There can be few mosques in the world with a setting more beautiful than that of Hala Sultan Tekkesi. The building is surrounded by dozens of date palms and cypress and olive trees, while in front sits a huge salt lake, a bright white sheet with occasional patches of water.
And behind it, in the distance, sit the multicoloured hills and mountains of central Cyprus. It is, quite simply, breathtaking. What makes it all the more remarkable is that the mosque, located in the south-east of Cyprus, is just a half-hour walk from the island's busiest airport.
First things first
Hala Sultan Tekkesi was built in 674 after Umm Haram, said to be the aunt of the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), fell from her mule and died. Her tomb lies in an annexe next to the mosque, which is open to non-Muslims and is the first thing most people see when they arrive on that Mediterranean island.
While Cyprus is popular with package holidaymakers keen to spend a couple of weeks lying in the sun and partying, there is more to the island than the beaches and nightclubs it is famous for.
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