The Mallorca, Ibiza and Formentera salt mines

Discover salt's history and landscape

Salt has been extracted from seawater on the islands for centuries, and this activity has created a beautiful landscape of ponds and small white hills where life flourishes: thousands of birds find rest and food during their intercontinental travels, and plants adapted to wind and salt grow all around the ponds. This is a paradise for bird watchers and hikers, or for anyone wishing to discover the secrets of producing salt, on a guided tour.

Archaeological remains in Mallorca confirm that the first salt extraction took place towards the 4th century BC, during Ancient Carthaginian settlement, but most of the findings are from the Roman period. We know that there were salt mines throughout the whole island, but the main ones are those still operating, the Salinas de Es Trenc, to the South of the island. They are part of the protected Salobrar de Campos wetlands, measuring around 172 hectares and producing about 10,000 tonnes of salt a year.

The salt mines are located behind the long sandy stretch of Es Trenc, and are fed from the water from this beach. Seawater circulates through a canal towards the natural and artificial ponds where salt concentrations increase by day, thanks to the sun and wind. This is an essential location for birds: here is where over 170 species, such as flamingos and cranes, feed and rest, and conservation organisations tally their numbers and study their migration patterns.

The smaller ponds produce the valuable fleur de sel, flower-shaped salt crystals that float and are collected manually. This is the purest salt, containing over 80 minerals that are necessary for our organisms, and the favourite salt used by renowned chefs for seasoning their creations. The Es Trenc salt mines offer guided visits, lasting approximately 40 minutes, where you will learn the secrets of salt production and the natural value of this treasured ecosystem.

Another salt mine to be visited in Mallorca is the Salinas dels Estanys, at the Colònia de Sant Jordi, dating from the 4th century BC and considered as the oldest salt mine on the Mediterranean.

The Carthaginians began producing salt on Ibiza around the 5th century BC. The salt mines were then used by various settlers, until in 1871 they became privately-owned. Today they are contained within the Parque Natural de las Salinas de Ibiza y Formentera, and can be visited by walking along the narrow footpaths separating the ponds. The Interpretation Centre for this natural park is located next to the Sant Francesc de l’Estany church, at the entrance to the salt mines, and it offers information on its ecological and economic value.

The park also includes the Formentera salt mines and the strait that separates the two islands, the seabed of which is covered in posidonia oceanica (seagrass), responsible for the crystalline quality of the water. The island offers beautiful coastal lagoons close to the salt mines, such as S'Estany des Peix, Estany Pudent and la Bassa de S'Espalmador.

To know more

01

Local product Flor de Sal d'Es Trenc (Campos, mallorca)

The purest and most valuable sea salt


02

Nature park Ses Salines de Ibiza y Formentera (Eivissa, ibiza)

An indispensable natural paradise


03

Nature park Es Trenc - Salobrar de Campos (Campos, mallorca)

A unique natural landscape on the banks of Es Trenc


05

natural protected area Estany des Peix (Formentera, formentera)

The smaller of the two large lakes in Formentera, the meeting point between the natural environment and history


06

natural protected area Estany Pudent (Formentera, formentera)

A walk through a biological and historical lake of great wealth