Avid golfers may not have considered Cyprus as the perfect holiday to hone their skills, but the local tourist board is dedicated to ensuring it becomes a big hitter. Edward Stone found out more.
The area becoming known for its courses is Paphos, in the South West - best known as being the birthplace of Aphrodite thousands of years ago. While its courses are relatively new, it’s still a golfer’s paradise to be enjoyed even in winter months.
Elea Golf Club, with close ties to the Amathus Beach Hotel, was designed by six-time Major winner Sir Nick Faldo. It boasts a breath-taking location alongside the Mediterranean and Paphos. The par 71, 18-hole course has been created to challenge golfers of all levels, and incorporates many natural features.
The relatively flat course, peppered with carob and olive trees, will give higher handicaps a chance of scoring well, while a few holes will be a challenge for the more advanced. A good drive is essential on the 17th: the sixty-plus yards of native flora between fairway and green - helping give the estate its environmentally-friendly reputation - is a daunting outlook.
The most exclusive (and at peak season, costing up to £145 a round, the most expensive), Aphrodite Hills Resort was the first all-inclusive golf and hotel development in Cyprus. It has certainly built on this prestigious reputation. The Championship-standard 18-hole course is spread over 6,229m has magnificent views over the Mediterranean – where Aphrodite is said to have emerged from the ocean.
Nestled in the hills close to Kouklia, the Secret Valley Golf Club is undergoing extensive development, expanding to 36 holes and a second clubhouse. Golfers are getting excited as it is designed by US Open Champion Tony Jacklin.
Cyprus isn’t awash with dedicated golf hotels like Aphrodite Hills, but many have attached themselves to courses and offer special packages.The five star Amathus Beach Hotel is the ultimate in convenience and luxury. With a stunning view and grand entrance, guests might be surprised the starting price per room. If you want the ultimate in luxury without the top price tag, choose a Junior Suite, which has a private pool and plenty of space.
It’s just a short walk from Paphos town centre with its ancient ruins and quirky restaurants, but with the facilities on offer, you might opt to stay in. The spa offers endless treatments for “golf widows” and post-match golfers alike.
For those who want a more exclusive “village” feel, with a golf course, shops, spa, and dozens of restaurants on the doorstep, the Aphrodite Hills Resort is for you. Guests won’t be short of options, with ten restaurants on site. And for those whose holiday isn’t all about golf, there are plenty of other things to do. If you feel more at home with a racquet, take advantage of the free tennis courts, or splash out on a lesson at the Annabel Croft Tennis Academy.
Contact Golf Breaks on 0800 279 7988 or visit www.golfbreaks.com.