This is the pink lagoon of Torrevieja: a unique natural phenomenon in Spain
Sometimes it is not necessary to go to the other side of the world to find (and photograph) the most gimmicky landscapes. In the heart of the Alicante region of La Vega Baja del Segura there is a huge pink lagoon of 1,400 hectares that is part of the Natural Park of Lagunas de la Mata and Torrevieja.
This phenomenon of natural origin, unique in Spain, is produced by a bacterium that releases a pinkish pigment in waters with high salt concentration: in the case of the pink lagoon, 350 grams per liter of water, a figure very similar to that of Dead Sea.
And it's not only pretty: it's also the most productive salt lake in our continent, since 800,000 tons of salt are extracted from it each year, exported to northern Europe and the United States for industrial purposes - from melting salt to roads to the salt of the dishwasher - but also food - to make, for example, salted fish.
Precisely that excess of salt is the "culprit", in part, of that pink chewing gum, sometimes even fuchsia, that characterizes this lagoon, similar to others such as Lake Hillier or Hutt Lagoon, in Australia; the pink lakes of Las Coloradas (Mexico); Lake Dusty Rose of Canada, Lake Masazirgol of Azerbaijan or the Pink Lake of Senegal.
It is in waters with a high saline concentration where halobacteria and reddish microalgae appear that have carotenoid pigments and from which the brine shrimp, a tiny invertebrate crustacean and pinkish aquatic crustacean, which in turn is the basis of the diet, is fed. of flamingo or gull pigeon. Yes, almost everything here is pink.
The bad news is that, as appealing as it may seem, it is forbidden to bathe in it, although the photos on Instagram will seem to say otherwise. For environmental reasons, to guarantee the quality of the lagoon's ecosystems, but also for safety reasons, bathing is not allowed.
The extraction of the salt is done with submerged agricultural machines, called "backwash" and then collected with barges, which is a danger to bathers who skip the norm, so the best bath you can give is after in the Mediterranean.
Although you can not splash in pink waters, you can immortalize this unusual show or take any of the routes on foot or by bicycle that will recommend you at the Interpretation Center of the Natural Park, to spot, in addition to flamingos, wintering birds such as herons or fishing eagles.
They also organize environmental education activities for the youngest of the house if you decide to do the family outing, such as recycling workshops or guided tours to discover more than 150 species of flora inventoried in the Natural Park: daffodils, Flor de Saladar, senecios , Friar Champs or Small Abejeras.
Do not forget that 52% of the municipality of Torrevieja is protected and that this wetland from which salt is obtained was declared a Natural Park in 1992.
Have we convinced you? Especially at dusk, during the warmer months and just before it rains, the picture is magical. Of course, once there you may be tempted to succumb and imitate all those who immerse themselves in water or bathe in mud, but nature teaches us, once again, that sometimes it is better to observe beauty from the shore.
WHAT MORE YOU CAN DO IN TORREVIEJA
- If you are from the beach, plant the umbrella in de la Mata, in the Cura, Los Locos or in Los Náufragos.
- Try the grilled octopus, the ball with broth, the fried roe and the tomato with roasted chaplain from Bar El Rojo. The one of all the life, the one that does not need ornaments.
- Camúflate between locals in the Freiduría El Gambeo or in the Sidrería del Cura.
- And when you get tired of fried fish, go to Giusto, a vegan restaurant that will be one of the surprises of the trip.
- Walk the seafront eating an ice cream from Sirvent Miralles or Ramón Sirvent. Everything remains in family.
- Take a souvenir, to snack on your trip back home, a mona or panquemao -a typical brioche from Alicante and Murcia- from the Miguel Hernández Bakery.
- Sleep in this modern villa with pool or at the Hotel Doña Monse: 26 of its 70 rooms overlook the pink lagoon. In addition, from its Pink Café, with panoramic terrace -only for guests-, pool and cocktail bar, you will be able to see the best sunsets in the area.