The course is pleasing on the eye from any angle undulating fairways and lightning fast greens, which shine with a glassy menace to the ham fisted putter! Areas of waste sand and light rough are all part of the fun and it is without doubt a penalty to veer off the fairways, but with some inventive recovery shots the damage to the card need not be too great. There is not much in the way of water hazards and the course is neatly arranged in two loops, giving front and back nines an easy access to the clubhouse. From the back tees in a strong wind this could easily be a brute, but from the white or yellow tees it is a perfect length for almost all golfers. What is really pleasing is the absence of rules. Buggies can be used almost anywhere and paths are made up of sand. The club runs a number of busy golf tournaments for the members and visitors to the club, but at most other times the course is lightly used a crying shame, for it is a genuine classic.
The course has a good deal of sandy rough, lightly planted with desert scrubs, which allow a reasonable recovery from a stray shot. The greens are fast and beautifully conditioned with the subtle undulations that you would expect from a master course designer. There are plenty of run off areas, and pines are dotted around the whole site.
The hotel, surrounding apartments and contemporary villas have been laid out in a very modern way the clean-cut lines were originally part of the seventies planning and are crisp in shape, and provide excellent accommodation for residents and visitors. Almost all of the various apartments and studios have a water front view it may be of the man-made lagoon, the bay or directly out onto the Atlantic - but everyone has a front row position. Out towards the Atlantic there is a network of boardwalks across the dunes to give access to the sandy beaches at as many points as possible.
Almost the whole of the Troia peninsula is owned by Sonae SGPS one of the largest business groups in Portugal, which also operates in Spain, Greece, Germany, Italy, Turkey and Brazil. Sonae is a major player in Portuguese real estate and retailing and also has investments in telecommunications, tourism, venture capital, and the media. The company chairman is Belmiro Mendes de Azevedo, who is now in his seventies. His family are fully involved in the development of the area and his three sons hold key appointments within the group. The companys diversification is considerable, and across Portugal and beyond they own and operate large shopping centres, supermarkets, ferries and a host of other businesses. They have poured investment into the Troia peninsula over the last ten years, now owning and running the magnificent course, the main hotels, a range of luxury apartments, the marina, supermarket and shopping area. Their total investment has been over 400milllion and the results are starting to pay huge dividends for the area.
The government are very keen to encourage responsible development and have encouraged Sonae Tourismo to take full responsibility for environmental heritage of Troia. The Roman ruins are part of this heritage, which are a treasure trove of ancient artefacts and date back thousands of years. The near lagoon nature of the natural harbour formed by the Troia Peninsula has created an excellent port area and salt marshes, which the Romains cultivated to use as their major dried fish production. Salted fish was used across the empire and was a great source of inexpensive protein for their armies, as well as a delicacy in Rome.
The food specialities of the area are mainly found in fish, as this is still a crucial fishing area for the Portuguese economy. There are also superb pork and rabbit dishes, which are a local speciality. Everyone in Portugal is interested in food and the restaurants everywhere serve excellent fare at reasonable prices. Escola the Portuguese name for school is a great find and as its name might suggest was once the local school. The views at La Comparta Caf across the dunes and the Atlantic are a wonderful match for its food. Perfect steaks and red snapper can be washed down with some delightful rose wine.
With its sandy subsoil, the whole island enjoys a holiday feel and this is precisely where it is now positioned as a classic Portuguese get away.
TAP, the national Portuguese carrier, has the best service with abundant daily flights from Gatwick. Flights from London take around two hours and the total transfer time to Troia including the ferry ride is about an hour. Transfers are available with the resort or independently and the car hire rates are reasonable for those wanting maximum flexibility.
Dolphins are part of the greeting party for visitors to the resort and there is a strong business in following the local colony around the peninsula. They may not be tame enough to swim with, but they are a delight to watch as they playfully frolic in the wake of the boats, often jumping in formation.
Groups of golfers are welcome at Troia and for those coming with a visiting professional, there is plenty of space and genuine warmth for visiting coaches to train and teach their group on site. The range is well appointed and provides plenty of grass teeing areas and several well groomed greens for putting and short game practice.
GRN-OGRO caught up with Ricardo Ferreira who is Operations Director of the resort
We are very proud of the way the resort has been developing over the last few years. Our real estate department is obviously moving a little slower than in times past, but prices are holding up very well. We are very pleased with the number of golfing tourists who are returning year after year to us. Troia is a very special place for many Portuguese and they have coming to the area for years often since they were children. The company has now invested to such a great extent that there is so much more for families to do as well as golf. We have horse riding, football, tennis and a selection of exciting watersports wind and kite surfing are renowned in this area, which has the perfect combination of wind at certain times of the year. Many of our customers are now starting to come from the UK and we would be delighted to welcome more groups and individuals to Troia. We know its special and the word is spreading that it is a great place to visit.
Recognized nationally and internationally as one of the finest golf courses in Portugal, troia golf championship course was also ranked by the 'Golf World' magazine in 2011 as the 32nd best Golf Course in Europe.
Modernity, comfort and functionality materialize into 365 apartments with contemporary decor in neutral tones and environments, combined with well-being at Wellness Centre (which has indoor and outdoor pools, sauna, jacuzzi, Turkish bath, spa services, fitness room) to provide unique stays.
At Aqualuz Troia, while the little ones have fun at Troia kids, families can choose from a break in the Atrium Bar, a meal at Azimute Restaurant or one of many activities designed to discover the vast environmental and cultural heritage of the Peninsula, available throughout the year.
From the beaches to swimming pools, tennis courts, biking, walking, dolphin watching, golf, water sports and visits to Roman ruins, there are several options for different motivations.
Aqualuz Suite Hotel also offers a business center, six meeting rooms equipped with latest technologies and parking facilities, meeting the conditions in which working hours can be carried out efficiently and smoothly.
Enquire & Book Direct
Tel: +351 265 105 500
All prices quoted are subject to change and availability. Please contact the resort directly to confirm all costs, dates and booking arrangements.
Travel options: Getting there TAP Portugal (0845 601 0932, flytap.com) flies from Heathrow, Gatwick and Manchester to Lisbon up to 8 times a week, with one-way fares starting at 114 from London, including all taxes and surcharges.
- Swimming Pool
- Water sports