Akrotiri Salt Lake, lying south west of the coastal city of Lemesos (Limassol), is considered one of the most important wetlands in the eastern Mediterranean. It covers an area of 10.65 square km. Its lowest point is 2.7 metres below sea level, while at its deepest the water is 1 metre deep. Geologists believe the lake was formed after an offshore islet was gradually joined to the mainland.
More than half the lake is less than 30 cm deep, making it a welcome stopover for thousands of wading birds during the migration period. Among its prized feathered visitors are the large numbers of Greater Flamingos that spend the winter months on the lake. Other birdlife are the cranes, migrant waders and birds of prey.
Less saline than Larnaka (Larnaca) Salt Lake, Akrotiri is a significant natural habitat fringed with reed beds. It usually, but not always dries up in the summer.
The lake lies within the boundaries of the British Sovereign Base Area of Akrotiri, an area that remained under British jurisdiction when Cyprus became independent in 1960. There has been controversy over the installation of two gigantic antennas by the British military in 2003. Local and European environmentalists are deeply concerned that the antennas inside the wetlands could irreparably harm the fragile ecosystem.