The Porto & North areas of Portugal cover an expanse of land extending to 19,000 square miles with a population of around 6 million people. Stretching from Costa Verde on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean to the border castles that once protected the mountainous inland boundary with Spain, it’s a largely unspoiled region that’s well worth exploring.
Sixteen of Portugal’s ninety-seven 9-hole and 18-hole courses are located at fourteen different venues within the Norte and Centro zones of the Federação Portuguesa de Golfe. The only 27-hole facility is located at Golfe Montebelo, where Mark Stilwell and Malcolm Kenyon carved out three returning circuits on heavily forested, hilly terrain near the town of Viseu in the late 1990s.
Best in Region courses include two Philip Mackenzie Ross layouts. The first of these, Oporto, is one of the oldest layouts on the continent of Europe (established in 1890) and the architect remodeled it in the late 1950s. The other course, Vidago Palace, was laid out as a 9-holer in 1936 within the grounds of a magnificent five-star hotel and Bob Cameron and Chris Powell have recently overhauled this old track to form a new 18-hole layout.