It’s been rather cold on the Costa Blanca as of late. Not THAT cold though. No, we haven’t needed to grit the roads or plough a passage through the snow, so the mountains of salt we see by the side of the road near Torrevieja and Santa Pola are presumably making their way to the north of the country and to the rest of Europe.
I’ve always been fascinated by these gleaming white piles close to the road. Unfortunately it’s not, to my knowledge, possible to visit any of the salt factories. It is quite easy to park nearby and get a closer look through the fence, and that’s exactly what I did.
Luckily though, both Torrevieja and Santa Pola have museums dedicated to the salt industry, and they are free to visit. The one in Torrevieja is all about the sea and the salt (as blogged about recently by Inka, the Glamour Granny!), but in Santa Pola it concentrates just on salt.
Don’t worry if you don’t speak Spanish (or Valenciano/Catalan). There are many information boards in English to tell you the story of the salt industry. You are transported back to Roman times and the early days of harvesting salt. Old photos, illustrations and dioramas then chart the progress of the industry as it developed into what it is today.
When you’ve had your fill of salty history, don’t miss the chance to walk around the lake outside. When I visited there was a flock of flamingos on the water and it was possible to get quite close and have a good look at them.
Out on the N332 there are many salt water lakes but getting close to them is no mean feat. There is one parking area near the Torre de Tamarit where you can walk a short way from the road but stopping anywhere else would be dangerous and not worth the risk.