One of Spain‘s most popular lakes is so pink that it could have easily appeared in the Barbie movie. In addition to being the pinkest lake in Europe, Laguna Salada de Torrevieja is one of the largest and saltiest lakes on the continent. The vibrant pink color of Laguna Salada de Torrevieja results from a high concentration of salt-loving bacteria, known as halobacterium, and salt-friendly algae, Dunaliella salina.
The town of Torrevieja is located between two salt lakes: Laguna de la Mata, a brilliant emerald green, and Laguna Salada de Torrevieja, bubblegum pink. Both lakes form a nature reserve known as Las Salinas de Torrevieja. Laguna Salada de Torrevieja is almost as salty as the Dead Sea in the Middle East and produces hundreds of thousands of tons of salt each year, exported worldwide.
Swimming in the pink waters of Laguna Salada de Torrevieja is strictly prohibited, but visitors can stand on the shore and walk around the lake. The lake’s high salt content often leads to sparkling salt deposits washing ashore.
At certain times of the year, flocks of bright pink flamingos frolic in Laguna Salada de Torrevieja’s waters. These flamingos eat tiny brine shrimp that consume pink halobacterium, ensuring their vibrant pink feathers.
The muddy bottom of Laguna Salada de Torrevieja and the salt deposits lining the lake’s shores are rumored to have healing properties. Many health enthusiasts claim that applying the lake’s salt and mud to the skin can help clear up skin and respiratory maladies. The salty air of Torrevieja is also said to be conducive to healing for those who struggle with labored breathing.
It is best to visit Laguna Salada de Torrevieja on a sunny day, as the lake appears pinkest when the sun shines upon its waters. June to October is generally the sunniest time of year. The lake, surrounded by bike paths, invites visitors to circle its shimmering cherry blossom pink water.
Most visitors think they’re dreaming…