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The playground of Setúbal is the Peninsula of Tróia, site of some excellent white-sand beaches. Parts of the lonely, rocky stretches of land between Lisbon and Setúbal have undergone massive upgrades, making way for some of Europe's best golf courses to emerge.

Portugal's most acclaimed golf course is the Aroeira Clube de Golf, Herdade de Aroeira, Fonte da Telha, 2825 Monte de Caparica, Aroeira 

(www.aroeira.com tel. 21/297-91-00). Designed as a 364-hectare (899-acre) "golf estate" in the early 1970s by the English architect Frank Pennink, it's a par-72, 6,040m (19,811-ft.) course. International golf magazines have hailed the layout as one of the finest in Europe. Low, rocky cliffs and a network of lakes separate the long, lush fairways and copses of pine trees from the surging Atlantic. Advance reservations are essential. Greens fees for 18 holes run 52€ to 90€, depending on the time and day. Golf clubs can be rented for 40€, and an electric cart costs 20€ for 18 holes. To reach the club from Lisbon (a 25km/16-mile ride, which takes about 35 min.), take one of the bridges over the Tagus. Drive south for 32km (20 miles), and exit the highway at Costa da Caparica. From Setúbal (a 40km/25-mile ride, which takes about 1 hr.), take Highway N10 northwest to Lisbon and exit at Fogueteiro.

If the Aroeira course is booked, you can schedule a round at another course in the region. Quinta do Perú Golf & Country Club, Alameda da Serra 2, is near the hamlet of Negreiros (www.golfquintadoperu.com; tel. 21/213-43-20). From Setúbal, take Estrada Nacional 10 for about 19km (12 miles), following signs to Lisbon. Reservations are required. Another, less prestigious, option is the Golfe do Montado, in the hamlet of Montado (tel. 26/570-81-50; www.golfdomontado.com). From Setúbal, drive 10km (6 1/2 miles) south along the Estrada Nacional, following signs to Alentejo and Algarve. Greens fees are comparable to those at the Aroeira, but professionals don't consider either of those newcomers as exciting.

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.