Hala Sultan Tekke Mosque and the salt lake

The Hala Sultan Tekke Mosque stands proud and elegant on the banks of Larnaca’s famous salt lake. It is one of the holiest Islamic sites and is famous throughout the Muslim world for its tomb of the Hala Sultan. She is said to be the foster mother of the Prophet Mohammed and was buried here after her death in 649AD.

You don’t have to be in any way religious to appreciate the beauty and splendour of this impressive site. People come here to enjoy the peace and tranquillity of both the building itself and its setting, as it sits surrounded by palm trees like a hidden oasis in the dessert.

You can’t go to visit the Hala Sultan Tekke Mosque without taking a wander around the path that encircles the picturesque salt lake. The lake becomes a bed of salt in the summer months as, legend has it, Saint Lazarus caused the water to turn to salt when a local lady refused him some berries.

The salt lake is a haven for bird spotters as migratory birds can be spotted here at certain times throughout the year, particularly during the winter months. If you’re lucky, you may witness large flocks of pink flamingos basking in the warm winter sun when you visit.