An introduction to Spain
In this blog we’re going to explore the best golf resorts in Spain, working along the coastline and focusing on some of the most popular regions.
Some of the most impressive golf resorts are dotted along the southern Spanish coastline, an area immensely popular with golf tourists year on year. Indeed, other than the Algarve in Portugal, this is probably the most popular golf destination in Europe.
There are numerous flights throughout the day serving most major cities along the coast, which means getting to any of these resorts should be quite cost effective.
And let’s be honest, there is something quite appealing about staying in a golf resort rather than doing a golf tour. There is huge convenience with everything being onsite. The golf, the restaurants, the bar, the facilities…you name it, it is there. You also get a far more competitive price.
So without any further ado, let’s start exploring the golf resorts in Spain
The best golf resorts in Murcia Spain
Nestled between Andalusia and Valencia, Murcia is one of the smallest Spanish regions and sometimes overlooked for its more well-known neighbours. The major cities include Murcia and the Roman naval city of Cartagena.
To get here, although there are flights into Murcia, the frequency is limited. Your best bet is flying into Alicante which is around an hour’s drive to both resorts below.
La Manga Golf Resort
Not too far from Cartagena, is arguably the most popular golf resort in Spain, the La Manga Club Golf Resort.
This outstanding 5 star resort has been one of the country’s leading lights for golf, and has since the mid-70s been at the forefront of golf tourism in the country. So much so it has won numerous awards over the years including the prestigious European Golf Resort of the Year.
The complex is as vast as it is impressive, it is like a mini-town! From multiple accommodation options, shops, sporting facilities that attract some of the best sports teams across Europe, a spa, even a petrol station!
But it is the top class golf courses which appeal, with three golf courses rated amongst the country’s best. The South course is the one which gets most recognition and over the years has hosted both the Spanish Open and other high calibre events.
The other two courses, the North and the West, are definitely a little more approachable for mid to high handicappers. Wider fairways are flanked by beautiful palm trees for which the resort is renowned and the large greens aren’t overly challenging.
La Torre Golf Resort
This immense resort was built in 2004 and was the centerpiece of a major golf project during that decade. This was a project with at its heart, the objective to make Murcia one of the leading golf destinations in Europe, let alone Spain.
At La Torre there are over 2,600 properties which surround a Jack Nicklaus designed golf course, one of a selection of courses designed in the area. This is literally a mini-village with many of the properties actually inhabited year-round with many others rented out.
For visiting golfers the accommodation of choice is the 5 star hotel right at the heart of the resort, previously the InterContinental but now at the time of writing the DoubleTree by Hilton. This is a fantastic hotel with an abundance of facilities, including restaurants, bars and a choice of swimming pools.
There are a number of other golf courses within a short drive of the resort, most of which have been built by the Nicklaus Design group. Foremost amongst these include the superb El Valle golf, a desert style course which feels like it would be more at home somewhere like Arizona or Nevada in the US. There is also Saurines Golf and another peach of a course in Hacienda Riquelme, a championship golf course with deep bunkers, lakes and long rough.
The best golf resorts in Almeria Spain
The Costa de Almeria is a coastal region in southern Spain, part of Andalusia and to the east of the Costa del Sol. It is less busy than its more infamous neighbour and offers arguably a more authentic view of life in southern Spain.
Hotel Valle del Este
A short drive from the coast and positioned between Murcia and the city of Almeria, the Hotel Valle del Este is a fantastic resort. Nestled in the hills overlooking the coast, is a contemporary 4 star hotel, modern and stylish but not pretentious.
When onsite, you have an endearing sensation of being at ease with life, away from the hustle and bustle of the city, surrounded by desert landscape as stark as it is beautiful. I find this is most appreciated when settled on one of the many terraces, with a cold drink in hand pondering the day’s events.
Indeed, aside from the many first-class facilities found onsite, the resort is popular for its superb golf course onsite. Another desert style course, it has been crafted out of the barren landscape, running through volcanic rock and large sandy plains. At times it is quite a challenge and that is reflected in the fact it has hosted a handful of national golf events.
Desert Springs Golf Resort
The plateau of Almanzora where the resort is located is a fantastic place to go for a golf trip to Spain. Throughout the winter it stays dry and warm, whilst in the summer it benefits from the coastal breeze and despite being very hot, is not uncomfortably so.
Like many of its predecessors on this list, the resort is located in the desert style landscape, maybe the name being a slight give-away. This makes for some pretty impressive scenery and outstanding golf.
The accommodation is made up of villas, suites, apartments and cottages, and most are to the highest standard, with walled gardens, private pools and the choice of 1 to 4 bedrooms.
The Peter McEvoy designed golf course oozes classic US-style desert golf, with fairways surrounded by sandy run-offs, cactus, volcanic rocks, dry river beds….you name it. Despite the many carries over water and barren wasteland, the fairways are wide and forgiving. A great resort for all types of golfer.
The best golf resorts in Marbella Spain
On Spain’s sunny Costa del Sol sits the city of Marbella, a town famous for its miles upon miles of beautiful beaches. The incredibly popular harbour of Puerto Banus oozes affluence, glitz and glamour. Boutique shops, upmarket restaurants, and mega yachts line the harbour and make this one of the most sought after holiday destinations in the country.
La Cala Golf Resort
Perched up in the hills overlooking the Mediterranean, sits the sprawling golf resort of La Cala, not far from the breathtaking Mijas mountains. Just under a half-hour drive from Malaga, this is one of the most popular resorts in the Costa del Sol and for good reason.
The resort is vast but at the heart sits the four star hotel built in the traditional Andalusian architecture with white-washed walls, clay tiled roofs and pebbled courtyards. It has an exquisite traditional restaurant, large clubhouse and bar onsite with, as to be expected, all the facilities you would expect of a luxury golf resort.
The three onsite golf courses seamlessly stretch out across the expansive and hilly terrain and all possess some truly wonderful views. In fact all three are such high quality, it is difficult to pick one above the others. A buggy is highly recommended, as is a sackful of golf balls…just in case!
Westin La Quinta Golf Resort
The ‘Valley of Golf’ in the Costa del Sol is a ten kilometre stretch with golf course after golf course after, yep you guessed it, golf course. Not far from the pristine beaches of the Costa del Sol, this is a truly eye-catching part of the region, with an impressive backdrop of mountains capturing the fresh sea breeze.
The upmarket resort of Westin La Quinta sits right amongst the other courses in the valley and is quite simply one of the best golf resorts in the country. The hotel is class, modern and contemporary but still displaying a charm and softness which makes it so popular.
There are very few outdoor areas which aren’t perfect for a photo opportunity, with the central pool area particularly attractive especially on an evening. The stunning panorama and scenery continue through into the 27-hole golf course, with views out to the coast and across the ‘Valley of Golf’. Designed by ex-Ryder Cup player Manuel Piñero, the course is a beauty and has some truly fantastic holes. This is a top-class golf resort.
What is the best golf resort in Spain?
So which is the best golf resort in Spain? As with all these things it is truly subjective and quite frankly depends on what you’re looking for.
Are you looking for most courses onsite? Well La Manga or La Cala would fit the bill. Looking for ultimate luxury? Well why not consider the Finca Cortesin resort close to Estepona. Want one of the country’s best golf courses? Maybe PGA Catalunya up near Barcelona.
I’ve had the luxury of staying at many of these resorts, and I’d quite happily stay at any of them given half the chance. Regardless of what you’re looking for on your trip, rest assured there is plenty of choice.