Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Vilamoura Overview


Only two to three hours flight from most European capitals has been an attraction to many discerning golfers for almost three decades is one of the largest single tourist complex in Europe.
Variable in its vegetation, some parts are covered in pine forests whilst others open recovered marshland. Vilamoura is a special place, an exclusive leisure and recreation resort community where the pace of life is so easy it feels like summer all year round. Designed from the start to be self-sufficient, Vilamoura is ideally located, features a wide choice of prime accommodation, offers the commercial structure for day-to-day needs and is bursting with sporting and leisure facilities for the whole family. It is a place for rest and relaxation but also for pursuing active pastimes and sports; a friendly and safe residential haven, but also a vibrant and exciting night-life centre. It is a luxury hotel, a private villa or a serviced apartment for the visitor, but also a home to the resident and seasonal population. It is Portuguese, but also truly cosmopolitan. Away from the hectic pace and the stress of the modern world, all who visit are revitalised by the lifestyle, the convenience and the hospitality of this truly special place.The Algarve, Portugal's southernmost province is justly famous for its spectacular scenery along a fabulous coastline.


Portugal's golf history is one of the oldest on mainland Europe-providing, Portugal completed its centenary in 1990. In general, you will find that the Algarve, with its mild climate, breathtaking scenery, friendly people and excellent golf courses, all combine to make it a memorable holiday. With the introduction of a “passport” which can be purchased at several golf clubs you can get reduced green fees at selected courses: Quinta do Lago, Pinheiros Altos, Vale do Lobo, Vilamoura, Vila Sol, Pine Cliffs, Alto Golf, Penina and Palmares. The reception offices at these courses supply full information upon request.


Vila Sol: Set in the heart of one of the Algarve’s most developed resort areas, Vilamoura, Vila Sol become a tour de force of Portuguese golf with the hosting of two Portuguese Open Championships. Although opened in July 1991, the course already shows a high degree of maturity. The course wind through an immense pine forest - dotted also with fig, oak and almond trees - and is the work of Englishman Donald Steel. The result is a test of the golfers' strategic skills. The narrow fairways demand accurate driving, various lake and bunker hazards are always in play, and the greens are fast. To card a good round hinges on conquering the first four holes, considered the hardest on the course.

Vilamoura Old Course: This is the oldest Vilamoura golf course which form part of a luxury tourist resort complex close to the magnificent beaches and the Vilamoura Marina. Course designer Frank Pennink wanted to create a course in the Algarve what would remind players of the beautiful and challenging British parkland courses. Opened in 1969, the verdant fairways run through surrounding pine trees, adding an extra challenge. In 1997, the course benefited significantly from a costly renovation. It is a very attractive and extraordinarily well maintained course, boasting a great variety of holes, a new irrigation system and personalised service. The par 3 holes, all different and visually stunning, represent the toughest challenge on the course. They demand perfect iron selection and near-perfect shot control. Trees play a crucial role, punishing careless shots and lining the dog-legs.

Pinhal Golf Course: Opened in 1976, Pinhal Golf Course was designed by Briton Frank Pennink. Later, in 1985, it was partly redesigned by the acclaimed North American architect Robert Trent Jones, who sought to add to the difficulty of the course. His work has given the course a great variety of holes as he brought together two completely different architectural concepts: British and North American. As a result, the golfer faces very different types of shot. Built in the middle of a beautiful pine wood, with panoramic views over the sea, the course requires highly precise approach shots. The 17th, 502m par 5 from the championship tee, is a good birdie (or even eagle) chance for those who risk driving off over the out-of-bounds area to the right, thereby dramatically cutting through the pronounced dog-leg fairway.

Vilamoura Laguna Course: Lying close to the spectacular Algarve coastline and the Vilamoura marina, Vilamoura Laguna Golf Course represents an enduring challenge to the player due to the constant presence of water. Designed by Joseph Lee, the course takes full advantage of the wet, marshy ground near the sea and presents a rather different layout from the other three Vilamoura courses. Here the golfer can drive off more confidently, because of the greater fairway width and less vegetation. On the course, besides the bunkers, water is a near-constant hazard. And although visually intimidating, the hurdles are not insurmountable, given that the course is not particularly long.

Vilamoura Millennium Course: A combination of a remodelled nine holes from the Laguna course, together with nine newly built holes, to form the Millennium Course - opened on May 13th, 2000. The course is particularly open, although some holes (the 3rd to the 7th) wind between pine trees and are similar to the neighbouring fairways of the Old Course and Pinhal. In this more wooded area, the fairways are narrower and require greater accuracy - while the rest of the course has a clear landscape enriched by lakes at the 4th, 17th and 18th holes. The 'tiger tees' (four different tees for each hole) raise the challenge and competitiveness of the course, but the wide fairways and greens ensure that the Millennium is an enjoyable course for all levels. The arrival of the Millennium Course makes Vilamoura one of the main - if not the main - European golf destinations.

During your holiday don't forget to visit the most famous and important highlights of the Algarve .Beginning with the Algarve 's capital, located at the sea side Faro, is surrounded by the Ria Formosa, a nature reserve of 17.00 hectares and stopping place for migrating birds. The Faro airport is connecting the Algarve with most European capitals by direct flights and handles several million passengers a year. Drive west and you will arrive to Vilamoura. A special place, an exclusive leisure and recreation resort community where the peace of life is so easy it feels like summer all year round. Driving a few kilometres more, you will get to the centre of the Algarve , Albufeira, acknowledged as one of the main tourist regions of the country. Continuing towards the heart of the sunny Algarve , you will find the small inlet of Carvoeiro protected between high cliffs. A few kilometres ahead, Lagos is our last stop. A Marina presents a lovely picture and the harbour, is the first sight a visitor has. With its relaxed atmosphere and quiet charm, make it one of the most appealing locations in the Algarve to visitors from abroad, an important tourist town there are still many architectural signs of its ancient past.Car Hire in the Algarve at a cheap price, a brand new vehicle and a helpful team to assist you. We suggest the following websites: Algarve Car Hire, Car Hire in the Algarve, Car Hire Portugal, Portugal Car Hire, Car Hire Lisbon, Faro Car Hire, Vilamoura Car Hire, Albufeira Car Hire, Carvoeiro Car Hire, Lagos Car Hire. If you need airport transfer from or to Faro airport check out Algarve Transfers.