LARNACA SALT LAKE & HALA SULTAN TEKKE MOSQUE (Larnaca District)
Upon arriving at Larnaca International Airport, the first site of interest you will encounter is the Salt Lake of Larnaca. A magnificent nature place. The total surface area of the Larnaca Salt Lake is 2.2 Km² and it is considered one of the most important wetlands in Cyprus with an array of plants, birds and wildlife. It has a history as a natural habitat of sea life that can be traced as far back as 3 to 5 million years ago. Indeed, fossil life of this age can be found in the surrounding hills. During the prehistoric age the Salt Lake was a gulf. From 17th century B.C. onwards it was a natural port for the prehistoric town next to Hala Sultan Tekke, but was then abandoned by the inhabitants during the 11th century B.C. The natural port became destroyed roughly the same time as when the gulf was closed, and the central Salt Lake was thus formed. Excavations in the region reveal that this could have been one of the first natural ports that facilitated trade between Cyprus and the great civilizations of the area at the time when international seafaring exchanges was just commencing. One of the more important and costly exports of this prehistoric town and of the neighbouring town of Kition that was booming, was porphyry-red dies, made from the juices of murex-shells. These shells were abundant in the gulf and until now in the Larnaca bay, where you can see the water in the salt lake often having a reddish colour. As can be deduced by the lake’s name, salt was another valuable prehistoric product of the lake which was greatly exploited throughout the centuries until recently. Many historians dating back from Before Christ, reported on the great quality of the salt here and the large income it gave from exports.Hala Sultan Tekke: Dated around the 18th century, it is built over a tomb which according to tradition belongs to Umm Haram, foster-mother of the Prophet Mohammed.