The Rose-Colored Charms Of Las Salinas

DESTINATION: ALICANTE, SPAIN

Arriving at the water’s edge in Alicante near Spain’s sun-kissed Valencia region, what at first seems like an ordinary shoreline at the Torrevieja natural park quickly reveals its unexpected secret. Further from the shore, the gently rolling waves appear to be a beautiful, but relatively ordinary sea blue in color. But upon closer inspection, an otherworldly brilliant rose-colored hue becomes apparent as yet another of nature’s stunning enigmas unfurls across the horizon. The quiet, serene landscape coupled with this astonishing natural wonder is a siren call to all who seek out this enchanting panorama in shades of pink.

The mystery begins with Dunaliella Salina, a naturally occurring micro-algae found in sea salt fields that produces the vibrant shade of pink found in Torrevieja’s waters. Handfuls of the rose-hued salt can be drawn directly from the warm water as one blissfully floats along in this spa-like setting. But the magic of this fairy-tale locale doesn’t end there, because another visitor has been drawn to the shores of this rose-colored lagoon in the form of delicate pink flamingos—hundreds of whom flock here year after year to feast on Torrevieja’s thriving brine shrimp and, consequently, take on the sea’s rare deep shade.

A natural spa treatment is the reward for all who venture into the rose-colored waters by making use of the two main ingredients in abundant supply at Torrevieja: mud and salt. At the shoreline, you can generously slather on the skin-moisturizing black mud along the water’s edge and reap the benefits of the concentrated minerals it contains as it dries on your face and body. When finished with this first step, wading into the salty waters to scrub off the mud is the perfect bookend to this therapeutic treatment that leaves you with a healthy and radiant glow due to the pink salt’s natural cleansing properties.

With or without dipping your toes in the wonderfully relaxing therapeutic mud and salty waters, the entire natural park is ripe for adventure—whether taking a stroll or bike ride along the shoreline or planning a scenic picnic or bird-watching expedition. Despite the allure of this magical seaside jewel, most of the area is relatively undisturbed with less tourists than most other Mediterranean coastal towns, further imbuing the pink-tinged waters with an increasingly rare aura of peace and serenity.