Friday, 28 June 2013

Don't go camping...with your BIG dog

Right. As with dog beaches, dog-friendly campsites in Cyprus are a bit of a mystery. Campsites in Cyprus generally seem to be a bit of a mystery. I'll tell you what I found out, and you can take it from there.

The website for the Department of Forests, states that there are 5 official campsites in the Republic of Cyprus. It doesn't, however, provide phone numbers or websites.

These campsites are mostly different from those listed on the Camping.Info website : which lists 4 campsites that I did manage to contact (although they have not provided phone numbers or web addresses to this website either).

Finally, on the Cyprus Travel Secrets website (and campsites in Cyprus really are kept secret apparently), I found telephone number for 5 campsites:
Camping with Sage and my nephews, Crete 2011
So I called them all to ask whether dogs were permitted on their campsites. You would think it was a straight forward question wouldn't you?

1 of the campsites from the 5 on the list, Geroskipou Xenon Gardens (Pafos) told me the campsite no longer existed. That's one down.

Polis Beach campsite (near the town of Polis) was the only one that gave me a straight answer - NO, DOGS ARE NOT ALLOWED AT THE CAMPSITE. I appreciated this straight answer and the fact that they seem to have a policy on the issue..... Except, I have been there with my dog. We were there in May this year. True, we didn't camp there, we went and ate at the beach bar that belongs to the campsite. However, there were at least 4 or 5 dogs running around the tent area, clearly belonging with campers. I have also read reviews on TripAdvisor complaining that dogs should not be allowed there if their owners don't control them... Perhaps they changed the rules in light of this? Anyway, I called them today, and I was told categorically 'NO'.
Tel: 00 357 26815081

Fegarri Campsite, in Coral Bay, 11km North of Paphos. For a start, this campsite has received such bad reviews, everything I've read has been negative, I'm not sure I want to include this without going to check it out for myself. Anyway, unfortunately I couldn't understand everything I was being told, but the general gist was: How big is your dog? and How long do you want to stay at the campsite for? I tried to communicate the idea that I might not come and stay, I just wanted to know what their policy was. But it kept coming back to the size of the dog, and whether it would be worth their while to say yes. In summary, you might get away with it, especially if your dog is small. Definitely better to phone and check first.
Tel: 00 357 26621534

Governor's Beach Campsite, Kalymnos (between Lemessos and Larnaca). This was a similar conversation to the Fegarri Campsite one. I was asked how big my dog is, what type of dog she is, if she is well behaved (as well as when and for how long we would be staying etc etc). Finally I was told 'YES', as long as I cleaned up after us. I find it reasonable to have rules like 'Only well behaved dogs' and 'Clean up after yourselves'. I can't really see that you can discriminate by size or type of dog. I just wish there was a clear policy, yes or no. Again, I would recommend phoning in advance to check.
Tel: 00 357 25632878

Troodos Camping (2km north of Troodos resort) on the Kakopetria Road - no answer. I'll keep trying.
Tel: 00 357 25420205

In other words... none of the 4 formal campsites could tell me officially that dogs are permitted. They are not permitted at Polis Beach Campsite. Fegarri and Governor's Beach, I don't know, they didn't sound too sure.

Ok, this has nothing to do with camping. This is just a beautiful tree on the Aphrodite Nature Trail, Akamas Peninsular -for your enjoyment
From the same website - Cyprus Travel Secrets - there are 3 further sites mentioned that are not formal campsites, but areas in the Troodos mountains with basic facilities. I think this is more like a hiking/climbing retreat type of deal. If you don't mind roughing it, these might be a better bet.

Stavros Forest Station. Tel: 00 357 26991860
Kampi tou Kalogirou. Tel: 00 357 25422625
Platania. Tel: 00 357 22924225

Of the 3, only 1 answered my call. Stavros Forest Station told me sensibly, and clearly, that they don't have an official policy, but that dogs are permitted if dog and owner behave responsibly. This wasn't said as a kind of concession, or barter (as I felt with the campsites described above), rather an attempt to accommodate everybody.

My opinion, for what it's worth: If you like being out in nature, and don't need lots of facilities (maybe  not even running water...) I'd give the informal campsites a go. It seems like they would be quieter, more relaxing, and you wouldn't have to spend the whole time worrying that your dog is barking or whatever.
If roughing it is not your thing - go for one of the many lovely rent rooms up in the villages and use that as a base to explore.


  1. Here you will find everything you need to enjoy your camping trip.

    Camping Info

  2. We spent 2 days camping last week at a site in Prodromous village with our 2 dogs (we have a boxer and a terrier). The site was very basic but it did have a very clean toilet block, bbq areas and water tasos. There were no signs displayed to say dogs were not allowed, but there were no staff on sight as no one came to charge us the €3 for staying there. It was very quiet with only approx 10 other people staying (we went mid week) but there were quite a few resident caravans on site so I assume it's busier at the weekend. There is a good walk at the back of the site for the dogs to have a run. The dogs loved their first trip camping and we are going again this week! Niki. PS this site is wonderful, only discovered it today and I will be recommending to all my doggie friends :)

  3. Going camping with dogs in tow can be easier than you think. As long as your pooch is obedient and follows simple command, it's going to be an enjoyable one for both of you. I started my dog camping when she was around 2 years old. By then, she is toilet-trained, has completed her vaccines and is socially adept to other dogs and humans. Off-leashing is possible but I still don't allow them that especially when were far off. Need some insights and information, see this wonderful site: