A stunning golf course and coastal views go together like fresh seafood and chilled white wine.

Fortunately a trip to Lagos can deliver both and you will probably struggle to better the combination offered at Onyria Palmares Beach & Golf Resort.

There is nowhere more fitting to start a trip than the 27 holes spread across the 191-hectare site, which naturally sweeps down from 70m above sea-level to the sandy beach.

The course is set in three loops of nine – Alvor, Lagos and Praia – that all provide a unique challenge and experience with parkland, heathland and links features.

To sample such variety from one resort was a unique and rewarding experience, which kept me poised and excited to see what the next tee box had to offer.

The course’s transformation under the stewardship of Robert Trent Jones II produced the current layout, which opened in 2011, with none of the holes from the original 1970s layout remaining as they had first been built.

After just a few days on the sweeping fairways and fast greens it had become easy to see why the course had claimed awards in recent years.

Each round will serve up different highlights, but it is hard to look further than the 17th, a long dogleg par five with an elevated tee shot with views across the links course and to the coast beyond it.

Nestled in the heart of the resort is the idyllic five-star Beach House Hotel, with 20 rooms all looking across Lagos Bay and the snaking beach of Meia Praia.

The boutique hotel also boasts an outdoor pool, stylish bar and restaurant.

Keen to not ruin the spectacular setting, Palmares’ directors are taking a conscious approach to development around the resort, with property dispersed around the site recognising the importance of the estate’s glorious views.

Elsewhere in the region, a trip to take on the tests of the nearby Espiche golf course is worthwhile.

The 18-hole course developed a reputation for its punishing difficulty in years gone by, however minor changes provided even a less-seasoned golfer like me with an opportunity to tackle the lakes, streams and undulations that snake around the architecturally stunning two-storey clubhouse. Experiencing the challenges of Espiche both complimented and contrasted the flow at Palmares.

A short drive from both courses takes you into the heart of Lagos, a city steeped in Portuguese history and culture.

If accommodation nearer the city is your preference, Belmar Spa & Beach Resort is an ideal retreat. It offers spacious and stylish apartments, with roof-top balconies.

The cobbled streets of the city provided an opportunity to travel in and out of a host of bars and restaurants, while the harbour delivered beautiful sights with reminders of area’s role in maritime and trade.

An ideal way to explore this heritage is with the Eating Algarve Food Tours experience. The excursion dipped us into some of the city’s family-run eateries and highlighted notable moments in Lagos’ past, including the destruction caused by the tsunami and earthquake in 1755.

Most of the city was flattened, however the central Church of St Anthony was rebuilt using materials from other ruined churches. While relatively small in size, the gold internal decoration and craft of the wooden structure is striking and beautiful.

Given Lagos’ prominence on the coast, fish and seafood are almost certainly the stand out items on the menu. It was difficult to pick a favourite from the beachside offering of Campimar or the city centre spot of Dom Sebastião – named after the 16th century King of Portugal and the Algarves.

The latter’s wine cellar is home to a remarkable collection, featuring a sealed bottle from Charles and Diana’s wedding and another more than 200 years old.

After a packed four days, an afternoon in the sun sending a golf ball around Palmares remained the highlight of the trip.

Whether you are an Algarve veteran or a first-time adventurer, a scratch golfer or steady 20 handicap player, a trip to Palmares can offer an experience that will draw you back in for more.

I know I certainly want to be teeing up under the region’s blue skies again soon.


Palmares Beach & Golf Resort

Meia Praia 74, 8601 - 901 Lagos, Portugal

Visit onyriapalmares.com or call (+351) 282 790 500