Falling in love with Cyprus


Cyprus has a rich cultural heritage dating back over 10,000 years and is steeped in myth, legend and tradition. Most tourist guides will provide wealth of information about Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love who originated from this beautiful land.Today, this very modern territory blends its history with the comforts and conveniences of a contemporary European lifestyle. As the third largest island in the Mediterranean, it has long been a crossroads between three continents. The island’s landscape ranges from sandy beaches to pine-covered mountains and this, combined with an ideal climate, friendly communities and prospering economy, makes Cyprus a must see destination this year.
Cyprus enjoys a Mediterranean climate, with abundant sunshine all year round which makes for ideal golfing conditions. Long, dry summers and mild winters are separated by short autumn and spring seasons. International airports in Larnaca and Paphos are served by over 30 airlines operating regular flights to more than 260 destinations worldwide. Shipping services through the ports of Larnaca and Limassol include cruise liners and cargo vessels, operated by the island’s merchant fleet, the fifth largest in the world.
Paphos, the mythical birthplace of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty is situated on the southwestern coast of Cyprus. It is home to a great extent of the island’s rich cultural heritage including a medieval fortress, frescoed tombs and remarkable mosaics. Almost an open air museum in itself, UNESCO added the entire town to its world heritage list. In addition to its rich culture, Paphos also offers all the essentials of a cosmopolitan city, including stylish boutiques, fine restaurants serving culinary delights, traditional taverns, great hospitality, modern amenities, first-class medical facilities and great cafes.
With four excellent and very different golf courses within 20 minutes reach, the seaside town of Paphos has become a popular golfing holiday destination.
Situated on a protected Natura 2000, amongst an unspoilt panorama of rolling hills, lies Minthis Hills. The resort is in the heart of Paphos’ wine producing region where quaint traditional villages and views of the Mediterranean Sea provide an authentic experience of Cyprus. Minthis Hills is within easy reach of local areas and is only 10 minutes from Paphos town and only 20 minutes from Paphos international airport. The course was designed by Donald Steel in 1994 and is the oldest course in Cyprus and has undergone extensive enhancement by Mackenzie & Ebert.
The course enjoys a historical location, situated in the grounds of a twelfth century monastery, Stavros Tis Minthis, from which the resort took its name. The picturesque setting and mesmerising mountain views provide the perfect backdrop for a challenging game with its fairways making their way through the water features, mature vegetation, grapevines, walnut, almond, and olive trees. The 13th hole is no doubt the signature hole and has been transformed into a superb island green. Minthis Hills Golf Academy is dedicated to improving your game while making it all the more enjoyable, covering all aspects, including full swing, short game, course management, practice techniques, mental training and correctly fitted equipment. The academy also offers a stunning Driving Range with 16 elevated tees with fine views of the Troodos Mountain range. The pro shop is located in the clubhouse and offers the latest golf fashion, apparel and equipment from leading golf and designer brands.
The Clubhouse is the social heart of the resort, enjoying fantastic views of the golf course and dramatic valley. The impressive architecture has been complemented by designer interiors and commissioned sculptures providing an ideal social atmosphere. The lounge, golf terrace and cocktail bar offer the perfect space for pre and post-game drinks, while the restaurant, with its award winning culinary team, which were trained by Alain Ducasse, transforms the finest local and international ingredients into culinary delights. With over 2,000sqm of space, Minthis Hills offers the perfect venue for your corporate and private events.
Minthis Hills offers private residences which gives its inhabitants the chance to truly unwind and indulge in the pleasures of contemporary living. At 560 metres above sea level the area enjoys a microclimate, benefitting from cool breezes and low humidity during the warm summer months. The laid back lifestyle at Minthis Hills is complemented by a selection of nature trails and mountain bike paths that weave through the dramatic terrain. It’s the perfect way to explore the resort’s spectacular landscape and absorb the energising fresh air.
Minthis Hills is an eco-conscious development that respects the heritage, natural resources and traditional values of Cyprus. On a site spanning almost five million square metres, just 2% will be built on while the rest will remain recreational space and untamed nature.
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With stunning views to the Mediterranean and its exquisite setting among natural vegetation, Aphrodite Hills Golf is paradise for the golfing enthusiast, be it an advanced or intermediate player. The magnificent 18hole Championship Aphrodite Hills Golf Course was designed by acclaimed architect Cabell Robinson and officially opened in 2002. Crowned as the Best Golf Course in Cyprus in the Annual World Golf Awards in 2014, this champion standard magnificent 18-hole championship golf course spreads over 6299 metres. Beautifully manicured fairways line the golf course.

It is the perfect mix of manicured fairways of lush Bermuda grass, generous tiered greens and challenging pot bunkers. Visually spectacular, the course expands through indigenous olive and carob trees and is built on two plateaus of a mountain separated by a dramatic ravine. The par3 seventh, where you have to conquer a 130 meter gorge, is the perfect opportunity to put your skills to the test. At the Aphrodite Hills, ‘Golf Academy’, encourages players of all abilities to learn and improve their game at the Aphrodite Hills 3-hole Golf Academy, where a team of four resident PGAqualified golf professionals equipped with a ‘full video swing analysis system’ are on hand to provide the very best in one-on-one golf tuition.
With a large, double-ended driving range, a short game area with a large pitching and chipping green, Aphrodite Hills Golf is a simply perfect environment for learning the basics of golf and perfecting your skills before progressing to the full course.

The Aphrodite Hills Pro Shop carries an extensive range of golfing equipment and stylish apparel from the world’s leading brands. The luxurious, award winning, five-star Aphrodite Hills Hotel is uniquely and scenically located on a plateau overlooking the legendary birthplace of Aphrodite amidst the glittering blue Mediterranean Sea, the hotel fabulously combines the classic with the contemporary. Ideal for both couples and families alike, Aphrodite Hills Hotel is the perfect getaway for those wanting to just relax as well as sports enthusiasts looking to improve their swing or backhand. Contemporary, elegant and set in an area steeped with Cypriot culture, mythology and tradition, the hotel is a lifestyle haven for devotees of luxury and comfort and the first Resort hotel of its kind in Cyprus.
The diverse range of first-class facilities offer something to suit each and every visitor; whether it’s luxurious accommodation, world-class sports facilities, fine dining, relaxation, entertainment or top quality business amenities, the Resort offers it all.
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The Secret Valley Golf Club is probably the most prestigious golf course in Cyprus, located in the famous area of Petra tou Romiou, the birthplace of Aphrodite, 18km east of Paphos and 49km west of Limassol. It is a convenient 10min Drive from Paphos International Airport.
The golf course measures 5,700m and plays to a par 71 which provides golfers with a fun game of golf. The course is carefully laid out in the natural landscape within the mature vegetation in the lower part of the valley giving it right away a distinct setting within Cyprus. It utilises the steep hillside terrain for spectacular tee locations and long views towards the valley and ocean.

The course architects Hans-Georg Erhardt and Snorri Vilhjalmsson of Golf & Land Design with Tony Jacklin, four times Ryder Cup Captain and Winner of the British Open and US open, providing his signature for the New Secret Valley Golf Course lends even further proof of its exclusivity. And to add more golfing excitement, a floodlight 3-hole loop for evening play is conveniently located at the lowest end of the golf courses where the beach development connects with the golf course. The Golf Academy is located close to the clubhouse with grassed tees as well as 22 covered bays. Large putting, chipping, and pitching greens plus indoor solutions with golf simulator and swing studios all complete the modern practice area.
Secret Valley’s own PGA Golf Professional is available to give tuition for all ages and abilities, whether it’s for a complete beginner, an experienced golfer or a large group, lessons will be tailored to suit each individual requirement. After a fulfilling game of golf, players are invited to the sociable Clubhouse to enjoy refreshments as they take in the tranquility of the valley and admire its surroundings.
The Secret Valley golf course has some of the most tasteful villas and apartments built to accommodate the large number of golfers it gets each year, and even people living or staying in Larnaca or Limassol and the surrounding villages such as Souni, with its beautifully designed pine villas, Kalogiri and Pissouri find the trip to the Secret Valley golf course well worth a visit.
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Close to both the sea and the thriving town of Paphos in Cyprus, Eléa Estate’s unique location is the best of both worlds. The peace and tranquillity of the rolling countryside at your door and only 10 minutes to the vibrant town of Paphos with great transport links – including an international airport – are within easy reach. Situated at the heart of the prestigious Eléa Estate is the Golf Club which offers world-class golf in a stunning setting. The par 71, 18-hole course, designed by Sir Nick Faldo, incorporates natural features to evoke a truly Mediterranean feel and is offer referred to as ‘Sir Nick Faldo’s Mediterranean Masterpiece’. Opening in 2010, the team at Elea Estate was mindful of its environmental responsibilities and has heavily invested in the sustainability of the course ensuring that the landscape integrates with native plants and wildlife.

The 6,900-yard layout circulates through groves of mature carob and olive trees, while dramatic outcrops of weathered limestone strikingly contrast with the dark green fairways that, on many holes, are fringed by Mediterranean grasses and an abundance of wild herbs and native flora. Created by a legend, cared for by a dedicated team and already attracting international interest, Elea Estate Golf Club is set to be not only one of the best golf courses in Cyprus, but is already winning accolades as one of the leading golf destinations in Europe and beyond. Golf Magazine in the USA, ranked Elea Golf Club as one of the ‘Top 10 New International Golf Courses of 2010 and the Top100golfcourses.co.uk, golf course ranking website positioned Elea as its ‘Number One golf course in Cyprus’.

Eléa Estate’s stylish clubhouse incorporates several terraces and balconies offering unrivalled and uninterrupted views across the course and down to the Mediterranean. A stunning 2,260 square-metre terraced clubhouse, plus 1,963 square-metres of underground parking, sits above the course with spectacular vistas.
Taking advantage of the unique Cyprus climate, blending indoor and outdoor space is a key Eléa Estate element and the sliding doors of the clubhouse’s stunning double height reception room create a warm and inviting atmosphere. The clubhouse boasts both private members bars and as well as several restaurants and bars. From cosy fireplaces for those rare chilly evenings and the peaceful library area, to lively bars and a la carte restaurants, the Eléa Estate Clubhouse has been created to cater for your every need. The Elea Golf Academy alongside the clubhouse, 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. With these spectacular Resorts and top class golf courses – it is clear that Cyprus is firmly on the map as a leading golf destination, and the combination of great weather, international accessibility – will ensure it quickly becomes a destination of choice for golfers across the globe.
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Dermot Synnott
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