Located on the south-eastern edge of the city of Lefkosia (Nicosia), Athalassa National Forest Park has a total area of 840 hectares and is an oasis of greenery with many endemic, indigenous trees, shrubs and herbs. Athalassa was declared a National Forest Park in 1990, based on the provisions of the Forestry Legislation. It is located in the southeast of Nicosia and is surrounded, in the north by Aglantzia, in the south west by Strovolos, and Latsia and in the southeast by Geri.
In addition to its primary function as space and green lungs, the Park is offered for outdoor recreation activitied, physical exercise and environmental education and training. The Park is becoming increasingly important for the capital, mainly because of its geographical position – as it is easily accessible to the public- , but also because it is the largest free area of green areas in the wider region.
WHY LOCALS LOVE IT
It is the biggest green area in the capital and locals love to go there for a walk to cycle or simply to relax and appreciate all the wildlife that finds refuge there. There are also picnic facilities, which locals like to use on the weekends.
WHY YOU SHOULD VISIT IT
There are picnic facilities on the park, as well as sports ground and cycling paths, which makes the park a nice alternative for tourists. In addition, there is also a bird observation point, where people can learn more about the birds that live or visit the island.
Going there early in the morning is a unique experience!
THE VISITOR CENTRE
The Visitor Centre of the Athalassa National Forest Park is situated on the northeastern edge of the Agios Georgios Park, by the corner of the Kyreneia and Athalassa avenues, in Aglantzia. It is administered by the Department of Forests and was opened to the public in May, 2004. The buildings of the Centre are old government buildings restored by the Department of Forests in collaboration with other authorities.
The Centre is made up of a number of rather small spaces which include: a room with a scale model of the Athalassa Park, a laboratory, an office, four rooms with dioramas, a film/lecture theatre and exhibitions of geology, fauna and flora. A car park and toilets are also provided.
A scale model of the Park presents the major natural features, vegetation components and facilities of the Park. The dioramas are three-dimensional representations of selected, typical ecosystems of the general area showing the vegetation, birds, mammals and reptiles. Geological samples, fossils and related objects are exhibited in a separate room. Finally, the fauna and flora are presented through photographs, posters, samples and various other representations. Detailed information on flora and fauna can be obtained on properly designed computer screens.
Visitor Centre: Adults / children over 6, €1,00 / Children under 6, free
The Visitor Centre is open during working days.
Working Hours are:
Monday – Friday: 07:30 – 15:30
Closed on weekends and Public Holidays