Quinta do Vale lies in the southeast corner of Portugal, less than ten kilometres from Ayamonte, the Spanish town on the other side of the Rio Guadiana which forms the boundary between the two countries.
It’s a quiet quarter of the Algarve that often gets overlooked by those arriving at Faro in search of good golf and that’s a big mistake as there are several terrific options available within a short drive of one another here.
The course is a Seve Ballesteros design and – just like his layouts at Buenavista in Tenerife and Porto Santo in Madeira – it’s configured with six par threes, six par fours and six par fives, with the same par never repeated at consecutive holes.
More than half the holes on the front nine feature water hazards so get in the game right away or it could be an expensive round dunking golf balls in the drink. The par five 7th is rated stroke index 1, doglegging right to a green that juts out into one of the lakes.
On the more forgiving back nine, you’ll find the architect’s trademark S-shaped bunker to the right of the fairway on the par five 10th, but the best hole is kept until last at the short par four 18th, requiring an approach over water to the home green.