Top 100 Golf Resorts in Europe 19-1

Published:

The fifth and final part our top 100 listing, here we showcase the crème de la crème of resorts in Continental Europe.

Top 100 Golf Resorts Europe 100-80

Top 100 Golf Resorts Europe 79-60

Top 100 Golf Resorts Europe 59-40

Top 100 Golf Resorts Europe 39-20

Top 100 Golf Resorts Europe 19-1

19 Real Club El Prat

Barcelona, Spain
No less than five loops of nine, albeit one is mostly used for practice. Two of the loops form our 36th-ranked Continental course and the others are superb too. Plus on-site hotel.

GW verdict: Real substance to this Tour host. Close to Barcelona but feels enjoyably remote.

18 Oitavos Dunes

Cascais, Portugal
A top-30 ranked course with Atlantic views and undulating links-looking fairways. An on-site hotel that is uber-chic.

GW verdict: One of the most distinctive courses in Europe oozes class. The hotel's minimalism may not be for everyone; for many it is heavenly.

17 Finca Cortesin

Malaga, Spain
A big-boned resort course that hosted the World Matchplay. In contrast, the hotel is small and cosy, but just as impressive.

GW verdict: Patently for the well-heeled golfer seeking the best things in life. A cold beer from the balcony overlooking the course is blissful.

16 Royal Obidos

Obidos, Portugal
A course by Seve Ballesteros plus a brand-new hotel overlooking the layout.

GW verdict: Typifies a lot that is good about modern resorts – and it ought to, because it is clear a big investment was made. A bold course on a rolling landscape plus a gleaming hotel.

15 San Lorenzo

Almancil, Portugal
Two courses – Top 100-ranked San Lorenzo, and Pinheiros Altos – plus Formosa Park hotel, Dona Filipa hotel, and Pinheiros villas.

GW verdict: Essentially a JJW group entry – the courses and hotels are all apart from each other. If you don't mind the short shuttles, it's terrific.

14 Praia D'El Rey

Obidos, Portugal
One of the most distinctive courses in the list. It opens and closes with a woodland stretch but in between is a long section by the sea that is genuinely linksy in character – a very rare scenario for Continental Europe. The Marriott hotel and villas are a hive of activity, a destination families return to year after year.

GW verdict: A classy option north of Lisbon that, when the second course by Cynthia Dye is built along the coast, will surely become a top-10 resort. You won't be disappointed here if you love links golf and a place where it's easy to find tranquility yet also vibrancy in the evening. A resort that will appeal to all golfers... and non-golfers.

13 Montgomerie Maxx Royal

Belek, Turkey
A solid Colin Montgomerie course that is manicured superbly, plus a hotel cheek by jowl that's overshadowed by very few.

GW verdict: Just one course, but a European Tour host. The hotel is glitzy beyond belief. If layers of luxury are your thing, it is for you.

12 Penha Longa

Lisbon, Portugal
A Kyle Phillips design (when he was working for Robert Trent Jones Jnr) that incorporates huge elevation changes, so is constantly thrilling and distinctive. The on-site hotel offers tremendous amenities for all the family, but especially good for couples.

GW verdict: Its nine extra holes are a bonus, but just as important is its majestic hotel. Enjoys a really tranquil spot despite being so easy to get to from the centre of Lisbon.

12 Lykia Links

Belek, Turkey
Course looks like a links, has awesome sea views and holes right along the beach. A huge hotel with a myriad amenities.

GW verdict: Highest-placed one-course venue. Mildly less accessible than others in Belek but everything's on site for a week of leisure and golf.

10 La Manga Club

Murcia, Spain
Europe's best known resort? Three 18-holers (one in our Top 100). A range of accommodation led by a large hotel, a lot of leisure facilities and a Leadbetter academy.

GW verdict: Sports heaven, including 54 solid holes, but less glitzy accommodation than others.

9 Quinta do Lago

Almancil, Portugal
Two Top 100 tracks and a solid third in what is a small town rather than a resort.

GW verdict: Hard to rank; the golf is superb and while there are lots of amenities/hotels in the town-like resort, QDL golf club 'only' owns villa accommodation, restaurants and an Academy.

8 Golf du Medoc

Bordeaux, France
The best golf offering in the list, with two heathland courses in the top 52 in Europe. A neat hotel with terrific food and wine.

GW verdict: The connoisseur's choice. Even the most discerning golfer would deem this 'resort' golf (think Walton Heath with a hotel) as worthy.

7 Antalya GC

Belek, Turkey
One exacting course in the Top 100 and one in the Next 100, both manicured to peerless levels. Two hotels overlooking the golf.

GW verdict: The course (PGA Sultan) that lured Tiger to Belek has a fun sister (Pasha). Pick from uber-luxurious Kempinski or the Sirene hotels.

6 Costa Navarino

Messinia, Greece
A Top 100 and Next 100 course, both overlooking the Aegean Sea. The exquisite hotel is of the very highest order.

GW verdict: Only tricky access stops a top-five slot; it's just harder to get to compared to others. Once there, the golf is good, the hotel opulent.

5 Gloria

Belek, Turkey
The biggest golf complex in Belek is also one of Europe's largest, with 54 consistently good holes and solid practice facilities. Three facility-packed five-star hotels are all within a couple of minutes' minibus shuttle of the golf club's 54 holes.

GW verdict: The only top-10 entry without a Top 100 course. That fact illustrates how consistently good its three courses are, as well as emphasising how incredible its hotels – all of which are slightly different to suit different tastes – and facilities are. They include the new Gloria Sports Arena, which is already a Europe-wide leader in its field.

4 Verdura

Sciacca, Sicily
Two courses – the East in the Top 100, the West in the Next 100 – that both enjoy spectacular sea views after Kyle Phillips' clever routing gave both cliff-edge holes. A predictably opulent Rocco Forte hotel and an abundance of leisure facilities.

GW verdict: The list's second Sicilian resort oozes class; it's high calibre in every respect. Unsurprisingly well-designed courses by Phillips are matched by the hotel and facilities. If you're surprised Verdura is in the top five, we are guessing you haven't been there.

3 PGA Catalunya

Our top-ranked course in Spain plus
a very, very good sister course. Genuinely world-class practice facilities plus a refurbished hotel that has just come under PGA Catalunya's ownership. Also on-site villas to rent. A European Tour Properties member.

GW verdict: Just over a year ago, PGA Catalunya would have been in the same boat as Amendoeira or Las Colinas – scoring well on its golf offering but lacking the accommodation range and amenities as an all-round resort. The story is vastly different now after the club acquired the on-site hotel and spent a year (and a lot of money) refurbishing it. It is a wonderful addition and, added to some of the best practice facilities in Europe and great access from Girona or even Barcelona El Prat, combine to give it a top-three slot.

2 Carya

Belek, Turkey
The newest accommodation in the list thanks to a hotel finished barely two years ago (packed full of amenities) plus Belek's outstanding heathland course onsite and The National a couple of minutes away. The National is the original course in the area and is quietly one of its best; a Continental Top 100 contender for the 2017 course ranking.

GW verdict: Wouldn't have been near the top 10 two years ago but the new hotel and the acquisition of The National has changed the game. Importantly, The National is just a quick shuttle close to Carya complex. The new hotel, needless to say, is phenomenal.

1 Terre Blanche

Fayence, France
Two courses, one at No.13 in our Continental Top 100, the other in the Next 100, are the star attractions. They are enhanced on the golf side by peerless practice facilities (that actually proved the key category in getting to No.1) including a rooftop range and a hi-tech biomechanics unit led by legendary Jean-Jacques Rivet. Then there is a five-star hotel with a Michelin star, huge spa, and accommodation in the style of a Provençal village. It's a Senior Tour host and a European Tour Property.

GW verdict: A genuine all-rounder that can cater for any type of golf holiday for any kind of golfer or golf group. The south of France's wonderful weather and tremendous access enhance a golf holiday – or indeed any kind of holiday – at this five-star resort.

READ OUR GREAT BRITAIN & IRELAND TOP 100 GOLF COURSE RANKINGS HERE