The summer is around the corner and in Torrevieja we are already enjoying the sun and the warmth. It’s time to go out and enjoy the good weather, and what better way than to visit one of the most beautiful places that Torrevieja has to offer? In today’s post you’ll find five things you probably didn’t know about the Natural Park of Lagunas de La Mata and Torrevieja.
1. They are called the Valencian Dead Sea.
With a salt concentration of 350 g per litre in the most saline areas of the Laguna de Torrevieja, it isn’t difficult to make the comparison with the famous Dead Sea located between Israel, Palestine and Jordan. However, the differences between the two are many; the concentration of salinity in the lagoons varies, which allows fish and a wide variety of marine fauna and flora to exist, and the algae that live in the bottom of the Laguna de Torrevieja give it a very characteristic pink colour during the warmer months that the Dead Sea probably envies.
2. You can’t bathe in them.
Although bathing in the pink water of las Lagunas can be very attractive for several reasons (Instagram pictures, exfoliation and relaxation, to be able to float in salt water …), bathing in these lagoons is not only prohibited but can be fined.
This is due to two reasons: The first is environmental, since people’s bathing (and the waste that visitors produce) disturbs the flora and fauna of the place, leading to the destruction of a vegetation that is considered a priority habitat, or the elimination of nests and breeding areas for vulnerable birds. The second reason is security; Torrevieja is the largest salt exporter in Spain and that is due to its saline lagoons, and the machinery that extracts the salt doesn’t stop because someone wants to take a dip. Bathing in the lagoon could prove fatal.
There are companies that offer baths in the lagoons within their tour package; from Inmokea we recommend that, for your safety and the sake of the Lagoons, those companies aren’t trusted.
3. Your salt extraction system is unique.
Most salt mines let the water evaporate, and then collect the salt. However, in the lagoons the water doesn’t evaporate completely; between April and September, the increase in temperature and hours of sunshine causes the water to become saturated with salts. The salt accumulates in the bottom of the lagoon, creating a layer that allows its extraction all year round.
This layer is extracted by a unique technology; a mobile platform that has backhoe motors and underwater caterpillar machinery to move, uses a shovel to scratch the salt plate that forms at the bottom. The machine is connected to the shore by a kilometre-wide dike through which the extracted salt flows.
4. They have an extraordinary ecosystem.
In the Lagunas de La Mata and Torrevieja there are more than 150 species of flora inventoried; the wetland was declared a Natural Park in 1992, and 52% of Torrevieja is protected thanks to the ecosystem it has.
Those who enjoy walking along the beaches of Torrevieja may have seen birds that are not normally found in the sea, such as egrets; this is because the amount of birds in Las Lagunas is enormous, and sometimes the inhabitants of Las Lagunas come to take a dip in the Mediterranean.
Among the birds that we can see in the area are the stilt, the imperial heron or the common tern, among many others. Perhaps the most famous inhabitants of the lagoon are the flamingos, as pink as the waters themselves, of which hundreds of specimens can be seen.
5. The lagoons are a perfect day trip.
Around the lagoon of La Mata, also called Laguna Verde (green lagoon) for its colour, is the Interpretation Center of the natural park. In it, visits are planned frequently, and also has exhibition halls, interactive elements and an audiovisual area.
The Town Hall of Torrevieja has several guided routes through which different roads that cross the park are explored, completely free of charge. If you want to enjoy the fauna, there are viewpoints specially equipped for this, so do not forget your binoculars!
Remember, however, that bathing is not allowed. For that, better enjoy the multiple blue flagged beaches of Torrevieja, which are very close by.