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Information About Torrevieja & the History of Torrevieja in a Nutshell

The town of TorreviejaTorrevieja or "old tower" as the name would imply is an important town along this part of the Costa Blanca and is the main reason that Guardamar del Segura and the surrounding area has been declared one of the healthiest areas in the world to live.

There was not much to see at the beginning of the 1800s, just an old watchtower and a few houses. The watchtower was one of many that you will find dotted along the coast which existed in the days of yore to keep a watch out for the Moroccan pirates who travelled the Mediterranean seas for centuries.

Torrevieja is well known for its salt lakes, but originally these belonged to the crown and were used as hunting grounds which required a license to hunt, these were often granted to allies of the king. In the middle ages salt was an expensive and valuable commodity and was in great supply here.

Around the middle of the 13th century residents living in the nearby city of Orihuela were given warrants which granted them permission to harvest this salt. The town of Torrevieja began to take shape at la Mata or Torrelamata as it was (and still is) known. Along with the Balearic island of Ibiza, Torrelamata became the most important centres for the production of salt in the kingdom of Aragon.

The salt lake offices at La Mata were moved to their current location in 1802, this in turn meant that Torrevieja was rapidly urbanised. In 1820 Torrevieja gained it's independence from Orihuela thanks to the proximity of the salt lakes and the use of the port for exporting the salt and other horticultural produce of La Vega Baja.

Every single year around one million tonnes of salt is produced by Torrevieja; this is mainly for export and gives Torrevieja its status as one of the leading European salt producers. Occasionally the salt flats dry up to form a dry salt crust. The salt flats (or salterns) account for the high level of iodine in the air which has lead to the area being called one of the healthiest areas in the world (according to World Health Organisation), people with arthritis etc do claim to lead a healthier life here as a result of it.

Torrevieja these days has grown significantly, this was due mainly to the urbanisation by thousands of people from all over Europe moving here. As a result, the town's economy changed to encompass income from the tourist trade in addition to that which it also makes from its salt export.

As with Guardamar del Segura and many other areas of the Costa Blanca preservation of the coastline through restoration of dunes and natural parks is of great importance and the salt lakes are no different. In addition to their commercial purpose they are now also a thriving bird reserve and natural park with beautiful walks and cycle routes around them which if you are a bird watcher or nature lover are well worth a visit.

Torrevieja is only around 12 kilometres from our apartment in Guardamar del Segura and can be easily reached either by bur or car. In addition to the sights of Torrevieja there is also a large commercial and shopping centre there which is worth a visit.