Sledding in Cyprus?
I’ve always said Cyprus is versatility to the extreme, and I was so looking forward to meeting the amazing Alison Rhind after I found out about her Husky Sledding on Mount Olympus in the Troodos Mountains around March, just at the end of last years’ season … It’s been in my diary ever since, and we recently arranged to meet for coffee at the wonderful Carpe Deim Lounge in Paphos just before the new season starts, roughly in the middle to the end of December … she pointed out; its a short season!
Over a delicious cappuccino I asked Ali to tell me how it all started; Ali said, “we were up in the Troodos mountains, letting the dogs taste a little snow, run around and have fun, my friend Garry rented a sled, and while playing with the dogs he just asked me to hand him the leads, and it was amazing, we couldn’t believe it, the huskies absolutely loved it, they couldn’t wait to pull the sled again and again, wagging their tails and barking to let us let them run … so we had a purpose built sled specially made for us and now the dogs can do what they do, naturally, and as they loved it so much, I thought why not share this with like minded people”.
Ali, born in Scotland, but from Brisbane, Australia, moved to Cyprus in 2012 when she said, “I visited a friend here and just bought a house on that trip!”. Ali has 3 Siberian Huskies, ‘Dolce’ was a rescue dog, Ali laughed as she explained “I walked into a pet store to get some pet food and walked out with a Husky” … “and then Lulu came from the Husky Rescue Centre and then my show dog is ‘Dante’ the youngest and from a very good breed” … and they are definitely a credit to Alison … check out her videos here.
I asked why only 3 huskies? … Ali smiled and said, “I’m not mad!, to keep them fit and healthy these dogs need to walk 10 km a day, before it gets hot in the summer” … adding, “the dogs live in a stone house, cool in the summer, they are fed top quality foods and in the winter, when they do what they love to, it helps keep them in really good shape”! And we agreed if you want to go check them out you’re welcome anytime. Hey, you might as well do something you’ve never done before when you see for yourself that’s exactly what these dogs are happiest doing! … I can’t wait to try it this winter!
Intrigued I asked, how does it work? Ali said, “we meet outside the Sun Valley Café next to Ski slopes on Mount Olympus, almost at the top of the Troodos mountains, and together we head off to the ski slopes, where the best snow is. Of course, we have to control the weight on the sled, so the huskies don’t have to strain, usually two adults not too large, one adult one child, one adult two small children … or just on your own if you’re over 16 with a smaller sled and one dog. We love it when the whole family come up and take it in turns, short little runs, switching the dogs around and we let them have time rolling around in the snow with the dogs and getting some selfies!”
I asked is it easy? … Ali said, “We teach you how to steer, and what you have to do, even if you fall off, ha! i.e. not to let go of the dogs!. We start with short little runs, I go in front with a single dog just in case and the two dogs follow and respond … most people pick it up really quickly, some don’t! … You get to spend about 90 minutes with the dogs, and many come just to play in the snow with the dogs”! …
Ali continued “we often stay up in the mountains over night to avoid too much travel with the dogs, arranging bespoke dinner, bed and breakfast packages, nestled in the stunning Troodos Mountains, so if you want you can book to stay overnight with us”.
Ali explained; It’s a very short season in Cyprus with snow due from the middle ’til end of December and it normally stops snowing by mid March, so booking is essential as spaces are limited … Transport from and back to Paphos can be arranged and special offers are available for the military services.
Ali is in fact a personal fitness trainer in the Paphos area, but she also has a little side business called Spicy Ali’s, specialising in delicious homemade curries, selling them at markets and special events. She also welcomes private parties, stag and hen nights … and awesome Curry & Wine or Beer tasting nights … hmm, might as well invite a few friends around, meanwhile, give her a call and go play with the huskies!
Open short Season
December ’til March
Monday to Friday
8 am ’til 4 pm
8 am ’til 10 am
The meeting point is outside of the Sun Valley Olympus Café in front of the Ski slopes, on Mount Olympus in the Troodos Mountains … See map below …
GPS: 34.932540, 32.868100