Athalassa can undoubtedly be characterized as the "green lung" of the rapidly growing city of Nicosia, with only a few green spaces.
In case you are wondering, Athalassa park is located in the southeast of Nicosia, approximately 5 km from it and surrounded by Aglantzia north and east, Strovolos west, and Geri and Latsia south.
And if you are wondering what it was named after, it is speculated that the area got its name from the fact that in recent geological time it was, like the rest of Mesaoria, under the sea, which is why you will come across plenty shells in the area!
In medieval maps, lists a settlement (government villa area St. George) with Ailasa names, Ailaza or Atalassa, justifying the ruins of the medieval castle and convent La Cava in small Aronas, built by King James the First.
The Athalassa Park is also the largest and most important green area of greater Nicosia, that is fighting against pollution and the even greater destruction of the natural environment while offering entertainment to visitors, such as physical exercise, environmental education and eco agritourism.
The landscape, even during the summer will impress you with a green veil stretching upon the earth's surface. Apart from the main function, forestry and crop research, you can also utilize the park as a picnic or fishing area, for beekeeping, plant collecting, for firewood and snails collection, bird watching, cycling, as a nature trail (there are over 20 km. of trails), sports room (with soccer fields, volleyball and basketball) and for military exercises.
For those who love hunting, however, it is important to know that it is strictly prohibited. A significant contribution to the development of the park, is the standard tree planting by schools and organized groups at the Tree Festival.
Since August 1974, about 40 hectares of the Main State Forest Athalassas are located within the buffer zone. In 1985, in an effort to save space by private and other interventions, approximately 357 hectares were declared as "Athalassa National Forest Park", unique to the whole island.
I should inform you that Athalassa Park, this masterpiece of long and laborious efforts of growing forests and plants, nurtures over 300 tree-like, shrub and herbaceous plant species (particularly exotic, and there are 10 endemic herbaceous and shrub species and 11 rare).
The amazing and enriched fauna of the Park, with 173 species of birds, 27 species of butterflies, 7 species of mammals, 6 species of reptiles and one amphibian, leaves an equally great impression to the guest. It is also important to know that the only natural plant community is in the barrier region with hydrophilous vegetation. The wide variety of mainly aquatic migratory birds, of which some overwinter, most stationed there during the great migrations of autumn and spring, mainly due to the waters of the two fences and general climatic conditions.
The trail is uniting two picnic sites, and part of the route is along the Athalassa dam.
Still thinking about it?
Starting point: Athalassa Park (south entrance). Access from the main road Nicosia - Latsia.
End Point: Agios Georgios
Estimated Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Difficulty Rate: Category 1: Easy trail, with terrain problems and mild changes in gradient.
Trip length: 4 kilometres