Penha Longa Atlantico course is listed in the Top 100 golf resorts of Continental Europe and in the top 10 in Portugal.
The resort also offers a 9 hole course, the Monastery course. The Monastery can be combined with the front nine or the back nine of the Atlantic course to form the North & South routes for play.
The Penha Longa Resort can be found 16 miles from downtown Lisbon (approx. 30min drive) and just 10 minutes from the lovely beaches and towns of Estoril and Cascais.
OK, First Impressions:
Huge, hidden expanse of surprises sitting on the edge of the Sintra Natural Preserve. Upon driving into this resort, the entrance seems to magically expand into an intimate, heavily ‘treed’ expanse of green with some jutting rocks and impressive stone structures of a former era; together they set up an atmosphere of expectation.
Even the grand building that houses the hotel and clubhouse, as large as it is, is mostly hidden in this natural environment or partially camouflaged by part of the 16th century Penha Longa monastery complex that has undergone some painstaking and worthy restoration.
That lovely feel of outdoor intimacy changes a little to present long, colourful, fairway corridors that lead to some of the highest grounds on the estate.
So, as you can guess, the courses here are hilly and have some rather long holes. Prepare for some fine breezes on the hills but also take a few moments to take in the wonderful views on offer too.
As one golfer put it, ‘ The play is soft going but the design and terrain lend a tough enough play’. Certainly the grass condition was good (and even the flags were in perfect condition) when visited earlier this year. While the greens are attractive and well maintained, they exhibited toughness when heavily guarded by large, deep bunkers and/or some rather lovely water features.
The fourth hole of the Monastery Course is by the lovely old monastery built by St Jerome in 1355 and the reason for its name of course.
Both courses offer great views but there is a lovely view of the Penha Longa Palace by hole 9 on the Monastery course. The Championship course also brings you a couple of reflective lakes by the 7th & 15th but hole 16 is probably the more difficult as it demands a long drive across a valley area and then up to a narrow green.
You are quite fit if you play 18 holes here without use of a buggy but no matter how you play, you will find the place, as expansive as it is, quite endearing.
Anytime is a good time to hang out and enjoy the club restaurant. It is a comfortable, modern setting overlooking the course and best of all, offers wonderful light fare by Sergio Arola.
Of Interest Nearby:
A UNESCO World Heritage Site as it was the first centre of European Romantic architecture.
Places of Interest: Pena Palace, Moorish Castle, Queluz Palace, Quinta da Regaleira.
Cascais & Estoril:
Cascais offers the wild Guincho beach (surfing etc), Cascais Cultural Centre, nightlife and much more.
Estoril’s coast is awash with beaches and tourist activities, eg. Fine dining, casino, day tours, etc.
Down the road … but won’t go into all to do there. Check out http://www.visitlisboa.com/