ALTEA is pulling out all the stops to provide definitive protection for Cala del Soio. This is hardly a conventional beach because there is no sand, only volcanic rock, but successive councils and Altea residents have moved heaven and earth to defend El Soio.
In 2011 they even managed to stop excavators from destroying more volcanic rock at the entrance to the adjoining El Portet marina. The town council voted unanimously to ask the regional government to declare Cala del Soio a Protected Natural Space.
The Sierra Helada National Park, which already includes the Bay of Altea, also announced its willingness to take the Algar rivermouth, Cap Negret and Cala del Soio under its wing. It remains to be seen what steps the regional government intends to take.
Two months ago both El Soio and the El Portet outcrop appeared to be safe after the Generalitat invalidated a 2010 building permit to resite the harbour entrance. As the 2011 demonstrators maintained, this would also adversely affect El Soio. The marina’s owners appealed against the Generalitat decision to the Supreme Court which recently found in their favour.
And unless something is done soon, that means Altea could be saying goodbye to Cala el Soio, and rocks which have been there 250 million years.