School might be almost out but there are plenty of places around the island to both entertain and educate children of all ages. Annette Chrysostomou picks ten of the best
Santa Marina Retreat, Limassol Here is the chance to do some climbing as well as paying a visit to the animals in the Noah’s Ark zoo. In the Maghaleni copper mine visitors can learn about the metal that gave Cyprus its name.
The Horse visitor’s centre affords a chance for younger riders to enjoy the experience of horse riding while a groom will escort the horse around. There is also a comprehensive riding programme for more experienced riders.
A range and putting green offer golfing activities, and several routes have been laid out for mountain bike rides.
When: Saturday and Sunday 9am-6pm Where: Spirou Ahimastou Avenue, Parekklisia, Limassol Contact: 99 545454 How much: Pricing depends on activities.
Eleouthkia Traditional, Botanical and Entertainment Park, Anarita Experience nature and visit a folkloric museum, farm house and tools of Cypriot culture. It is equipped with two playgrounds, a children’s swimming pool, various games for kids of all ages, table football, skateboards, rollers, bicycles and many more. The name Eleouthkia, which means small olive trees, was chosen as through the years this location has always been full of olive groves. The park is 20,000 square metres big and in its 10 thematic gardens it features almost 55,000 plants and flowers from all over the world as well as endemic plants of Cyprus.
When: Daily except Mondays 10am-7pm Where: Anarita village, near the Anarita/Airport exit of the Limassol to Paphos highway. Contact: 7000560, 26 423250 eleouthkia.com.cy How much: Park day package including Meze €19.50 for adults, children aged 3-12 €9.75
Troodos National Geopark
Learn about the importance and history of the Troodos mountains. It boasts a small shop, an exhibition gallery and a film theatre. In the theatre a 10 minute film about the uplifting of Cyprus from the sea, the importance of the geology, the hydrology, the flora and fauna of the park as well as the various facilities available in the area is shown. A botanical and geological trail is also connected to the building. A free of charge parking area, a restaurant, a children’s play area and tennis courts are also there.
When: Monday to Friday 10am-3pm, Saturday and Sunday 10am-4pm. Closed on Saturdays in May. Where: Galata, on the main road up to Troodos
Contact: 25 420144, www.troodos-geo.org How much: €0.85 for all visitors over six-years old
Sparti Adventure Park, Platres This is the first rope adventure forest park in Cyprus. ‘Sparti’ was a specific kind of spiritual and physical training created and used in Sparta. More than 60 games are available including ‘speed zip-line’, travelling from top to bottom of an inclined cable, and speed free fall jumping. A cafeteria serves a variety of hot and cold drinks, sandwiches, salads and ice cream.
When: Every day except Monday and Tuesday 10am-6pm Where: Phaneromenis 50, Pano Platres (in front of the hospital, on the main road from Kato Platres to Pano Platres) Contact:99 100003 (Greek), 99 541665 (English and Russian) www.spartipark.com How much: Ranging from €14 to €32 for three hours according to activities and age (from age three), extra for more hours and equipment. Cash deposit for equipment required.
Dinosaur Land, Ayia Napa
An exhibition that brings visitors face-to-face with 25 species of the largest animals that ever lived on earth. You can also see the dinosaurs on 3D and 2D educational videos with surround sound. Children can also get to know the quieter, more gentle side of dinosaurs while riding some versions.
When: 5pm-11pm until end of September Where: Nissi Avenue, by Nissi Beach traffic lights (before the exit to the motorway) Contact: 99 038858 How much: €12 for adults, €8 for children
Oleastro Olive Theme Park, Anogyra Oleastro displays the history of olives, from demonstrating pressing olives with one’s feet to modern ecological pressing. All exhibits are accompanied by brief educational texts in Greek and English. For children, there is a playground, an artists’ corner and pony rides. An olive museum, an organic café/ restaurant with traditional home-made meals (à la carte using mainly organic products), a gift shop specialising in olive products, a visitors’ centre with a film on the story of olive oil (in Greek, English, German, French and Russian).
When: Daily 10am-6.30pm Where: Anogyra Contact: 99 525093, 99 565768 How much: €3 for adults, €2 for children, pony rides €3
Thalassa Municipal Museum, Ayia Napa The Thalassa Museum in the centre of Ayia Napa has the sea as its subject-matter. The exhibits cover the chronological span from paleontological to historic periods until present times. The main exhibit of the museum is the Kyrenia II, a life size exact replica of the ancient Kyrenia ship of the Classical period (400BC) which was built in 1985. There is also a cafeteria and a gift shop in the three-storey building.
When: Monday 9am-1am, Tuesday to Saturday 9am-5pm, Sunday 3pm-7pm (closed on Sundays in May) Where: Krio Nero Avenue 14, Ayia Napa Contact: 23 816366, www.thalassamuseum.org.cy How much: €4 for adults, €2.50 for high school and university students, €1.50 for elementary school pupils
Archimedes Museum, Limasssol Archimedes is an educational playground with games inspired by the inventions of Archimedes and ancient machines. There are 21 games/machines for children between the ages of 5 and 105. The museum aims to entertain, educate and fuel a passion for science and technology. The visitor will be able to go through a laser maze, get lost in a mirror maze, pull a rope and lift himself up, build a bridge and walk over it, solve the ‘osteomachion’ puzzle, fly a hot air balloon, play with 3D puzzles, and more.
When: Tuesday to Friday 3.30pm-8.30pm, Saturday and Sunday 10.30am-9pm, Mondays closed Where: Melissovounou 2 (at the corner of Paphos Avenue), Kato Polemidia, Limassol Contact: 70007887, 96217177, www.archimedesmuseum.com How much: €7 for children only
Cyherbia, Avgorou Not only for those who want to learn about indigenous herbs and plants. The park is designed so that visitors can explore, experience nature and have fun. The Cyprus maze is designed both for adults and children while the woodland walk is a path shaped like Cyprus. There is also a tea room, a shop and a natural oil distillery. In June a two week lavender festival will take place.
When: Daily 9am-7pm Where: Ormidia-Avgorou Road Contact: 99 915433, www.cy-herbia.com How much: €5 for adults, €3 for children
Sayious Adventure Park, Asgata, Limassol A place for having adventures in a safe controlled environment. It offers buggy rides, ATV rides, Segway rides, paintball, drift go-carting, archery, moto trials ride lessons, team building and activities for children. There are also barbecue facilities free of charge. Pre booking is essential because programmes are tailor made for teams.
For opening times and prices contact the park via the website www.sayiousadventurepark.com