Not just golf but also beaches - Praia da Marinha

Golf holidays around Quinta do Lago in Algarve

When thinking about holidays in Portugal, one of the most popular destinations which comes to mind is often the Algarve. The southernmost region in the country presents holidaymakers with a range of sun-kissed beaches, brilliant family days out and plenty of places for entertainment.

However, the resort is also cherished by tourists for its brilliant sporting facilities, which is highlighted by its superb golf courses. To get an idea of why families keep on going back for a spot of golf in the Algarve, you only need to look at the Quinta do Lago resort.

Not just golf but also beaches - Praia da Marinha

What makes Quinta do Lago so eye-catching?

Those of you who are looking to enjoy a great golf holiday in the Algarve have so many reasons to give due consideration to the Quinta do Lago resort.

For starters, the golf course’s location is truly astonishing. Upon reaching the southern corner of Portugal, holidaymakers will find that the resort is hidden away around almost 1,600 acres of pine forest. There are also a variety of lakes dotted around the destination to add to the allure.

Even when taking a break from playing golf, tourists have so much to see and do. Within a stone’s throw away from Quinta do Lago, you will find a large stretch of gorgeous sandy beaches. As well as catching the rays, these beaches allow you to experience the thrills of water-skiing, windsurfing, scuba diving or sailing in warm and inviting waters.Flamingos in the Ria Formosa National Park

Meanwhile, those hoping to enjoy a great day out should venture over to the beautiful Ria Formosa National Park, where you can enjoy a relaxing stroll while watching such fascinating birds as the purple heron, white storks and egrets fly over your heads.

The renowned history of Quinta do Lago

Once the sightseeing has been completed, holidaymakers will be able to enjoy a spot of golf on a collection of award-winning courses.

The South Course of the resort, for example, has played host to no less than eight Portuguese Open tournaments over the years and is so iconic that it was included in Golf World Magazine’s ‘Top 100 Golf Courses in Europe’ last year.

Meanwhile, the newest of Quinta do Lago’s three courses, Laranjal, was heralded as the ‘Best Golf Course’ during the 2011 Portuguese Travel Awards (Publituris) ceremony.

If you decide to tee up at the Quinta do Lago resort, you can also take comfort in the fact you will be playing on the same green as Colin Montgomery, Justin Rose, Padraig Harrington, Ian Poulter and Ernie Els all plied their trade in the past.

Watching the greats of tomorrow at Quinta do Lago

Those heading on Algarve golf holidays and have the Quinta do Lago resort in mind may be wise to push their getaway back to the autumn though.

This is because the attraction will welcome 21 young finalists through its clubhouse doors between October 9th and 11th 2013, who will compete in the climax of the Telegraph BMW Junior Golf Championship.

To get a grasp of the prestige surrounding this tournament, Justin Rose, Melissa Reid, Tom Lewis and Rebecca Hudson have all been finalists in the event in previous years.

Paul McGinley, who was recently announced to be the Europe team captain for the 2014 Ryder Cup, commented: “I’m delighted to be supporting the 2013 Telegraph BMW Junior Golf Championship. For more than 25 years, the championship has given junior golfers throughout the UK and Republic of Ireland the chance to be part of the biggest junior golf competition in the world.

“The calibre of champions over the years illustrates this is one of the ‘Majors’ on the junior golf circuit and a great starting point for many in their golfing careers. I’m looking forward to meeting the finalists at Quinta do Lago in October when they will experience the trip of a lifetime. Good luck to everyone taking part this year.”

On a side note, budding golfers who are eager to show off their skills on an international platform should keep an eye on tournament details to see where the next opportunity is taking place.

In the meantime, to make sure that you don’t miss a minute of the action in the Algarve, and ensure that your holiday is centred on the sport you love, booking up with a specialist travel agent will give you that added peace of mind.

Panoramic view of Lisbon city

Top 10 Things to Do in Lisbon

Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, lies on the Atlantic shore off of the west coast of the country. Steeped in a rich maritime history and offering a terrific climate and lovely culture, a holiday in Lisbon offers an unforgettable experience. There is a myriad of things to do and see in this charming city. Here are just a few of the top must-see sights and activities if you plan on flying to Lisbon and enjoying a holiday in this enchanting city.

Panoramic view of Lisbon city

1. Tram 28

The historic Tram 28 always belongs on the top of any Lisbon agenda. The vintage tram is a favourite of locals and tourists alike. Hop on board the Tram 28 and witness a lovely sightseeing trip through the charming cobblestone streets of the ancient city.

2. St George’s Castle

This magnificent monument dates all the way back to the 6th century and is a major focal point of Lisbon’s rich history. St. George’s Castle overlooks the entire city of Lisbon and can be seen from almost anywhere in the city. Here, holiday visitors can tour the ancient castle’s towers, gardens, and museum, all while overlooking the iconic red roofs of the city below.

3. Elevador de Santa Justa

Reminiscent of the Eifel Tower, the Neo-Gothic Elevador de Santa Justa protrudes 147 feet into the sky. After riding the interesting lift to the top of the tower, you can enjoy a tasty beverage at the café and soak up the views of the Tagus River.

4. Rua do Carmo

If shopping is a favourite holiday pastime, visit the Rua do Carmo for some of the best shopping that the city has to offer. Here, you can also indulge in the best gelato and sweets in all of Lisbon.

5. Belem Tower

This is an iconic emblem of the city. Built in 1515, Belem Tower is famous as being the launching point of many of Magellan’s voyages, and recently has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Monument. Purchasing a Lisbon Card will give you free admittance to this wonderful monument as well as many others throughout the city.

6. Pasteis de Belem

Lisbon is well-known for their delicious custard tarts. There is no better place in the city to experience this culinary specialty than Pasteis de Belem.

7. Sintra

Fairy tale castle in Sintra

A holiday in Lisbon is not complete without taking a day trip to the mystical land of Sintra in the hillsides outside of Lisbon. Here, you can witness the fairy tale castles of Palacio Nacional da Pena and Castelo dos Mouros.

8. Alfama

Known as Old Town, Alfama is a must-see for every Lisbon holiday. You can stroll around the ancient cobblestone streets and medieval alleyways, taking in the cultural splendor Alfama is famous for. As with anywhere in Lisbon, make sure you are of aware of your surroundings and beware of pickpockets who are known to roam the city.

9. Avenidada Liberdade

Reminiscent of the Champs-Elysees in Paris, Avenidada Liberdade is the attractive main avenue of Lisbon. Here, you can enjoy the many fountains, cafes, designer boutiques, and theatres.

10. Rossio Square

Spending an evening here is the perfect way to cap off a day of touring around Lisbon. The many cafes lining the popular square are favourite meeting places for locals and tourists alike, and offer a wonderful atmosphere for people watching and enjoying a few drinks.

Lisbon is a wonderful city to explore and relax. There are far too many things to do and places to see for a weekend visit. Spend an entire holiday in this charming Portuguese city and you will come home relaxed, rejuvenated, and with plenty of stories to tell.

Buildings in Lisbon

Going To Portugal: Things You Need To Know

Buildings in Lisbon

Portugal is a popular holiday destination for travellers from across Europe and further afield, the country’s rich history, combined with a savvy travel and tourism industry and spectacular natural attributes make this a great choice of destination at any time of year.

What to do in Portugal

There is a holiday to suit everyone in Portugal – from family fun breaks to cosmopolitan city stays to golfing getaways you are sure to find something on offer that suits your own personal style.

The most popular region of the country for visitors is the Algarve and breaks are easily attainable – offering access to all the best that the area has to offer from manicured fairways to wet and wild water parks, with a range of comfortable accommodations on offer in the area.

Things to Know Before You Go

As part of the European Union, Portugal offers unlimited access to visitors from other EU nations, while those planning to travel from outside the area will want to check visa requirements in advance of departure.

While coastal resorts are used to catering for visitors from a broad spectrum of cultures, if you are travelling to the city or indeed enjoying the hospitality of Portuguese natives you will want to ensure you stick to local customs, some things to note include:

  • Dress conservatively for social occasions – in Portugal people make little distinction between business attire and what they wear for going out.
  • Table manners are important – even fruit and cheese should be eaten using cutlery, and no one should take their seat at a social meal before being invited to do so by the host.
  • Napkins should not be placed in the lap, rather left on the left hand side of the plate until the end of the meal when they can be moved to the right.
  • Tipping is not mandatory – in Portugal a tip is only offered after a meal in the event of good service and amounts are minimal, even in exclusive establishments. Round your bill up to the next whole Euro, or, in the event of exceptional attention from staff, a few extra Euros at most.

Top Destinations in Portugal

Visitors to Portugal can choose from a range of destinations – with options available to suit everyone. Consider the following:

  • Lisbon – Portugal’s capital city sits astride the river Tagus and is steeped in history, with cobbled streets and castles aplenty. The modern city enjoys a great cafe culture, while it is also home to a wide range of museum and art galleries – making it a great choice of city break destination.
  • Algarve – The southernmost region of the country is a holiday favourite, offering stunning beaches and varied entertainments, from family days out to superb sporting facilities, the Algarve truly has is all.
  • Azores – off the mainland visitors will find the North Atlantic islands of the Azores, offering an exciting sub tropical holiday destination, with great beaches and beautiful scenery.
Designer shops along a street in Lisbon, Portugal

Shopping In Lisbon

Designer shops along a street in Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon is famous for its fantastic shopping opportunities. The city centre is host to an array of different shops, from low-cost clothing options to vintage shops, but better known are Lisbon’s designer boutiques.  But begin your holiday first by finding a great Lisbon apartment.

The city is renowned for offering tourists streets of globally-recognised designer labels. Travellers can find this high-end shopping experience scattered throughout the city, but in particular Avenida Da Liberdade offers tourists Louis Vuitton, Dolce and Gabbana, Armani, Escada and Prada. Alternatively, Rua Garrett offers Hugo Boss and Hermes as well as many more.

Designer Ana Salazar

While this fantastic European city offers globally recognised designer labels, it also offers designer creations from traditional Portuguese designers such as Ana Salazar, who is one of Portugal’s leading designers creating elegant and stylish designs for both men and women. Salazar has three boutiques in Lisbon including a shop on Rua do Carmo that offers tourists the opportunity to purchase one of her famous original designs.

Other designer shops within the city’s centre can be found in Bairro Alto’s Rua Do Norte, this area of the city offers tourists high quality alternative pieces, for example Sneakers Delight offers an array of colourful sneakers which cannot be purchased in any other city. Lisbon has nothing to envy Milan when it comes to designer labels it seems.

Traditional shops

More impressive however are the traditional shops located around the city centre which offer unique and specialist items which you would not be able to find anywhere else. In particular Lisbon’s Chapelaria Azevedo Rua was founded over 120 years ago and continues to produce some of the finest manufactured hats. Tourists can personalise and treasure these classic items as they will quickly become an invest. Travellers can also enjoy purchasing a pair of gloves created by the established Luvaria Ulissess Company. Located on Rua do Carmo Luvaria Ulissess was founded in 1925 and remains a leading Portuguese glove designer.

There is no doubt that Lisbon is a shopper’s dream. The city centre hosts a variety of different shops, from globally-renowned designers to local, traditional companies offering quality products which cannot be found elsewhere. There are very few other cities in the world that compare favourably to Lisbon’s eclectic assortment of shops.