Hala Sultan Tekkesi


Surrounded by date palms, cypress and olive trees, this late-18th-century mosque and tekke (shrine) sits wistfully on the edge of Larnaka’s salt lake. According to Muslim lore, during the Arab raids on Cyprus in 674, Umm Haram, the revered aunt of the Prophet Mohammed, fell from her mule and died at this exact spot. Her mausoleum and shrine are in the small room attached to the main mosque prayer hall.

The mosque itself is still used and is a place of great reverence and major religious significance to Muslims. If you wish to enter, dress modestly and remove your shoes before entering the prayer hall. The interior is very simple and modest, with little decoration except for the floor, layered with prayer mats.

The excavated tomb and sarcophagus of Hala Sultan (Umm Haram), meaning ‘Great Mother’ in Arabic, is found left of the entrance, in what feels like a cave.

It's 1km from the main road between Larnaka and the airport.