Golf in Portugal
Golfers have some amazing opportunities to play almost year-round on some magnificent courses, which really cater for all types of visiting golfer, from dedicated players who want dawn-to-dusk golf, to couples who simply want a relaxing holiday in the sun with a few unhurried rounds thrown in.
One of the major Portugal tour operator - Tee Times Golf Agency lda as ensured the best "value for money" on so many golf and holidays packages, and making it so easier and so less expensive, for the holiday golfer, that their bookings have increased over 50% on recent years.
However, in recent years, the golf-package market has been hit by the increase number of DIY bookings by holidaymakers using no-frills flights and accommodation, and car-rental websites. For many golfers, it seems easier and looks less expensive than the pre-planned packages available from the major golf tour operators. Yet things are not quite as rosy for the DIY traveller as they might expect. Recent experience has seen a few airlines go bust, reducing capacity: aviation fuel-price increases will also will also inevitably lead to a re-evaluation of the term "low cost" for those left in the market.
History of Golf in Portugal
When Sir Henry Cotton set his visionary example at Penina Resort, golf suddenly became a natural adjunct to the other tourist attractions. Mild weather during the winter months meant that golfers could normally play at a time when their home courses were often unplayable.
Several other resorts courses came into existence, and then came the Revolution in 1974, after which there was a hiatus of a few years on all fronts. When the country settled down again, several new courses opened up in the 80's and by the end of that decade the total throughout Portugal reached 23. Nowadays there's more or less 80 golf courses and several academies.
The largest concentration is still in Algarve, but there are now several interesting golfing destinations in the north and central mainland regions, Madeira and the Azores.
As was the case throughout the rest of Europe, golf is not now only restricted to the elitist few. There has been an increasing affluence amongst the people of Portugal, and many of them too now pursue this captivating sport.
Portugal Mediterranean Climate
Portugal is one of the warmest European countries, the annual temperature averages in mainland Portugal are 18°C. The Madeira and Azores Atlantic archipelagos have a narrower temperature range. The south, between the Tagus and the Algarve (the Alentejo), features mostly rolling plains and a climate somewhat warmer and drier than in the cooler and rainier north. The Algarve, separated from the Alentejo by mountains, has a climate much like southern coastal Spain.