6 Oitavos Dunes
Stats: par 71, 6,893 yards GF: From €110, but check website for specials W: oitavosdunes.com
Opened in 2001, Oitavos Dunes is the work of American designer Arthur Hills – one of only two European courses to bear his name. Set over natural sand dunes the course has the feel of a windswept Scottish links. It’s an out-and-back layout over firm ground to testing greens with views of the sea and mountains.
Stats: par 72, 6,910 yards GF: Contact club for details W: troiagolf.com
When Sam Torrance won the Portuguese Open of 1983 at Troia, he was the only player to break par over the four days. That gives an indication of the challenge presented by the Robert Trent Jones Snr-designed layout. It’s a beautiful, rolling course set through a sandy pine forest with views to the mountains.
8 Quinta do Lago (Laranjal)
Stats: par 72, 7,087 yards GF: €82-€115 W: quintadolagogolf.com
The newest layout in Quinta do Lago’s impressive portfolio has already earned a reputation as one of the Algarve’s finest tracks. Designed by Jorge Santana da Silva and opened for play just last February, the course delivers a great mix of holes as it winds through an attractive old orange grove.
9 Oceânico (O’Connor)
Stats: par 72, 7,336 yards GF: €105-€155 W: oceanicogolf.com
Designed by Ryder Cup star Christy O’Connor Jnr, this Oceânico-owned course opened in October 2008. A wonderful layout through skilfully landscaped terrain dotted with palm trees, it’s already mature beyond its years in terms of playing condition. The course is a worthy inclusion in the top-10.
10 Quinta de Cima
Stats: par 72, 7,203 GF: €75 W: N/A
Set on the Sotavento coast of the eastern Algarve, the Rocky Roquemore-designed course at Quinta de Cima was constructed with tournament play in mind. As such, it’s a challenging layout where heavy bunkering, streams, lakes and undulating greens demand a good all-round performance from players, never mind their standard.