The Algarve is arguably one of Europe’s ultimate golf destinations, with countless courses to choose from. Mark Hirst, the founder of Getaway Golfer, shares a lesser-known side of the Algarve’s ever-expanding golf scene.

Whenever I mention a golf trip to the Algarve, I’m greeted with the usual predictable destinations: Vilamoura, Albufeira, and, if we’re feeling particularly flush, Quinta do Lago. Whilst all of the above are superb options, Tavira is one place that rarely gets a mention, and it perplexes me. 

There are 39 golf courses in the Algarve, with Tavira and the surrounding area hosting six of them. One of these courses is often voted as the best in all of Portugal. What’s more, golf in Tavira is often cheaper, less densely populated and offers some superb boutique hotel options if you know where to look. Let me guide you through where to play and stay in Tavira for an unforgettable golf trip.

The beautiful town of Tavira
The beautiful town of Tavira as seen from its castle ruins / Credit: Daniel James Clarke

Where to Play Golf in Tavira

There are six golf courses within 30 minutes of Tavira. Several offer green fees for under €60 depending on the time of year. Below you can find my thoughts on each golf course, including green fee information and my favourite holes.

Quinta da Ria

Green Fess From €79

Quinta da Ria golf course is set within the Ria Formosa National Park, just a 15-minute drive due east of Tavira. I love both courses situated on this resort for their tranquillity. You won’t find any large resorts and villas imposing themselves or restricting your views, meaning you’re simply free to enjoy nature at its best. My particular favourite is the 17th hole, which plays alongside a large lake to the right of the green. Anything left is your friend. 

Green fees start at €85 in the low season, rising to €120 in the high season, but tee off after 14:30 in May, and you can fit a full round of golf for €79.

Quinta de Cima / Credit: Supplied
Quinta de Cima / Credit: Supplied

Quinta de Cima

Green Fees From €79

Quinta de Cima is the second course at the Robinson Club Quinta da Ria Resort. There’s less water to be found here (which usually means I lose fewer golf balls). Equally as stunning, you’ll experience nature at its finest. My standout hole is probably the 16th, a very getable par-5 with a lake guarding wayward shots to the right of the green. 

Green fees are the same here as at Quinta da Ria, so my preference is to opt for a 14:30 tee time at the end of May for €79, which is excellent value for any golf course in the Algarve. Website


Green fees from €61

Benamor is one of the easier golf courses in Tavira, particularly perfect for higher handicappers and groups. I love the views you get of the Serra do Caldeirão mountains to the north of the course. My personal favourite is the par-4 sixth. The elevated tee provides spectacular views, and with a downhill fairway that adds a few extra yards to your drive, you can come away feeling like you can hit it 30 yards further than you actually can. 

Green fees start at €61 in the low season, rising to €86 in the high season. A twilight rate is available for those teeing off after 13:04, but this is only available in the low season. Website

13th and 14th Hole at Monte Rei / Credit: Supplied
13th and 14th Hole at Monte Rei / Credit: Supplied

Monte Rei

Green Fees From: €170

If you’re familiar with playing golf in the Algarve, you’ll have undoubtedly heard of Monte Rei. View any top 10 lists of the best golf courses in the Algarve, and you’ll near-certainly see Monte Rei occupying the number one spot. This Jack Nicklaus signature course is expertly maintained with slick greens and stunning views; it’s a true golfing challenge and has everything your golf heart could desire. It also requires a hefty bank balance to play it – a four-ball at Monte Rei will set the group back a cool €880. 

That said, Monte Rei is special and somewhere you should play at least once if you can afford to. My favourite hole is the 13th, a stunning par-4 that plays down a large canyon onto a green that has an (almost distracting) lake as a backdrop. 

Green fees start at €170 in the low season (15th November – 28th February), rising to €220 in the high season. Twilight green fees are available all year round when teeing off after 15:00 and cost €170. Website.

Castro Marim

Green Fees From: €51

Travel 25 minutes east along the A22 from Tavira, and you’ll discover Castro Marim Golf Course, a stone’s throw from the Spanish border. Boasting spectacular views of the River Guadiana and the Spanish rolling countryside, Castro Marim offers excellent value golf and unspoiled views. 

There are 27 holes to play broken down into three loops of nine, so it’s possible to return for multiple rounds of golf and enjoy a different experience each time you play. There’s also accommodation onsite with private villas available to rent, so an overnight stay with a couple of rounds is an excellent option. 

My pick of the holes to play here is the sixth hole on the Atlantic course. A tricky par-4 hole with a large lake guarding the left side of the fairway as you tee off. Keep it right for a decent approach shot onto the green. 

Green fees at Castro Marim represent excellent value. In the low season (between 21st May to 16th September), it costs just €65, rising to €85 in the high season (26th February to 15th April and 17th September to 31st October). Twilight green fees are available when teeing off after 15:00 and cost €51 in the low season and €65 in the high season. Website.

Quinta do Vale
Quinta do Vale / Credit: Supplied

Quinta do Vale

Green Fees From €58

Just a few minutes further east from Castro Marim Golf Course in Quinta do Vale. Designed by none other than Seve Ballesteros, Quinta do Vale is a tough course suited to more experienced golfers. It’s yet another example of a golf course near Tavira that’s devoid of overbearing development, leaving you free to enjoy the scenery and tranquil surroundings. 

My pick of the holes has to be the 18th. It’s a short 350-yard par-4 that offers stunning views of the River Guadiana and the surrounding countryside. It’s the perfect way to finish your round of golf and may well leave you wanting to return for more. 

Green fees at Quinta do Vale start at €58 in the low season (16th November to 28th February and 16th May to 15th September), rising to €72 in the high season (1st March to 15th May and 16th September to 31st October). No twilight rates are available. Website.

Robinson Club Quinta da Ria / Credit: Supplied, Robinson Club
Robinson Club Quinta da Ria / Credit: Supplied, Robinson Club

Where to Stay When Playing Golf in Tavira

Tavira offers a surprising number of hotels that are suitable for golfers. There’s a wide range of accommodation options, from luxurious boutique hotels to all-inclusive resorts. Here are a few of my personal favourite places to stay when visiting Tavira. 

Robinson Club Quinta da Ria

Great For: Families and Large Groups | 🔗 Check prices

Robinson Club Quinta da Ria is one of the best value all-inclusive golf hotels in the Algarve. It is set in the resort that also features both Quinta da Ria and Quinta de Cima Golf Courses and is perfect for families and large groups of golfers looking for a hassle-free holiday.

Prices range here are higher in the peak season, with some great mid-range offseason deals – both are excellent value given this includes all food and drink. If you’re thinking of playing either of the aforementioned golf courses, Robinson Club represents the most convenient option. 🔗 Make a booking

Praia Verde Boutique Hotel (Octant)

Great For: Couples, Boutique Stay, Foodies | 🔗 Check prices

If you’re looking for a boutique experience in Tavira, I can’t recommend Praia Verde highly enough. Just a stone’s throw from Praia Verde beach, you can spend the day relaxing with the waves lapping at your toes and a cold drink in hand. 

Foodies will love this place too. The hotel restaurant, led by Chef David Domingues, focuses on wood-fired cuisine, using ingredients sourced from the hotel’s vegetable garden and local produce. Some of the dishes that Domingues creates will last in your mind forever. 🔗 Make a booking

Ozadi Tavira

Great For: Budget-Conscious, Families | 🔗 Check prices

Ozadi Tavira underwent a complete refurbishment in 2014, with particular care taken to maintain its 1970’s charm. You’ll find 77 rooms at Ozadi, all tastefully appointed with modern amenities. 

There are two superb restaurants on-site, the Orangea Bistro and the OZADI Terrace, both of which offer a relaxing atmosphere and a wide range of culinary options.

I’ve found that you can get an excellent nightly rate here, especially if you choose to book outside of the peak summer season – it’s really an excellent value-for-money option. 🔗 Make a booking

Vistas Rui Silvestre Restaurant at Monte Rei / Credit: Vistas Rui Silvestre
Vistas Rui Silvestre Restaurant at Monte Rei / Credit: Vistas Rui Silvestre

Monte Rei Golf & Country Club

Great For: Luxury, Golf, Michelin Dining 🔗 Check prices

If you’re planning on playing Monte Rei, then why not combine it with a stay at the country club as well? There’s a wide range of accommodation options available at Monte Rei, from one and two-bedroom apartments to luxurious five-bedroom detached villas complete with private pools. 

Michelin Starred dining is also an option during your stay. Vistas Rui Silvestre is located on the resort and offers some of the finest dishes in all of Portugal, all whilst showcasing local produce and an excellent Portuguese wine list.

For a more relaxed setting, guests can also dine at the grill, which offers high-quality dishes that are perfect for a light lunch or evening meal. 🔗 Make a booking

The views when landing at Faro Airport, just 40 minutes from Tavira
Ria Formosa views while landing at Faro Airport, just 40km east of Tavira / Credit: Daniel James Clarke

How to Get to Tavira

From Faro

Tavira is 40 km east of Faro airport and takes approximately 30 minutes to get to via car. Travel east down the A22 and take the exit at junction 16. Car hire and airport transfer services are abundantly available at Faro, and Hoppa, an airport transfer from Faro to Tavira costs around €26 per person based on two people sharing. 

There is also a direct train that runs from Faro to Tavira (a bus connects with the airport), which costs around €6 one way, taking just 50 minutes.

From Seville

Seville Airport in Spain is 186 km east of Tavira, and it’s a mere two hours to reach by car. If you’re thinking of touring the southern regions of Spain and Portugal during your trip, Seville is worth considering.

Again, there are plenty of car hire and airport transfer options from Seville, and a Hoppa transfer costs around €140 per person based on two people sharing, or long-distance buses provide a more affordable alternative. However, you may just need to pay an additional fee for any additional luggage such as clubs.

Green fees and costs were correct at the time of publication (June 2023). As always, G2P suggests confirming current prices direct with the clubhouse.