Palheiro | NCG Top 100s: European Golf Resorts

Palheiro is not just the leading resort on the NCG Top 100 European Golf Resorts to be based on the Atlantic archipelago of Madeira, but it is actually one of the only golfing venues on the archipelago. The stunning golf course is complemented by incredible views of the Atlantic Ocean, the Casa Velha do Palheiro, Palheiro Village and Palheiro Gardens.

Cabell Robinson, the world-renowned golf course architect, was the man behind the 18-hole championship layout at Palheiro, one that winds its way through the trees, flowing up and down the natural landscape of the region. Four of the five par-3s play downhill, but we all know that means that the par-4s and par-5s play longer as they flow back up those same slopes.

The resort is also the home to a stunning Golf Academy, which takes youngsters in from the age of 3, right the way up to 21, and helps them with the sport. There are tournaments held both on the archipelago of Madeira and on the mainland of Portugal, with the intention of pushing these youngsters into a professional career in the sport.

Away from the course, the Palheiro Gardens are a sublime spot to spend an afternoon, relaxing in and around the gorgeous horticulture on offer, some of which was planted centuries ago. The gardens sit more than 500 metres above sea-level, with incredible views out onto the Atlantic Ocean.

There are two marvellous accommodation options at Palheiro - the Casa Velho do Palheiro and Palheiro Village. The former is the resort’s main hotel, which has the spa facilities in, while Palheiro Village is a collection of apartments and villas to provide a more private stay for groups and families.

Visit Palheiro’s website here.

Palheiro Overview | NCG Top 100s: European Golf Resorts

Palheiro Golf Course

The Palheiro Golf Course is one of the best courses on the archipelago of Madeira, with the championship 18-hole lay-out flowing through incredible woodland and vegetation. The club was established in 1998, making it one of the older golf courses on the archipelago.

Designed by world-renowned golf course architect Cabell Robinson, the lay-out plays as a Par 72 and there are plenty of elevation changes on the course. From the highest points, there are stunning views of Madeira’s mountainous skyline and the Atlantic Ocean. 

Four of the five par-3s on the course play downhill. Only the par-3 13th is level, and although the carry over the lily-covered slopes is not far (140 yards or so from the back tees), the visuals from the tee make it feel much longer.

Palheiro Golf Academy

The Palheiro Golf Academy is aimed at getting youngsters from the archipelago of Madeira into the game of golf. As one of just a handful of golf courses on the archipelago, Palheiro’s Golf Academy takes in around 50 students each year for its annual courses.

From helping kids learn the fundamentals of the sport, with putting, chipping and then the full swing, to fine-tuning the swings of teenagers and young adults who could possibly try and make the grade at a professional level, the Academy aims to help children of all ages.

Edgar Rodrigues is the man behind the Academy, and the Head Professional at the Palheiro Golf Resort. He has been a part of the club for three decades, and also takes the time to help adults to improve their games as well. 

Palheiro Spa powered by Ashoka

Ashoka is the spa on site at Palheiro, where the goal is to help guests relax and unwind. The spa uses a range of holistic methods, and the five elements - fire, water, air, space and earth.

Ashoka has a team of certified professionals and therapists ready to provide excellent care and treatment during a stay at the spa. There are a range of massages, treatments and facials, including Ayurvedic massages, with four exclusive treatment rooms ready for guests to relax in. 

The spa’s facilities include both outdoor and indoor pools, of which both have massaging jets, and a Finnish sauna. There is also a fitness studio decked out with the latest Technogym equipment. In addition, there are tennis and badminton courts, and a jogging trail to allow guests to work out in the sun as well as indoors. 

Stunning Accommodation

There is a range of accommodation options at the Palheiro Golf Resort. Split into two sections - Palheiro Village and Casa Velha do Palheiro - there is something for all parties when looking at travelling to the archipelago of Madeira.

Palheiro Village
Palheiro Village offers guests a home away from home on the archipelago of Madeira. There is a stunning choice of luxury apartments and villas at Palheiro Village, with a wonderful selection of facilities available for guests to use as well.

Palheiro Village is situated on the hilltop, overlooking the city of Funchal. Guests can enjoy privacy and incredible views with a stay in Palheiro Village, with each of the accommodation offerings being furnished and well-equipped.

The range of apartments can provide something for all parties, with one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments on offer at the Village, Meanwhile, there is a glorious array of villas as well, coming with either their own private garden or pool.

Casa Velha do Palheiro
The Casa Velha do Palheiro was originally constructed at the beginning of the 19th Century by the Conde de Carvalhal. The building underwent an extensive restoration and renovation in the mid-1990s, eventually opening as a hotel in 1997.

Today, the Casa Velha offers guests the chance to embrace more than 200 years of history, while enjoying modern amenities and elegant comfort. Each room combines classic design with contemporary touches for the highest standards of luxury.

In 2022, the main building of the Casa Velha do Palheiro went under a transformation, bringing a brand new design to the rooms of the building. There are now Double Rooms and Junior Suites in the main building, while the Casa Velha also has a Golf Wing and a Garden Wing, both of which have accommodation in. 

Palheiro Gardens

Madeira is known as the ‘Garden Isle’, as pretty much anything and everything seems to be able to grow on the fertile soil. The gardens at Quinta do Palheiro prove exactly that and are famous for the variety of plants on offer and the setting in the hills.

At 500 metres above sea level, the views out over the Atlantic Ocean are sublime. Palheiro Gardens offer guests a stunning place to enjoy a walk, whether in the sunshine or as the sun sets over the waters on the horizon.

FAQs about Palheiro

Where is Palheiro located? 
Palheiro is situated on the archipelago of Madeira, in the North Atlantic Ocean. The resort is located just a couple of miles inland from the coast of the Atlantic, just to the east of the city of Funchal.

What is the nearest airport to Palheiro? 
The Aeroporto da Madeira Internacional Cristiano Ronaldo, named after the footballing star, is the main airport on the archipelago of Madeira. It is the fourth busiest airport in Portugal, operating flights to more than 60 destinations each week, including several in the United Kingdom.

Does Palheiro offer golf lessons? 
Edgar Rodrigues is the Head Professional at Palheiro, and he is the man who will help visitors and members alike with fine-tuning their games. From beginners learning the game to experienced players looking to tweak their swing, Rodrigues and his team of professionals will be on hand to help.

What are the green fees at Palheiro? 
Day tickets at Palheiro will cost €120 for visitors, while these prices are cheaper for guests of the hotel on the resort. To find out the exact price, guests will have to contact the hotel themselves. 

What accommodation is on offer at Palheiro? 
The array of accommodation at the Palheiro Golf Resort is wide-ranging, but incredible. From the luxury villas and apartments at the Palheiro Village which offer serenity and tranquillity, to rooms and suites at the Casa Velha do Palheiro, there is something for everyone at the resort.

What other resorts are nearby? 
Palheiro is the only resort in Madeira on the NCG Top 100 European Golf Resorts list, and one of the only golf courses on the archipelago. Santo de Serra is located around half an hour to the north from Palheiro.

Visit Palheiro’s website here.