Torrevieja is a tourist town whose life revolves around the sea and the production of salt. Its two huge salt mines, Torrevieja and La Mata, are surrounded by modern housing estates. Connected with each other, they reach the sea through La Mata and were declared a Nature Reserve.
Salt mining in this region goes back to the beginning of Christianity, though it reached its peak during the 19th century. Nowadays, Torrevieja’s salt is exported to the whole world. The annual production exceeds a million tons and the huge moutains of salt are something impressive to see. In Torrevieja, seafaring tradition is kept alive by the significant activity of the fishing and trading port, the numerous piers at the Royal Sailing Club, and the International Marina. Towards the end of the promenade we find the wharf from which ships, loaded with salt, were leaving, a while ago, for Cuba, and would bring, on their way back, the popular songs known as habaneras which still entertain the popular Coral Competition celebrated every year during the summer.
The lagoons of Torrevieja and La Mata include 3,700 hectares of the most important wetlands in Europe, with an exceptional climate and various flora that adapted to this salty environment. The strange pink-purple colour of the Torrevieja lagoon is caused by pigments of the Halobacterium bacteria which lives in extreme salty environments. This is also found in the Dead Sea and the Great Salt Lake. The colour is also caused by an alga called Dunadiella Salina, which is responsible for the bright red colour of the lake seen at certain times of the year. The Artemia Salina brine shrimp, which lives in the lake, is also red because it feeds on the bacteria. You will also see the flamingos turn a lovely shade of pink because they eat the shrimps. The salt is produced from the south-east corner of the pink lagoon.
The tranquil and calm waters of Las Salinas de Torrevieja can prevent skin and lung diseases besides improving the full condition of your health. Locals who also come to this secret free spa are the perfect people to help you locate the black mud, full of great properties to help improve your skin. Apply the white sand on your body to provide it with a deep exfoliation, and the black mud on your face to moisturize the skin, and leave it on for at least 30 minutes to get the full effect. The therapeutic results will amaze you. However, if there are some scratches on your skin, be careful: the salty water can sting.
Cover image by Moisés Pastor / Wikimedia Commons