Although the art of golf first reached the shores of Cyprus quite a few decades ago with the opening of the first course within the British Sovereign Base at Akrotiri, it was the opening of the Tsada Golf Course in 1994 which truly marks the beginning of the game’s spread across Aphrodite’s Isle.
Since those days, golf in Cyprus has experienced a veritable explosion in popularity especially due to the growing influx of immigrants and holidaymakers from the UK.
Now, just 13 years after Tsada’s opening, Cyprus already features three additional courses (not including those in the British bases), with another eleven to fourteen being constructed during the coming 3 to 5 years in a concerted effort to put the Republic of Cyprus firmly on the international golfing map.
What about the Republic’s existing golf courses?
The Aphrodite Hills Golf and Country Club:
Located near the village of Kouklia, about halfway between Limassol and Paphos, this spectacular complex is currently considered to be the jewel in the crown of golf in Cyprus. This 6269 metres spectacular course is located on two plateaux separated by a ravine running down to the nearby coast, plays to a par 70/71 and offers some truly spectacular views of the Mediterranean Sea.
The Secret Valley Golf and Country Club:
First opened in 1996, Secret Valley was the second golf course to be opened in Cyprus. As the name implies, it is located in a secluded little valley, so close to Aphrodite Hills that some of Aphrodite Hills’ golf properties actually overlook the Secret Valley course. This particular venue is currently undergoing a major expansion programme which is set to make it one of the finest golf resorts in the Mediterranean, but more of these plans shortly.
Tsada Golf Course:
Cyprus’ original golf course is still considered by many to provide the best playing experience of any course on the island. Set at an altitude of around 500 metres above sea level in the hills above Paphos, Tsada is never without a cooling breeze. Its elevation also puts it well above the coastal humidity zone, so it offers a pleasant playing experience, even in the heat of the Cypriot summer.
Vikla Golf Course:
Unlike the Republic’s three other courses; Vikla is not located in the Paphos area. Instead it is set in the hills above Limassol, just a few miles north-east of the town. Originally designed as a 9-hole course, Vikla was later extended and now offers a decidedly family-orientated playing experience. With no handicap certificate required, this course provides an ideal starting point for novice golfers.
But what of the new golf courses in Cyprus?
Some time ago, the Cypriot government, in association with the Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO), declared its unswerving commitment to firmly establish Cyprus’ place on the international golfing scene by issuing licences for the construction of a further eleven golf courses across the island.
Whilst there can be no doubt that all of these courses will be well designed and thought out, there are nevertheless two venues which have attracted more attention from golfers (and indeed overseas homebuyers) than any of the others.
With the addition of a further three courses to the existing facility, this is easily the most ambitious and luxurious golf development in Cyprus and, once finished will see the resort rivalling such exclusive destinations as Vale dos Lobos, Sun City and La Manga.
But golf courses are not the only thing being constructed at Secret Valley. In addition, the resort will also include a large number of highly exclusive golf properties, a retail village, leisure & fitness centre, football & tennis academies, two 5-star hotels, a seafront entertainment & water sports complex and 500 metres of manmade beach.
There is no question that, once works have been completed, the Secret Valley Golf and Country Club will become the Jewel in the Crown of golf in Cyprus, if not the entire Mediterranean.
Larnaca Golf Course and Country Club:
Whilst not as grand a plan as Secret Valley, the Larnaca golf course has nevertheless attracted an awful lot of attention, simply because it is set to become the first 18-hole grass course in the island’s east. Set just outside the small village of Tersefanou near Larnaca, this course will form the heart of a large scale leisure and residential golf complex, including hotels, shops, bars, restaurants and more which is sure to turn it into a main attraction for the Larnaca area.
If, like many avid golfers, you are tired of the rain, floods, fog and the generally damp playing environment found in the UK, you might want to consider taking a look at Cyprus. With an average 326 days of sunshine each year, there is certainly no shortage of opportunities to play its courses, both current and future. Vale Tourism.