Located in some of the island’s most breathtakingly beautiful areas and factoring in its year-round Mediterranean climate, it’s little surprise that the four golf courses in Cyprus are starting to receive worldwide acclaim.
Some of the most famous architects in the world have laid out the unique courses here – but isn’t it about time you got to know a bit more about each of them? Here's the lowdown...
The first course built in Cyprus was Minthis in 1994. Designed by legendary golf architect Donald Steel and renovated by Mackenzie & Ebert – famed for their work on Open layouts – the course is a flawless example of their philosophy that golf courses should fit into their terrain and be in keeping with their setting.
It winds its way past a 12th century monastery with breathtaking views of the Troodos Mountains and beyond while, in following the land's natural undulations, it loops past water features, ancient groves, olive trees, fruit orchards and grapevines.
Next year will signal the completion of Mackenzie & Ebert’s extensive golf course improvements, including the creation of the new tenth hole. Set outside the current golf course layout in the valley opposite the impressive clubhouse, the par-5 hole will boast panoramic views of the Troodos Mountains, making it a hole with one of the best views in Cyprus’ entire golf offering. The new academy facilites, meanwhile, are dedicated to creating an outstanding learning experience for all.
To top it off, Minthis is a looped course, with each nine returning to the clubhouse. Here, the lounge, terrace and cocktail bar are perfect for post-round drinks, while the restaurant transforms the finest local ingredients into culinary delights.
With stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea and an exquisite setting among natural vegetation, Aphrodite Hills Golf is, quite simply, paradise.
The Cabell Robinson designed course officially opened for play in 2002 and is built on two plateaux, separated by a dramatic ravine, with the staggering 130-metre gorge dividing tees at the seventh hole, providing an enticing challenge.
Taking into account its size and strategic shape, buggies are mandatory to traverse the course, which gives golfers the opportunity to absorb the stunning natural beauty of the vivid landscape that surrounds it. The buggies also come equipped with GPS functionality, the only course in Cyprus to do so.
In early 2018, after a €4m upgrade, Aphrodite Hills attained the highest standard of recognition in golf – the PGA National, Cyprus, while in December 2017 it was named ‘European Golf Resort of the Year 2018’ by the International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO).
The world-class Eléa, part of the prestigious Eléa Estate, meanwhile, is acknowledged as designer Sir Nick Faldo’s ‘Mediterranean Masterpiece’.
At 6,900 yards from the black tees, the golf course - just 8km from Paphos and its airport - commands a striking location above the Mediterranean Sea and has been meticulously crafted through rolling countryside, featuring imposing weathered outcrops of limestone that offer a unique character across the well-bunkered course.
The clubhouse is simply stunning, too. Inspired by Mediterranean architecture, it features several terraces and balconies offering unrivalled and uninterrupted views over the course and down to the Mediterranean Sea.
The course is supported by the Eléa Golf Academy that sits alongside the clubhouse. It features a full length driving range complete with target greens and bunkers, a short game practice area and a stunning putting green, which commands an imposing location overlooking the whole course.
Last but no means least is Secret Valley Golf Resort – an absolute ‘must play’ golf experience. Managed by Troon Golf, it is set in a scenic valley and is surrounded by mature trees, beautiful flowers, stunning rock formations and spectacular tee locations, with expansive vistas through the valley to the sea beyond.
Two-time major champion Tony Jacklin worked in collaboration with Hans-Georg Erhardt and Snorri Vihjalmsson of Golf and Land Design to deliver this masterpiece, which has been dubbed a ‘thinker’s course’. Guests are offered the choice of manual or electric trolleys or buggies with top quality clubs available for hire.
Secret Valley Golf Resort also has a state-of-the-art Troon Golf Academy and magnificent driving range located close to the clubhouse, with grassed tees as well as 22 covered bays, large putting, chipping and pitching greens and indoor facilities including a golf simulator and swing studios.
After a round, guests are welcome to experience the friendly atmosphere of the stunning clubhouse with its balconies overlooking the valley and sunsets over the Mediterranean Sea.
Almost 25 years after the first golf course was built, Cyprus is still relatively new as a golfing haven but with these four world-class golf complexes all within close proximity to one another around the excellent hub of Paphos, there’s plenty of choice and quality on offer.
Planning a golf break?
If so, make sure you check out the 2019 Travel Guide from bunkered. Available to read online, it is a 48-page digital lowdown on the best holiday golf destinations on the planet.