Spain’s pink lake is home to thousands of flamingos – but tourists rarely go

Pink lakes are a rarity in Europe. The salt-water lakes are usually found in places such as Australia and Bolivia. 

But closer to home, in Spain, an extraordinary pink salt lake, The Laguna Salada de Torrevieja on the Costa Blanca, is nothing short of mind-blowing. It also is favoured by thousands of flamingos who flock to it for breeding.

The lake sits in a  nature reserve, Las Lugunas de la Mata y Terrevieja Natural Park, just outside the small resort town Torrevieja in Costa Blanca and stretches across 1400 hectares. It’s fringed by two gigantic salt mountains, over 7,400 feet high. 

The town itself actually sits between two lakes: La Mata – the more traditionally-blue coloured lake and the vibrant pink Torrevieja.

There’s nothing sinister about how it became bright pink; it’s due to a variety of micoorganisms typical of a saline environment and the presence of the bacterium Halobacterium and the Dunaliella Salina aglae.

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The lake also happens to be rather attractive to around 2,000 flamingos who use the lake as a breeding ground during August and September when the lake is at its most vibrant fuchsia colour.

The Laguna Salada actually produces as much as 350 grams of salt per litre of water – not an amount similar to the Dead Sea and it produces around 700,000 tons of salt per year. Most of it is exported for use on salting roads and in industry. 

Thanks to its concentration of minerals and iodine, the region has a unique microclimate that benefits the respiratory system.

The mud at the bottom of the lagoon is wonderful for healing skin and joint diseases. 

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