At Europe’s most south-easterly point, Cyprus is a mountainous island packed with history, culture, cuisine, and some surprisingly good golf…
Best Golf Courses In Cyprus
In layman’s terms, Cyprus is an island of two halves with a Greek influence to the south and a Turkish one to the north.
It is by legend the birthplace of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love.
The southern/Greek two-thirds of the island is under self-rule, and is an excellent destination for European holidaymakers.
It is also home to a large population of ex-pats, and some very engaging golf courses that make up the bulk of the golf in Cyprus.
Probably the most exciting golf in Cyprus is at the very different Aphrodite Hills.
This was designed by Cabell Robinson getting on for 20 years ago, an architect known for his invention and originality.
It runs over two expansive areas of high ground and cliff-tops right next door to Secret Valley, mentioned further down in the piece.
There are back-to-back stunners at seven and eight, the first a sensational par 3 across a gorge with a heart-stopping access.
The 8th is a dreamy short par 4 to the edge of the cliffs with the balmy backdrop of the azure sea.
Here, there is an ancient olive press in the middle of the fairway.
There are plenty of other very good holes, especially the handful of very attractive par 3s.
With some substantial walks between holes, a buggy is probably a sensible idea, especially when it’s hot.
It is also home to the PGA National Cyprus recognition, the only PGA course in Cyprus, and has a superb driving range and ample practice facilities.
The Aphrodite Hills resort is one of the most luxury on the island and, officially known as the Aphrodite Hills Hotel by Atlantica, it makes for a perfect base for golfers and holidaymakers looking to soak up the Cypriot sun.
The youngest course on the island is Eléa, a par-71 Nick Faldo desert-style design that opened in 2010.
It features his trademark expansive and very visual bunkering.
Running over an elevated hillside setting with some beautiful vistas out to sea, it is kept in tip-top condition.
On the par-5 2nd, you have to cross a dry stream, and the 17th is a brute of a par 4 with a long approach at an angle over a rocky wasteland.
Playable by all, there are still plenty of challenging holes, with a lake protecting the greens at five and nine.
The classy and spacious clubhouse has views down over the course and is a terrific place to unwind in the restaurant or on the terrace.
The food combines local, Cypriot ingredients but with an international flair.
A few miles to the east is the well-named Secret Valley, which is next door to Aphrodite Hills.
This is a charming course that runs through a river gorge where the wind blowing in from the sea can play a significant role.
Subject of a significant upgrade over the years, the course makes the very best of what must have been a difficult routing due to the configuration of the land.
The front nine heads down towards the sea with the back nine returning up the valley and usually benefiting from the breeze.
Choose the right tees, and there is every chance of putting together a decent score.
There are two further courses in Southern Cyprus.
One is Minthis Hills, which used to be known as Tsada.
And there is also Vikla, which is further to the east near Larnaca.
With its hot summers with sea breezes and very mild winters, Cyprus has long been a popular target for holidaymakers.
Now, with its small but varied array of golf, its ever-improving accommodation, cuisine and wines, there is something for everyone.