Into the Sublime

Into the Sublime

Larnaca Salt Lake

During  a wintery afternoon, my friend and i decided to go for sightseeing at the Salt Lake in Larnaca. The flamingos danced in the horizong along in the distance as we admired them and capture their every move. The pale blue colours in the atmosphere offered a sublime experience as we encountered the lake.

In detail,  Larnaca Salt Lake is the second largest salt-lake in Cyprus and measures 2,2 square kilometres. In 1997 it was declared a protected area under Cypriot Law for the Prote­ction and Management of Nature and Wildlife and under the European Ha­bitats Directive. It is a significant Ramsar and Natura 2000 site - one of the most significant biotopes in Europe - and one of the most important habitats in Europe for waterfowl.  

Located southwest of Larnaka town and east of the villages of Meneou and Dromolaxia, the Salt Lake - known locally as ‘Alyki’ - is actually one of four lakes in Larnaka. Together, with Lake Orphani, Lake Soros and Airport Lake, the lakes collectively cover a total area of 1.761 hectares.

During the winter, the lake fills with water and is home to migrating birds, including thousands of flamingos that stay between November and March, along with wild ducks and other water or shore fowl that find refuge here on their migratory journeys. The most basic element of the food chain in the lakes’ ecosystem is the small brine shrimp Artemia (Artemia salina), which the other life greatly relies on. When flamingos and other water birds are unable to find the shrimp, they desert the salt lakes and continue their journey by travelling to Lake Akrotiri in Lemesos or south towards Africa.

Winding through the lake area is a designated, linear nature trail that is 4 km in length, and leads all the way up to the old aqueduct of Kamares. The various flora of trees, shrubs and flowers is signposted with information along the way, and there are also periodic benches, making the path popular for walkers and joggers.

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