Oitavos Dunes is its jewel in the crown

Bob Warters's picture
Thu, 11 Nov 2010

and the sea - no wonder it's rated so highly by visiting golfers and so worthy of its prestigious award as one of the world's top 100 golf courses.

Five other 'Must Play' courses

If you want a real taste of the speed of greens that Tour pros have to tackle, head for Penha Longa where my nerves were just about shot to pieces by the pace and undulations.

This spectacular former home of the Portuguese Open, designed in 1992 by Robert Trent Jones, in a lush, hillside setting just outside Estoril, comes highly recommended, along with the 27-hole Estoril Golf Club complex, designed by Mackenzie Ross in 1945.

South of Lisbon across the spectacular, 11-mile Vasco da Gama bridge, named after the 15th century explorer, which spans the Tagus River, you'll find other great seaside courses at Aroeira and Quinta do Peru, while Troia, set on a green ribbon of a peninsula is well worth travelling the extra miles for.

'Must do's' off the course

*Lisbon has a long and colourful history of sea-faring citizens, so visit historic buildings, castles and museums.

*Try the rustic restaurants serving the crisp and delicious local vinho verde and superb fish dishes.

* Take a trip to Europe's largest Oceanarium, inhabited by 16,000 fish, mammals, animals and plants representing over 450 different species swimming in graceful splendour within the 11-inch thick glass walls of a giant underwater world.

*Take in a match at the legendary homes of Benfica or Sporting Lisbon

Try the local food

*Small custard tarts, known locally as <I>pasteis de nata</I>. They are everywhere and they are good.

<I>Bacalhau</I>(salt cod) is a local speciality and worth trying - at least once - washed down with a local and very tasty Sagres beer.

*Seafood is the entrée of choice for local chefs so don't miss out of locally caught tuna grilled over charcoal - its the Portuguese seafood chef's answer to beefsteak.

*Grilled sardines (<I>sardinhas assadas</I>) are larger and tastier than the sardines that make their way into cans.

*Pork, veal, and spicy spit-roasted chicken, served with fresh salad are usually good as is beef if you aren't 

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