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Is Spain or Portugal better for your golf holiday?

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Is Spain or Portugal better for your golf holiday?
With the weather getting better across Europe we look at the battle of the golfing giants and whether you should visit Spain or Portugal for your golf holiday this year
With plenty of evidence that golf is good for your health, as well as being a great social activity, a golfing holiday in the sunshine could be just what the doctor ordered. But where should you visit—Spain or Portugal? We’ve taken a look at golfing holidays in both countries to help you decide.
"Spain and Portugal have hosted international championships and delight amateurs with extensive golf holiday options"
Globally, golf is big business. The Business Research Company states that the market has a value of $5.88 billion in 2024, projected to grow to $8.27 billion by 2028, at a compound annual growth rate of 8.9 per cent.
Numerous countries court golfers with their pristine fairways, and both Spain and Portugal provide a wealth of courses. Both countries have experience of hosting international championships, as well as delighting amateurs with their extensive golf holiday options. Over recent decades, this has grown to encompass everything from fine dining facilities to frontline golf properties, in addition to the courses themselves.

Golf in Spain

Golf ball next to hole
According to the Spanish Golf Federation, Spain is home to more than 1.2 million registered golfers, in addition to those who come from overseas to spend their holidays in the Iberian country. Research by IE University for the Spanish Golf Courses Association, meanwhile, shows that Britons make up the largest group of foreign golfers in Spain.
The same IE University study found that foreign golf tourists own more than 280,000 homes in Spain, accounting for an estimated €4.2 billion of property investment in the country.

More than just a golf course

Resorts such as La Cala Golf in Mijas (Malaga), show why Spain holds such enduring appeal for golfers. Home to a 4* hotel, a luxury spa, three golf courses, a golf academy and other sports facilities, the resort has everything that golfers—and their families—could wish for.
La Cala is also home to a wide selection of golf properties, which are ideal for players who return to the resort regularly, as well as those planning to retire to Spain to spend their golden years keeping fit on the fairways. Properties available from Taylor Wimpey España at La Cala include impressive townhouses at Belaria (priced from €615,000 plus VAT), which feature accommodation spread over three storeys, sizeable gardens and a lovely communal pool—all with grade A energy certification.
"La Cala Golf in Malaga is home to a 4* hotel, luxury spa, three golf courses and a golf academy"
For buyers with a slightly lower budget, properties at Solana Village South cost from €450,000 plus VAT. The south-facing apartments and penthouses overlook La Cala’s famous Europa golf course, with panoramic views that in some cases stretch all the way down to the sea.
Campo Europa is one of three championship courses at La Cala, with the others being Campo America and Campo Asia. The par 71 Europa course is perhaps the easiest of the three, while the par 72 Asia course is known for its challenging conditions. The America course (also par 72) delivers stunning views that take in both the Sierra de Ojén and the Mediterranean Sea. For golfers looking to improve their game, multilingual professionals are on hand at the on-site golf academy.

Golf in Portugal

Vale do Lobo in Spain
Portugal is popular with golfers from across the globe. It was named both Europe’s Best Golf Destination and the World’s Best Golf Destination at the 2023 World Golf Awards.
In 2023, record numbers of golfers flocked to Portugal’s southernmost region, the Algarve. Preliminary figures from the Portuguese National Statistics Institute (INE) show that two thirds of the country’s golf rounds in 2023 were played in the Algarve, accounting for 1.4 million rounds. The combination of sunshine, beaches and outstanding golf resorts is certainly a winning one in holidaymakers’ eyes.
"Vale do Lobo showcases the gold standard of Portugal’s golf offering"
Just as La Cala typifies the exceptional golfing facilities on offer in Spain, Vale do Lobo showcases the gold standard of Portugal’s golf offering. The prestigious Algarve resort is home to two championship 18-hole courses: the Ocean and the Royal. Both enjoy a stunning natural setting, with verdant greenery offset by the ever-shifting blues of the Atlantic. Challenging and spectacular holes abound.
Vale do Lobo also provides a wealth of amenities for golfers to enjoy during their stay. The resort is home to 16 restaurants, bars and cafes, a spa and wellness centre, an outdoor pool complex, a fully equipped gym, a tennis academy with tennis and padel courts and much more. There is also a new golf shop featuring the latest apparel and equipment, while regular events are held as part of an active social calendar.

A home with a view

Golf property at Vale do Lobo
Golf properties are available at Vale do Lobo for players and their families to enjoy. They include newly refurbished Golf Residences, priced from €830,000, which are ideally positioned to access the resort’s courses and its popular clubhouse. The homes include apartments, duplexes and linked villas, with features such as infinity plunge pools, covered terraces, private swimming pools and rooftop Jacuzzis.
Recently, the resort made available a new selection of land plots in two areas—the coastal Oceano Clube, offering some of the last true beachfront land available in Portugal, and the verdant Vale Real, a spectacular oasis of greenery, with panoramic golf course views. Soon to be launched plots in Vale das Flores, close to 8th hole of the famous Ocean Golf Course, will offer another exciting opportunity to purchase land in a sought-after area of the resort.   

So… Portugal or Spain?

If you’re currently torn between booking a golf holiday in Portugal or one in Spain, why not consider a dual-location break? It takes less than 4.5 hours to drive from the Algarve to Malaga, making it easy to experience a golfing break that takes in both regions. That way, you can decide for yourself which country wins the battle of the golfing giants.
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