Sea salt harvesting


Sea salt harvesting has a great tradition in the territories of today’s Slovenia. For centuries, salt was regarded as a very important commodity mainly used for food preservation, but also as a valuable spice and even exploited in gunpowder industry. There used to be numerus smaller and larger salt plants in the northern Adriatic, but nowadays Sečovlje and Strunjan are the last remaining ones where sea salt harvesting is still done in a traditional way. According to written records, they are over a thousand years old and represent an important part of the Slovenia’s cultural identity.

Nowadays, the economic role of the pans is mostly subjected to preserving natural habitat of numerus species living here and presenting cultural heritage to the visitors from all over the world. It is a great example of a boutique tourism and  sustainable management since salt produced in a traditional way has a special value and is considered a gourmet delicacy.

Sea salt harvesting in Slovenia

Do you want to try it by yourself? No problem, you can become a salt harvester for just a day. Contact our friendly agents and ask them to include this unique travel experience into your completely tailor-made itinerary to Slovenia.

 

 

Use traditional tools to rake salt
Learn all about salt harvesting at the salt museum
Get some salt as a souvenir of this unique experience

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for more information on sea salt harvesting

 

EXPERIENCE THE LIFE OF A SALT HARVESTER

It might look like a very romantic lifestyle, but an average working day of a traditional salt harvester is anything but easy. Now you have the opportunity to try it out by yourself! When exploring the short but beautiful and incredibly diverse Slovenian coast, you can visit the Saltpans of Sečovlje where you can learn all about the traditional ways of sea salt harvesting.

Use traditional tools to rake salt Experienced workers at the salt plant will show you how it’s done. Loose your shoes, put on a hat and start raking. It’s as much fun as it looks like.

Visit the salt museum Learn all about the traditional salt production at the very informative on-sight museum. It is designed as salt-makers house where he lived with his family. You can peek into the warehouse where the salt was stored and check out the magnificent wood burning oven.

Get a souvenir Before you leave, don’t forget to get a small bag of local salt to take it home as an everlasting memory of this unique experience.

 

HOW DOES SALT PRODUCTION WORK?

As you will find out the whole process is very elaborate, so we will only point out the most important steps. Salt is produced in salt-fields which are divided into two parts: evaporation and crystallisation basins.

Seawater is first contained in the so-called evaporation basins, which represent about 80% of all saltpan surfaces. This is where most of the water dies up before it is transferred to the other part.

With the help of gravitation (or later very innovative pumps), seawater is than led to crystallisation basins where salt is finally produced. In there, salt-workers cultivate the so-called petola (a thin layer of algae, gypsum and minerals), which prevents mud to mix with salt. Very innovative, indeed!

In the last step, which you can also take a more active part in, sea salt is finally harvested. Workers use traditional tools to rake salt into large heaps. Gathered salt is than stored in special warehouse which you can also peak into.

sea salt harvesting experience in Slovenia

EXPLORE THE NATURAL PARK

The saltpans and the museum mentioned above are both part of the larger complex of Sečovlje Salina Nature Park which has been preserved within the NATURA 2000 network due to its exceptional natural environment. Maybe you didn’t know, but saltpans are actually quite unique wetlands with rich biodiversity. Here you can find numerous plant and animal species which were able to adapt to the quite extreme salty conditions.

You can explore the natural park on foot or – even better – by bike. We can organize guided tours for individuals or groups.

The park is especially interesting for birdwatchers, since more than 290 species have been spotted here, including various types of ducks, swans, swifts and – if you are lucky – even kingfishers and flamingos.

Saltpans constitute a large body of water, which the birds use as their roosting site or wintering grounds, but are by no means the only inhabitants. Visit the Sečovlje Salina Nature Park and find out who else lives here.

Birdwatching in Slovenia

RELAX AT THE OPEN-AIR SPA

What better way to conclude your visit to salt pans of Sečovije than getting a revitalizing massage in the nearby open-air spa center? These innovative wellness facilities are part of a long tradition that started more than a century ago with the discover of a miraculous salt mud.

At the end of the 1800s saltpan workers found out that mud with incredible rejuvenating effects is being produced during the crystallisation of salt. Apart from reducing cellulite, reshaping posture and cleaning skin, this incredible mud has also been said to relieve pain in muscles and joints. The discovery made the European nobility flock to nearby coastal town of Portorož which became a popular resorts of Austro-Hungarian VIPs and remains one of Slovenia’s most posh towns until this day.

As you can see, Slovenian coast is still a great boutique destination worth visiting. Let us know if wellness activities such as saltpan mud wraps or sea salt scrubs are something you would be interested in while traveling to Slovenia. We will make sure to include these activities into your tailor-made itinerary.

Wellness in Secolvje saltpans

Interested in spending a few day on the Slovenian coast? Apart from exploring the narrow streets of the gorgeous venetian town of Piran, you can also opt for other unique experiences like truffle hunting or visiting the innovate fish farm with delicious dinner.

Send us un inquiry for more information on sea salt harvesting and other activates at the Sečovlje saltpans. As a local travel agency, specialized in personalized trips all over the Balkans, we will make sure to prepare an unforgeable experience for you and your family or friends.

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