Introduction to the Western Algarve, Portugal
The Western Algarve of Portugal is one of the most famous stretches of coastline in Europe with its beautiful rolling landscape running down to rugged sea cliffs and caves and the golden sands of the Algarve’s beaches.
Wonderful towns and cities are dotted throughout the region with famous names like Portimao, Carvoeiro, Lagos, Sagres and Monchique being familiar to many visitors over the years for the fantastic experiences available to all.
Access to the western Algarve is straightforward via the modern motorway network that runs east/west along the coastline linking the Algarve’s main airport at Faro to the many sights and sounds of the western Algarve in less than 1 hour’s drive.
Once in the region, the variety of things to see and do in the western Algarve is almost incomparable – with sport, culture, history, gastronomy and much more being so easily available throughout this fascinating region.
Visitors to the area are always made so welcome by the incredibly friendly locals and residents and it is for this reason that so many people have made the western Algarve their “home away from home” over the last 50 or so years. Even if your visit is only a short one, you are sure to find this same feeling of being “at home” very rapidly!
Golfers are extremely well catered for with a range of world famous and high quality championship golf courses available to book as part of a stay and play holiday in the Western Algarve…
Location Map of the Western Algarve, Portugal
When to Travel to the Western Algarve, Portugal
The Western Algarve of Portugal has a similar marine climate to the rest of the Algarve so year-round travel for a holiday here is highly recommended.
A golf break on the Western Algarve can be enjoyed all year around, but the high season months are considered to be March to mid-May and mid-September to mid-November as this is when the Western Algarve climate is perfect for golf.
But through the remaining months of the year, the weather in the region is still excellent for golf and holidays and we can personally testify to having enjoyed many trips to the Western Algarve both in the peak summer months and also through the shorter days of December and January when the weather has been absolutely perfect for golf and general relaxation… although you perhaps wouldn’t look to be swimming outdoors between November and March!
Average Temperatures in Western Algarve, Portugal
Average Temperature Ranges in Western Algarve, Portugal
Average Rainfall in Western Algarve, Portugal
Average Daily Sunshine Hours in Western Algarve, Portugal
Top Tip from Andrew at The Golf Travel People
“My previous trip to the Western Algarve was in the month of December to enjoy taking part in the Western Algarve Golf Trophy in the area around the amazing city of Lagos. I had packed waterproofs and my golf umbrella, but ended up playing golf in shorts and a polo shirt each day with not a cloud in the sky for the whole week! Admittedly, this was slightly unseasonal weather for the time of year according to some of the locals we spoke with, but as an example this is what the weather can be like – even in mid-winter in this part of the world!
However, just like the rest of the Algarve, the best time of year for visiting golfers to enjoy a golf break in this favoured corner of Portugal is generally the spring or autumn season… but for lower prices and less crowded golf courses it is definitely worth considering mid November to February.”
Getting to the Western Algarve, Portugal
In the unlikely event that you cannot source a flight to Faro, then Lisbon is slightly further from the golf resorts on the Western Algarve of Portugal, but is still only 2.5 hours drive from Portimao, so is a perfectly viable alternative arrival airport
However, most visitors to the Western Algarve area do arrive via Faro Airport and access to the coastal golf resorts is very easy via the main East-West motorway that seamlessly connects the whole of the Algarve.
The only thing to consider when driving on Portugal’s motorways are the tolls that are automatically charged via a transponder in your rental car but even with the toll charges in place the cost of the drive from Faro to the Western Algarve is less than €10 in total for most vehicles.
If you prefer to avoid the toll roads, then the old N125 coast road is still available for a slightly slower, but perhaps more scenic drive along the Western Algarve coastline.
Top Tip from Dan at The Golf Travel People
“Once out of the airport at Faro, simply jump onto the main A22 motorway to be in the Western Algarve very rapidly (tolls apply).
Most of the golf, hotels golf resorts and golf courses in the Western Algarve are less than 15 mins off the motorway and you can in fact see some of these superb resorts from the motorway as you speed on by (Amendoeira for example).
There are few areas of Europe that are as easy to navigate, so even though you may believe that golf in the Algarve is only in the central hotspots of Vilamoura, Vale do Lobo and Quinta do Lago, do give some consideration to the ease and convenience of a superb golf holiday in the West… I can guarantee you won’t be disappointed!“
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Over the years of working in the Western Algarve, we have got to know Mr José Maria Figueiroa, the Sales Manager of Espiche Golf Club very well and as a resident of the region, he is perfectly placed to guide us on his favourite places to visit and enjoy in the area:
1) Walking/Eating Tour in central Lagos and visit the Slave Museum
My suggestion starts with a Walking and Eating Tour through Lagos city centre which despite being small, has a lot of history. This tour is great opportunity to unveil our unique gastronomy and our heritage. This program can be completely tailor made in which the options are culinary activities, wine tastings experiences and gastronomic and cultural tours through the historic and emblematic neighbourhoods of our city.
To finalise this tour, a visit to Salve Museum is an interesting point to do as well. The building in Praca do Infante Dom Henrique (central Lagos) has a quite tragic history back in the 15th century. This building, (Mercado de Escravos) is believed to have been the first slave market in Europe. The building we see here today was substantially re-built in 1691 and was used as a customs house.
2) Visit to Sagres, the most south Western point in Europe, spectacular views
Located 20/30 minutes away from Lagos, Sagres is the most southwestern city of Continental Europe. There we can find Cabo Sao Vicente and Fortaleza de Sagres, both places are worth a quick visit. The lighthouse of Cabo the São Vicente is the most southwestern point of continental Europe. The views are really amazing and the local advice is to go there in the afternoon and see the sunset there. It has some nice cafes and restaurants in the area, where you can have a nice drink while enjoying the sunset or also have dinner during the sunset.
3) Visit to Lagos grottos
This is also a really nice program to have in Lagos. You can make it either in small boats of 5/6 people each or in kayaks. The coast of Lagos is full of amazing grottos and each one with a specific name (for example the Elephant grotto, which looks like an Elephant if you look from outside). You will also pass by the best beaches in Portugal, including Praia Dona Ana which was considered one of the best in the world in 2018.
Western Algarve, Portugal Golf Clubs & Golf Courses
What a choice of great golf courses the Western Algarve offers!
Any visiting golfer arriving in the west Algarve is spoilt for choice with the most compelling selection of superb golf courses all located in a very compact and scenic area.
From the historical importance of the Algarve’s original golf course at Penina – designed by the incomparable Sir Henry Cotton and opened well ahead of the main golfing boom in the region – right through to recent additions to the Western Algarve golfing scene with courses such as the tricky Espiche Golf Club, this fascinating golfing destination really does have something for golf addicts of all persuasions!
One common factor that runs through many of the west’s excellent golf courses is the presence of the sea, with many of the layouts featuring sea views and marine environments, although few courses boast the unparalleled seaside location of the Praia loop of holes at Onyria Palmares which in true links golf style have been created on land reclaimed from the sea for that truly realistic links-style of golf.
Where sea views aren’t available, the superb courses more than make up for this with excellent sculpting and routing through the rolling Algarvean hills resulting in tricky and challenging golf rounds at courses such as NAU Morgado and NAU Alamos, Pestana Silves and Boavista.
The excellent year-round climate of the whole Algarve means the courses here in the west part of the region benefit from ideal growing conditions for much of the year, with few – if any – condition issues at any time. Additionally some of the western Algarve courses such as Espiche have taken the route of using seasonal Bermuda grasses which make for excellent playing conditions even if the weather has been a little inclement.
So, check out the details of the superb golf offering in the West of the Algarve below and be sure to contact The Golf Travel People very soon for more details and to book.
Top Tip from Jonathan at The Golf Travel People
“I have to say that a round of golf I played at Espiche Golf Club a few years ago still ranks as one of my best ever rounds, and as golf is always one of those very subjective things, this makes me believe that Espiche is one of the must-play courses in the area. These days the course is a bit easier than it was when I shot a gross 4-over there as many of the thick bushes along many of the fairways have been thinned or removed entirely, so I really do look forward to heading back someday soon to try and beat that score!
Even if you don’t fancy taking on Espiche (which can be tough for higher handicaps), the area around Lagos which includes Boavista and Onyria Palmares is worth considering as the venue for your next golf holiday as it also has the benefits of a great town to stay in and visit along with splendid hotels of all standards.”
Western Algarve, Portugal Golf Resorts & Golf Hotels
The many fantastic golf accommodation options in the Western Algarve vary from apartments and villas through 4 and 5 star hotels and here at The Golf Travel People we can offer a wide range of stay and play golf packages for your golfing enjoyment throughout the region.
The classic option for a golf break here is based at the 5 star Penina Hotel and Golf Resort which is actually one of the oldest golf resorts in Europe. With excellent personal service from the high quality staff team – many of whom have been at the resort for many years – Penina truly is a throwback to the halcyon days of golf travel!
More modern options are on offer at the Pestana, NAU, Tivoli and Vila Gale hotel group options which are all well-represented in the area and all of these present great value Stay & Play deals that encompass many of the Algarve’s best golf courses.
But for a truly cutting-edge golf holiday, the Onyria Palmares Beach House Hotel simply has to be the chosen venue with its boutique ambience, high quality service and incredible views across the championship Palmares Golf Course down to the sea and along the coast to the historic city of Lagos.
If the space and privacy of self-catering accommodation is your preference then these options also abound in the Western Algarve at venues such as the Amendoeira Golf Resort, Pestana Carvoeiro, Boavista, Santo Antonio and many more.
So, any visitor travelling to the west Algarve for golf is certain to find plenty of quality accommodation to enjoy in our hand-picked selection below…
Frequently Asked Questions about the Western Algarve, Portugal
The region considered to be the Western Algarve is the coastal region that runs from the towns of Lagoa and Carvoeiro westwards to the far south-western tip of mainland Europe beyond Sagres
As with the Eastern Algarve it is difficult to get an exact population figure for the Western Algarve region as it is an ill-defined area. The main city in the area - Portimao - has a population of around 60,000, with other important centres such as Lagos having a population of around 31,000. However a lot of the population is rurally based or in smaller towns and villages.
The Western Algarve is easily accessed via Faro Airport in Portugal (only 90km from Lagos), so it is less than an hours' drive from the gateway to the Algarve to the heart of this superb golfing region. Lisbon Airport as an alternative arrival point is less than 2 hours 45 mins from Lagos.
Both Faro and Lisbon Airports are well served by multiple international airlines from all over Europe and beyond. Check out our flights page https://golftravelpeople.com/golf-holiday-flights/ to search for flights to either Faro or Lisbon from your preferred local airport.
The Western Algarve of Portugal is famous - among other things - for the following: - Incredible beaches and sea caves - such as those found around Carvoeiro at Benagil - Fantastic wines and gastronomy - Historic towns and villages to visit such as Monchique - Very friendly and welcoming locals - Great golf courses!