Two years ago, I was privileged to witness the start of this golfing explosion in the Belek region by visiting the Sultan, Pasha, Cornelia and Gloria courses as well as the well-established National. This time, there were visits to the new Montgomerie course, which has been added to the Papillon portfolio, Carya, Sueno and the stunning Lykia links, and a return to the National, whose claim to be the first “and still the best” is under serious threat from the new kids on the block.
Most of the new courses have chosen to go down the hotel and golf course on site route with all-inclusive and it’s proving hugely popular and works well with the UK and German market especially.
We stayed at the Cornelia Diamond, a hugely impressive modern five-star hotel, the Papillon Ayscha, another five-star, which prides itself on its friendliness and entertainment – and they are not wrong – before moving on to stay at the Lykia Links Resort, which is on route to becoming something very special.
With a climate similar to that of southern Spain, the area of Belek, just a few miles from Antalya on the Mediterranean borders the sea with the Toros mountain range forming a bold backdrop and the flat coastal plain is ideal for golf courses. t’s also worth visiting Antalya, especially the Old Quarter with its picturesque harbour, while the small villages of Kadriye and Belek which are worth visiting for their shops, cafes and restaurants. The Toros Mountains and the National Park as well the ancient ruins at Aspendos and Perge are also a must.