There’s no getting around it – golf can be an expensive pursuit. With many of the top courses in the Algarve costing upwards of €150 per person per round, green fees can add up quickly. But with a bit of planning and flexibility on times and dates, there are some superb golf courses available to play for rates far below their peak season rates.
Today, we’re looking at five of the best-value golf courses available to play in the Algarve.
When is the best time for cheap golf in the Algarve?
Twilight golf offers some of the steepest discounts on many green fees, even in peak season. This usually means teeing off after 14:00 but will depend on the golf course. During May, that still provides enough time to play a full round of 18 holes before the sun sets.
The low season typically runs from November-February and June-August. If you play during the low season, green fees can be discounted by as much as 60%. Winter golf also has the added benefit of lower temperatures during the day, providing a preferable climate for a comfortable round of golf. Here are five golf courses that offer the best discounts during the low season.
Winter green fee – €82
Summer green fee – €86
Twilight green fee – From €103
Peak season green fee – €175
Ombria is the Algarve’s newest golf course, located just a short drive north of Loulé. Construction is already underway for a range of luxury villas and apartments aimed at creating one of the finest luxury golf resorts available in the Algarve.
Designed by Jorge Santana da Silva, Ombria received the GEO Foundation certification, the highest accolade a course can receive for sustainability. There’s plenty to challenge even the most experienced golfer here, with babbling brooks and carefully placed bunkers catching you out at least once during a round. Ombria provides a retreat from the more populated resorts in Vilamoura and Quinta do Lago and is well worth making the trip for.
Vale do Lobo Royal and Ocean Courses
Winter green fee – €96
Summer green fee – €100
Twilight green fee – From €63
Peak season green fee – €146
We had the privilege of playing both the Ocean and Royal courses at Vale do Lobo in September and had a wonderful time. More impressive was recently appointed managing director Eduardo Johnston da Silva’s vision for both courses with a raft of new improvements promised over the coming year that includes GPS buggies and lower footfall to improve the course standard. As it stands, both the Royal and Ocean courses offer a superb day of golf and are easily accessible from Vilamoura.
Vale da Pinta and Gramacho
Winter green fee – €66
Summer green fee – €66
Twilight green fee – From €40
Peak season green fee – €111
Located just outside Carvoeiro, there are two courses to play here for the same price – Vale da Pinta and Gramacho. Designed by Ronald Fream and opened in 1992, both courses are now mature and offer stunning views of the local countryside. Neither are the most challenging of courses that the Algarve has to offer but provide another relaxing day of golf at a reasonable price.
Quinta de Cima and Quinta da Ria
Winter green fee – €85
Summer green fee – €90
Twilight green fee – From €73
Peak season green fee – €125
Travel east towards the town of Tavira and discover both Quinta de Cima and Quinta da Ria golf courses. Free from large developments, you’ll be free to take in the wonderful views of the ocean and surrounding countryside. Both Quinta da Ria and Quinta de Cima showcase some of the Algarve’s most stunning terrain at its finest. Both courses offer a beautiful range of holes, blending hazards and water features to serve up a suitable challenge for golfers of all abilities.
Winter green fee – €83
Summer green fee – €83
Twilight green fee – From €75
Peak season green fee – €113
Situated in the heart of Quinta do Lago Golf Resort, Pinheiros Altos offers a more affordable round of golf than some of its counterparts that can be found within this opulent gated community. There are 27 holes to play at Pinheiros, providing three different combinations of nine holes to experience during your visit. If you’re only able to play 18 holes, then opt for the Olives and Pines Loops as these provide the pick of the holes on the entire course.
Pick your time and make big savings
If you’ve got some free time this winter and plan ahead, it’s possible to save up to 70% on your green fees. I’ve highlighted some of the most heavily discounted options here, but there are many other options available. Sometimes, all it takes is a quick phone call to the club and you may be surprised at the discount on offer during the quieter periods. So, pack your clubs and pick up a bargain this winter.
Mark Hirst is the founder of Getaway Golfer, a site dedicated to helping people discover the best golf courses and hotels worldwide. His writing has been featured in National Club Golfer, Luxuria Lifestyle and many other publications.