It’s one of the very best
Rated by Golf Magazine as one of the top 100 courses worldwide, this 18-hole, par-71 layout combines links-type holes with fast greens and flat open fairways. Designed by the great golf architect Arthur Hills to be a natural golf course; there aren’t any water features, but there are plenty of hazards plus challenging ocean winds. Perfect your swing by the 14th — a testing par-3 playing uphill 170 yards over a gorge — it’s a world-class signature hole.
Plenty of ocean drives
There are views of the ocean from almost every hole, but this is a course with far more presence and soul than any in the Algarve thanks to the dramatic backdrop of the magical Sintra Mountains. Be sure to peer through the pine trees and scrub-covered dunes to catch a glimpse of Cabo da Roca, Europe’s most westerly point, seen from the 9th, 10th, 11th and 14th holes. The rugged headland was once believed to be the edge of the world.
Rooms with views
Blow the budget on The Forte, a private pool villa with views of the golf course and one complimentary round each day. Clever design means daylight streams into every room at this contemporary hotel, with 142 spacious open-plan rooms, lofts and suites featuring floor-to-ceiling windows and balconies with views of the golf course or sea. Wide corridors, sleek lines and elegantly simple interiors add to a sense of space.
Lisbon on your doorstep
While the hotel is just a five-minute taxi ride from the chic town of Cascais, it’s also just a short train journey to cultural gem Lisbon (hop on Tram No.28 for a historic tour) — both cities are famed for their seafood. Oitavos has an excellent sushi bar as well as Verbasco Restaurant in the clubhouse serving clams bulhão pato and other Portuguese specialities. Don’t miss the octopus at Furnas do Guincho, close to the hotel.
More than just golf
Golf isn’t the only sport here. The hotel has partnered with a local surf legend who will pick you up and whisk you to the rolling waves at nearby Guincho Beach or further afield. It also has strong links with the local equestrian centre (buggies will drop you at the stable door) where you can take the reins and enjoy a lesson on a magnificent Lusitano with an Olympic dressage rider or chill out on a trail ride to the beach.
Seawater spa treatments
The spa takes its inspiration from nature and the healing powers of the ocean. Head to the Balneotherapy Area where a seawater hydropool has powerful jets to relieve stress points, or try one of the body scrubs made from crushed oysters and sea salt. The spa also offers superb massages specifically for golfers and a sauna with views of the dunes.
Rooms from £138 (low season) to £193 (high)
Green fees: £58 (low) to £66 (high)