On the slopes of the Serra dos Candeeiros, around 3 kms from Rio Maior, the salt pans are located in a large valley next to the Fonte da Bica, in a place known as Marinhas do Sal. The salt pans cover the ground with a white/grey blanket of geometrically shaped flat strips, forming an unusual landscape in the midst of the mountains.
The extraction of salt in this region has a long history, including references in documents written in 1177. The salty water, whose salt level is seven times stronger than normal sea water, is extracted from rock salt mines in the depths of the mountains - the only rock salt mines still in operation in Portugal and the largest in the Iberian peninsular.
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