/ NEWS: Mallorca Access Problems for Walkers and Climbers
There are various problems devloping on the island of Mallorca relating to access to climbing areas. The island has always had its share of problems but usually these are confined to single crags and the problems have never been bad enough to discourage people from travelling. Recent proposals and escalting difficulties at some crags have made the situation far more serious.
Read more at http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/item.php?id=68591
Totally disgusting. What a world we live in.
Not so much disgusting as stupid, I should have thought. Obviously they'll want to make money from tourism, but I'd imagine this will have the reverse effect. Still, the local authorities in Mallorca ought to have a better idea than I do of how to monetise visitors.
It may be worth people e mailing any villa owners/rental companies they have used on Mallorca to point out the possible damage to their business interest
Yes, I agree. The local climbers are requesting that people don't go to Mallorca but I expect this news item will already have lost Mallorca a lot of climbers planning on travelling over the winter and spring, no matter what the eventual outcome.
That is the point I don't think the local councils get - Mallorca competes for its tourists with many other areas and most climbers and walkers will switch their plans without any hesitation since the alternatives are plentiful and permit free.
I now know where I wont be visiting in February :(
A great shame as it is such an amazing island. With the cost of living pretty high, charging for access probably pushes the holiday cost too far for the average punter.
It's such a shortsighted measure by the government. Spain is at a brink of bankruptcy and they thought they collect a few more euros for their coffers was a good idea, instead of protecting the biggest source of income, which is tourism. What a clever bunch they are
Had plans to go there next year but this has really put me off! Think it might be back to the Costa after all..
Looks like my new year hot rock trip might be elsewhere then ...Mallorca was plan A.
If the land is owned by the local municipality why shouldn't they charge.....local conservation costs/programmes will no doubt come out of the public purse so why shouldn't groups using those areas contribute in some way especially when local government in the area are having their budgets slashed......I've got no issues with it, it seems a fair deal to me rather than just assuming as climbers we don't have a responsibility to contribute for the climbing we all assume is/should be free.
But it isn't just money is it? There are many crags that will be totally banned, and others that are in areas where the notional reason for restricting access is to protect the flora and fauna, yet if you go and get a permit you can trample where you like.
If it was about bolstering the coffers on Mallorca then it won't work since fewer people will visit and I bet the tax received from a person staying on the island is significantly more than the tax generated by the permit system.
I must admit, I'm thinking the same myself now. Fraguel is one of the main areas I'd want to visit if I went back - but not at the cost of 16 euros a day.
Alan, I hear your point but it seems most of the replies relate purely to the cost.....I just don't agree with that attitude when there can be seen to be legitimate reasons behind the cost
Here are the DWS crags that are covered by the Manacor council ban - Cova del Diablo, Tower of Falcons, Porto Cristo Novo and Cala Barques.
So that is that is just plain 'no climbing on these crags', no money or permits involved.
So you would happily pay £10 for an evening at your local crag? Because that's what the locals are facing. And that's not even mentioning the banned areas.
That's pretty much all the good DWS on the island. Hopefully access issues are sorted out come next autumn!
I'm sure local climber Miguel Riera will have something to say on the matter.
they are charging for equiped routes that climbers have paid for,the money won't go to maintaining the routes.I was told to leave fraguel because of birdlife there but if i pay ten euros i can disturb them all i like?
This Spanish government is just awful. I Live in Gibraltar and haven't seen such a right wing government for years! They are more or less fascist! I hope the Spaniards wake up an vote these tossers out.
I'll call you this evening - could be tempted to Antalya if flights aren't too astromnomic, I did also put in an accomodation query with the Orange House to see what is available there.
Want to relax climbing not pay trumped up charges or be looking over our shoulders for the crag police all the time.
Really enjoyed my trip there this year and was keen to go again in 2014.
Don't need the hassle so will go elsewhere.
Will do Alan.
Anyone want to buy a guidebook !
Anyone want to buy 2000 guidebooks!
I was thinking this isn't ideal for you...
This attitude is local not national, the mayor of Calpe has exempted climbers from the restriction of only 50 people at any time in the nature reserve of Penon de Ifach, I realise it would be difficult to enforce, but even so he has publicly stated that climbers are outside the restricted limits.
Well that looks like a rethink on a trip to Mallorca for the Torrent de Pareis (firmly in the pink zone on the map http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=232151 )
Maybe they are missing the good old days of Franco...
there's plenty of other places - just stop going. they will soon realise how many tourists enjoy walking and climbing..
Spell check. 'Developing'. 'Escalating'. You are a worldwide climbing authority after all!
Just what are the practical difficulties that climbers are actually experiencing right now?
Is this a 'paper exercise' being indulged in by some local entities?
How is this to be policed?
"The legislation has the unfortunate but memorable acronym PORN (Plan de Ordenación de los Recursos Naturales). "
Let's say no to PORN!
This line should not be read out of context:
"PORN allocates four different zones to each area within the mountains; exclusions zones (no access), zones of limited use, 'compatible use' areas, and general use areas."
Thanks for the heads up on this. Won't be going again until the situation changes.
What a bunch of muppets.
Compare their attitude to the folks on Kalymnos!
How about stop going to Mallorca, instead? Sardinia is far more beautiful and climbing is FREE!
What a total bummer, was planning a trip there for early next year but with a few other places on the possible trip list reckon I'll be choosing somewhere else. Will send an email to that address as well...
Booked flights to El Chorro for early April yesterday. This article finalised my choice so thanks, shame though...
> So you would happily pay £10 for an evening at your local crag?
There´s a Regional Park near where I live on mainland Spain, Parque Regional de Calblanque, which contains a nice crag Cabezo de la Fuente, on which climbing is banned. Some people still climb there, but last time I checked it is actually banned by the park authorities. Anyway, as a result of the existence of the Calblanque Regional Park, a 15km strip of Mediterranian coastline is completely undeveloped, and in my opionion outstandingly beautiful. If tomorrow the park authorities started to allow climbing on payment of say 10€ a day fee, and employed guards to collect payment, then occaisionally I would go there, pay the money and climb.
So the answer to your question is basically "yes I would" (whether I found anyone to come with me and pay their corresponding 10€ would be a different matter perhaps!). I wouldn´t protest about paying as long as it was connected with environmental protection/park management reasons. Obviously, determining whether or not to trust if that was the case would be the big question.
However, I feel sorry for Mallorcan climbers and to a certain extent visiting climbers to Mallorca, as since on an island, it´s not like they have tons of rock in say a 250km radius at their disposal, as I do on the mainland. For this reason, I am thinking about signing their petition. But before I do so, I would want to see what environmentalist groups say, just in case, as it seems the main reason for this charge(s) is connected to environmental issues (please correct me if I am wrong).
It's an interesting point. You'd pay that for access to a wall for the evening, particularly in the South East. And cavers typically pay a contribution for access.
It is however a slippery slope.
The restrictions around Bunyola (which are the main ones currently being enforced) are entirely financial - see list of charges below from their own document. What they intend to do with this money is unclear and it might be stated in their documentation but the general theme of the literature is not on an environmental level.
The Traumuntana Mountains Permits have an environmental tag on them, but if you pay your 10 euros you can still access many areas. There are restricted areas though with no access allowed.
List of charges in Bunyola Area - through Google Translate
1). For the access to Paraje Sa Commune with motor vehicle parking and derecho to 6.00 € / vehicle.
2) For camping in the enclosed area of the recreation area Comuna 3.00 € / person.
3) To use Refugee picnic area with Sa Common Law and Lena area:
6,00 € / person
€ 1.00 / person for residents Bunyola
4) For the realization of excursions with the nonprofit soul Paraje Sa Commune Bunyola 5.00 € / person participante.
5) For the organizational pruebas deportivas in Paraje Sa Commune Bunyola 1.00 € / participante.
6) For the realization of a riding excursion in Paraje Sa Commune Bunyola 20.00 € / participante riding.
7) For the realization of the actividades didácticas Paraje Sa Commune Bunyola. Both incorporate a FOR PRESENTATION acompañante del Ayuntamiento Buñol not las as:
5,00 € / person for Groups of more than 5 persons
€ 0.50 / ALUMNO schools for Groups
8) For the access to Paraje Sa Commune TO ACHIEVE climbing in Any modality of sus 10.00 € / person.
9) For the access to Paraje Sa Commune TO ACHIEVE vuelo libre as paragliding or sea in ultra ligero 10.00 € / person.
10) For the realization of itineraries and organizados acompañados fear a guide del Ayuntamiento Bunyola:
Itineraries on foot: 10,00 € / person
Itineraries bike 10.00 € / person
Itineraries to caballo 30.00 € / person
So basically you´re saying the current charge scheme in/around Bunyola is connected to a local authority/landowner(s) bringing in a new tax for revenue purposes. So would I be happy about paying that to climb if it was my local crag? No, probably not. And if someone sets up a petition against this particular charging scheme then yes, I would sign it.
Regards the Tramuntana Tax Free petition, for me it seems still a bit mixed up in environmental issues. So I would need some clarification before I signed that.
Very disappointing but, realistically, how important are climbers to Mallorca's tourism?
I suspect we spend significantly less than average, and there aren't that many of us anyway. I can't imagine a boycott by climbers will weigh particularly heavily on the tourism department's minds.
That is the bizarre thing because, although climbers aren't that significant, walkers and cyclists are and they are getting hit by this as well. Even car tourists who use picnic areas near Bunyola appear to be being charged in that area.
I would have thought that the outdoor sector are major players in Mallorca's tourist repertoire, especially in the colder months.
Thing is in Spain local councils can make their own laws and their own taxes (even their own bank holidays) independently of the central government, and many of them are insane, actually most of them are insane and incompetent, that is what seems to be happening here. In the major tourist areas like the Costa Blanca and the Costa Del Sol their excesses are regulated by business concerns but Mallorca is very vulnerable to looneys.
Oh bugga, we're all booked up to go after Christmas/New Year...too late to cancel it all...
I've not been before, so aren't familiar with all the area's. We're staying in Soller, which appears to be surrounded by PORN (bad porn)..are there any crags not affected by this? How about Sa Gubia?
We won't be paying anyone any money...
Actually now that I think about this the environmental tag doesn't really stick with the Traumuntana Mountains. Where is the damage being done here? Anyone who has travelled up to Cap Formentor will know what a wonderful and wild location that is, and usually utterly deserted. The same goes for most of the area north of the mountains - beautiful and dramatic landscapes which haven't been over-developed and aren't rammed full with people. Compare this to the Costa Blanca where the coast has been ravaged - hillsides laid bare to prepare for villa complexes that were never built, vistas littered with plastic-covered orange groves, and ugly skyscraper willies competing to see who is the biggest.
I'd like to give my 2 penneth if I may (sorry its a bit long). I was in Mallorca end week Oct for a weeks DWS. Had a great time and really enjoyed soloing with random people from all over Europe. Whilst we were there the island had its 'worst storm in 100 years'. It was pretty crazy / scary and the ground floor of our hotel (amongst most of the others in our town) was flooded with about 6 feet water for several hours. There was a hailstorm and associated with this was a power cut and the drainage systems were over run for several days. Pretty much all the east coast beaches I went to were stripped of their golden sand and looked in a right sorry state (down to soil on some of them). Loads of trees came down and several of the smaller coastal roads were blocked for several days due to debris and blocked drains. It was pretty much a scene from a disaster movie. To be fair the Mallorcan authorities got things sorted at a much quicker rate than I would have expected given the magnitude of the recovery. I guess that the locals are having to have a think about how to fund getting the place presentable again for the coming season.
When thinking about whether I would be going again then I'd have to weigh up the balance which for me depends on several factors on top of the proposed tarif:
The pound : euro being naff - for the past few holidays we've gone all inclusive simply because we can't afford eating out e.g.: 15 quid x 4 for a pizzeria meal. This has meant that we've put very little into the local economy whilst we've been away. Maybes there will come a time that the pound will improve again and then I'll spend a little more- unfortunately you can't spend what you don't have.
Airlines - charging stupid rates for luggage. Got round this by 20 kg hand-luggage only this time. I went with the thoughts that all you need for DWS is a pair of boots, a pair of shorts and strong fingers (which you can get at the climbing wall back home). Didn't bother with the chalk as end Oct temps are very reasonable for climbing.
Car Hire- should have taken closer notice of the UKC threads on this. In my opinion what the hire care companies are doing is criminal and the Mallorcan authorities should be clamping down on this issue as a matter of urgency rather than trying to grab a few euros from climbers and walkers. We foolishly used a company with a colour as part of its name. Got stung a ridiculous amount for insurance and 100 pounds for half a tank of petrol (Ford Focus). They also took a 600 euro returnable deposit which they converted from pounds-euros-pounds at a rate which meant they clicked an extra 15 pounds.
On a return visit I'd be very happy to put a few euros towards some conservation work for the local crags as it is a great place and we should think about keeping it that way for future generations. It is presently the DWS capital of the world (until somewhere else is found). Perhaps it would work if it were possible to purchase a disc that you could stick in your car to prove you've paid- what I wouldn't want is what goes on in the Lake District whereby if you visit 3 places in one day (e.g. stop off at a climbing shop, go cragging, come back for a cuppa) you end up with about 15 quids worth of car parking fees.
For next time my plan is to take a road bike and stay at a hotel near to the airport (if you do a quick search there is one that's about 15 min away from the airport that's a cyclists training hotel with altitude chamber rooms- little heads up for the UKC cyclists out there to get one up on their non climbing cycling mates!) From here I'll look to cycle out for some DWS action or maybes get a bus out and cycle back. Alan- sorry but I've already got a copy of the guidebook so not looking for another, but if you were to do a decent guide to the classic road cycling days out then I'd be the first one to buy it.
I was walking with the main local guide for a week this October - the man behind all the Editorial Alpina maps and guides. He explained how access problems had got worse since the current Govern of the Balears was elected: they are very right wing and wealthy estate owners are taking the opportunity to go to court to restrict or ban access. One way is by getting routes that have traditionally been public (often for centuries) declared to be private, giving the landowner the option of banning everyone or charging for access like they do for Massanella. We got hit for 6 euros a head coming down from that summit. It's already affecting parts of the GR221 which is supposed to be a Balears government initiative.
Court decisions are tending to go the landowners' way because local and/or regional government aren't prepared to stand up to the folk with the money who elected them. Our guide was livid about the impact on tourism (his livelihood) but the sad thing is that the new wealth buying property on the island is Russian and Chinese and the owners don't need revenue from tourism, they just want to be left alone. As I read elsewhere, the super-rich have no need for public services nor the need to pay taxes because they can buy everything they want that others rely on the state to provide.
Wow,,, Mallorca does have more that four DWS crags. And I strongly disagree that the only good ones on the island are in the Manacor region.But still Id follow the advice given re visiting the island and the ban is stupid regarding those areas.
You should be ok in soller,at the port soller crag you won't have any problems, and there are some nice new routes further to the left of the crag,only a couple of months old, same with sa gubia its private property they are not charging yet.
I can absolutely recommend Sicily, San Vito lo Capo as a more than attractive alternative to Mallorca. Been to both islands several times and the crags @ San Vito lo Capo are way better and as attractive as Mallorca. not to forget that there are a lot of other crags on Sicily... DWS is a little bit difficult but also possible... Still a bummer, that the locals in Mallorca do not have a choice where to go...
we are not against conservation and maintenance, but there are other models to create revenue that do not involve access fees.
also i would like to point out that in bunyola they charge 6€ for bringing your car into the area - we are not against that. however they have had to create new jobs for forest guards to charge people the entrance fees, so where does the money go? to pay their wages! not for maintenance or conservation.
hi j james could you explain what happened in your encounter in fraguel? and when? thanks
If anyone needs clarification on any of this, feel free to write in our facebook group "Montaña Libre de Impuestos" where we try to update in english and spanish.
As a matter of interest there is a bit on the net about the Balearic authorities banning free anchoring around their coastline and forcing boat owners to pay to use bouys, under an environmental guise.
Thanks for the info..
Ok, the 2 best crags are no-go. (Diablo and Barques) I know that there are other good crags but I would be reluctant to book a trip there with these two areas being out of bounds.
Tried to send a disgruntled email to the address provided in this news article, however I received a failure to report message. Perhaps miss spelt or out of date email? Does anyone know the email address to which I can direct my email?
Trying to take an active role in 'politics' seems a fruitless business so far.
yep. me too.
I would like to mention that I recently returned from a two week climbing trip to the island and didn't come across anything which might indicate access problems or taxes/charges at the crags we visited. These were Gubia, El Fumat, La Creveta, Les Perxes, Puig de Garrafa, Calvia, Valdemossa, Cala Magraner and Tijuana. OK, we didn't do DWS (winter!) and we didn't visit La Reserva or Fraguel/Sa Comuna but we had an absolutely fantastic time with daily doses of world class climbing (the rock, not the climbers!) in stunning locations.
I love Mallorca and hope to be back on many occasions in the future but the rumours about charges are worrying and I would certainly have to consider other destinations if the government take the shortsighted step of imposing blanket charges island wide. It is lazy and sure to be counter productive for the government, landowners and climbers/cyclists alike.
For now though, Mallorca remains the best place I have been climbing and I would urge people to not abandon all hope so soon as we had a 100% trouble free and very memorable time this December. The vast majority of sport crags are trouble free and I cannot see how many could possibly be policed at all given their wild locations. It is easy to avoid those with apparent restrictions.
I would also recommend taking advantage of the amazing network of mountain refuges which are real hidden gems and another example of the Spanish governments failure to promote something with great potential but few tourists manage to find out about.
Thanks for that.
I have added your post to the Rockfax Access Blog here - http://www.rockfax.com/news/2014/01/08/mallorca-access-update/ . This also has information about restricted access to Sector Solarium at Puig de Garrafa.
That's exactly the point & by the time they do realise they will have a huge job rebuilding the visitor numbers.
This email address is not working.
have there been any more recent updates? We're considering going there in early May. Sport and DWS. I haven't checked which regions we could visit yet, but focus will be on easier (French grade 6) routes.
I am in the same boat, just giving it a bump!;)
I'm keen to book a DWS trip to the Island in September.
Has anyone have any news on how the situation for areas like Diablo and Cala Barques is shaping up?
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