An introduction to Almeria
Almeria is a city located in the Costa of the same name, the Costa Almeria. The golf courses in Almeria are not renowned, but there are some great ones to choose from.
This is the driest place in Europe and is also home to Europe’s only desert, the Desierto Tabernas, which is a half hour drive north of the city.
Compared to further up the coast around Valencia and further south towards the Costa del Sol, the coastline in Almeria is relatively unspoilt and has retained much of its original charm. There are miles upon miles of pristine beaches which are very popular with the locals, but largely by-passed by mass tourism.
See more: What are the best golf courses in Spain?
The landscape is pretty spectacular as well. With very little rainfall annually, just 200mm, as you can imagine it is very arid and in parts quite desolate with vegetation. There is a stunning national park called Cabo de Gata-Nijar which is a half-hour drive east along the coastline, which is quite spectacular and well worth the detour.
As for Almeria the city itself, there is plenty to see and do. The imposing Moorish fort of Alcazaba was built in the 10th century and overlooks the city. The quite beautiful Almeria cathedral, which was built in the 16th century, is another iconic tourist spot, famous for mixing both Gothic and Renaissance architectural styles.
When it comes to golf you’re not spoilt for choice, and largely the better tracks out here are onsite at a golf resort, so a stay and play might be more appealing. Let’s explore some of the courses.
The best golf courses in Almeria
Desert Springs Golf (Indiana Course)
An hour and twenty minutes up the coast towards the region of Murcia, is the fabulous Desert Springs golf resort which is home to the Indiana golf course and a wonderful 4 star hotel. The Indiana course was the original desert-style golf course built in Europe and was designed by Peter McEvoy.
The design team have done such a fantastic job here, that alongside the idyllic natural landscape it literally feels like you’re playing one of the best golf courses from Arizona or Nevada. Massive rocky outlets, dry rivers, cactus and flowering desert plants combine along with water hazards and wide bunkers to create an incredible golfing experience.
Like many desert courses, strategy is essential when plotting your way round the Indiana course. Drives which stray too far from the fairway will either be sat up fine in a sandy run-off, or sat under a rather intimidating looking cactus. Great fun to play and on another level aesthetically, it is no wonder the Desert Spring golf course is considered in the top 50 Spanish golf courses.
Valle del Este Golf
Not far from the golf resort of Desert Springs is another 4 star resort Hotel Valle del Este with its own desert style course, Valle del Este golf. The course has been crafted out of the arid volcanic landscape and has some idyllic views both out towards the Mediterranean as well as inland towards the Cabrera mountain range.
Opened for play in 2003, it has already matured into a fantastic challenge. Not necessarily the longest course coming in at less than 6,300 yards, it makes up for its lack of length in the hazards and obstacles to avoid from the elevated tee boxes. Picking the driver out of the bag is definitely not always the wise choice here. The large greens are protected by sandy wastelands, immense bunkers and water hazards.
The location is quite something. Aside from the stunning views, take comfort in the knowledge the resort follows strict environmentally friendly standards and that includes the maintenance of the Valle del Este golf course.
Surrounded by the mountain range of Aguilon, this is one of the newest courses in Spain having opened for play in 2008.
Literally just 5 minutes drive away from the sun-baked Almerian coastline, the site is pretty special. On three sides the course is surrounded by imposing mountains which are literally perching over the fairways. And on the south side there are expansive views out towards the Mediterranean.
The course here is pretty special, lush green fairways with fast greens and wide elegant bunkers which seem to litter the course. Being in the foothills of the nearby mountain range means this is one hilly track and along with the 300 plus days of sunshine the region gets, I would thoroughly recommend hiring a buggy. It might also be worth mentioning at this point the course measures a mere 7,000 yards off the back tees…
Over the coming years I would anticipate Aguilon golf growing in stature and receiving more recognition. It’s just a shame it is quite isolated from most other places.
There are 27-holes of golf available to enjoy here at the Hotel Golf Almerimar, a superb 5 star resort located on the Costa Almeria coastline. The resort is approximately 45 minutes’ drive from central Almeria as well as a half hour hop up the coast to the slightly less busy Roquetas de Mar.
The South African Gary Player was the brains behind the two courses here and the first 18-hole course, Almerimar 1, was opened way back in 1967. Over the years it has firmly established itself as one of the best golf courses near Almeria and ever since the opening of the additional 9-holes, it has only grown in stature.
There are wide fairways flanked with numerous palm trees. Although the greens aren’t too challenging, possibly a feature of being a resort course, they are well protected with a fair number being guarded by imposing water features. A lovely course in a beautiful location.
La Envia Golf
The closest of the golf courses on this list to central Almeria, La Envia golf course sits next to a large 5 star hotel which is immensely popular with visiting golfers.
The course was designed by the Spanish golf course architect Francisco Mendoza Montero who did a sterling job working with the natural landscape to create a fun and scenic round of golf. The front nine holes are narrow and tricky, whilst on the hilly back nine they open up and are significantly more forgiving. Queue, driver.
The scenery is breathtaking, with the backdrop to the course the Sierra de Gador mountain range. The site itself is like an oasis with multiple palm trees, mimosas, flowering plants and native shrubs. The course is more often than not in fantastic condition and the course makes a nice change to many of the desert style courses in the region.
A Ramon Espinosa golf course which opened in 2000, Golf Mojacar has some stunning uninterrupted sea views on one side and an imposing mountain backdrop on the other.
Just shy of 6,000 yards long, this is a short course but with plenty of hazards and challenges to keep you on your feet. Two very different nine holes combine, the first nine running along a relatively flat stretch of land close to the coast whilst the second nine climbs a little and is far more undulating.
There is a wide variety of native trees throughout the course including a few small lakes which come into play on a handful of holes. Overall, an enjoyable course in a beautiful setting.