This fall and winter, many Americans may be looking for an alternative to traveling to the Caribbean "“ and we have an idea for them. Portugal and its two sets of Atlantic islands have mild climates, with the added benefit of being nearby, fun and easy to get to. Europeans call Portugal the California of Europe, and with good reason. As cold weather is settling on most of the U.S., playing a decent round of golf seems like a dream, doesn’t it? On the Azores Islands, the climate is mild year-round, and summer weather lasts into December. The island of Sao Miguel–just a 4-hour flight from the eastern United Sates—has two championship courses. The Madeira Islands features several courses and a near-perfect climate, with a warm winter, where temperatures average 67 to 70 ºF. On Portugal’s mainland, the cosmopolitan city of Lisbon, has breathtaking courses within easy reach of the city, or travelers can head south to Portugal‘s Algarve region, where the gentle climate can be enjoyed from a wide array of courses that have established this region as a first class golfing destination. And, in any of these locations, it’s easy to find a first class hotel, top notch shopping, and a myriad of sightseeing opportunities—all of them warm and inviting.

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