Portugal and golf, well it has to be the Algarve then, doesn’t it? Well not exactly. The Irish have had an ongoing love affair with Portugal’s southern coastline for many years but there are signs that another area of the country may now be claiming more than its fair share of holidaymakers and property buyers. This is the Lisbon Coast, which can be split into two distinct, and very different, regions. North of Lisbon, on the Costa da Prata or Silver Coast, you’ll find rolling hills introducing the coastline. To the south of the Portuguese capital, on the opposing banks Tagus estuary, you’ll find many kilometres of flat, protected pine forest land and plenty of untouched beaches. Termed the Costa Azul or Blue Coast, this region has some 60,000 hectares of protected areas making it one of the largest nature zones in Europe.
It was not until relatively recently that there was actually direct access from Ireland to Lisbon, hence there wasn’t a lot of Irish traffic to the area. Since the advent of Aer Lingus flights to Lisbon from Dublin, however, there are now many more Irish looking to this wonderful stretch of Atlantic coastline. If you want to venture further north Ryanair also run flights to Porto.
The Lisbon coast can more than hold its own in terms of the quality and quantity of golf courses. In fact, may golfers claim that the courses on the Lisbon coast are superior to those found on the Algarve. Travelling from south to north you will find no less than 23 courses dotted along the coastline from Sines to Óbidos, two of which are in Lisbon city itself. Added to this are a number of courses which have not yet completed but are worthy of consideration.
It is a lovely area in which to play golf, as the climate is very acceptable, even in the Spring. It is also a lot easier to play in the summer than the Algarve, which can become incredibly hot in July and August.
This is just the start of a more in-depth piece on the Lisbon coast – it makes for easier reading on the internet if they’re broken up into smaller features
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