Some of the best beaches -- but also the most crowded -- are near Albufeira. They include Falésia, Olhos d'Água, and Praia da Oura. Albufeira, originally discovered by the British, is now the busiest resort on the Algarve. To avoid the crowds on Albufeira's main beaches, head west for 4km (2 1/2 miles) on a local road to São Rafael and Praia da Galé. You might also go east to the beach at Olhos d'Água.
Many pros consider the extremely well-maintained Pine Cliffs course, Pinhal do Concelho, 8200 Albufeira (tel. 28/950-03-77), relaxing but not boring. It has only 9 holes scattered over a relatively compact area. Opened in 1990, its fairways meander beside copper-colored cliffs that drop 75m (246 ft.) down to a sandy beach. Par is 33. Greens fees are 42€ to 74€ for Sheraton Algarve Hotel guests, and 58€ to 90€ for nonguests. The course lies 6.5km (4 miles) west of Vilamoura and less than 5km (3 miles) east of Albufeira. To reach it from Albufeira, follow signs to the hamlet of Olhos d'Água, where more signs direct you to the Sheraton Algarve Hotel and Pine Cliffs.
Visit www.algarvegolf.net for more information on courses in the Algarve region.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.