A guide to Cascais, the charm of the Atlantic

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It may not be as well-known as the iconic Algarve region but the Estoril Coast is fast becoming one of Portugal's most sought after golfing destinations and after just a few days in and around Cascais it is easy to see why.

With its great range of diverse courses, outstanding natural beauty and incomparable cultural, Cascais is certainly deserving of its title of the charm of the Atlantic coast and it is well worth seeing what all the fuss is about.

For centuries the Portuguese Royal Family headed to Cascais for their summer break and here are a few reasons to make this stunning coastal location the setting for your next golf break.

1. Great accommodation

Palacio Hotel

The genuine friendliness of the local people ensures you are in for an unforgettable welcome and there are plenty of excellent hotels to choose from, including the luxurious Palacio and InterContinental hotels in Estoril; with both offering first class contemporary rooms and a fantastic range of golf plus activities and elegant restaurants.

Quinta da Marinha, Penha Longa Resort and The Oitavos are all great golf course resorts to base yourself at while exploring the beauty of Cascais.

2. Cascais' comprehensive and deeply-impressive golf course collection

Estoril Golf Course

The region was awarded the Golf Destination of the Year (Europe) title in 2016 and proof of its excellence is clear for all to see.

With a great range of courses including two TG Top 100 courses, Oitavos Dunes (18th) and Penha Longa (32nd), it's no wonder the region is attracting more and more golfers from all corners of Europe.

There are seven courses in the region and while they are all renowned internationally and set on a wonderfully varied coastline they are significantly cheaper to play than the Algarve stars and less crowded.

At 5313 meters long Estoril Golf Club isn’t the longest golf course in the world but it is certainly still very special and lined with a cocktail of eucalyptus, pine and mimosa trees its unique natural colour makes for a great golfing experience.

Course management is key at Estoril and the par 3 holes will provide you with the toughest test including the course’s signature 16th.

Penha Longa presents a testing hilly layout made even more difficult if the wind isn’t playing ball.

The holes range from being tight and tree lined to open and forgiving, plus the 5th and 17th present incredibly picturesque holes due to their steep drops from elevated tees.

For details on all the courses in the Cascais region visit www.visitcascais.com/en/golf

3. You're spoilt for choice when it comes to food and drink

The clubhouse at Penha Longa

Cascais is a great place to eat out and is full of bars, cafes and restaurants.

But if you want to stay put, you're well catered for at all the above resorts and we can particularly recommend the clubhouse at Penha Longa and Quinta da Marinha's fun and friendly Trent Jones bar.

If you love seafood you are in for a treat because the region's climate and close proximity to the ocean provides a wide variety of dishes based on fresh fish and seafood.

The Monte Mar restaurant on the cliffs overlooking the Atlantic is worth visiting.

Wine lovers Cascais is certainly for you.

Portuguese red wines are internationally renowned and it is rude not to try a taste of the local port, glorious vineyards surrounded by sand dunes extended right along the coast making for a wonderful view as well as great wine.

4. Hassle free journey

There are direct flights to Lisbon from all over the UK including with national airlines TAP Portugal and British Airways plus scheduled airline Monarch and budget pair easyJet and Ryanair.

It's a short flight, about 2 hours, and can cost as little as £30 each way.

In summary, whether you are after a stay and play golf escape at a classic resort like Penha Longa or a luxurious hotel base, the range of accommodation won’t disappoint and the excellent range of prestigious golf courses combined with the wonderful rich local culture is sure to make a great golf break.

Cascais has come of age and can certainly challenge the Algarve for the title of King of the Portuguese golf scene.