European golf getaways
The summer is coming and the good weather all around Europe makes the keen golfers dream about the great courses on the continent. Just a couple of hours with a plane from all the major UK airports
and everyone looking for a great golf experience for a reasonable prize will find something to brag about at least for the rest of the year.
Take Turkey for example. The Mediterranean coast there is a popular destination for family holidays for a long time. But just a half hour drive from Antalya airport visitors can find one of the new facilities making up the golfing revolution that is taking place in Turkey - The Sueno Golf Hotel in Belek. It offers practice facilities and 36 holes of golf that have been designed and built with a clear purpose in mind: to please those who worship the game. Visitors are attracted to the region by the favourable climate and the warmth of the traditional Turkish hospitality. But one of the secrets of the recent success of Turkey as a golf destination is the sheer quality of the golf that is on offer. The word is spreading about golf in Turkey so if you want to book tee times in Belek, you better hurry up.
And since you are in the region, why not trying another new but very attractive golf destination – Bulgaria. The Thracian Cliffs golf course on the Black sea coast was chosen to host the Volvo World Matchplay in May and there was a good reason for that – the course is one of Gary Player’s masterpieces. Its 18 holes follow the cliff edge on undulating terrain. Carefully selected locations of tees and greens along the 4.5 kilometre coastline guarantee a truly exhilarating golfing experience. And it’s not just a golf course. The resort includes a four star hotel, villa complex, luxury apartments and a marina.
If you prefer the Western part of the continent, then there is one obvious choice – Algarve in Portugal. The flight to Faro will take you to a real golf Mecca. The Sothern tip of Portugal has been a popular holiday destination for many Europeans since the 1960s. But increasingly over the past few decades visitors have been swapping sandy beaches for a sand of a different kind. The Algarve is now one of Europe’s premier golfing destinations and development in the area has increased significantly. There are plenty of options you can choose from when picking up a course. Amendoeira is one of them. Two of golf’s greats - Nick Faldo and Christy O’Connor helped with the design and the former number 1 in the world Lee Westwood has a villa there and can be seen on the Oceanico golf course.
Another golf heaven can be found on the Canary Islands. Situated on the southern coast of Gran Canaria Meloneras Golf is the newest addition to the Golfing landscape there. The distinctive feature of the course are the so called “barrancos” – valleys formed of volcanic rocks, which provide challenging approaches to the greens. Gran Canaria Meloneras Golf offers impeccable views and perfect golfing weather as well.
And if you are one of the golfers that prefer a more exclusive experience, head to Monte Carlo. There just one road high in the mountains over the city leads to the Monte Carlo Golf Club where only the sound of golf balls being hit to spoil the tranquillity. The course is not long but the views along the Mediterranean coastline are stunning. The clubhouse facilities are comfortable and relaxing and where you can cap a memorable day in the mountains. It’s a friendly club and the golf course with its breathtaking views has a charm and uniqueness of its own.