News: The spectacular pink salt lakes of Torrevieja and La Mata, Spain
The salt lakes of Torrevieja
Valencia´s vibrant pink jewel
A swift Google search confirms that the worlds most prolific pink lake is Lake Hillier on the south western coast of Autralia. Mexico´s Yucatan Peninsula also hosts their own pink lakes - the Las Colorados, spectacular lakes full of candy-floss coloured salt water.
Fortunately you don´t need a long-haul flight ticket to see these natural wonders, as Torrevieja is home to not one but two salt lakes, one azure blue, the other a vibrant pink in colour. Right here in Spain.
Less than 3 hours flight time from home, the Spanish salt lakes and the wildlife that inhabit them are absolutely stunning. And locals know an even better secret: the pink lake in Spain's Las Salinas de Torrevieja has all the therapeutic qualities of a natural spa. It is purported that just living within the vicinity can have positive benefits for your health and wellbeing.
The vivid bubblegum pink colour of the water in the salt lake has been attributed to a rare type of micro-algae that thrives in exceptionally salty conditions, called Dunaliella Salina. The rare halophile algae produces a pink dye to help it to better absorb sunlight under the surface of the water.
The vibrant hue of the pink lake is permanent and does not change when the water is poured into a container, and the algae is known for its high concentration of healthy antioxidants and cancer beating carotenoids, the same naturally occurring pigment that gives salmon it´s pink colour.
Torrevieja´s pink salt lake: a protected habitat
Valencia´s Las Salinas de Torrevieja is home to 2,000 flamingos during migratory seasons, and Torrevieja town hall ensures that this wild habitat remains protected during critical periods to ensure that the magnificent wading birds can enjoy their fleeting season in the sun in complete safety.
The pink salt lake has been commercially farmed for it´s salt for more than 200 years, and it´s a renewable commodity as the Mediterranean Sea water is constantly replenished.
Today the lake is ecologically managed, and in 1995 Torrevieja council inaugurated the Museo del Mar y de la Sal (the Museum of Sea and Salt) in Torrevieja, which exhibits a selection of objects that constitute a reflection of Torrevieja's historic saline roots.
The wetland is revered locally for it´s undoubted sheer beauty and botanical value and over the years the council has established a nature reserve to protect the precious ecosystem, the Parque natural de las Lagunas de La Mata y Torrevieja.
Consisting of a network of walkways and trails around the salt lakes, the park offers viewing towers and picnic areas for nature lovers looking for solitude off the beaten track. But don´t be tempted to venture in to the idyllic waters, the Torrevieja salt lakes are reserved for wildlife exclusively and bathing is not permitted.
Find out more about the Torrevieja salt lakes by visiting the official Torrevieja Tourist Office website.
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