Saturday, 8 June 2013

Hiking, jogging and picnics at Lake Aliki, Larnaca.... with your dog

Picnic area near entrance to Hala Sultan Teke
The area of lake Aliki, the largest of the four salt lakes at Larnaca, is an excellent place for dog walking. You can stop almost anywhere around the edge of the lake and find a bench to sit on and admire the view, or a series of paths that wind through woodland, marshy areas, parkland. And I have not yet seen a ‘no dogs allowed’ sign. 

One approach to Aliki is from the Kamares area of Larnaca, close by the road (B5) from Larnaca to Limassol. Here a number of paths criss-cross around the nearby fields and lake. Cyclists, joggers, and dog-walkers share this space, mainly harmoniously. 

Another option is to turn off the road that goes to Larnaca Airport from the town (B4) and there, next to the lake, you will find parking areas, a nice pic-nic area with benches and canopies for shade, plenty of bins for dog poo, and wonderful views of the Hala Sultan Teke or Mosque of Umm Haram (I’m sure I should have said mosque before dog poo bins... but this is dog travel guide after all). 

Pathway around edge of lake to the mosque

According to some accounts, Umm Haram, who was the prophet Muhammad’s wet nurse, fell from her mule and died during the first Arab raids on Cyprus (c.649). She was buried on the spot, and later, during the Ottoman period, a mosque was built around her tomb. The mosque in its present form was completed in 1816. 

The Department of Antiquities of Cyprus describes the history of the mosque, and provides summer and winter opening times:

Further on up the road from the mosque (away from the airport), are the sites of several excavations of the Bronze Age settlement at Hala Sultan. During the 1960s, the Department of Antiquities excavated a series of Late Bronze Age tombs. From 1971 until 2007 Swedish excavations were undertaken, the publication of which has been taken over by the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (see website: More recent excavations, by the Department of Antiquities and the Univeristy of Gothenburg, Sweden began in 2011: The site is not open to public, and does not have information boards, it is an on-going excavation, but the area all around there is wonderful for exploring. 

The area around the mosque is completely colonised by cats. It probably is not possible to leave your dog anywhere outside while you pop in to see the mosque, unless your dog is especially fond of cats (we counted 17 on our last visit). However, the whole area is lovely for walking, jogging, sitting on a bench and admiring the view. 

A final warning, we have tended to go to the lake in the evenings, to avoid the heat of the day - this is also the favourite time (and place) of ALL mosquitoes of Cyprus. Definitely worth visiting, but definitely need mosquito repellent. 

Lake Aliki in the summer...
Walking on the salt deposited when the lake evaporates during the summer
 In the summer months, the lake shrinks to almost nothing, and leaves a thick residue of salt. We went recently, in late September, and I hadn't seen it like this before! It's a very strange sensation to walk over the salt, like hard-packed snow.

There is another parking spot at the side of the lake, before the turning for the mosque. Here you will find a very thorough information board, that describes the history of the salt industry in Larnaca, the flora and fauna around the lake, archaeological sites, and how the lake was formed. It's well worth going for a look, if you are in the area in late summer.


  1. We had a lovely day out with Polly and Sage at Lake Aliki. She really enjoyed playing with the kids and scavenging for food under the table, and there were lots of paths we could have explored if our copious picnic had allowed more time.
    And we only got one mozzy bite between us all - all in all a good day out :)

  2. Thanks so much for posting a lot of this awesome content! Looking forward to checking out more!

    If you are looking for a Hotels in Uk then visit our website: We also provide excellent accommodation and are a Dog Friendly Hotel.If you want to Book your own rooms just simple log on to

    dog friendly hotels & hotels in devon

  3. Your hotel looks wonderful! Great website too. When I'm next in the UK I'll definitely make a visit