No golf holiday to Lisbon is complete until you have visited and stayed and played in the Cascais area out to the West of the city centre of Portugal’s capital city. On arrival at Lisbon’s International Airport you can proceed directly to Cascais along the inland motorway or choose the slower, more scenic option which skirts along the banks of the mighty Tagus River to the south of the city centre and past the sights and sounds of the Alfama, the 25th April Bridge, the Belem Tower and onwards via Oeiras and Estoril to Cascais and the Boca de Inferno. But whichever route is chosen, your final destination in Cascais is sure to fulfil your expectations in terms of a great location to visit, excellent golf courses to play and with numerous high quality accommodation options to choose from.
For our recent visit to the area we chose to stay at the excellent 5 star Oitavos Hotel
which is located right out on the western tip of land just where the National Park of Sintra and Cascais begins, so although it is an ultra-modern hotel, the Oitavos occupies a truly unspoilt natural duneland location. With all the high-end luxury facilities and service you could imagine, along with a superb on-site championship golf course and plenty of nature and beaches locally to satisfy all types of guests, the Oitavos really is a wonderful hotel that will please virtually everyone – whether they are golfers or not!
We played and can fully recommend the following 5 excellent golf courses during our 7 day visit all of which are located within a maximum of 35 mins drive from the Oitavos:
The excellent golf course at Belas Clube de Campo occupies a very convenient location about half-way between Cascais and the Lisbon International Airport and the club offer a number of great value golf and airport transfer packages that allow golfers to play the course and be transported from the airport to the club and then onwards to your hotel (or vice-versa).
The golf course at Belas is a true game of 2 halves with the front-9 being having an open aspect on many holes with the main challenges to be found in the length of some of the holes, and then the back-9 that carves its way up into a tree-lined area and with many water features to swallow up errant shots. However, throughout the round the design of the course and quality of the greens in particular are stand-out points and with the low green fees almost all year round here at Belas, it makes the course a must-play when in the Lisbon/Cascais region for your golf holiday.
Estoril Golf Club is one of the oldest golf clubs in the Lisbon area and the maturity of the golf course and the members-style clubhouse are both indicative of the pedigree of this excellent championship golf course.
Although not too long by modern standards, the golf course here at Estoril still provides a challenge for golfers of all handicaps and with excellent conditioning – in particular the greens, which are generally of the highest standard year round – visitors to Estoril are very likely to come off the course understanding the reasons why it has hosted high ranking professional and amateur tournaments on many occasions.
Almost uniquely in the Lisbon area, Oitavos Dunes is a true links golf course reminiscent of the finest seaside courses in the UK and Ireland. With unobstructed sea views from many of the holes, the golf course at Oitavos Dunes climbs inland behind the Oitavos Hotel that was our base for this Cascais region golf tour and reaches its peak around the turn where the vistas of the mighty Atlantic Ocean can easily distract even the most focussed of players!
However, the golf course is actually quite a forgiving track as some of the fairways between the 3rd and 16th holes offer extremely wide and welcoming landing areas with only the first and last few holes needing arrow-straight accuracy off the tees to avoid clattering the umbrella pines in the lower area of the golf course.
Another unique and somewhat refreshing feature of Oitavos Dines is that the owners actively discourage the use of golf buggies in order to protect the delicate duneland environment, so no matter that they could gain commercially from selling buggy rentals to guests they prefer to encourage you to walk the course to keep it pristine and enjoy the immersive Oitavos Dunes experience!
Another Cascais area golf resort with on-site 5 star accommodation, the Onyria Quinta da Marinha Resort features a mature parkland style championship golf course (opened in 1984) again with sea views from some of its superbly laid out holes.
Designed by the legendary golf course architect Robert Trent Jones, Quinta da Marinha’s main features are tricky water hazards (especially on the closing stretch of the back 9) and wide fairways lined with umbrella pines ready to deflect your ball into trouble!
It’s certainly a must-play golf course if you are lucky enough to find yourself in the Cascais area to the west of Lisbon…!
The 27 holes of the golf course here at Penha Longa are another Trent Jones masterpiece, and in our opinion Penha Longa one of the best courses in the Lisbon area.
The main attraction for most golfers is the Atlantic Championship course (holes 1 – 18) and this layout features tight tree-lined fairways through the hills and valleys of this wonderful piece of golfing terrain close to the UNESCO World Heritage site at Sintra.
Some holes on the Atlantic Championship Course feature great sea views to the Atlantic out to the west, whilst the old 9 hole Monastery Course which now offers holes 19 – 27 of the overall 27 hole layout winds its way around the old Monastery site and the aqueduct which bisects the whole estate.
Had we not been so wonderfully looked after down at The Oitavos Hotel, then the 5 star Ritz-Carlton Penha Longa Resort Hotel
would certainly have been a great alternative base for our visit to the Cascais area and this excellent 5 star hotel also comes highly recommended!
Spend a few days exploring the Cascais area to the west of the capital city and you are sure to form your own views on the destination and the golf courses available, but we really hope you agree with the Golf de la Luz staff team and find that the courses we enjoyed on our recent visit are all a worthy inclusion in a golf tour itinerary in Cascais!