Greece and Cyprus are well above par when it comes to sporting holidays, says Joanna Booth
As the toasty temperature of summer fades to a more manageable warm haze, Greece and Cyprus become the perfect choices for active guests who want to do more than lounge.
Resorts with excellent facilities for tennis, golf and sailing abound, so there’s plenty to get their pulses racing.
If Andy Murray’s double triumph has whetted clients’ appetites to improve their serve, send them to Aphrodite Hills in Cyprus, which launched the Annabel Croft tennis academy in Easter.
Flexible packages of lessons can be booked but there are structured coaching weeks too – Murray’s former coach Miles Maclagan is hosting these in October and November.
Aphrodite Hills is also home to one of Cyprus’s most challenging golf courses, plus a three-hole Golf Academy with a video swing analysis system, a double-ended driving range, and a short game area with a pitching and chipping green.
Cyplon offers seven nights at the InterContinental Aphrodite Hills including two rounds of golf and flights from Gatwick from £1,139, departing on November 7.
The Aldemar Royal Mare in Crete introduced a golf academy last year, and now also offers tennis coaching weeks for adults between April and October. Designed for ‘improvers to club team level’, there’s a tournament at the end of the week. A week in October including flights, transfers and B&B accommodation costs from £779 through Classic Collection Holidays.
Golfers can get lessons for less at the Peloponnese resort of Costa Navarino. A new autumn golf package includes a free lesson at the Navarino Golf Academy, a second at a 50% discount, and a round of golf at the Dunes Course. With Chic Locations’ stay-seven-pay-five deal, a week starts from £1,198 including flights and transfers.
The resort also has a Racquet Academy, with coaching for every level and a bewildering nine racquet sports on offer, with lesser-known options such as padel and speedminton alongside tennis, badminton and squash. There’s a Padi dive centre and yachting too.
Resort chains with a major sporting focus have a strong presence in Greece. Mark Warner’s beach resorts provide a mix of activities in upmarket surroundings.
There are four Greek options, which all offer watersports, tennis facilities and fitness classes, and have kids’ clubs, teens’ clubs and crèches.
Neilson Holidays has five, four-star beach clubs in Greece with all-inclusive activities including dinghy sailing, windsurfing, waterskiing, wakeboarding, kayaking, tennis and mountain biking. Neilson offers both Stay and Sail and Flotilla Holidays.
Sunsail has three bases for sailing holidays in Greece: Athens for the Aegean; Milina for the Sporades; and Vounaki for the Ionian. A week’s yacht charter from Vounaki costs from £479 based on four adults sharing a Sunsail 32i, including flights and transfers departing in early May