• Tenerife
  • Lanzarote
  • Gran Canaria
  • Fuerteventura
  • La Palma
  • La Gomera
  • El Hierro
Islas Canarias

Strolling around the salt flats

14 september 2016
Portada. Javier Pérez Fotografía

The beach is one place where your after session can be like something straight out of a film – as you saw in Breath-taking beaches for your Trash The Dress session. However, there are other really beautiful spots in the geography of the Canary Islands where we can find sun and sea. This is the case of the salt flats – open-air areas for the collection of sea salt, with scenic textures and colours that give the photographer a lot to play with.

From far off, they provide us with unique and singular views, where the white of the mountains of salt contrast with the black of the volcanic ground. Depending on the point the salt extraction process is at, we can also see reddish tones in the pools. They are due to the action of different organisms, such as crustaceans, algae or bacteria, which make the salt flats one of the most unusual ecosystems on the planet.

More than one hundred species of flora and fauna adapted to the high salinity inhabit this environment, where migratory birds usually stop off along their route. Without a doubt, they are a treasure worth preserving so all of the salt flats in the Canary Islands have been declared places of cultural interest (Bien de Interés Cultural) and/or places of scientific interest (Sitio de Interés Científico).

Since this activity began in the 16th century, the number of salt flats has varied, reaching its historic maximum in the middle of the last century, with 60 active installations. However, there are only a few left today, located on the coasts of La Palma (Fuencaliente), Gran Canaria (Arinaga, Bocacangrejo, Bufadero, La Florida and Tenefé or Pozo Izquierdo), Fuerteventura (El Carmen) and Lanzarote (Janubio).

In these evocative places, past and present combine. The passage of time has not stopped here yet they allow us to still look upon a not-too-distant past. They are a living legacy and clear example of sustainable production, thanks to the coexistence of traditional techniques alongside progress in the area of renewable energies.

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