Cabrera has been a national park since 1991. | Archive

Businesses in Colonia Sant Jordi say that visits to Cabrera are "in decline" and that they are suffering as a consequence. "You can't visit the castle, the museum doesn't have established opening hours and most of the hiking trails are closed. It looks like the island's a no-go area."

It is understood that the Cabrera National Park must be protected and that conservation is a priority. "But with the new limitations that have been put in place and the restrictions when walking around the island, fewer and fewer people want to go there. This means that there are fewer visitors in Colonia Sant Jordi." Most of the excursion boats to Cabrera go from Colonia Sant Jordi.

The businesses point out there is a lack of personnel. Most days there is only the one person at the information office. Other services cannot therefore be provided, such as visits to the museum, which is usually closed. There are no visits to the castle or other activities. "Visitors can only go to the beach. Everything is prohibition and limitation." There is also criticism of the reduction in the number of visitors. The regional environment ministry has imposed a maximum of 300 people per day.

The ministry has responded by denying that hiking routes have been closed. Passage on the section of the itinerary that goes to the castle has been "temporarily restricted for safety reasons", while there is a need to "restore environmentally" the section that goes to the N'Enciola lighthouse.

As to the closure of the castle, the ministry explains that this had to be done as it is in a "state of ruin". There is to be a restoration project, the specifications for which are being drafted prior to putting the work out to tender. The ministry insists that "in no instance has the number of visitors been reduced", adding that "Cabrera is a national park not an amusement park, so it cannot serve as a tourist attraction for private businesses".