A true golfer’s paradise, Europe is home to a number of the world’s best and most stunning golf courses ready to leave anyone in awe. They’re scattered throughout the continent, offering an incredible array of challenging landscapes, natural landmarks, and idyllic sceneries, that all make every round of the sport even more thrilling and memorable. With so many options to choose from, it can be a daunting task to decide where to play. That’s why we’ve collated our list of the top golf courses in Europe so you can start an amazing European golf holiday.
1. PGA Catalunya, Stadium Course (Spain)
Situated just north of the wondrous city of Barcelona, PGA Catalunya Stadium Course has cemented its rank as one of the top golf courses in Europe, despite opening its greens only in 1999. More than a decade has been spent on planning its design but all were worth it, given the course’s spectacular beauty. It rambles through the Pyrenees’ foothills and has blended beguilingly with the natural landscape composed of trees and lakes. Often, players are mystified by the picturesque setting. Thus, missing to grasp the fantastic difficulty the course also has to offer. Play this course once and don’t be surprised to return again and again for more rounds of golf.
2. Fontainebleau Golf Course (France)
Nestled in France’s largest forest, Fontainebleau, this historic golf course of the same name possesses a certain splendor as its fairway meanders through different species of towering trees like oak, beech, and pine. Adding to its majesty are the thick outcrops of jennets, lilacs, and ferns, plus well-placed sand bunkers that surround the majority of holes. Stepped in royal association and having a charming resemblance to Southeast England’s best heathland courses – all you’re bound to get is a unique and unforgettable golfing experience.
3. Monte Rei Golf & Country Club (Portugal)
Just 40 minutes away from Faro, Portugal’s southernmost city and the best-known city in the stunning Algarve region, you’ll reach the equally remarkable Monte Rei Golf & Country Club. It’s a 7,224-yard course set amidst 1,000 acres of countryside that provides an exceptional panorama of the Serra do Caldeirão mountains. Every hole in this course is perfectly crafted to fuse with the natural landscape. Meanwhile, expect some challenges as with tricky bunkers and water comes into play in most of the holes. If you want a respite from Portugal’s bustling coastline while enjoying the game you love, Monte Rei is undoubtedly the place to go.
4. Thracian Cliffs (Bulgaria)
Easily one of the most breathtaking golf courses in the world, the Thracian Cliffs is built on a clifftop on the edge of the northern Black Sea’s rocky and rough shoreline. Its 18 holes overlook the vast blue sea and the rugged terrain, making it simply sensational. Indeed, it’s a rare jewel that is continually receiving critical acclaim for its layout and design. Any golfer will appreciate its fairways hastening parallel to the magnificent landscape and drops – just a genuine must-play destination for golfers.
5. Carya Golf Club (Turkey)
Blessed by year-round sun and seamlessly curtailed fairways that veer through the Belek region’s indigenous trees and heather, you’ll definitely adore playing golf at Turkey’s Carya Golf Club. It’s specifically designed to test the skills of experienced golfers but doesn’t mean that players still learning down the ropes won’t enjoy it alike. Plus, its 18 holes have received a major upgrade after the installation of floodlights, making it the first fully floodlit course in the continent. That means the fun never stops in the day, as you can play rounds of golf in Carya Golf Club’s impeccable fairways even at night.
6. Lofoten Links (Norway)
Another relatively new course but never short of awe-inspiring visuals is Lofoten Links in Norway. Nestled on the coastline of Gimsøya in Norway, this course wields the ocean, and rocky banks and sandy beaches as its natural hazards and bunkers, respectively. While its location is not easy to reach, traveling to this course is all worth it. From the end of May to the end of July, the sun never sets in the region, which means you can play under the midnight sun! Come during August to mid-October, cap your golfing day by witnessing the beautiful dancing waves of the Northern Lights at night. With all that, never forget your top golfing equipment and best camera for backpackers to fully relish and document the once-in-a-lifetime golfing experience.
7. Circolo Golf Villa D’Este (Como, Italy)
Swerving its way through uniformly arranged pine, ash, and chestnut trees while taking beautiful Lake Montorfano as its centerpiece, Circolo Golf Villa D’Este promises a scenic challenge to golfers who are brave enough to take on this course. At a mere 6,391 yards, it has some of the most difficult par-69s in entire Europe that requires utmost precision and skill even for the most talented players. Rest assured that all efforts rewarded with some of the best views of Italy can offer.
8. The Scandinavian Golf Club, New Course (Denmark)
A brainchild of Robert Trent Jones Jr. and only opened for play in 2011, the 36-holes of The Scandinavian’s New Course quickly captured the hearts of many golf enthusiasts around the world. Located just 25 kilometers north of Copenhagen, this scenic golf course is crafted in 200 hectares of forests divided by natural streams and ponds. Adding the tranquility and silence from the surrounding environment that remained unspoiled for centuries, there’s no reason for you to miss out on this golf course when in Denmark.
9. Golf Eichenheim (Austria)
For another superb golfing experience in Europe, head to Austria and visit Golf Eichenheim. Built in 2000, this 6,092-meter par-71 18-hole championship course is laid out amidst the majestic Kitzbuhel Alps. As you play golf, enjoy the fresh alpine air, breathtaking natural sceneries, and wide array of flora and fauna that surround the course. All that is matched by outstanding amenities so you can relax after you play your passion.
10. Golf Club Crans-Sur-Sierre (Switzerland)
Since its construction in 1906, the Golf Club Crans-Sur-Sierre has aged gracefully and remained as one of the most beautiful courses in Europe. Sitting on a plateau at a height of 1500 meters above sea level, it offers an invigorating panorama of Mont Blanc and Matterhorn. Sharpen your concentration and strive hard to strike with the best precision once you play here as it’s easy to be taken away by the beautiful views of the mountains at each tee-off.
These world-class and exceptional European courses are one of the top reasons why golf isn’t a boring sport. Note that there are many other top-notch courses to visit in Europe like Greece’s Costa Navarino, Lithuania’s The V Golf Club, Germany’s Hamburger Golfclub e.V. Falkenstein, Sweden’s Bro Hof Slott Golf Club, and needless to say, Scotland’s world-renowned Old Course at St Andrews. Just explore the beautiful European continent and you’ll never run out of exquisite golf courses to play.