Salt Mountain is one of the largest and most important salt mines in the world. Visitors can tour the 280-foot-deep mine to see its beautiful formations, like jagged stalactites, stalagmites, and deposits of potassium, magnesium, and sodium. Streaks of gray and reddish-brown salts add to the mountain cave’s natural beauty.
Exploring this natural wonder brings insight into the history and geography of this part of Europe. After mining operations shut down in the 1990s, the mine was opened to visitors. Travelers don hard hats and enter the old mine shafts before visiting a museum filled with equipment and machinery once used to harvest salt and minerals. Guided day trips to Salt Mountain often include time to explore medieval Cardona with its imposing castle.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Salt Mountain Cultural Park is a fun day trip for foodies, families, and those interested in geology.
- Tours of the salt mine and its processing facilities last about an hour.
- Tour sizes are limited, so it’s a good idea to book ahead of time.
- Wear comfortable shoes and a light jacket, as temperatures inside the mine can be cool.
- The cultural park offers tours in Spanish and Catalan, as well as an audio guide in English and French.
- The Salt Mountain tour is not wheelchair accessible.
How to Get There
Salt Mountain is located in Cardona, about 90 minutes from Barcelona. The easiest way to get there is to drive or join a guided tour. You can also take a Renfe regional train from Barcelona-Sants to Manresa, and then hire a taxi from there.
When to Get There
Salt Mountain Cultural Park is open Tuesday to Sunday year-round. Cardona’s temperate climate means it’s clear, dry, and relatively mild throughout the year. The salt mines make an excellent escape from the Barcelona heat during the summer months.
Things to Do in Cardona
The medieval town of Cardona has plenty to do and see besides Salt Mountain. The historic town center is home to the impressive Cardona Castle, as well as the Lombard Romanesque-style Collegiate Church of Sant Vicenç. Those who want to learn more about the area’s relationship to salt should visit the Josep Arnau Salt Museum, Art Sal workshop, or the Taller Artesà de Sal gallery.