Golf Travel Guide: Oceanico Old Course, Vilamoura, Portugal
As one of the most popular golfing regions in Europe the Algarve, on Portugal's Atlantic south coast, has been voted the 'best value' destination in Today's Golfer Travel Awards. Among the vast array of golfing experiences the Algarve has to offer the Old Course at Vilamoura was voted as Portugal's number one course. We take a closer look at this wonderful golfing resort.
The Old Course at Vilamoura is among the oldest in the Algarve. Built in 1969 this course is ancient when compared to the vast new builds that have taken place since. This pedigree really shines through in a very mature course which is more akin to an American Parkland course than an Iberian style coastal course.
I travel to the Algarve almost every summer for my golfing fix and having played the Old Course a number of times I would have to agree that the Old Course, and accompanying Victoria Course, fit beautifully into their surroundings.
Unlike many courses in the Algarve the Old Course utilises its massive pines and tight fairways to provide a challenging environment that doesn't require the typically Portuguese water or coastal hazards. The course meanders through well thought-out dog legs which are beautifully sculpted around large drops and elevated greens.
The Old Course is demanding yet subtle. The delicately manicured fairways and greens provide a lush oasis away from the typically arid countryside that surrounds it. Playing in the coastal Algarve reminds me more of playing in the USA than it does anywhere else in Europe. The greens are fast and the original unspoiled land that designers found here provided the ultimate opportunity for golfing.
You will simply fall in love with the Old Course but the Algarve has so much more to offer.
Vilamoura is conveniently situated 20 minutes away from Faro airport with easy flights and connections all over the world. The town of Vilamoura wraps itself around a gorgeous marina with superb bars and restaurants that serve the freshest Portuguese seafood.
This ideal location means that there are a host of different activities for the whole family. In the local area you have the choice of tennis, surfing, water parks, beaches, go karting, mountain biking, hiking along with a number of fishing and boat trips from the main marina. Vilamoura is one of the Algarve's biggest and most visited areas for good reason.
The good news for any golfer is that within an half hour drive you have over 40 championship golf courses at your disposal, that is if you ever get bored of the stunning Old Course. My other favourite in the region is San Lorenzo a little further down the coast.