Hikers will be able to walk from Andratx to Pollensa

Balearic leader Francesc Antich yesterday visited the Sa Coma d'en Vidal estate in Estellencs, which the government plans to purchase for 1.2 million euros of the tourist tax money. The 60 hectare estate will be included in the Dry Stone Wall route for hikers which the Council of Majorca is working on. Antich was accompanied by ministers of tourism and the environment, Celestí Alomar and Margalida Rosselló respectively, the Mayor of Estellencs Tomeu Pericas, and Bernat Aguiló of the Council of Majorca's finance and employment promotion board. The purchase of the estate will be finalised over the next few weeks. It has a two storey building which is in good condition and will be converted into a refuge for hikers. The Dry Stone Wall route follows a network of old mountain paths crossing the Tramuntana mountain range from Andratx to Pollensa, and covering a distance of about 150 kilometres. The Council of Majorca plans nine refuges along the route, separated from each other by one day's hike. At the moment, only two refuges are operational: Muleta in the port of Soller and Tossals Verds in Escorca. In addition to Sa Coma d'en Vall, the following refuges are being refurbished or are about to be refurbished: La Trapa in Andratx, Can Boi in Deya, Son Amer in Escorca and Alaró Castle. The Balearic government has promised to use tourist tax funds to include the new government-owned estates and their refuges in Esporles and Pollensa in the network. Sa Coma d'en Vidal borders on Son Fortuny, which is owned by the Council of Majorca. Antich said that in addition to forming part of the Dry Stone Wall route, the purchase of the estate is another example of the use of the tourist tax as a means of protecting nature and the cultural heritage. He stressed that with actions such as this, using the tourist tax, the government will have a huge patrimony in ten to 15 years. Bernat Aguiló said that the Dry Stone Wall route was launched in 1996, to promote the value of this traditional form of construction, and he thanked the government for its support. Alomar said that the refuges will be able to accommodate up to 300 hikers a day, and will make the Serra de Tramuntana one of the top destinations in Europe for hikers.

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