When visiting Larnaca (Cyprus) be sure to visit the city’s biggest natural attraction, the Salt Lake. It is located near the airport just outside of the city center. What makes the site a big favorite among tourists is not only its rich natural diversity but…
When visiting Larnaca (Cyprus) be sure to visit the city’s biggest natural attraction, the Salt Lake. It is located near the airport just outside of the city center. What makes the site a big favorite among tourists is not only its rich natural diversity but also its proximity to some of the most important historical monuments in Larnaca. Those who love to take long exploratory walks will surely delight in the abundance of attractions that can be found in the area.
Start your exploration at the Kamares Aqueduct, accessible from the highway going to Limassol. The aqueduct dates back to the 18th century and features remarkable stonework inspired by traditional Roman craftsmanship. Its 10-mile stretch is simply a visual treat for those who appreciate lovely architecture with stunning vistas at the background. Not far away from the Kamares Aqueduct you will find the 12th century church of Agios Georgios Makris and its ancient wall paintings. This Byzantine beauty is strategically situated on a hilltop which also makes it a perfect lookout point to take in the surrounding panorama of Larnaca.
Next stop is at the modern structure of Chalkidos Street Residence. The edifice will surely delight the architecture enthusiast for the rare feat of creating a harmonious blend between the unpretentious material of concrete and glass with the open and sun-drenched landscape of the island. It is then followed by the Salt Lake Park, which makes for a dramatic contrast. The verdant area often hosts open-air musical events and also serves as the gateway to the scenic area of Larnaca Salt Lake.
The Salt Lake is composed of several smaller lakes which dry up during summer leaving nothing but a thin layer of salt. The area is a beloved haunt among birdwatchers because it is home to several dozen bird species. The regal and vibrant flamingos, in particular, gather by the hundreds during autumn until winter when the lake is filled with water. The flocks of flamingos happily scampering around the lake area is truly a magnificent sight that will surely take your breath away. Timing is of the essence, so make sure you are visiting when the area is transformed from a salt-pan to a lush natural retreat for migratory birds.
From the Larnaca Salt Lake, continue along Artemidos Avenue taking a few turns towards the shore to get to the palm-lined MacKenzie Beach. It is the perfect place to rest your weary feet and enjoy a pleasant meal from one of the many waterfront restaurants scattered around the area. The beach stretches for about half a mile, which is just perfect for those who would love to spend a few minutes to take lazy strolls or building sand castles!
Finally, after a pleasant amble along the shore, head in the direction of Tekke Park where you will discover the extraordinary Hala Sultan Tekkesi Mosque. From a distance, the site looks like a very charming oasis surrounded by swaying date palms and olive trees. This imposing Muslim Shrine dates back to early 19th century and its idyllic setting perfectly complements its reputation as a holy site. There are various structures to explore in the area, from the imposing mosque to the mausoleums so take your time and bring your curiosity and your camera.