Saturday, June 15, 2024

Unusual pink lake a few hours from the UK is near a popular holiday destination

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PINK lakes are commonly associated with far-flung destinations like Australia and Mexico.

But there are a handful of pink lakes scattered across Europe, including one little-known spot in Turkey.


Lake Tuz is a pink salt lake in TurkeyCredit: Alamy
The lake is around an hour's drive from Cappadocia


The lake is around an hour’s drive from CappadociaCredit: Alamy

Located near Aksaray, which is around a two-hour drive from Ankara (a popular destination with Brits) lies Lake Tuz (Salt Lake).

Also known as Tuz Gölü, the lake is a Turkish salt lake that’s known for its ever-changing colours.

The colour of the lake ranges from a vibrant turquoise in the summer months to a milky white in the winter, but the lake has also been known to turn pink at times.

The different colours are because of changes in the algae, bacteria and temperatures.

Its pink hue is the result of the algae producing a reddish pigment called beta-carotene.

This pigment is produced when the temperature rises, as it protects the algae from sunlight, with the salination levels also rising at the same time.

The lake’s pink tone typically lasts until the arrival of the rainy season, when Lake Tuz returns to its natural colour.

And it’s not just the lake that’s pink, because it’s also home to flamboyance (flock) of flamingos too in addition to other bird species.

The lake is rather shallow throughout the year, and it has also been known to dry up during the summer months, which means there’s no pink water to be seen.

This is because very few surface streams feed into the lake and low levels of rainfall.

Stunning pink lake in Europe with thousands of flamingos – & it’s only three hours from the UK-

Lake Tuz is also said to be one of the world’s largest hypersaline lakes, which means its salinity levels are similar to that of the Dead Sea.

The origins of the lake are largely a mystery, with some people beliving it was formed by tectonic activity millions of years ago.

Meanwhile, others suggest it was formed after impacts from an ancient meteor.

Pegasus Airlines operates direct flights from the UK to Ankara, with one-way tickets starting from £74 in June.

Over the last few years, it seems that Lake Tuz has welcomed more and more visitors from further afield.

One person on TripAdvisor wrote: “A beautiful lake without exit to the sea, hence the pink colour, just make sure to bring sandals.”

Another person added: “The lake is of a very very pale hue of pink, but the colour is still visible.

“It’s great for a short 15-minute stop and stroll, if you are in the area.”

And Turkey isn’t the only European country to have its own pink lake either.

Other pink lakes in Europe

Set outside of Torrevieja in Costa Blanca is Laguna Salada de Torrevieja.

Also known as Laguna Rosa, it’s a pink salt lake that stretches across 1400 hectares.

The unusual hue is caused by halobacteria (a microorganism) and Dunaliella salina (a type of algae), which are both naturally pink in colour and release a pigment into the water.

Travel blogger Charlotte, who is also known as Sunshine Seeker, described the lake as ” bubblegum pink” in a recent post.  

Just like Turkey’s Lake Tuz, Laguna Rosa is also home to a flamboyance of flamingos, who use the lake during their breeding season.

Meanwhile, there’s also Ria Formosa – a huge national park in Portugal, which covers an area of land 20,000 hectares.

It’s found between the popular holiday hotspots Faro and Tavira but offers an altogether different experience to a typical beach break.

Elsewhere in the world, Bonaire, is well-known for the pink waters found at lake Pekelmeer, which has its own flamingo sanctuary.

More than 10,000 of the birds call the island home and the iconic creatures are celebrated throughout.

The airport is even painted bright pink as a result.

European beaches with pink sand

Europe isn’t just home to pink lakes either, as there are plenty of beaches where the shores are covered in pink sand.

  • Elafonisi Beach, Crete – The small island of Elafonisi is set in western Crete and is connected to the mainland via a shoal. As well as enjoying the pink sand, holidays can also sunbathe on a sunlounger or under a parasol.
  • Spiaggia Rosa, Italy – On the island of Budelli in Sardinia lies a stretch of pink sand that’s been protected by the Italian government since 1992. Budelli Island is part of the La Maddalena Archipelago and is home to Spiaggia Rosa. While it is strictly forbidden to step foot on the beach, holidaymakers are able to admire the pink sand from the safety of a boat.
  • Playa de Ses Illetes, Spain – Set on the western tip of the island, this pink beach is more understated than others as coral dust combines with white grains of sand. If the crystal clear water isn’t enough, holidaymakers can also charter a yacht for the day or go scuba diving.

There are also several destinations across Europe that are home to pink sand beaches.

And, a seaside town in Devon has its very own beach which, in the right light, has stunning stretches of pink sand.

Flamingos have also been spotted at the lake


Flamingos have also been spotted at the lakeCredit: Alamy

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