Did you know that Spain has a pink lake? Torrevieja Pink Lake also known as Laguna Salada de Torrevieja or Laguna Rosa de Torrevieja is one the rare lagoons that have this coloration. In this article, you´ll find all the info you need to visit Spain Pink Lake.
It only took one photo on Instagram of a girl floating in what appeared to be a pond of strawberry milkshake to immediately start questioning myself: How on earth Spain has a pink lake and I had no idea of its existence? It took no more than a short search on the internet to discover that this strawberry milkshake coloured lagoon existed in Spain and corresponded to one of the lagoons of the Natural Park de las Lagunas de La Mata y Torrevieja.
Visiting Torrevieja Pink Lake was one of the most anticipated moments of the road trip we did through Spain. While doing our research about this spot, we found one article from the site Culture Trip about the benefits of bathing in this pond.
In addition to the beneficial effects that the high salinity of the water can have, the black muds that are in the vicinity of the lake are also a great attraction due to its therapeutic properties. I do not know exactly in what these therapeutical properties consist of. But we saw a lot of people carrying water bottles to wet the dried mud and make their own facial or body mask.
A free secret spa was what the articles we had read suggested us and this was what we were expecting to find. And to tell you the truth, that’s what we found!
There were plenty of people enjoying this place as if it were a free and natural spa. But when we arrived there, we encountered some signs of prohibition, one of which indicated that it was forbidden to enter the water.
Although we were eager to try the black muds and swim in this beautiful pink lagoon we decided to respect and understand why this ban exists.
We could have simply ignored the prohibition, perpetuating the idea that swimming in these salt lakes is normal. However, as travel bloggers, we think it´s important to share with you beautiful places and hidden gems. But also talk about the importance of preserving these places & give useful and conscious tips to those who want to visit them.
Spain´s pink lake is located at Natural Park de Las Lagunas de La Mata e Torrevieja, in the coastal town of Torrevieja (Alicante province). It is in this lagoon that happens the saline exploration of Torrevieja.
In addition to the famous pink lagoon, this park has another salt lagoon, the Lagoon of La Mata, near this pond lies the Interpretation Center of the park.
For more information about Torrevieja, see this information leaflet of the Tourism of Torrevieja.
Why is the water pink?
The unusual pink water coloration results from the presence of pigments in an unusual type of bacteria called halobacteria, which survive in extreme environments. These Halobacteria have on their membrane a protein called bacteriorhodopsin.
Single-celled algae, Dunaliella salina, also play an important role in the pink/reddish coloration of the pond and Artemia saline crustaceans acquire a pink coloration by feeding on these halobacteria.
Why is it not allowed to bathe in the lagoons?
Although we were prepared and equipped with bathing suits to enjoy these lagoons as if they were a natural spa. As soon as we arrived and saw the sign that prohibited the baths we decided to respect it. Later, when we got home, we decided to find out the reason for this prohibition.
Reasons for this prohibition:
- The salt exploration is still active in the Torrevieja pink lake
- Given that these lagoons are part of a Natural Park it is important to preserve their ecosystems and their unique characteristics of flora and fauna.
It is important to note that although public access to this natural park is allowed, it is crucial to minimise the effects of human presence.
For more information about the legislation and conservation of the Lagunas de La Mata and Torrevieja Natural Park, consult this file of the Department of Environment, Water, Urbanism and Housing. In this file about the legislation of the park, what may be of more interest to visitors are the General Rules of Regulation of Public Use of the Natural Park, article 46 to 54.
A dip in this pink and dreamy lake seems to be a very normal activity around here, but respecting or not this prohibition will be up to you. It depends on the conscience of each one about the environment, its ecosystems and the salt that is in our kitchens.
The desire for a bath in these inviting pink waters might also end being expensive. Being a prohibited activity, if caught by the civil guard or by environmental agents, may lead to a fine.
- Moved by the dazzle of visiting a pink lagoon, we didn´t even think how interesting it would have been to visit the Visitor Center and to have learned more about the salt exploration that happens here.
You can visit the Visitors Center from Monday to Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.; Saturday, Sunday and Holidays from 9am to 1pm. For more information on how to get to the Visitor Center, click here.
- Although we have not seen any flamingo, these lakes serve as habitat for this species. You might be luckier than us. The best time to see them is during their breeding season. During that time up to 2000 flamingos can be seen. According to the information that we found, the flamingos feed and rest near the other lagoon, the Lagoon of La Mata.
- For more information about this natural park & the walking trails that you can take, visit the Park Information Center. Click here to know how to arrive. The Interpretation Center is located near the lagoon of La Mata, also known as the “lagoon that is not pink”
How to arrive?
After spending the afternoon at the mall, we decided to look for the pink lagoon around 5:00 p.m. / 6:00 p.m. As usual, we wrote “Salinas de Torrevieja” on Google Maps.
When we finally arrived, we were disappointed when we came across a closed gate.
Then, we realised that there was a simple way to get there, at any time of the day, just go to the El Hondo urbanization, click here for Google Maps to guide you.
When you arrive at El Hondo urbanisation, it won´t be hard to see the fence and the pink lake.
There were several holes in the fence, which made us start worrying if this wouldn´t be a legal access to the lagoon. But at the end of the fence there is a direct and allowed access.
- The Natural Park of Las Lagunas de La Mata and Torrevieja has 3700 hectares. The pink lake has 1400 hectares and the lake of La Mata has 700 hectares.
- Nowadays, the salt of Torrevieja is exported to the world. The annual production of the salinas exceeds one million tonnes
Where to sleep?
We chose Hotel Madrid. But we have to admit that this was the hotel we liked the least during our Spanish road trip. Maybe because all the other hotels, with a similar price, left us much more impressed. It has breakfast included and we paid €50 a night, not a bad deal.
There is, however, a hotel that we truly wanted to try. It would fit perfectly into our Unique Hotels section. But as we only had 5 days and 4 nights to do this road trip, we had to exclude it from our itinerary.
The hotel is the Vivood Hotel Paisaje, in Benimantell, and is perfect for a romantic getaway. We’ve been wanting to go there for a long time. The Hotel is about 116km from Torrevieja. Roughly 1 hour and 30 minutes drive, which is not much for those who have more days. It is perfectly possible to stay overnight in Vivood Hotel Paisaj, leave Benimantell around 12-1pm and arrive at the Salinas de Torrevieja still during the hottest hours of the day.
We didn´t want to go to the Salinas during the hottest hours, so we spent a good part of the afternoon at the Shopping Center Habaneras, in Torrevieja. We realised that we would have had enough time to spend the night in this dream hotel and still arriving at perfect hours to visit Salinas de Torrevieja
Have you had the opportunity of visiting this lake? This was the first pink lake we visited. Besides this one in Spain, we know a few more. Like the Salinas d´Aigues-Mortes in France, the Laguna Colorada in Bolívia and another one in Australia. Do you know more pink lakes? Share with us!