We drove past the ‘pink’ lake, salt mountains piled next to it waiting to be loaded onto the conveyer belt that passes under the road and the buildings to the beach and then out to the jetty to be loaded onto ships. Some of this salt ends up on the UK’s roads in winter.
Torrevieja is a long narrow town so from the coast road you are never very far from the sea even though you can’t see it most of the time.
Salt has always been important to the town, it is really the only reason why it came to be, having first been listed as a town in 1802 and named after it’s watch-tower (Torre = tower and vieja=old) which was destroyed in a devastating earthquake in 1829.
The lakes, together with the Mar Menor to the south and the Santa Pola salt lakes to the north, create a unique micro climate, one the World Health Organisation lists as one of the healthiest in the world; particularly good for those who suffer with joint or respiratory problems. Combined with the warm average winter temperatures (higher than the Costa del Sol and north Costa Blanca) of over 10 degrees (usually upper teens/low twenties in the sun), 320 days of sunshine and frost being virtually unheard of, you cannot better the climate in Europe.
The population of Torrevieja has quadrupled since 1990 and now stands at just over 100,000, which caused the huge construction boom. It has one of the most diverse populations, half are Spanish, around 11-12% are native English speakers and the rest are from around the world. The town has historical trading links with the Caribbean which has led to a unique style of song called the Habaneras and the Habaneras festival has been run for over 40 years in the town every August. Like every other Spanish town there are numerous festivals throughout the year.t