Holidaymakers who book cheap flights to Rhodes with Jet2.com may soon be able to add lighthouses to the range of accommodation on offer.
This idea has been put forward by Dimitris Elefsiniotis, the Greek Deputy Defence Minister, who wants to redefine the regulations governing the country’s network of 120 traditional lighthouses, many of which are in a poor state or have been abandoned.
At present, they are managed by the Hydrographic and Lighthouses Services of the Greek Navy. The new regulations will enable private people to take on the job of maintaining, repairing and enhancing these historic structures – some of which are 200 years old – while also allowing the public free access. The new scheme will relax the uses to which they can be put, potentially allowing them to be let out as holiday homes.
A Beacon of Hope
This is not the first time such a programme has been suggested. The HLS, along with the International Association of Lighthouse Authorities (IALA), of which it is a founder member, has been tireless in its efforts to conserve and find new uses for the lighthouses. Back in 2000, it ran an experiment in which 50 naval officers stayed in the buildings to see if they were a viable proposition as holiday homes. So far however, the idea has only extended as far as the Boy Scout Movement.
One place where holidaymakers can find lighthouse accommodation is on Rhodes. The defining landmark of the dramatic cape of Prasonisi is its working lighthouse, which has inspired the nearby Prasonisi Light House Taverna.