For those who consider a round (or more) of golf as an essential part of their holidays, Cyprus offers a year-round option with several courses within easy driving distance of the main coastal towns. The high summer temperatures may necessitate an early or late round, but for the rest of the year the climate on Cyprus provides ideal conditions for golf. Golf is a relatively recent addition to the island landscape, and as a result the courses and facilities are all relatively modern. While it’s easy enough to leave your precise golf arrangements until you arrive in Cyprus, here are three courses near Paphos which you might want to include in your holiday golf plans.
This is the oldest course in Cyprus, having been designed by the famous architect David Steel in 1994, with recent upgrading by the equally celebrated Tom MacKenzie and Martin Ebert. It is set beside the village of Tsada, in the rolling, gently-sloping grounds of a 12th-century monastery. Holes are surrounded by olive groves, grapevines and almond trees, lending a distinctly Mediterranean flavour to the genteel surroundings. It’s a looped course, meaning the both sets of 9 holes begin and end at the clubhouse, allowing an option of a 9- or 18-hole round (with a drink stop in the middle!)
Minthis Hills Golf Club is around 20 minutes’ drive from Paphos. A single round of 18 holes costs between €70 and €85 depending on the season. Minimum handicaps are 28 for men and 36 for ladies.
This prestigious course was designed by Nick Faldo with an emphasis on strategic play rather than big hitting. There are challenges (or riddles, as Faldo calls them) as you make your way around the course, which has retained some of the landscape’s natural features in an attempt to minimise excess water usage and to protect the native wildlife. There’s a very impressive clubhouse with several restaurants and bars, as well as balconies and terraces offering views over the course and down to the sea.
Eléa Estate is on the outskirts of Paphos. A single round of 18 holes costs between €79 and €98 depending on the season, with a discount for online bookings.
Secret Valley Golf Club
Beside the Petra tou Romiou (Aphrodite’s Rock) landmark, said to represent the birthplace of the Greek goddess of love, the landscape around this course is one of mature trees and scenic rock formations. The course was designed in 1996 by architect Iacovos Iacovou, and along with the pretty setting, the club offers a restaurant, one-to-one tuition and even an upmarket villa and apartment complex.
Secret Valley Golf Club is also around 20 minutes’ drive from Paphos. A single round of 18 holes costs between €65 and €90 depending on the season. Minimum handicaps are 28 for men and 36 for ladies (those without a handicap can play in the afternoon by request).