San Bartolomé Tirajana
San Bartolomé de Tirajana
San Bartolomé de Tirajana, a municipality which covers the vast territory which stretches from the centre to the south of Gran Canary, is a place of contrasts. Its main town, San Bartolomé, is situated inland, next to the Tirajana crater, an incredible volcanic setting of steep terrain and abundant vegetation. But towards the south, all which was lushness becomes a desert of dunes, more fitting a semi-arid climate. On the coastal strip are some of the island's chief tourist centres, such as Maspalomas, Playa del Inglés or San Agustín. Places which offer the visitor the opportunity to do water sports and sports on dry land, such as golf, as well as many other leisure possibilities.
San Bartolomé de Tirajana has its origins in the old agricultural and fishing village of Tunte. In the 16th century, a small hermitage dedicated to San Bartolomé was built, which later gave rise to the parish of the same name. San Bartolomé de Tirajana is currently the most extensive municipality on Gran Canary, a fact which means it has a huge wealth of nature and landscapes. Inland, next to the island's central massif, the landscape consists of rugged terrain in which forests, boulders, natural dams and ravines surprisingly appear. In this place you can appreciate the striking volcanic formations, such as the walls of the Tirajana crater and the spout of Risco Blanco. There are countless outdoor activities and leisure possibilities available to the visitor here. Hiking, mountaineering or bicycle routes are some of the options for exploring this idyllic setting where the development of green tourism has been favourable to the creation of hostels, country hotels, camping grounds and recreational areas.The southAs a counterpoint, the landscape of San Bartolomé de Tirajana to the south provides us with a totally different view, that of gentle coastal dunes which frame magnificent beaches, such as Playa del Inglés, Maspalomas or Meloneras. Places which have made this municipality one of the most tourist-friendly on Gran Canary, thanks to its excellent facilities and the mild climate which prevails throughout the year. Hotels, apartments, restaurants, outdoor cafés, shops and nautical facilities form part of the huge choice on offer on this coast which, as well enjoying the sun and the sea, allows you to do all kinds of water sports, such as scuba diving, sailing or water skiing. Those who prefer dry land can play a round of golf on one of the area's exceptional courses, or enjoy a family day out at any one of the existing theme parks: Aboriginal World, which brings us closer to the ways of life of the old native settlers on the archipelago; Sioux City, an authentic reconstruction of the American wild west; or Palmitos Park, which house numerous species of exotic birds. Gran CanaryOnce you have toured the extensive region of de San Bartolomé, the island still has many surprises in store for the visitor. In the north, whose most typical image is that of the tall cliffs which fall into the sea, the most important urban centre is Las Palmas. The capital of the islands is a city which offers sun, beaches and an exceptional historic legacy around the square of Santa Ana. Nature lovers have the opportunity to learn about very diverse ecosystems only a few kilometres from one another. The Tamadaba Nature Reserve, situated in the west of the island, has one of the best-conserved pine forests on Gran Canary and the surprisingly imposing beauty of its eroded landscapes of ravines and massifs. In the south and centre is the Pilancones Nature Reserve, which has outstanding scenic beauty and considerable ornithological importance.The villages, towns and cities, meanwhile take us to a colonial period, both inland and on the coast. Gáldar, Arucas or Telde are some of the most interesting. Any one of these places will offer us a richly-laid table based on Canary Islands cuisine. Vegetable stews, marinated tuna, spicy sausages or sweet black pudding (with raisins and almonds) are just some of the area's specialities. Not forgetting that we are in a region with a subtropical climate, which provides avocado, mango and garden produce throughout the year. Among the desserts marzipan is the most famous. The province has famous wines with the Designation of Origin Lanzarote guarantee, with aromatic whites and delicious sweet wines.