The first site of immense interest encountered upon arrival at the Larnaka international airport is the Larnaka Salt Lake. Its past as a natural habitat of sea life is traced 3-5 million years and fossil life of that age can be found in the surrounding hills. The central Salt Lake was a gulf in prehistoric times. From 1700 BC it was a secure natural port in the service of the large prehistoric town next to Hala Sultan Tekke, which was abandoned by its population at about 1050 BC. At about the time the gulf was closed, the natural port was destroyed and the central Salt Lake was formed. As excavations in the area show, this is perhaps one of the first natural ports of Cyprus that facilitated trade between Cyprus and the great civilizations of the area at the birth of international seafaring exchanges. The porphyra - red dies using the juices of the murex-shells, which were in abundance in the gulf and until now in the Larnaka bay, was one of the important and expensive exports of this prehistoric town and of Kition, the nearby town that succeeded. Salt was another expensive prehistoric product of the lake, which was extremely exploited through the centuries till a few years ago. Historians of Hellenistic, Roman, Frankish and Ottoman times report the great quality of this salt and its great income due to exports.
The most interesting thing about the Salt Lake today is the migration of more than 80 species of migratory birds in winter, mainly flamingos. It is considered to be one of the most important wetlands of Cyprus and it has been declared a Ramsar and a Natura 2000 site. The Nature Trail surrounding the Salt Lake is part of the European Walking Route E4. The area is actually a network of four salt lakes, covering a surface area of 2,2 sq km. The Larnaka Salt Lake offers a marvellous setting where one can enjoy the most romantic sunsets on the island!
Address: Leoforos Artemidos, Larnaka
Opening Hours: This is an open site; Accessible all hours
Entrance Fee: Free
Click here to download the leaflet about the Larnaka Salt Lakes produced recently in the framework of the project Culture and wetlands in the Mediterranean: using cultural values for wetland restoration, by Med-INA.