Setubal & Sesimbra golf holidays
The area South of Lisbon, just over the (very impressive) bridges crossing the Tagus, is inhabited primarily by city commuters; many of whom enjoy a game of golf at the weekend, which has given rise to a number of rather nice Golf Clubs and a few resorts too. Once you get down into the province of Setubal and the seaside town of Sesimbra you enter a greener environment with a rather relaxed ambience - perfect for golf holidays close to Lisbon.
Setubal is more of a business town with traffic and trade heading to and from the Troia ferry that links the South of Portugal with the capital. This makes it great for out-of-season golfing as the town is alive and kicking all year long (it also means that prices are local as opposed to tourist). You may not find much English spoken and you may well find that you are the only tourists in town! However, the locals are very friendly and willing to help so deploying your best sign language should ensure that you end up with what you were after!
Sesimbra on the other hand, is an out-and-out holiday spot due to its long sandy beaches that are sheltered from the Atlantic by the Lisbon headland. An old Portuguese town sits on the hillside sloping down to a seafront (and a classic Portuguese fortress) that has been nicely developed over the years with hotels and restaurants. From here the courses at Aroeira, Quinta do Peru and Montado are very easy to get to as is the legendary Troia.
Setubal & Sesimbra - around and about
Life in Sesimbra revolves mainly around the beach with holidaymakers lazing away on the golden sands or lunching in the shady backstreets. There is a small fort to visit midway along the beach or the castle at the top of the hill that offers great views over the landscape. It's also worth taking a stroll around the point to the active fishing port with its colourful wooden smacks and plenty of activities, including sailing, ocean-fishing and canoeing trips if that takes your fancy?
For a more active day of rest, Setubal has everything: shops, bars and restaurants in the old part of town that offer 'local' prices - so extremely good value. Setubal can be visited on the way back from golf at Troia (if you've the energy left!) or a visit after one of the more local courses (or on a day off?!?) as it's only twenty minutes away. The star attraction at Setubal is the fortress (once a Pousada) with its blue-tiled chapel and sunny terrace, where you can lunch or take a coffee and gaze out from the parapets over the town, the sweeping Sado river, the Troia peninsula and the Atlantic Ocean: breathtaking.