Cap Gros lighthouse in Soller. | P. Roig


It was a subject that aroused a good deal of opposition not so long ago - plans to convert certain lighthouses around Majorca into hotels. The greatest opposition was in respect of the Portocolom lighthouse: the "Salvem Portocolom" (Save Portocolom) group organised a demonstration that was held in March last year.

The lighthouses fall under the Balearic Ports Authority, the regional arm of the State Ports. It was the ports authority which was interested in conversion of some lighthouses, but there have been changes at the authority since the protest as well as at the Council of Majorca, which has its own interests in the preservation of the island's heritage.

To this end, there is renewed talk of conversion: not into hotels but into refuges like those in the Tramuntana mountains which the Council manages. These provide cheap overnight accommodation for hikers, and the Council wishes to increase their provision.

Sandra Espeja, the environment councillor, visited five lighthouses on Thursday - those of Cap Blanc (Llucmajor), Cap Gros (Soller), Cap Salines (actually in Santanyi rather than neighbouring Ses Salines), Capdepera and Portocolom. The purpose was as part of a study to see if they might become refuges. With her was the president of the ports authority, Joan Gual de Torrella.

Three more are due to be visited in September - Formentor and Punta Avançada in Pollensa and the lighthouse on the small island off Alcanada, Alcudia.