the undulating putting surfaces.

With the forested hills that overlook the course, this is one of the best courses in Spain, and one of Cabell Robinson’s modern masterpieces.