Throughout continental Europe are a number of the world’s best golf courses ranging from the golfing haven of the Algarve in Portugal to the jaw dropping Thracian Cliffs in Bulgaria. It isn’t often (or in fact ever) that you will have the time or money to travel from country to country to play the following 10 ten courses all in one stint. But that is not the point… Europe is a golfing hotspot with Ryder Cup courses and European Tour hosts littered throughout and with most of the continent seeing incredible sunshine throughout the year there is not better place to get your winter sunshine than on a championship golf course.
Some of the games greatest players have left their mark on Europe by designing incredible golfing venues that make the most of both the location’s natural landscape and their own unparalleled golfing knowledge. With most of the courses featuring on any golfing fanatics bucket list, be sure to start ticking them off with Your Golf Travel.
Located just north of the buzzing city of Barcelona, in its relatively short lifetime the Stadium Course at PGA Catalunya has already cemented its place inside Europe’s top 10 golf courses. Having taken more than a decade of planning to design, there was a great deal of anticipation surrounding the opening of the Stadium Course and boy did it deliver. The course meanders through the foothills of Pyrenees and has combined beautifully with the landscape to have the natural lakes feature at that awkward yardage. The course measures in at 7,200 yards from the tips and despite requiring a fair amount of power from the back, it also features a number of different tee boxes which makes it accessible to players of all abilities. Giving everyone the chance to enjoy this European Tour beauty.
|Location:||Costa Brava, Girona, Spain|
|Designed by:||Angello Gallardo and Neil Coles|
The phrase ‘with age comes beauty’ certainly comes to mind when describing the Fontainebleau Course. Set in the heart of France’s largest forest and renowned for being one of the country’s oldest, the course has a certain majesty about it as it winds its way through the towering trees. The course echoes the great heathland course of South-east England and like Sunningdale, Swinley Forest etc. the course is by no means long compared to modern norms. Instead it employs a number of strategically placed bunkers to guard its slick greens meaning accuracy and club selection is key when it comes to approach play.
|Designed by:||Tom Simpson|
Designed by golf’s most celebrated player, the North Course at Monte Rei showcases all of the Golden Bear’s incredible knowledge. Despite only opening in 2007, the course has already catapulted itself to the top of Europe’s rankings as a result of both its impeccable condition and its stunning golf holes. The resort style course features shimmering lakes and deep bunkers which require long straight drives from the tee but finding the fairway is only half the job as the undulating greens place an emphasis on approach play too. The course has found the perfect balance of being a stern test for the most skilled golfers from the tips but also providing an enjoyable challenge for the more social player.
|Location:||East Algarve, Portugal|
|Designed by:||Jack Nicklaus|
Having only opened in June 2017, West Cliffs Golf Course is a one of the hottest new courses that have been added to Portugal’s golfing portfolio. As you may have guessed the course skirts the Silver Cliffs of the country’s spectacular coastline and gifts golfers with superb views of the Atlantic Ocean. Each hole on this glorious golf course is unique from the other with one featuring the dramatic sand dunes of the coast to another being lined by pines before you emerge out to a strong Atlantic breeze. In true links fashion the course has a rather rugged feel to it and is reminiscent of some of the world renowned Open Championship setups.
|Designed by:||Dye Design Group|
Situated in the heart of Turkey’s tourism hotspot lies one of Europe’s top ranked golf courses. Carya Golf Course winds its way through the indigenous trees of the region and is one of the only courses in the area to feature heather. Created by Thomson, Perrett & Lobb, the design firm of five-time Open Championship winner Peter Thompson it is no wonder it is one of the most desirable courses to play in Belek. With year round sun and perfectly manicured fairways make Turkey your next golfing destination.
|Designed by:||Thomson Perret|
Located in the stunning countryside that surrounds Paris is one of the country’s finest golfing experiences. The Vinieuil Course has a reputation for being one of the best in continental Europe and its classic woodland design echoes some of the games most famous courses in South East England. Often viewed as quite a demanding course, the 7,200 yard layout is a fantastic test for any serious golfer looking to travel to Northern France.
|Designed by:||Tom Simpson|
As one of the best courses in Europe, if not the world, a chance to play Valderrama is not one any golfer should pass up. Located in the heart of the Costa Del Sol, the golf club is surrounded by luxurious accommodation and excellent restaurants that are the perfect accompaniment for what is a truly unforgettable round of golf. The course itself plays host to the European Tour’s Spanish Masters and in 1997 it held the coveted Ryder Cup, an honour only given to Europe’s best golf courses. Winding its through bunkers and streams the course glides over the natural undulating terrain, creating mini amphitheatres around the greens which add drama to even your most simple holiday fourball.
|Location:||Costa Del Sol, Andalucia|
|Designed by:||Robert Trent Jones Snr.|
Any course designed by Robert Trent Jones Snr. is a pleasure to play and none are more so than Real Club de Golf Sotogrande. Designed in 1964, the golf course is situated in the heart of what is now one of the regions thriving tourism hotspots and is a stunning place to play golf in the day and relax in the evening. The resort style course features a number of water hazards which are as costly as they are pretty and place an emphasis on tactical stroke play throughout the round. In typical Trent Jones Snr. style, the course requires players to draw upon their imaginative side and see the shots they wouldn’t normally see in order to score well round Sotogrande.
|Location:||Costa Del Sol, Andalucia, Spain|
|Designed by:||Robert Trent Jones Snr.|
Away from Portugal’s golfing paradise of the Algarve lies one of the Europe’s top ranked courses. Oitavos Dunes is located outside the capital city of Lisbon and is the perfect blend of masterful golf course design with the already beautiful natural landscape of the Portuguese coastline. Renowned mainly for his work in America, Arthur Hills has created a beautiful golfing set up which is reminiscent of some of Scotland’s most famous golf courses. Though not strictly a links course, the fairways are often bordered by woodland but the sandy turf and spectacular sea views still gives golfers the feel of a links set up. This unique golf course sees over 300 days of sunshine a year and is a great place to get some winter sun.
|Designed by:||Arthur Hills|
Arguably the world’s most striking golf course, Thracian Cliffs in Bulgaria is definitely one to tick off the bucket list. The pristine fairways skirt the dramatic limestone cliffs of the Bulgarian coast and creates a challenge for golfer’s like no other. The Gary Player designed course is set up in such a way that it is fair for the average golfer but still challenging enough to host a European Tour event. For those looking for one of the best golfing experience that Europe has to offer then Thracian Cliffs is a must play for you.
|Designed by:||Gary Player|