'Dog Park' in National Forest Park of Athalassa  

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National Forest Park of Athalassa, on the left of Aglantzia – Geri road (there is a blue sign pointing to the entrance), near Aronas military camp.

'Dog Park' in National Forest Park of Athalassa Facebook

If your dog is as energetic as ours, you probably are in a desperate need to find a place where you can just let him/her loose and get crazy while you just stroll along or chill on the bench. Well, good news (if you are based in Nicosia, that is)!

Nicosia municipality has designated part of National Forest Park of Athalassa for dogs and dogs only. Ok, to all fairness, the territory is right next to the buffer zone, there are 3 military bases and, let's not forget, the minefield, so expect some company from soldiers too Smiley . They also sometimes perform trainings in the area and leave barbed wires behind, so be aware if your dog tends to runaway as barbed wires are just few metres away from the path, but difficult to spot.

Officially, dogs are allowed only on one smaller and the other one a bit bigger pathways, however in reality many of the dog owners go way beyond the specified territory. Be sure to ask the “old resident” to show you other routes as roads are confusing and you might easily get lost. Here is a little map for those who like pictures - the “official” route is marked in green, many go as far as a "blue" line and if you enter the "red" zone, you might be asked to leave by the UN troops. We would suggest to stick to the official route as there were recent cases of dogs poisoned just a little off the designated path - someone seems to be "making a point" for dogs and dog owners walking outside the route.

Athalassa park map

The park is the best place to enjoy long walks with your pal or just let him or her off leash to play and socialize with other dogs. All of course with the supervision of the owners. The park doesn't have many of the standard dog amenities (no water dispensers, just few benches, no street lights and of course no dog training area), but there were some developments since opening of park to the public and dogs. For example, instead of no trash bins for dog waste, now there are just enough and there are signs on every crossroad to help you not to loose your path out of the official route. Remember thar army base is nearby, so there are also soldier trucks, other cars or just ATVs passing by on the dirt roads.

The dogs run free in the park, so think twice before bringing your toddlers, anti-social or aggressive dogs, puppies etc. All are welcome, but you might need to take some precautions. Note to owners of hunting dogs: there are rabbits in the area, so your dog might choose to listen his/her instincts and not you. Eventually, they all come back Smiley.