Greece has a little something for everyone, from remote beaches to hyperactive cities. But we have to admit that it’s mostly famous for its unique landscapes that offer beauty in abundance to please the eye while you relax your body and mind. Add to this, the rich Greek culture and cuisine, the wonderful climate, with mild winters and sunshine throughout the year, as well as the exceptional luxury accommodation infrastructure to complete the ideal vacation experience. Or maybe the ideal golfing experience in one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world?
Greece is famous for its unique landscapes that offer beauty in abundance to please the eye while you relax your body and mind
Think about it. Picture yourself a part of these beautiful scenes enjoying your favourite sport – golf. Golfing in Greece is a delightful experience, which has flourished in recent years due to the ideal conditions for golf holidays, as its good weather and a good amount of hours of sunshine along the year. These are more than enough to play golf and often are good reasons to start playing. Anyone who has less or more experience in golf will undeniably enjoy playing at The Royal County Down Golf Club or Portmarnock Golf Club. But when it comes to vacation, the situation is familiar: you look forward to laying on the hot sand but on the other hand don’t want to part from your golf clubs.
So if you choose to stay loyal to your favorite sport, then you have to spend your vacation with a lot of golf but under the dull sky of Scotland? Or if your vacation plans include taking golf classes, this means that you have to pack your pullovers and forget about swimwear and flip flops? We have great news for you: you don’t have to! Golf in Greece has been one of the sports that enjoy a remarkable popularity in recent years and gained large numbers of fans too. For this, several golf courses operate throughout the country today, where thousands of golfists do this relaxing sport all year round.
How many golf courses are in Greece?
Although golf in Greece is not as popular as in some other European countries, it has become pretty well-known in the last decade. In 2005, the sports magazine Golf Digest counted some 32,000 golf courses around the world, over 6,500 of them being in Europe and an increasing number located in Greece. According to the Hellenic Golf Federation there are seven 18-hole golf courses and one 9-hole course as well as 1,300 active members registered apart from the thousands of occasional players who come to this country on vacation.
All golf courses in Greece are located in destinations with their own special beauty where you can combine holidays with your beloved sport. They meet the international standard of 18 holes and are found in Athens, Corfu island, Rhodes island, Halkidiki and Crete island (one 18-hole course and a 9-hole layout). On Corfu, for example, the golf fairways are surrounded by a unique natural habitat for birds from herons to kingfishers as well as animals such as otters in the waters of Nausica river. In Costa Navarino, two awarded courses – the Bernhard Langer-designed Dunes course and Robert Trent Jones Jnr’s Bay course – are set in diverse topography with spectacular sea views. In Glyfada (Athens region), pine, cypress, olive and fig trees flank the fairways.
Unfortunately, the course at Glyfada often gets overlooked. The original Donald Harradine design opened for play in 1962. The layout was extensively remodeled by Robert Trent Jones for the 1979 World Cup when a new irrigation system was installed and the distinctive creek was filled in. Located close to the Saronic Gulf, only ten kilometres south of Athens international airport, the clubhouse at Glyfada is home to both the Hellenic Golf Federation and the PGA of Greece so it’s truly at the epicentre of golf in the country.
Destinations and luxury villas for golfers in Greece
Before you buy tickets, make a plan: where would you like to play and where would you like to stay. Here is some essential information about all eight golf cources as well as recommended luxury villas for golfers located in short distance from each course.
Picture yourself a part of these beautiful scenes enjoying your favourite sport – golf.The voice inside you
One of the best hidden secrets in Europe, the beautiful 18-hole golf course of Corfu is located only 14km away from Corfu town. This course is pleasant for both advanced and beginner players. It’s a magical place with tree groves around the fairways, ponds, streams and a background of surrounding hills while in front of the 1st tee flows the Navsica river. It also hosts a habitat filled with animals and birds. Corfu Golf Club operates 7 days a week and can be played throughout the year, as the winter is mild. There are three sets of tees for all categories of players. The course is excellent and easy to walk while every hole offers endless variety as well as a challenge. There are two specially designed packages for guests: a gold package for three days of unlimited golf and a platinum package for seven days of unlimited golf.
Ermones, Ropa Valley, P.O. Box 71,
49100 Corfu, Greece
Recommended luxury villas for golfers in Corfu
Villa Amelie – 4 bedrooms
Villa Amelie is a comfortable private house with a living area of 144 sq.m. and a 1300 sq.m. perfectly landscaped garden including a swimming pool. It’s conveniently located, just 120 m away from Ionian’s deep blue, in a privileged, peaceful settlement perfect for romantic walks, close to shops, restaurants, bars and beach bars. The capital of the island as well as the international airport and port are 12 km away. Villa Amelie is considered one of the best luxury villas for golfers as it’s just 14 km from Corfu Golf Club. So whether you have a big family or a group of friends who wish to combine vacation and golf, Villa Amelie will comfortably host you, offering quick access to the island’s excellent golf facilities.
Villa Elizabeth – 3 bedrooms
Villa Elizabeth and Villa Olive are two elite, identical seafront holiday villas with luxurious amenities. Their vast gardens end on Dassia’s popular beach and turquoise waters, offering direct access through a gate. They have a total area of 140 sq.m. each while their perfectly landscaped gardens cover an area of 2000 sq.m. each. The residences feature large swimming pools, shaded terraces and 2 outdoor jacuzzis each. Their front yards are divided by high, thick plant fences with an interconnecting gate, offering absolute privacy. This makes the villas perfect both for individual groups of up to 6 as well as for big companies of up to 12 that can simultaneously stay here, enjoying great comfort. The capital of the island as well as the international airport and port are 12,5 km away. Corfu Golf Club is located 14,5 km away.
The Crete Golf Club in Hersonissos is an 18-hole course originally designed in 2003 by golf course architect Bob Hunt. It holds a strategic and charming location, 15 minutes from Heraklion International Airport, a major gateway to Crete from many European cities. Its ultra-modern facilities are accompanied by the unrivalled beauty of the Mediterranean landscape. Furthermore, the Cretan weather is perfect for golfing 365 days a year. Beyond the summer months, weather conditions during spring, autumn and winter are more than appropriate for golfing. The academy is offering individual or group lessons ranging from the basics for newbies right up to sessions for advanced players looking to up their game. The club’s training facilities have also been fully revamped and adjusted to European standards. So prepare to be amazed since the facilities feature among others a double-ended 300 meters driving range with short game area and two practice putting greens.
Hersonissos, P. O. Box 106,
70014 Crete, Greece
The Porto Elounda Golf Club hosts a Golf Academy with a PGA professional team, offering the opportunity of either learning to play golf during one’s holiday, or of boosting one’s golf techniques. Especially for beginners, classes are arranged in such a way as to maximise the knowledge acquired, even during a short stay at the resort. The Crete Golf Club, an 18-hole championship course, is located 30 minutes away.
Hotel Porto Elounda Mare Golf Course
Elounda, Lasithi, Crete
Recommended luxury villas for golfers in Crete
Villa Phoebe – 4 bedrooms
Boasting a unique location right on a beautiful beach, Villa Phoebe offers a true feeling of serenity, privacy and exclusivity in the village of Elounda in Crete, one of the most cosmopolitan and world famous destinations. Villa Phoebe is a two-level luxurious villa that can accommodate up to 8 persons for a truly unique holiday experience. A perfect destination for families, couples, newly-weds or groups of friends. Along with the beautiful sandy beach, here you can also enjoy the luxurious 35 sq.m. fresh-water heated private swimming pool of the villa. Villa Phoebe is top rated among luxury villas for golfers in Crete because of its previliged location, only 7 km from Elounda Golf Cource.
Villa Zeus – 3 bedrooms
Villa Zeus is a newly designed, eco-friendly villa of 195 sq.m. with a private swimming pool, located near Heraklion. The villa is comprised of two levels and can host up to 6 people. It stands on the edge of the sea providing amazing panoramic views of the deep blue. An earthy heaven for couples or families seeking a private & peaceful luxury retreat away from a large mainstream hotel experience. Villa Zeus was inspired & constructed as an environmentally friendly boutique residence with elegant & luxurious elements.
Porto Carras is home to the one and only golf course in Northern Greece which is now considered a leading golf destination in the Mediterranean. Here you will enjoy a luxurious golf experience on its 18-hole and Par 72 signature course with views to breathtaking scenery. These fully equipped facilities are perfect for professional and amateur golfers, to practice their skills in the serenity of the warm Greek climate.
Recommended luxury villas for golfers in Halkidiki
Villa Mare – 5 bedrooms
Villa Mare is an exclusive villa available for rent all year round. Nestled over the unique 9 km coastline of great natural beauty and diversity, this residence is one of those secret spots in Halkidiki that never fails to impress its guests. Villa Mare offers its guests the privacy and tranquility of a hidden villa while still being close to all the amenities and comforts offered within the beautiful and lively resort. Built 31 meters above the sea level, in an exclusive area, Villa Mare boasts three infinity pools and access to the private coves of the estate. The residence is considered as the best among luxury villas for golfers in Halkidiki due to its proximity to Porto Carras Golf Resort, which is only 3,5 km away.
The Dunes Course is the first signature-designed golf course in Greece. It was designed by two-time US Masters Champion and former Ryder Cup Captain Bernhard Langer in association with European Golf Design. This championship course offers spectacular sea and river views and incorporates some links-style features in areas closest to the sea. Set in diverse natural scenery, it takes its name from the tall dunes that separate several holes from a golden beach. Parts of the course venture into olive and fruit groves, while some holes run along a small river – the Sellas – which meanders through the site. In season, players are welcome to sample the ripe fruit from the trees around the course at their leisure. The Dunes Course has been designed to provide an exciting challenge for all golfers. Each of the 18 holes has multiple sets of tees to allow players to select the course length that best suits their game.
Navarino Dunes, Costa Navarino
24001 Messinia, Greece
Designed by Robert Trent Jones II, the Bay Course at Navarino Bay provides both a fun experience and a challenging test for golfers of all levels. Located just a few minutes from Navarino Dunes, it offers an alternative set of challenges and choices in a quite different setting. With the majority of tees offering sublime sea views and two holes playing along the historic Bay of Navarino, the course plays a little shorter than The Dunes Course. More than 1,000 mature olive trees – some more than 500 years old – were saved during the construction of the course and transplanted along the perimeter.
Navarino Dunes, Costa Navarino
24001 Messinia, Greece
Recommended luxury villas for golfers in Pylos, Peloponnese
Villa Aello – 4 bedrooms
Villa Aello is a 4 bedroom luxury villa in Pylos, Peloponnese, located just 3 minutes away from Costa Navarino Golf Resorts. Built within its own secluded olive grove of one acre in size, it features an infinity swimming pool, jacuzzi, a fully equipped studio for extra guests or staff and stunning views. One of the bedrooms is specially designed for guests with disabilities. The residence is considered as the best among luxury villas for golfers in Pylos due to its proximity to Costa Navarino Golf Courses, which are only 3 km away.