Why the time is right to take your clubs to this beautiful, sun-kissed Mediterranean island for some world-class golf
By Chris Doyle
1. Cyprus is, quite simply, a Winter Golf Paradise Destination. With mild mediterranean climate, the best months to head there are between October and May. The island is the perfect destination to relax and enjoy some of the best golf courses in Europe.
2. In and around the popular resort of Paphos, there are four outstanding courses to choose from that will be at the top of your list:
This Donald Steel layout was opened in 1994 and is the oldest course on the island of Cyprus. It recently underwent a facelift by Mackenzie and Ebert who are known for their impressive work on Open Championship venues. Located on a 12th century monastery, its mountain views are spectacular across the island. And at 550m above sea level, expect a fair test if the wind is blowing.
Just 18km east of Paphoslies the beautiful Secret Valley. Nestled in the scenic area of Petra TouRomiou, the course utilises the hillside terrain for remarkable sights towards the valley and ocean. Four-time Ryder Cup captain Tony Jacklin was heavily involved in its design, which proves that it truly is a special course.
Six-time major winner and golf legend Sir Nick Faldo designed this Mediterranean masterpiece. Faldo has made sure 18 holes round Elea require strategy as well as skill proving longer holes aren’t always the most difficult. With driveable par-4s on holes six, eight and ten it is a proper risk or reward play. Leave yourself in the wrong position off the tee and you can go from birdie to bogey in a flash.
Overlooking the site where the Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite, is said to have emerged from the sea, this course has some pretty amazing views. Voted as Cyprus’ best golf course by World Golf Awards in 2016, this is a must see on your trip. Situated just 20 minutes from Paphos, it is easy to get to also. Measured at 6,877 yards, it is fair to say you will rely on your driver the whole round. The standout hole is the par-3 seventh, with a 130-metre gorge separating the tee and green.
3. The hotels and resorts in Cyprus match the quality of the golf courses so you can be assured you will be in for a memorable stay. The Almyra, Elysium and Capital Coast Hotels are all able to provide you with high-class facilities. Why not indulge yourself with some spa treatments in between rounds – the perfect way to recuperate so you are good to go again the next day.
4. Paphos has a staggering 27 beaches to choose from - how’s that for choice? The vast majority of them have been awarded the Blue Flag and have the cleanest bathing water in all of Europe. So if you’re a beach person, Paphos is the place to be.
5. Getting around Cyprus is easy. Taxi fares are cheap and the road networks are excellent. Renting a car is a great idea especially if you plan to visit multiple courses. Each course isn’t far from the centre of Paphos so don’t worry about getting lost. People drive on the left hand side of the road as well so that’s another plus.
6. When you’re on holiday, you always want to experience things you won’t get back home. In Cyprus, you’ll have plenty of local cuisine to try that will satisfy your needs:
Souvlaki, or ’souvla’ as the Cypriots call it, is thinly-sliced pieces of meat – lamb, pork, chicken or beef – served on top of pitta bread with a pickled salad, hummus and tzatziki.
Meze is the Cypriot equivalent of Tapas. A selection of hot and old appetisers is usually served with an alcoholic drink. A meze platter would typically include specialties like tahini and taramasalata.
A sweet dessert wine, commandaria was produced near Kolossi Castle by the crusaders of the Commandry of St John in the 12th century.
Cyprus’ national drink is made with Cypriot brandy, lemons, Angostura bitter, soda water (or lemonade) and ice.
7. Direct flights operate out of various UK airports to Larnaca and Paphos International Airports with a flight time of just under five hours. These routes are available throughout the year with airlines such as Aegean Airlines, British Airways, Blue Air, Cobalt, EasyJet, Jet2, Monarch, Norwegian, Ryanair, Small Planet, Thomas Cook and Thomson.
To book your break, or more info, head to visitcyprus.com