Cyprus – A Small Island With a Big History

Fortunate to enjoy 340 days of sunshine a year and renowned for its friendliness, the historical island of Cyprus makes a popular Mediterranean island for family holidays but is not so well known for golf holidays – the Cyprus Golf Federation only being established in 2000. With only three golf courses suitable for serious golfers, one about to be built, plus one for novices, Cyprus is really a golf plus-something-else destination. But what a lot of something-else the island has to offer!

With a heritage that dates back to 7000BC you will discover impressive archaeological sites nestling amongst the mountains and ancient ruins perched on hilltops overlooking the coastline. The island is steeped in mythology, so for any golfing culture vulture out there, Cyprus might well be your Mecca.

Expect a rugged landscape and dramatic coastline, pine-clad mountains and olive groves, vineyards and long stretches of safe beaches, plus tons of warm hospitality. When is the best time to visit Cyprus? Summers are hot from May to October; then the island cools down but still has lots of sun and little rain from October until December, while December and January enjoy an average of around six hours of sunshine a day. Bear in mind that with a lot of sun and little rain fairways can get dry during hot summer months.

As for golf courses… they are clustered around Paphos and Larnaca and sit in picturesque valley and hillside locations. However, there is no question that Aphrodite Hills Golf Club is the best 18-hole golf course in Cyprus. It takes its name from the birthplace of Aphrodite, which it overlooks, and is located twelve miles east of Paphos. Aphrodite Hills is a Cabell B Robinson-designed Par 71 golf course (6,855 yards) and offers dramatic sea views, undulating hills, and challenging fairways that cut through lakes, olive and carob trees. It’s a tough course. The holes that edge or cross the dramatic ravine that runs along the centre of the course are particularly awe-inspiring. There’s a superb practice range too.

Built in 1996, the Secret Valley Golf & Country Club is also located near Petra Tou Romiou, the legendary birthplace of Aphrodite. It’s a Par 71 course (6,693 yards) which sits in a picturesque valley and features tree-lined fairways and a golf academy. Golfers without a handicap certificate are allowed to play after mid-day (on request, depending on availability). If you are a novice golfer then the Vikla Golf & Country Club is for you; it’s twelve miles from Limassol, a Par 68 course with fine mountain views, and you don’t need a handicap to play.

The facilities at the Tsada Golf Club include a restaurant, bar, swimming pool, tennis court, driving range and short game practice area. Located twenty minutes from Paphos, Tsada Golf Club was created by Donald Steel (but remodelled in 2007) and was the first grass course in Cyprus. The course measures 6,628 yards (Par 72) with sloping fairways lined with fruit trees and grape vines and, due to its elevated position, it enjoys cooling breezes during warm summer months.

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