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Following my post about the impressive sandstone formations in Bolnuevo, which was really well received, I thought I would share about another lesser-known gem. The Pink Lake in Torrevieja, Spain.
The little resort town of Torrevieja on the Costa Blanca is home to one of Spain’s most spectacular natural attractions. As you drive into town, north from Alicante airport, you will pass by two salt lakes. One is emerald green and the other is bubblegum pink.
Yes, you read it right. Spain actually has its very own pink lake called Laguna Salada de Torrevieja.
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- The Pink Lake in Torrevieja Spain
- How to get to the Pink Lake in Torrevieja
- Best time to visit
- What to expect at the Pink Lake
- Sea and Salt Museum (Museo del Mar y de la Sal)
- Visit Torrevieja
- More Spain inspiration
- Remember to pin for later 😀
The Pink Lake in Torrevieja Spain
I found out about the Pink Lake in Torrevieja by chance when I was getting directions to a shopping mall on Google Maps. To my surprise, there were three distinctive colored lakes right next to each other. I’ve been dreaming of visiting the pink lakes in Western Australia and the one in Mexico for years, but I never knew that Spain has its very own pink lake.
And the funny thing is that the lake is located just 30-40 minutes from my family’s holiday home at Hacienda Riquelme (this isn’t our apartment, just an example to show you how beautiful this place is) where we have been vacationing over 15 years now. I didn’t think there was anything left for me to explore in the area, but boy was I wrong. This pink lake turned out to be one of the coolest things I’ve seen here yet, a must on any Spain Bucket List.
Together, Laguna Salada de la Mata and Laguna Salada de Torrevieja form a nature reserve called Las Salinas de Torrevieja. It’s the perfect place for a bike ride or a stroll under the Spanish sun. Which by the way shines more than 320 days out of the year in this part of the country.
The two eye-catching salt lakes are the reason why Torrevieja developed from a small fishing village into an actual town. So let’s take a closer look at what you can expect when visiting this feat of nature.
Pink Lake Torrevieja Map
How to get to the Pink Lake in Torrevieja
The easiest way to get to the Pink Lake in Torrevieja is by bike, it takes about 20 minutes from the center of town.
If you have access to a bike, I highly recommend joining this affordable tour where you will go for a bike ride along the Pink Lake, learn about the salt industry and look at the last factories, before finishing the day with a refreshing drink on a salt mountain.
If you don’t have access to your own bike, this Natural Parks e-Bike Tour includes pick-up from Torrevieja and the use of an e-bike. Discover a different side of Torrevieja, off the beaten path. Visit the Salinas, natural parks, impressive viewpoints, beautiful beaches and coves.
“We had a wonderful bike tour through the nature parks on the salt lakes!”
From Torrevieja Bus Station on Calle del Mar get on the Line B bus towards Torretas and get off on Calle Urano in the Torretas III neighborhood. From there just walk down to Calle Sol where there are several entrances. There might be more on different streets as well, however, this is the part I’ve been to several times.
If you’re coming from Alicante or Murcia as we did, the easiest way to get to the Pink Lake is by car. There are so many beautiful places to see in this part of Spain that can only be reached by car.
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Once we got to the Pink Lake we drove around for a while until we found a free place to park on Calle Venus, about 50 meters away from the water.
Pink Lake entrance
The Pink Lake in Torrevieja is fenced in by an ugly metal fence, but there are several openings where you can enter. Just look for dirt paths in the grass, we found one close to Calle Venus and as I mentioned above, there are a few more openings on Calle Sol.
Best time to visit
The best time of the year to visit the Pink Lake in Torrevieja Spain is from June to October when the weather is mostly sunny. The photos in this article were shot in October.
When we got to the lake the sun was shining and the water beautifully pink. But as the wind picked up and clouds started rolling in, the color of the water quickly changed from a vibrant pink to a very little appealing brown tone.
So I would say that the best time of the day to visit the lake is in the morning on a sunny, calm day. If you want to get some great photos of the Pink Lake in Torrevieja, make sure to go when there’s no wind.
I’m also definitely going back for sunset the next time I’m in Spain, as I can only imagine how beautiful it will be with the reflection of a pastel-colored sky in the pink water.
What to expect at the Pink Lake
After learning about the pink lake and doing a lot of research I almost couldn’t wait to see it in real life. I found several articles about the benefits of the salty water and the black mud, it kind of sounded like a natural spa.
Supposedly, the mud and salt at the bottom of the lake have healing properties that can relieve both skin and respiratory ailments.
Can you swim in the Torrevieja Salt Lakes?
No, you can’t. I read in several places that swimming in the lakes is strictly forbidden. You can be fined up to 6000 Euros if caught, so that can quickly turn into a very expensive day at the spa.
There are supposed to be no swimming signs all along the lake, however, I did not see any at the entrance I used. But I definitely didn’t want to take any chances so I tippy-toed out to a rock about one meter from shore just to get a few photos.
Why is the lake pink?
The unusual color of the Pink Lake in Torrevieja is caused by pigments of the Halobacterium bacteria and a micro-algae called Dunaliella Salina, both of which somehow manage to live and thrive in very salty environments.
Flamingos at the Pink Lake
So does shrimp. The tiny creatures called saltwater brine shrimp take on the pink color by feeding on the algae, and that’s why up to 2000 flamingos can be seen here during the breeding season. Their feathers often turn to a fascinating shade of pink from feasting on algae-filled shrimps.
I’ve been there in late autumn several times so unfortunately, I have yet to lay my eyes on what I can only imagine is a spectacular sight. I mean, beautiful pink birds in pink water!? Nature is awesome!
I did, however, see many other types of cool birds. Apparently, around 100 types of aquatic and marine birds frequent this amazing nature reserve.
If you want to see flamingos not too far away, go to the salt flats called Salinas y Arenales in San Pedro del Pinatar. Every time I’ve been there I’ve spotted flamingos. You can read more about it in my Region of Murcia guide.
Sea and Salt Museum (Museo del Mar y de la Sal)
If you want to learn even more about the area, combine your visit to Laguna Salada de Torrevieja with a trip to the salt museum to learn more about the town’s salt industry. Via Verde, also known as Greenway, is s seven kilometers long path that starts at the railway station and goes around the Pink Lake running parallel to the old railway line that connected Albatera and Torrevieja.
Visiting the Sea and Salt Museum, which opened its doors in 1995, is a great way to get a better understanding of the complex relationship between the sea, salt, and Torrevieja. It reflects the town’s customs, arts and popular traditions from its early beginnings as a small fisherman’s village.
In the museum, you can see old photographs, a model reconstruction of the old salt port and some beautiful model ships and buildings made entirely from salt to capture the crystallization process. This type of craftsmanship is unique to Torrevieja so it’s one of the must-see attractions for any visitor. A full-size version of “Pascual Flores”, one of the ships built locally which crossed the Atlantic and connected Torrevieja with Cuba, can be found outside in the port.
It’s a small museum so you’ll need no more 30 minutes to see it all.
Entrance fee: Free
Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday 10 to 14 – 17 to 21. Sundays and public holidays 10-14. Mondays closed.
Read next >> Rafting the stunning Segura River in Murcia, Spain
Torrevieja, located 40 kilometers south of Alicante airport, is the center of tourism in the south of Alicante province in Costa Blanca, Spain. It is one of the fastest-growing cities in the country due to both tourism and a big expat community.
Apparently, Torrevieja hosts the highest number of British residents among Spanish cities. And the Scandinavians are not far behind. It’s weird being in a country in southern Europe and hearing Norwegian, Swedish and English spoken more commonly than Spanish.
As mentioned above, the best way to explore Torrevieja and its surroundings is by bike. You can also walk to most places. During the summer months, it can be very difficult to find parking in the center of town so the best option is just to leave the car at home.
What to see in Torrevieja
In addition to the salt lakes and beautiful beaches, Torrevieja boasts many parks, nature trails, gardens and squares such as the Paraje Natural Municipal Molino del Agua and Nations Garden where you can sit down in the shade and just enjoy the gorgeous scenery.
Any visitor to Torrevieja is also bound to visit the harbor, where you can find numerous shops, bars and restaurants serving fresh fish caught by local fishermen.
As you have probably gathered by now, Torrevieja relies on its salt lakes. And it has been that way for centuries. In the early 19th century, they officially became the main exporter of salt in Spain. To this day, the salt industry plays a huge role in the town’s economy. However, in recent years, salt has taken a back seat to tourism.
Where to stay close to the pink lake
Torrevieja offers accommodation options for everyone whether you want to stay by the beach, in an urban setting or close to nature.
I would, of course, recommend staying at Hacienda Riquelme Golf Resort about 40 minutes away, even if you’re not a golfer. It’s one of my favorite places in the world, which is kind of weird, as I’m not a resort person at all.
But if you prefer to stay a bit closer to the action in an expat community like Torrevieja, this highly-rated modern apartment called Apartamento Monstera could be a great option. Or this house with stunning views of the pink lake.
Popular Torrevieja tours
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