For a golf course with bags of personality, visit Castro Marim at the eastern end of the Algarve. With far-reaching views of the Guadiana River it’s worth making the easy 45-minute drive along the quietest stretch of the A22 motorway. “Many of our members love a day out at Castro Marim as it’s great value and not as busy as some other courses”, says Carla from the golf shop. “Some people combine it with a trip to Castro Marim town with its medieval castle, the nearby Sapal nature reserve or the stylish town of Vila Real de Santo Antonio on the river.”
Castro Marim is a well-designed course comprising three nine-holes: The Grouse, Guadiana and Atlantic. The courses are situated in a wilder setting than the manicured environment of Quinta do Lago but are maintained to the same high standards. The Grouse is the newest of the three and most open. There are more trees on the Guadiana and Atlantic and these courses are a bit tighter. The Bristol-based designer, Terry Murray, made clever use of the existing contours of the land. This means exciting dog-legs, undulations and some holes fashioned out of natural canyons. If you’re lucky, and you hit a wayward ball, it may bounce off the side of the valley and end up in the middle of the fairway! One of the most attractive features is the abundance of inviting elevated tee shots. You’ll see plenty of wildlife including red-legged partridge (not a grouse in sight) and rabbits. There are masses of wild flowers in springtime and the perfume of cistus in the air.