PING

Sesimbra famous for its Seafood, Pristine Beaches and Fabulous GOLF COURSES.

The Algarve has always been a favourite golfing destination with golfers from around the world, especially with the Irish. In more recent years  the courses around Lisbon and Porto have become increasingly  popular and it’s not hard to see why. Last year I travelled with E.G.T.M.A to Porto to play some courses in the north of the country, I was so overwhelmed by the beautiful countryside, the food, the history, and the magnificent golf courses.

This year my golfing adventures took me to the Capital Lisbon and the cities and villages surrounding it. The courses are situated between three areas around the city, the Estoril and Cascais region, the Blue Coast and the West region.

I visited Cascais earlier in the year and played Penha Longa, Pestana Quinta da Beloura, Quinta da Marinha and Belas Club de Campo. The courses were fantastic, people wonderfully friendly, food and wine superb. So when I was invited by E.G.T.M.A. to play in the Lisbon Tee Times Golf Tournament I didn’t hesitate, count me in!

Our destination was Sesimbra, a fishing town on the Costa Azul, just thirty minutes from the capital.

Sesimbra lies between the magnificent Arrábida Natural Park and the Ocean. 

The Sana Sesimbra Hotel over looks the fabulous beach and clear blue ocean. A perfect retreat in a perfect setting. My room was bright, colourful and comfy with the added bonus of a spectacular sea view.

From the balcony I could see that the street below was buzzing, people strolling along some with children in push chairs, people running or power walking and some just going about their daily business. There were lots of cafe bars along the sea front close to the hotel and restaurants advertising the catch of the day. 

After I spent some time taking in the scene, enjoying the atmosphere below I thought I’d check out the hotel’s leisure facilities above!

The Sana Sesimbra Wellness area located on the hotel’s rooftop features a fantastic swimming pool, the pool is covered over in the winter months and is heated all year round. On the sundeck there’s a jacuzzi, a fitness room, sauna and Turkish bath. Also there are plenty of luxurious sun loungers for you to laze around on all day, that is if you’re not rushing off to play golf as we usually are!

The panoramic views from the Caravela Sky Bar are breathtaking. A cocktail or two with some tasty Portuguese tapas from the bar menu you won’t want to move! Also on the bar menu is a great selection of fresh sea food, salads, pastas and risottos.

In another idyllic setting either for lunch or dinner is the SANA Sesimbra’s Espadarte Restaurant over looking the ocean. An à la Carte menu is available daily offering not only the typical dishes of Sesimbra, but also a variety of traditional Portuguese food.

 

The buffet breakfast served in the Espadarte Restaurant offers a gorgeous selection of fresh fruit, breads, hot and cold dishes ready for you to choose, all produce is locally sourced!

 

The Lisbon Tee Times tournament was played over three courses Aroeira 1 and Aroeira 11 and Quinta do Peru. 

The Aroeira Golf Resort just south of Lisbon, boasts of two excellent courses. Aroiera 1 which was designed by Frank Pennick and opened in 1973. Aroiera 11 opened later in 2000 and was designed by Donald Steel.

Aroeira is located within a preservation area, there are thousands of magnificent pines throughout the estate and lots of wild life. With the benefit of a temperate micro-climate golfers can play here all year round.

Aroeira 11 is a lovely Par 72 parkland course, some say more challenging than Aroiera 1 and I have to say my favourite. The course features five lakes and plenty of well placed bunkers, each tee box has five tees on each hole. The course is a fair test for golfers of all standards. Aroiera 11 has hosted the Qualifying School of Ladies European Tour and several Ladies Opens.

The Aroiera Estate is the perfect holiday resort for families and golfing groups. As well as having two championship golf courses there is a golf academy, four tennis courts, a tropical swimming pool, playground, golf shop and a bar.  A golfers paradise!

The resort is also close to the beautiful Costa da Caparica beaches. Green fees are very reasonable and usually not too busy.

Quinta do Peru is an exclusive 18 hole course located on the south side of the River Tagus from Lisbon between Sesimbra and Setubal. The course is laid out in a 300 area of pine forest with the stunning Arrabida mountains featuring in the back ground. Designed by American course architect Rocky Roquemore in 1994. Roquemore used every piece of the natural landscape and his genius to create this magnificent course.

The course is routed across an undulating terrain over a beautiful forested landscape. The course with its many lakes and well-guarded greens is a real test of the game for golfers of all standards.

Golfing in the Lisbon and Porto regions have been one the most amazing and enjoyable experiences of my golfing travels, and the beauty is that it’s just a couple of hours from Dublin and the UK. 

I would definitely recommend a week or more when planning a trip to this incredibly beautiful part of Portugal, anything less you’re missing out!

Places of interest.

Sesimbra is a region of stunning natural beauty, including the Serra da Arrabida nature park, the Cabo Espichel and the wild beaches of the southern Costa da Caparica coastline. 

Well worth a visit is the Lighthouse of Cabo Espichel, for centuries the Portuguese coast was known by foreign vessels, especially the British, as the “black coast” because there was no lighting system to help navigation. In the late eighteenth century, the Marquis of Pombal built a network of lighthouses to make it safer, including the one on Cabo Espichel, one of oldest in Portugal, built in 1790.

From Sesimbra harbour there are companies that offer activities such as scuba diving, canoeing, sailing, hiking, boating, biking and more.

The Moorish castle of Sesimbra stands high above the village and has guarded the town since its early founding. The castle was one of the first victories for the Christian conquest of Portugal over the Moors in the 12th century and its strategic positioning was important for the defence of early Portugal. If you’re feeling energetic you can the climb the 230m to the castle views are amazing.

The Convento de Nossa Senhora da Arrabida is a 16th century convent that is set amidst the steep hills of the Parque Natural da Arrabida. The complex was designed for complete seclusion from the outside world and today it is the only building within the deep greens Serra da Arrabida’s hills.

Ger Bradley

 

Sana Sesimbra from €45,00 per person on DBL room & €66,00 in Single room with breakfast included. (attached sending a few photos and you can find more information at https://www.lisbonpackage.com/sana-sesimbra-hotel-golf-holidays/ )

Aroeira I and II from €58,00 & Quinta do Peru from €65,00 per person/per round

https://www.teetimes.pt/aroeira-ii-golf-course/portugal/

https://www.teetimes.pt/aroeira-golf-course/portugal/

https://www.teetimes.pt/quinta-peru-golf-course/portugal/

https://www.blueskygolf-rental.com/

https://www.teetimes.pt/about-us/

https://www.quickpark.ie

Best value parking Dublin airport!

Getting to Lisbon could not have been easier or more civilised, we flew with TAP, it was absolutely fabulous! The service was superb, staff friendly and they even offer a complimentary snack and a drink on board. 

TAP Air Portugal flies to Lisbon from Dublin twice daily. Prices start at €106 return including all taxes. For further information visit flytap.com or call (01) 656 9162.