Nestling in the warm waters of the eastern Mediterranean and with an average year-round temperature of 24ºC, it’s easy to see why Cyprus has been a long-standing holiday hot-spot for sun lovers, beach bums, night clubbers… and now golfers.
So just how has it put itself so firmly on European golfing map?
As a golfer, there can be fewer better experiences than a round of golf on a beautiful links course in the warm afternoon sun, and the Aphrodite Hills resort near Paphos offers exactly that – all year round.
Set across four miles of stunning coastline, the 18 hole, 71 par course meanders through olive and carob trees, has a breath-taking 130 metre gorge at the seventh hole and offers a challenging mix of manicured Bermuda grass fairways, tiered greens and pot bunkers.
And once the golf is over you can hit the 19th hole in the resorts luxurious bar and restaurant.
Aphrodite Hills isn’t the only reason Cyprus is a growing golf resort though – the island has an abundance of stunning golf courses.
Best kept secret
Just to the east of Paphos, and ten minutes from Aphrodite Hills, is Secret Valley Golf club – an 18 hole, 71 par course set in a scenic valley surrounded by mature trees and natural rock formations.
The course begins gently enough but some tricky water hazards means it gets more challenging as you progress towards the 18th. And to make the most of the courses stunning surroundings, it’s best to play early morning or late evening when the shadows are lengthening.
Head for the hills
Away from the coastline, and some 550 metres above sea level, Minthis Hills is the island’s oldest golf course and is situated in the grounds of the twelfth century monastery from which it takes its name.
Set high up in the hills, this 18 hole, 71 par course is perfect if the heat of the coastline gets a bit too much as it enjoys refreshing cool breezes even during the hot summer months. Its 18 holes are surrounded by grapevines, olive trees and water features, while the mountain views provide a stunning backdrop.
And the course is set in a loop with the back nine leading all the way back to the clubhouse – so no need to trek back after putting the 18th.
To Elea and back
Having opened in 2010, the Elea golf course is one of the island’s newest courses and arguably the best – designed by Sir Nick Faldo the course has made Golf Magazine USA’s top 10 new international courses and has quickly become one of the Mediterranean’s top tees.
The challenging 18 hole, 72 par course has bunkers guarding the greens and fairways and makes the most of its natural surroundings, winding through carob trees, weathered limestone formations and offering stunning sea views.
If you’re looking to get away on a golfing holiday the year-round clement climate and stunning courses of south-west Cyprus make the eastern Mediterranean one of the best bets whatever time of year you’re travelling.