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The phenomenal Jack Nicklaus-designed Monte Rei really is a stand-out experience on the eastern Algarve – and the qulity of the golf is matched by luxurious lodgings

Monte Rei isn’t a name that instantly springs to mind when you think about golf in Portugal, but that should change in the years ahead. In fact, the Jack Nicklaus Signature Design at Monte Rei Golf and Country Club is already forging a reputation for itself as one of the best in a country blessed with outstanding golf courses.

Monte Rei sits in the emerging Eastern Algarve destination, something of a golfing recluse in the region’s foothills, in an exclusive and beautiful area north-east of Tavira and close to the Spanish border. The sweeping views of the Serra do Caldeirão mountains to the north and the Atlantic Ocean to the south are simply stunning and are a perfect match for the Golden Bear’s monumental golf course and its burgeoning reputation.

The course, measuring 7,200 yards from the back tees, features water on eleven of the eighteen holes and there are eight par-4s, five par-3s and five par-5s, each littered with Nicklaus trademarks such as deep bunkering, generous fairways and large greens.

There are no weak holes here and many standout ones, notably at the 14th – a challenging par three – where your tee shot must carry a lake to find the putting surface and anything hooked will end up in water. Then there’s the superb finishing hole, a long, downhill par five where the green might just be in reach of two shots for long hitters but which features a lake that lurks to catch any slightly mis-hit approach shots. The undulations mean the greens are not as generous as they might appear, with numerous runoff areas – only the best struck shot will find the part of the putting surface that offers up a simple putt to the hole.

One of Montei Rei’s best-kept secrets is the quality of the accommodation offered on site. The beautiful villas – fully serviced as a luxury hotel – offer flexible lodgings and a peaceful option perfect for golf groups and couples alike. They have large kitchens and lounges as well as outdoor patios and are located within a few minutes of the opulent clubhouse.

The facilities include a swimming pool, tennis courts, fully equipped gym, spa, and some of the finest ranges and practice greens in Europe. for the dedicated golfer, this really is a paradise. Thanks to the Golden Bear, Monte Rei’s championship credentials stand the course and the club itself apart as a five-star experience. And while the windy road into the hills leaves you with the impression of being in the middle of nowhere, you are, in fact, just 36 miles north east of Faro. Off the beaten track, maybe, but a track that is up there with the best of them.

Reproduced with kind permission of Golf International Magazine








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