Whilst some might say that golf is a good walk spoiled, for many it’s a pastime that receives a great deal of devotion. It’s a time-consuming game, of course, so when better to have time to play than when you are on holiday.
Here are 10 places in Europe where you can enjoy the highest levels of luxury with excellent golf facilities on your doorstep.
Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa, St. Andrews in Scotland
Where better to start than with St. Andrews, the home of golf. A stay at the Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa will not fail to disappoint. Go for a room with a view of the world-famous Old Course and West Sands beach.
The resort also has its own Championship heathland golf course in The Duke’s, voted one of the top 100 courses in the UK by Golf World magazine. If your other half is a non-golfer, then there’s a spa on site for a luxurious pampering alternative.
Argentario Resort Golf & Spa, Southern Tuscany in Italy
Located in coastal southern Tuscany, the five-star Argentario Resort Golf & Spa offers spectacular views over its golf course up to the WWF-managed Orbetello Lagoon. Its 18-hole golf course was designed by architect David Mezzacane and professional golfer Baldovino Dassù.
The holes were shaped by Brian Jorgensen, and the result is a dramatic and technically challenging layout. The course is managed with natural products, and has received the AgriCert certification for its green credentials.
The Argentario Golf Academy is directed by Italian pro Emanuele Canonica, who won the 2005 Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles. Here you can enjoy golf clinics and lessons with him or other pros, as well as improve your game with a last-generation simulator for golf swing and ball flight analysis.
The Argentario Resort offers design rooms with styles that vary from contemporary to classic to vintage. Each room is equipped with its own private terrace overlooking the hilly Mediterranean landscape. After a long day on the course, golfers can relax in the spa by choosing from a variety of services like the heated indoor pool, sauna and Turkish bath – or by selecting massages and beauty treatments, including specific wellness packages for golfers. Top it all off with a Tuscan gourmet experience in the elegant restaurant, where you can enjoy original dishes prepared with fresh local products and the best Tuscan Maremma wine labels!
Vidago Palace in Portugal
Vidago Palace is set in the Portuguese spa town of Tràs-os-Montes , the star attraction of this royal palace is its 72-par 18-hole golf course, originally designed by Mackenzie-Ross. Built in 1936 in a picturesque valley setting, it was completely rebuilt according to USGA specifications for tees and greens.
The course at Vidago Palace now includes a golf academy, a 340m driving range, a chipping area and two putting greens. Electrical buggies, pull trolleys, electrical trolleys and golf clubs are available for rent at the club house.
Terre Blanche, Provence in France
Terre Blanche is a 300-hectare luxury resort is situated on an outstanding estate in the south of France and combines the charm and character of Provence with the chic of the Côte d’Azur. Recharge your batteries, savour the Provencal cuisine, visit the region’s villages and vineyards or play a round of golf.
Terre Blanche is a land of inspiration for a unique stay perfectly tailored to your every desire. The two golf courses there were designed by Dave Thomas and inspired by the surrounding environment. They blend into the landscape like the valleys, cascades and ravines that make them up.
Evian Resort in France
Enjoying a stunning location in Evian-les-Bains, on the French bank of Lake Geneva only 45 km /30 miles from the international airport, Evian Resort is nestled in lush green gardens against a mountain backdrop, overlooking Lake Geneva and offering stunning views at all times of the day.
Nearby is the Evian Championship course, just a few minutes’ walk from the resort’s Royal and Ermitage hotels. This 18-hole course (6,595 yards, par 72) is one of the most beautiful in Europe and offers magnificent views over the lake and mountains. Following complete renovation last Winter, the course now offers a new way to play golf whilst retaining a strong French identity. All of the greens have been altered while five holes have been totally redesigned to create a top-level course.
Elba Palace Golf in Fuerteventura
The Elba Palace Golf on Fuerteventura is at one between nature and the many services it provides – a real pleasure for the senses: luxury five star golf hotel, a golf course with stunning sea views, sculptured gardens to while away the time, the sea breeze and the beauty of being on an Island where the average temperature is 23 degrees all year round.
The Elba Palace Golf is a sumptuous luxury golf hotel with golf packages and short golf breaks to suit all. Ideal to enjoy your free time in amazing surroundings and doing what you love; playing golf. Its golf course is designed by the renowned architect Juan Caterineau, extremely tree lined and various holes oblige you to play right on the water’s edge for that extra special thrill. An authentic challenge for any golf enthusiast and a stay at a five star hotel which is part of the CN Traveler List in Spain for 2013.
Verdura Golf Resort & Spa in Sicily
Verdura Golf Resort & Spa is set on 230 hectares, and nearly two kilometres of private Mediterranean coastline. There are three Kyle Phillips golf courses, a 60-metre infinity pool, six clay tennis courts, a world-class spa, four restaurants, five bars and much more. It’s a place where your room will seem woven subtly into the landscape. Where you’ll enjoy a true sense of space and uninterrupted views of the azure waters from your private terrace. Above all, it’s a place where you’ll discover an outstanding level of service.
Warmed by the Mediterranean sun and refreshed by the sea breeze, the courses are free from any buildings, offering uninterrupted views of the azure waters from the undulating greens. You’ll find the facilities world-class too. As well as two 18-hole championship courses and one nine-holer, there’s a double-ended driving range, tuition from PGA-qualified professionals and an exceptional golf academy for budding young golfers.
Thracian Cliffs Golf & Beach Resort in Bulgaria
Only 3 years after its official opening and a few months after the 50th Anniversary Volvo World Match Play Championship, Thracian Cliffs Golf & Beach Resort was awarded European Golf Resort of the Year 2014. This major award was the result of votes made by the International Association of Golf Tourism Operators (IAGTO), which is the global trade organization of the golf industry.
Framed by rugged coastal cliffs and the vast blue of the Black Sea, the 18-hole Gary Player designed Signature course at Thracian Cliffs is one of the most dramatic golf courses on earth.
Gleneagles Hotel in Scotland
Recognised as one of the World’s Best Hotels – and the highest rated hotel in Britain – by the Condé Nast Traveler 2014 Gold List, Gleneagles Hotel is set within the gentle beauty of 850 acres of Perthshire countryside, and is home to three Championship golf courses, a sparkling multi award-winning spa, sumptuous guest bedrooms, elegant fine dining restaurants, and an array of exhilarating outdoor activities.
The Gleneagles courses are regarded among the very best golf courses in the world. The inspiration of two of the greatest names in the game, five times Open winner James Braid and the Golden Bear himself Jack Nicklaus, the courses offer tantalising challenges for all levels of player. This year, the PGA Centenary Course – created by Nicklaus – is host venue for the Ryder Cup, where the cream of European and American golf will battle it out on Scottish soil for the first time in more than 40 years.
K Club in Ireland
The K Club is located in the heart of the idyllic Irish countryside in the pretty village of Straffan, Co. Kildare. This long-standing member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts offers the very best of pampering, leisure and golf facilities and is only 30 minutes from Dublin.
Designed by Arnold Palmer, The Palmer Ryder Cup Course and The Smurfit Course are considered two of Europe’s finest Championship courses and were recently voted on the top ten worldwide golf resorts by CNN.
A golf holiday in Ireland would not be complete without a visit to The K Club. Where else can you play a venue that has hosted the Ryder Cup and 13 European Opens?