Best Golf Courses In Cyprus

At Europe’s most south-easterly point, Cyprus is a mountainous island packed with history, culture, cuisine, and some surprisingly good golf…

Aphrodite Hills 7th hole pictured
The seventh at Aphrodite Hills is one of the most dramatic and inventive holes you will find anywhere
(Image credit: Rob Smith)

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.

Aphrodite Hills

An aerial view of the par-3 twelfth at Aphrodite Hills

Probably the most exciting golf in Cyprus is at the very different Aphrodite Hills (opens in new tab).

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.

The par-3 seventh is one of the most original short holes you will find anywhere

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.

The stunning 8th hole

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.

Aphrodite Hills is an exceptional five-star resort

With some substantial walks between holes, a buggy is probably a sensible idea, especially when it’s hot.

As evidence of its quality, Aphrodite Hills hosted back-to-back European Tour events in 2020 won by Callum Shinkwin and Robert MacIntyre.

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.

Eléa

The eleventh hole at Eléa with the ocean in the distance

The youngest course on the island is Eléa (opens in new tab), 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.

The long second hole with Faldo’s distinctive bunkering very much in evidence

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.

A view from the sixteenth green looking up to the clubhouse

Playable by all, there are still plenty of challenging holes, with a lake protecting the greens at five and nine.

The stylish clubhouse at Eléa sits above the course

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.

Looking down over the closing green with the course below and the blue sea beyond

The food combines local, Cypriot ingredients but with an international flair.

Secret Valley

The closing green at Secret Valley with the welcoming clubhouse beyond

A few miles to the east is the well-named Secret Valley (opens in new tab), 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.

The third hole is a short par 4 down towards the river bed

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.

Looking back down the tough eleventh, stroke index 2, with trouble right all the way

The front nine heads down towards the sea with the back nine returning up the valley and usually benefiting from the breeze.

The par-3 fourteenth offers a birdie chance in the base of the valley

Choose the right tees, and there is every chance of putting together a decent score.

The closing hole is the shortest of the par 5s at Secret Valley but you need to stay out of the sand

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.

Rob Smith
Contributing Editor

Rob Smith has been playing golf for more than 40 years and been a contributing editor for Golf Monthly for over ten years, specialising in course reviews and travel. He has now played more than 1,170 different courses in almost 50 countries. Despite lockdowns and travel restrictions in 2021, he still managed to play 80 different courses during the year, 43 of them for the first time. This included 21 in 13 days on a trip to East Lothian in October. One of Rob's primary roles is helping to prepare the Top 100 and Next 100 Courses of the UK&I, of which he has played all but nine. During the 2021-22 review period, Rob has played 34 of the Golf Monthly Top 200. He is a member of Tandridge Golf Club in Surrey where his handicap hovers around 16. You can contact him at r.smith896@btinternet.com.