Ecotax to the rescue
One of Mallorca's most inspiring ancient buildings, Alaro Castle, has been purchased for us all by the Consell de Mallorca. The funds for the purchase have come from the so called Ecotax, or Sustainable Tourist Tax to give it its official title and will soon become another valuable tourist attraction.
You may know that the tax was introduced last year by the authorities and is a levy on visitors to the islands that all adults must pay. The amount varies depending on the time of year, length of stay and type of accommodation and brought many millions of Euros into the public coffers. It's being spent this year on various schemes to benefit the ecology and economy of the island and this is one of them.
The Finca (country estate) that contains the castle is/was privately owned but certain parts of it belong to either the church, town hall or state. The purchase will bring most of the Finca into the public domain and allow improvements and renovations to be made to make it a point of reference in the tourist industry of the island.
At around 800 metres high and with spectacular views of the mountains to one side and the plain all the way down to the coast and Palma on the other, it will certainly be a popular destination for hikers and lovers of clean fresh air and views.
History buffs will revel in its rich heritage dating back to Moorish times when it was an almost impregnable fortress and contains fascinating architectural remains like the walls and towers from Islamic times, 13th century cisterns and mills and is surrounded by large areas of olive trees, Pine and holm oak.
When old paths and trails are restored and retraced the castle will be a great place to visit, and the great thing about it is that after a walk to the top, there's a restaurant and bar up there for refreshments!
Photos from Wikimedia