Golf and the Algarve go together like brie and ‘Paree’ or sore heads and San Antonio. So it’s only fair that we bring you the best golfing recommendations straight from the horse’s mouth, along with a few other insider’s secrets on the best places to hot-foot it to for great food and wine. Here’s what a golfing champion has to say about this beautiful part of Portugal.
Andrew Murray, is a highly respected member of the golf community after enjoying a career on the European Tour in which he won the European Open Championship in 1989. Since leaving the tour, Andrew has turned his attention to charity work, raising hundreds of thousands of pounds for deserving charities. And this year marks the 30th anniversary of his charity Pro-Am.
Andrew is an after-dinner speaker, makes regular appearances on BBC Radio 5Live, and covers Open Championships, the Ryder Cup, the US Masters and US Open.
Why is Golf in the Algarve so special?
The weather is the most obvious thing, but alongside that, it’s the quality of the courses, scenery, fresh fish and marvellous vino! The Portuguese are so warm and friendly too.
What are your best memories of playing golf in Portugal?
I’ve played many times in the Portuguese Open, but my most favourite golfing memory is when I won the European Senior Tour qualifying school with my son Tom caddying for me! I won by 2 shots, it was nervy but he stayed so calm and it rubbed off on me, thankfully!
What’s your favourite Portuguese golf hole and why?
The 14th at the Monte Rei resort, it’s a challenging par 3 ranging from 190m to 125m. It’s the most peaceful, tranquil part of the course surrounded by wild flowers and birds, just magical.
What’s your best kept secret in the Algarve?
Tavira town is a terrific old fishing port with a great atmosphere and marvellous fish restaurants. The D’Gusta restaurant in Tavira is one of my favourites after a good round. It’s also great to dine on the beach at Monte Gordo at Dona Bela.
Portugal is such a flavoursome country, any tips for how to really make the most of it?
Its beautifully varied terrain needs to be seen, ideally on a road trip, and the Algarve’s cliff top walks are spectacular, and the beaches are truly second to none. On the Atlantic coast it’s wild and beautiful too, especially towards Lisbon and then on to Porto.
The vineyards of the Doura valley are incredible, you have to visit Quinta do Crasto for the views and Quinta de Pacheca for the history – Portuguese wine is really underrated. I’ve only seen a fraction of this place and really want to see more of the coastline over the next few years. There’s so much to offer along with the first class golf.