Portugal, an intriguing, enchanting country exudes a beguiling, old fashioned charm, from the mountainous regions of the north, the verdant vine covered slopes of the Douro valley, the cosmopolitan splendor of Lisbon to the sun drenched beaches of the Algarve.

Named after Porto, its second largest city, Portugal is the westernmost country in mainland Europe. Continuously settled from Prehistoric times it inevitably formed part of the Roman Empire before being conquered by the Moors, whose legacy is all too apparent in the Algarve architectural style even today.

A seafaring nation, the Portuguese were at the forefront of the “Age of Discovery” through such intrepid luminaries as Henry the Navigator and Vasco de Gama. This thirst for exploration led Portugal to establish the first and longest lived global empire spanning over 600 years. Now all that remains are the autonomous archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira!

Britain’s long time allies, the two countries share the world’s oldest active military accord, The Anglo-Portuguese Treaty, signed in 1373. Perhaps it is this mutual respect that makes Portugal popular with the British as one of their favourite holiday haunt.

As the traditional industries of fishing and cork production (Portugal is the world’s largest producer) began to wane, Portugal invested heavily in tourism, to the extent that Portugal is now the 20th most visited country in the world. At the forefront of this explosion was golf tourism particularly in the Algarve region.

Although there has been a golf course in Portugal since 1890 when British wine merchants formed a club in Porto, it was the building of the Penina course by Sir Henry Cotton in 1966 that triggered Portugal’s golf boom. Today Portugal boasts over 100 courses, 14 of which are included in the best 100 courses in Europe. Winner of a multitude of prestigious awards as a premier golf destination, Portugal’s success has been founded on its rich cultural heritage, its hospitable, welcoming people, fantastic hotels and resorts, not to mention some of the best golf courses in the world!

Portugal, the nation that discovered much of the world….