Malpais de Rasca, a protected nature reserve on the south coast of Tenerife is easily spotted as an old stone lighthouse stands guard on a rocky outcrop. Painted in the traditional red and white candy stripes, the 32 metre high tower has stood proud since 1898, and is at last to get a much deserved make over.
The area next to the new resort of Palm Mar, was formed by a sea of volcanic lava, that has left a rugged rocky landscape of salt pools and wild plants such as Tabaiba. The lighthouse was built from stone quarried from the nearby Mount Guaza, and although it was boosted by a new automatic lighting system in 1978, it remains an iconic image and marker for the reserve.
The Tenerife government is to spend 300,000 euros to clean up the tower, build a small car park and a small jetty for access, and to convert part of the building into a teaching centre, to educate the many hikers that walk through the nature reserve.