Take the boat and you don't need to park at Sa Calobra. | Andrew Ede


Blue parking zones (ORA) are to be introduced in Escorca. This summer, car parking will have to be paid for at Sa Calobra and Cala Tuent, the only two coastal centres in the municipality. This will come into force in the middle of May.

There will also be blue zones in the winter in Es Guix, Lluc and Son Massip. These will come into effect this winter. Rates will be 50 cents for half an hour, one euro for an hour, two euros for three hours and five euros for 24 hours. There will be an exception. In Sa Calobra the rates will be the same as the current private car park.

In Lluc there are hardly any roads as it is: the Albarca, Es Guix and Vell de Pollença roads will be the ones for blue zones. In Son Massip there are more. Except at weekends and public holidays, when hikers park in order to walk to the Puig den Galileu, Son Massip is generally empty. It is a similar story in Es Guix. In Sa Calobra and Cala Tuent, the situation is much like it is in summer.

Escorca's mayor, Antoni Solivellas, freely admits that the ORA is to bring in revenue. With more and more tourists going to the municipality, there has been the need to spend more on services, such as police and Civil Protection. He explains that the town hall doesn't receive any special allowances from the government or the Council of Majorca, so raising revenue is a requirement.

"We could raise taxes, something that I refuse to do, or seek other means. We are only asking for a small amount. We are aware that these measures will be unpopular and we have no wish to limit tourism. However, we consider it to be vitally important that areas with high numbers of visitors are regulated in order that standards of quality are guaranteed." The mayor adds that these standards are ones that Escorca has itself adopted and which have led to being recognised as a sustainable destination by Unesco.

The coach park in Sa Calobra is also to be regulated. Its 35 places will need to be reserved in advance at a price of five euros. If they are not reserved, the price will be 50 euros.

Solivellas says that up to 50 coaches per day were arriving last summer. With the new system there will be better organisation of excursions and greater distribution of visitors over different days.