The delightful Secret Valley holiday course opened for play in 1996 and local Cypriot Iacovos Iacovou originally designed it.
Voted the best course in Cyprus for two consecutive years by Golf Digest back in the late 1990s, Secret Valley Golf Club enjoyed all limelight in those early years when golf was still a fledgling Cypriot sport. At that time, the island only had two courses to choose from and the Cyprus Golf Federation hadn’t yet been founded.
Home course of Nicosia Golf Club (founding member of the Cyprus Golf Federation), Secret Valley is situated not far from Paphos and even closer to Petra tou Romiou, where according to folklore, Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love, stepped ashore. Not surprisingly, Secret Valley plays through a valley, but this is no ordinary valley. It really is quite spectacular, with brightly coloured rock formations, which change colour in different lights.
The setting really is a delight and it's definitely worth playing Secret Valley early in the morning or late in the evening when the shadows are lengthening. It's also cooler at either end of the day. In the middle of summer Secret Valley can get rather hot and sticky.
It’s true, Secret Valley was a relatively ordinary members course, but everything changed in 2013 when the layout reopened after a complete redesign by Hans-Georg Erhardt and Snorri Vilhjalmsson of Golf and Land Design, with Tony Jacklin as the headline architect.
The new Secret Valley layout is an integral part of the Venus Rock project, which is mooted to include another golf course, a five-star hotel and luxury private homes. The project aims to become one of Europe’s largest luxury beachfront residential developments.
The Secret Valley layout itself is routed thoughtfully using the natural topography of the valley to great effect. Mature trees and shrubs are a feature within the lower valley while the steep hillside terrain of the upper slopes has allowed dramatic tee locations, which afford lovely views over the valley and to the distant sea beyond.
What was formerly a pleasant golfing experience is now a must play golf course. It’s even quite possible that Secret Valley could once again become the No.1 course in Cyprus. Watch out Elea and Aphrodite Hills.
Nice friendly welcome and a good sedate course, many strategic lay up shots required and local knowledge on some blind tee shots helps but a nice walkable course.
The setting is stunning probably the most scenic of the 3 courses listed in my opinion, green a lovely pace, the only negative is the pace of play touching 4.5 hours for not a long course difficult to not lose concentration
To be honest, I enjoyed Secret Valley the most of the Big Three in Cyprus. In lovely condition with some tights holes around 6 and 7. A nice welcome and a great food in the Clubhouse. It does not have the drama of Aphrodite Hills but it is less crowded and very peaceful. Bit of a secret, really!!
As you will see from my reviews of Aphrodite Hills and Elea, in my opinion Secret Valley is definitely number 3 in the rankings, but don’t let that out you off as being third to one great and one amazing “must play” is not a bad place to be. We didn’t play Minthis as only 1x nine open, but I suspect - whenever it gets listed - it will push S/Valley to number 4 …. but of course that is just speculation and personal opinion and preference.
Anyway, was it not two days after having your golfing mind blown by the landscape at the Aphrodite “golf-themed mountain tour” (!), although quite short Secret Valley would be impressive in its own right, funnelling down the valley as it does.
He start of the front nine is “comfortable” and (again 2 days after Aphrodite Hills) it was quite comforting even to see where you were going and where you could miss.
Then you reach the 6th and you get a “here we go again” feeling as it all feels to close in on you and the green ahead over a dry water hazard.
The feeling is absolutely correct too as the 7th - first time at least (even with sky caddie) a daunting club choice which I could not manage to commit to with the obvious results.
Battered and scarred from that the 8 tee then feels worse than it is but any lift is soon lost as you see that the 9th is SI 1 and a par five …. round a corner.
It is actually a good and fair hole.
Although there is NOTHING else “linksy” about this course you do at least feel like you are turning for home on the par 3 10th and then you hit what in my opinion is the best looking part of the course. The 11th must be the signature hole and - annoyingly - we got called through here so it blew what would have been multiple photo shoot angles, a stunningly good looking hole.
If you come over for Aphrodite Hills you would be foolish not to pop round the corner and play Secret Valley too …. and don’t worry about the “DANGER SNAKES” signage, we didn’t see any he he
Secret Valley golf course located by “Petra tou Romiou”, the birthplace of Aphrodite, the Goddess of love. Nestled in a scenic valley surrounded by mature trees and beautiful natural rock formations, protecting from sea breeze. In my opinion, this is one of the most picturesque, beautiful and interesting golf clubs in Cyprus, where every time you discover new challenges and enjoyment of the game. I played here three times and will definitely come back again. The staff's helpfulness and friendliness is another story, but it's an example of what a golf club staff should be. Returning to the golf course, they have really improved the quality at current time.
They have ~300 meter long wide driving range which 2 large grass tee’s, covered bays, also 3 full size practice greens (chipping, putting and pitching), 2 full size bunkers and warm up putting green next to the 1st tee. Welcoming, comfortable & spacious clubhouse, cozy restaurant with lot of varieties of local and international beers, tasty food with acceptable price.
Fields condition was very good, greens and fairways well maintained in the low season. Secret Valley truly offering one of the island’s most challenging 18-hole golf courses in Cyprus. Fields are not very long from white tee, but not easy at all. Starting from first easy par 4 hole, reachable by straight long drive with possibility of eagle or birdie, another par 5 is more challenging and forcing to think about different strategies. The 6th hole (par 3) look likes not very difficult, but shot must be accurate. The drive from 7th hole tee is absolutely blind, so you can get good position after that…or lost ball.
The 9th hole par 5 one of the best, longest and hardest in course (index 1) with a slight dog leg to the right ends with reward of good result or cold beer and sandwich at half house. Next nine is very different. Some really easy, but some with character. The drives needs to be accurate as the fairway is narrow with trees and water hazard guarding. Risky game could get award or big disappointing. The last two (par 4 and par 5) are interesting and can reward for clever and good game, but also punish for so much risk or incorrect strategy. The last par 5 allows long hitters reach green with their second shots with a chance for a birdie or an eagle depends on in lucky bounce and position of pin. Undoubtedly, in any case, it is a pleasure to return to the clubhouse for glass of cold beer with a snack. Good service provided here from arriving to leaving with friendly and helpful staff. Prices definitely one of the best in Cyprus especially in low season and Sundays.
I‘m sure every golf course rating is always a subject with a lot of subjectivity, depending on various criteria. My rating depends on following criteria: course complexity or challenging, fields condition (especially greens & fairways), service (only what you can get: buggie, club rent, condition of clubs, the amount of choice and etc. except staff and other subjective things that depends on your or staff mood), surrounding views or pleasure to the eyes and definitely value for the price. All criteries will be rating from 1 to 5 stars. Secret Valley golf club my personal opinion is the best in Cyprus and gets:
1. Challenging - 5*
2. Condition - 4* +
3. Service - 5*
4. Surroundings - 4* +
5. Value for the price - 5*
Actually could be improved some of the greens, but I hope it‘s question of time...they goes to the right direction. It's really attractive and interesting to play golf course.
Secret Valley is a really fun course and it's in excellent condition. We played off the White Tees - about 6000 yards - and it's about 6200 from the back tees. The location is spectacular, laid out in a valley, with a classic Out/In configuration. There are some beautiful drives from elevated tees and some really pretty Par 3s. The greens were in excellent condition - fast and true. Good value at 45 euros for 18 holes, a buggy and use of the practice range. I'll be back - tomorrow!
The redesign of Secret Valley has turned a pleasant holiday track into a must-play. Having visited Cyprus recently (also played Elea and Aphrodite Hills) I must say this was my favorite of the three. It may be short (5700 yds from the backs) but it’s great fun and very engaging.
The course does lack investment for the simple reason that a new development has been on the backburner for the best part of 10 years. However this should hopefully change soon. With two brand new courses.