What are the best value golf resorts in continental Europe?
As part of our Golf World Top 100 Best Golf Resorts in Continental Europe ranking, we’ve also ranked the resorts in 12 individual categories, from best resorts for male and female groups to the best for families and couples. Here, we take a look at the ten courses from the list that provide the best value for money.
As always, we’d love to hear your views on our Top 100s
Chris Bertram, Golf World Top 100 Editor
How we marked the golf resorts
Course/s (marked out of 40): We largely followed our Top 100 Courses ranking as a guide. We awarded extra marks for resorts with more than one course, which gives the option of never having to leave the resort in search of variety. Even so, those with second (and third) courses do, if anything, may not quite get the extra boost they warrant.
Accommodation (out of 20): Needs little explanation, but worth pointing out two things: range and quantity of accommodation was looked on favourably, rather than just 10 incredible rooms. Given there is a separate category for non-golf amenities, we focused solely on the accommodation rather than facilities.
Setting (out of 20): We have increased the marks here because we feel a beachside, cliff-edge or lakeside location – to name three – do make a difference to the enjoyment of a resort. Peaceful countryside gets 15s and 16s in this category, but those with the ‘wow’ factor gain traction with 17s, 18s and even 19s.
Non-golf amenities (out of 20): We do not want this to be ‘Courses with Rooms’. We have a Continental Courses ranking and a lot of those courses have dormie houses, and we do not want to simply replicate that list here. This list is for golf breaks and holidays, with resorts that will appeal to golfers primarily but also non-golfers too.
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The best value golf resorts in continental Europe
Northern area, Cyprus
Course 28.9 Accommodation 17.6 Amenities 15.9 Setting 17.3 Total 79.7
Getting there: Fly to Larnaca or preferably Ercan.
Half-board luxury for a price that looks B&B.
Situated in the northern part of Cyprus, Korineum will surprise you. The course is uber-dramatic because of the undulating topography and the views are breathtaking. The all-inclusive hotel will not leave you hungry and you’ll absolutely love the beach club that’s just a three-minute drive away.
Courses 32.9 Accommodation 15.8 Amenities 12.2 Setting 16.6 Total 77.5
Getting there: Bratislava is an hour away.
Top 100-calibre courses for ‘hidden gem’ prices. A brilliant option for groups wanting amazing value and plenty of high-class holes on-site but aren’t bothered by non-golf facilities. The Heritage course by Jonathan Davison is in our Top 100, the other by Nicklaus Design just outside it. There are neat villas to stay in.
Course 29.7 Accommodation 15.5 Amenities 14.3 Setting 17.0 Total 76.5
Getting there: Fly to Szczecin, Berlin or Poznan.
This Polish resort will really suit a certain type of travelling golfer: those who appreciate a high-calibre modern course in fabulous condition and elegant but unfussy course chalets which offer a view of the manicured fairways and greens as soon as you pull back the curtains in the morning.
Don’t go there and expect vast non-golf amenities – it just doesn’t have them. Do start searching for flights to Szczecin if you want something different, and at a very, very competitive price. This Gary Player design has flair and imagination, and it’s in fabulous nick. We loved the chalets, nestled in the silence of the woodland that surrounds the course.
Courses 31.9 Accommodation 17.6 Amenities 15.0 Setting 16.0 Total 80.5
Getting there: Lisbon airport is 50 minutes away.
Aroeira is one of several entries this year to be transformed by the addition of a hotel. The hotel only opened in autumn last year, but we’ve already been so know how good it is. It is super-stylish and a great base from where to play Aroeira’s two courses, with No.1 a regular in our Top 100 list.
Courses 29.7 Accommodation 15.8 Amenities 14.9 Setting 17.3 Total 77.7
Getting there: Under two hours from Sofia.
A notable new entry in the west of Bulgaria, far away from the east coast resorts of Cape Kaliakra. Pirin’s first advantage is its location, a pine and mountain utopia that is skiing heaven in winter. Then add in an Ian Woosnam course and a second 18, plus lots of accommodation options and amenities.
Course 25.9 Accommodation 16.0 Amenities 17.0 Setting 17.6 Total 76.5
Getting there: Venice is 80 minutes, Trieste 40.
Take a holiday resort packed with family-friendly amenities and add in a course set on the edge of a lagoon and you have this uber-fun Italian venue. The course has an Everglades-style setting, so water is so often a threat. Choose to stay in log cabins or marina suites – and which sports to play.
Courses 27.7 Accommodation 16.7 Amenities 15.3 Setting 17.0 Total 76.7
Getting there: Faro is 40 minutes away.
A new entry for an unassuming two-course resort in the Algarve. Morgado combines the eponymous course as well as Alamos
– literally across the road – as well as really nice apartments overlooking the fairways. Part of the Nau group and set in hills above Portimão, it is a place to get away from it all.
Cape Kaliakra, Bulgaria
Course 27.4 Accommodation 17.8 Amenities 16.6 Setting 17.3 Total 79.1
Getting there: Varna airport is an hour away.
This is the Cape Kaliakra course with a hotel, so is the best base for a trip to this three-course area on Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast. The course, by Ian Woosnam, is perfectly enjoyable and the hotel has lots of leisure facilities, a state-of-the-art spa, various restaurants and bars.
9. Zala Springs
Course 27.0 Accommodation 17.3 Amenities 16.1 Setting 16.0 Total 76.4
Getting there Budapest is two hours away.
Hungary’s first entry to either our Resorts or Courses Top 100 lists is located in the picturesque Zala Valley close to Hungary’s most famous spa town Hévíz, with the world’s biggest active natural thermal lake, and 20 minutes from Lake Balaton.
The resort has an 18-hole Robert Trent Jones Jr championship course, a distinctive modern clubhouse, a 32- room ‘design suites’ hotel and real estate villas and apartments. A boutique bathhouse for spa & wellness will open soon.
10. Black Sea Rama
Cape Kaliakra, Bulgaria
Course 29.2 Accommodation 16.0 Amenities 14.3 Setting 17.5 Total 77.0
Getting there Fly to Varna, 30 minutes away.
The Gary Player-designed clifftop course is the undoubted star of BlackSeaRama – some view it as on at least a par with Cape Kaliakra neighbour Thracian Cliffs. A hotel is close to opening that will take it up many places in our next list; for now, one- and two- story apartments are the accommodation.