The Attica Zoo Park is situated at Spata.
Zoos usually bring to mind pictures of animals that suffer and are in captivity locked behind huge bars and cages bringing feelings of pity to those who see them like this. – This is not what happens here though! On the contrary every living creature in this specific park is to be considered very lucky because it is treated with care and love.
The Park really seems big. The Attica Zoological Park opened back in May 2000, initially as a Bird Park, hosting the 3rd largest bird collection in the world.
The dolphins show is on in a few minutes and it is announced through loudspeakers. Parents and children wait for some minutes to pay the fee before they get inside and there is excitement in the air, happy faces and huge smiles on kids’ faces.
There is a pond of turtles on the right side of the entrance and just opposite, a pond with flamingos surrounded by blue grass, trees and bushes with several rabbits running and hiding behind rocks and wholes. The dolphin show starts any moment and nobody wants to miss it. It is the Marine Mammals hour of educational presentation.
The show lasts approximately 30 minutes, and although quite short still this specific show makes the children happy and excited.
Follow the map on the leaflet that is given upon entering one can spend several hours out here, even an afternoon stroll will do. One such outing in the Park will surely fill up batteries and revive the body and mind. How wonderful it is seeing the most amazing display of animals in their natural settings! They are ponds of fish and ducks surrounded by trees, plants and flowers and acres of large buildings with giant outdoor cages for the giraffes, zebras, and ostrich -some of them exceeding the size of a storey.
Walking close to parrots, eagles toucans, pelicans, storks and owls, ostriches, giraffes and zebras, seeing little penguins, wolves and big cats bears and giant turtles and so many more surely travel the visitor making him feel that he is somewhere else and surely not in Attica. Take photos or just sit and watch these beautiful living creatures. Walking is so pleasant and relaxing in this beautifully designed landscape with the pathways and alleys that you can forget where you really are.
Suddenly however it is time to leave all this beauty behind and get outside back to the daily routine…and this is where the disappointment comes.
It is a well run private zoo and the owner and curator is Mr. Jean-Jacques Lesueur. He and his wife are French. Mr. Lesueur’s profound love for animals made him create a zoo where animals would be treated well. Since Greece was one -probably the only European country without a proper zoo he set out on a mission that may one day make the Athens Zoological Park the yardstick to which all other zoos are measured when it comes to diversity and the humane treatment of the animals.
Being a private zoo it gets no funding from the Greek government but from the admission fees and the support of a few companies.
Through all these years of hard work the small zoo of those days has become by now Attica’s Zoological Park and it is a recognized member of EAZA –European Association of Zoos and Aquaria). The Park has established humane standards for keeping animals in captivity, their diet and health as well as the education of visitors and breeding programs for endangered species. It has become a place of entertainment and relaxation an oasis that meets demanding standards and offers educational programmes and guided tours, thus creating awareness which is very important for the protection of the environment and animals in general.
Whether you have children or not the Attica Park is definitely worth a visit. It is a unique journey to the five continents through the lives of over 2.000 animals from 400 species.
Attica Zoological Park – Hours and Info
Park Hours: Everyday 9:00 to sunset
Entrance Fee: Adults: 15,00eu
Children 3-12: 11,00eu
Under 3: Free
Group over 25 people: 11,00eu
Nurseries - Play schools: 8,00eu
Primary - High schools: 9,00eu
Seniors (over 65): 11,00eu
Annual card for adults: 50,00eu
Annual card for children: 48,00eu
Location: At Yalou - Spata
Access By Bus: 319 from Doukissis Plakentias Metro Station or 319 from the Ministry of National Defense
From Attiki Odos: Exit 18 to Spata (From the Airport)
Exit 16P to Rafina (From Elefsina)
End of Attiki Odos towards Rafina (From Ymittos Ringroad)
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