Introduction to the Eastern Algarve, Portugal
Historically, the Eastern Algarve of Portugal sometimes didn’t feature too prominently in visitors’ thoughts of a golf holiday in the Algarve, but this perception has changed a lot over the last few years as the emergence of a small – but perfectly formed – golf destination has taken place…
Wonderful beaches, historic towns and villages, beautiful scenery and friendly people have combined perfectly with the excellent golf courses and golf resort hotels of the Eastern Algarve to create a fantastic golf travel offering in this lovely corner of the Algarve.
Northern European visitors have long flocked to the Algarve, but only in recent years has the Eastern Algarve become a bigger player in the golf tourism scene in Portugal, and its is largely thanks to Jack Nicklaus’ vision to create world class golf courses at his luxury Monte Rei development that the Eastern Algarve has gained real traction as a first class golf destination in its own right.
The Golf Travel People have enjoyed many visits to the region since 2003 and through this time we have seen plenty of superb golf courses being developed and golf resort hotels coming to the travel market for your golfing enjoyment in the Eastern Algarve of Portugal.
Location Map of the Eastern Algarve, Portugal
When to Travel to the Eastern Algarve, Portugal
The Eastern Algarve of Portugal has a similar marine climate to the rest of the Algarve and the Huelva area of the Costa de la Luz just across the border into Spain, so year-round travel for a holiday here is highly recommended.
However, for a golf break on the Eastern Algarve the high season months are considered to be March to mid-May and mid-September to mid-November as this is when the Eastern 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 Eastern 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 Eastern Algarve, Portugal
Average Rainfall in Eastern Algarve, Portugal
Average Daily Sunshine Hours in Eastern Algarve, Portugal
Top Tip from Andrew at The Golf Travel People
“Although the spring and autumn months are the most popular travel months for a golf break in the Eastern Algarve of Portugal, we have experienced great golfing weather in the region right through the winter – including December and January! Obviously travelling at this time of the year can be a little less predictable weather-wise, its not unheard of for the mercury to hit 20+ degrees in the middle of the day… although early mornings can be a bit chilly sometimes.
If you prefer a bit more heat in your golf, then the summer months can be a very acceptable golfing climate as the cooling Atlantic sea breezes keep the coastal golf courses a bit cooler than some other areas.
Check out the full details of the long daylight hours in the Eastern Algarve here.”
Getting to the Eastern Algarve, Portugal
In the unlikely event that you cannot source a flight to Faro, then Seville is slightly further from the golf resorts on the Eastern Algarve of Portugal, but is still less than 2 hours from Tavira, so is a perfectly viable alternative arrival airport
However, most visitors to the Eastern 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 Eastern 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 Eastern Algarve coastline.
Top Tip from Dan at The Golf Travel People
“The Eastern Algarve is one of my very favourite areas for golf in Portugal, and once you arrive at Faro it is a really easy journey along the motorway into the heart of the golfing area around Tavira and Olhao.
Once at your hotel or other accommodation, access to the golf courses in the Eastern Algarve is also very straightforward with a cluster along the old N125 coast road (Benamor, Quinta da Ria and Cima) and a cluster set to the north side of the motorway (Monte Rei, Quinta do Vale and Castro Marim).”
Our partners recommend...
One of our key partners in the Algarve is based in the Eastern Algarve town of Olhao and our good friend Isabel de Jesus (Sales & Operations Manager) has kindly provided the following info about some of her very favourite places and activities in the region:
“One foot in Portugal and another easily in Spain… booking a golf trip on the East Algarve is the chance to have a wide range of experiences with maximum of around 50km distance.
Besides the amazing all year around weather Algarve can offer you, there still some hidden gems!
Book a stay in the middle of East Algarve, Tavira, the cultural city where you can enjoy a great variety of typical restaurants and cosy bars.
The “Town of churches” is only a short drive from the border to Spain (so the chance to visit 2 countries in one trip), with 5 great golf courses plus the Top Awarded Monte Rei GC whose Vistas restaurant has a Michelin star.
Going East, do not miss the chance to visit Olhão, a typical fisherman village, ideal for a meal out with a great view of Ria Formosa. If you have enough time make one of the boat tours thru the islands, yes, is true, there are islands in East Algarve!!!
Last but not least … value for money accommodations combined with the unbeatable welcome and friendship of the Portuguese people… East Algarve is the spot to go on the next golf holidays for an unforgettable experience. “
Eastern Algarve, Portugal Golf Clubs & Golf Courses
The early/mid-2000’s golf course construction boom certainly left a great legacy in the Eastern Algarve of Portugal with 6 tremendous golf courses within very short distances of each other, making this region a true golfing hub – and ideal for a very straightforward golf holiday!
First on the scene and opened in 2000 is the members-style golf club at Benamor which is just outside the city of Tavira – considered the “capital of the East Algarve”. Benamor Golf was one of the legendary Sir Henry Cotton’s very final designs and although the great man himself died in 1987, he had already laid down the plans and the decisions had been taken that eventually led to the opening of the Benamor Golf Course in the year 2000.
Once golf had begun to be played on the East Algarve, it was not long before more landowners and developers followed the vision of Benamor’s owners and Castro Marim, Quinta da Ria and Cima, Quinta do Vale and Monte Rei all followed in the next decade or so.
Whilst Monte Rei South – a Jack Nicklaus “Signature” golf course and considered by Jack himself as one of his favourite and best designs – is the flagship of golf not just in the Algarve, but all of Portugal, the other 5 East Algarve golf courses all have their own unique and attractive features whether this is the tight, funnel-like fairways at Castro Marim, the classic Seve Ballesteros layout at Quinta do Vale of 6 par-3’s, 6 par-4’s and 6 par-5’s, or the challenging coastal layouts at Quinta da Ria and Cima… so there certainly is something for golfers of all persuasions to enjoy on a golf holiday here in the Eastern Algarve.
Monte Rei Golf & Country Club currently has a new course under construction (due to open by 2022) and the Monte Rei South Course will further push the East Algarve into the big league of golf travel destinations with a different course to play every day of the week!
So, check out the details below and be sure to include as many of the Eastern Algarve’s courses into your golf holiday itinerary soon…
Top Tip from Jonathan at The Golf Travel People
“One of my favourite ever business trips was to discover golf in the Eastern Algarve, and with a round at Monte Rei being the crowning glory of the week, I could not have wished for a better golfing experience.
But, don’t think that East Algarve golf is only about Monte Rei… the other 5 (soon to be 6) golf courses in this compact golfing destination really are all excellent too and with events such as the Eastern Algarve Golf Trophy taking place regularly to showcase the area, it surely won’t be long before the region is as popular as parts of the better known central Algarve golfing areas.
My recommendation is to stay in the lovely city of Tavira so that you can enjoy the long evenings down by the riverside, and then travel the short distances to the golf courses that are all within 25 mins of the city centre.”
Eastern Algarve, Portugal Golf Resorts & Golf Hotels
With a wide range of options for your accommodation choice when enjoying a golf break in the Eastern Algarve, we are sure to have a suitable hotel, apartment or villa for your trip.
If town centre living is your preference then hotels are available in the lovely beachside town Monte Gordo and the historic capital of the Eastern Algarve at Tavira.
If you prefer the space and flexibility that self-catering accommodation on a golf resort can offer, then the Castro Marim or Monte Rei Villas are probably just for you.
And if you want to roll out of bed straight onto the golf course and be waited on hand and foot then the Quinta da Ria Golf Resort option is the one.
Add to these any number of other options ranging from the boutique style Vila Monte Farmhouse and Praia Verde Hotel thru to other town centre and rural locations the Eastern Algarve has many different accommodation options that we can offer to you that will build your perfect golf break…
Frequently Asked Questions about the Eastern Algarve, Portugal
The Algarve makes up the southern Atlantic coastline of Portugal and as the name would suggest the Eastern Algarve is in the eastern-most portion of this coastline running up to the Spanish border.
It's difficult to get an exact population figure for the Eastern Algarve region as it is an ill-defined area. However, when you consider that the main city in the area - Tavira - has a population of only around 25,000 - and the other main towns are between 5000 and 45,000 - you will understand that the Eastern Algarve is pretty quiet and sparsely populated except for the areas around the main towns themselves...
The Eastern Algarve is easily accessed via Faro Airport in Portugal (only 40km from Tavira) or in the unlikely event that you cannot source flights to Faro, then Seville Airport in Spain is a possibility but is located 184km from the city of Tavira).
Both Faro and Seville 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 Seville from your preferred local airport.
The Eastern Algarve of Portugal is famous - among other things - for the following: - The Ria Formosa Natural Park - Historic towns to visit - Tavira, Castro Marim and Vila Real de Santo Antonio amongst others - Wonderful deserted beaches - Amazing seafood at the Olhao markets - Greta golf courses!