Santa Lucía de Tirajana

Overview

Embedded within a volcanic crater, Santa Lucía de Tirajana is a gorgeous town peppered by whitewashed houses fronting a palm-filled valley.

Centred around a Levantine-inspired church, the town still embodies Mediterranean traditionalism and rustic beauty. Beyond its parameters, other attractions include a majestic volcanic basin and ravine, whilst its local coast has some of the best windsurfing conditions on the island. 

History

Santa Lucía de Tirajana was founded in 1815, a year after the the parish church of the same name was built. Legend has it that the name of the municipal was derived by two giants who once lived there - Tira and Jana. The process of independence from neighbouring town ofAgüimes actually begun 12 years prior to that.

Afterwards, much effort was put into territory settlement with Agüimes and San Bartolome de Tirajana for the lands of Majada Ciega, Montaña de los Perros, Hoya de la Negra and Los Letreros.

Culture

Akin to its neighbour, Agüimes, Santa Lucía de Tirajana serves as yet another example of bucolic traditionalism found within the island’s interior. Compared to the likes of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, the way of life here is considerably slower. Religion plays a vital part in the community and Fiesta de Santa Lucía is heartily celebrated each year in honour of the patron saint. 

Economy

Predominantly agricultural, Santa Lucía de Tirajana is a major exporter of tomatoes within the entire archipelago. In a bid for commercial modernisation, recent years have also seen the growth of businesses and tourism within the municipality. 

How to get there

By Bus:
Global bus 34 runs a daily service (7 buses from 05:15-18:00) between San Bartolomé de Tirajana and El Doctoral, stopping at Santa Lucía de Tirajana en route. The same service also stops at Agüimes.

There are no direct buses from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, if coming from the capital, your best bet is to hop on a Global bus for Agüimes, either Global bus 21 (hourly service from 07:20-19:20) or Global bus 11 (20 daily from 05:50-21:50), and then change for the Global bus 34 service.

By Car:
If driving from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, take the GC-1 motorway heading south before turning onto the GC-65 in Vecindario. This journey takes 6 minutes longer than the route suggested by google map but is much more direct and easy to follow.

Santa Lucía de Tirajana is also connected to the neighbouring towns of Agüimes and Ingenio by the GC-550.


Sights

Iglesia de Santa Lucía (church)

The focal point of the town, the original structure of this church was built in the 17th century before the construction of its dome which bears more of a resemblance to Arabic architecture as opposed to Hispanic layman-ship. Perched on the upper part of the town on a hill, this church can be easily spotted from afar. Dedicated to the town’s patron saint of the same name, the church also houses a wooden figure of Christ by artist Luján Pérez.

Where: Plaza Santa Lucía, 35280 Santa Lucía de Tirajana, Gran Canaria island.

Surrounding area: La Caldera de Tirajana and Barranco de Tirajana

For those looking to take in some breathtaking natural scenery, be sure to venture further into La Caldera, the volcanic basin within which the towns of Santa Lucía and San Bartolomé de Tirajana are located. Here you’ll find a rugged landscape rich in flora, especially lush palm groves. The basin also marks the beginning of the Tirajana Ravine which runs all the way southwards to the coastal town of Juan Grande. If you decide to follow the ravine, you will also encounter a pretty dam, La Presa de la Sorrueda, built in its basin.

Centro de Artesanía (craft centre) in Vecindario

If you’ve ever wondered how traditional Canarian pottery and basketwork are created, look no further than this charming crafts centre which provides live demonstrations and workshops. This craft centre is located in the town of Vecindario within the same municipal, near the coast.

Where: Avenida de Canarias – Parque de la Era, Vecindario, 35110 Santa Lucía de Tirajana, Gran Canaria island.


Museums

Museo Castillo de la Fortaleza (Museum of the castle fortress)

Not so much a castle but an ornate 20th century folly, which was originally the home of local historian and writer, Vicente Sanchez  Araña. Today, it serves primarily as an archaeological museum.

Located just off the entrance to the town, you can’t miss this impressive building for its grey stone turrets. Within its walls, you will find 16 rooms displaying various aboriginal artefacts and water colour paintings by local artists.

Make sure to venture outside into the adjacent garden which is adorned by various colourful flora including fruit trees.

Where: Calle de Tomás Arroyo Cardoso, 35280 Santa Lucía de Tirajana, Gran Canaria island.
Telephone: (+34) 928 798 007
Admission: €2.00


Activities

The region’s hinterland also contains a network of trails which are well worth exploring.

Hiking

The region’s hinterland also contains a network of trails which are well worth exploring:

Explanada de la Fortaleza Gran – Cueva de La Fortaleza – Circundar la Montaña
Short and sweet, this 500m trail takes in several caves etched into the mountainside, which were previously inhabited by the island’s first troglodytes.

La Calderilla – Taidia – Santa Lucía
Crossing over 10km of craggy volcanic landscape, make sure to don a sturdy pair of walking boots. The walk takes approximately 2½ hours.

Windsurfing

Lightly whipped by trade winds, Playa de Pozo Izquierdo is something of a windsurfer’s haven, having previously hosted the World Windsurfing Championship.

The International Windsurfing Centre is also found here. As well as a shop for buying and hiring equipment, its facilities also include a swimming pool.

Where: Centro Internacional de Windsurf, Pozo Izquierdo, 35119 Santa Lucía de Tirajana, Gran Canaria island.
Telephone: (+34) 928 121 400


Beaches

Playa de Pozo Izquierdo (beach)

Lightly whipped by trade winds, this beach is something of a windsurfer’s haven, having previously hosted the World Windsurfing Championship.

The International Windsurfing Centre is also found here. As well as a shop for buying and hiring equipment, its facilities also include a swimming pool.

Where: Centro Internacional de Windsurf, Pozo Izquierdo, 35119 Santa Lucía de Tirajana, Gran Canaria island.
Telephone: (+34) 928 121 400

Other beaches can be found at Punta Tenefé, Punta de la Gaviota and Bahia de Formas.


Festivals

Fiesta de Santa Lucía

December 6-13th sees the celebration of Santa Lucía, the town’s patron saint. Tastefully meshing religious sentiment with public jollity, the event also attracts large numbers of tourists each year. This fiesta also coincide with the labour day of the town on the Sunday following December 13th.

Where: town centre of Santa Lucía

Fiesta del Carmen

On September 6th -12th, protagonists from Casa Santa and Pozo Izquierdo beach area gather around to celebrate Fiesta del Carmen.

Where: Pozo Izquierdo beach 

Fiesta del Agua (water festival)

The name of the fiesta says it all! It is celebrated on the last weekend of September at the Pozo Izquierdo beach, marking the end of summer and holiday season.

Where: Pozo Izquierdo beach


Restaurants

There are a few local specialties that you should try: the marinated olives grown in the region; Ventura Mejunje, a traditional concoction of rum, honey and spices; and the Ansite wine from Sardina del Sur.

Restaurante Hao

Located on the edge of town, next to the Castillo de la Fortaleza, this quaint restaurant serves traditional Canarian fare including Canary Island stew and local rabbit dishes.

Where: Calle Vicente Sánchez Araña, 4, 35280 Santa Lucia de Tirajana, Gran Canaria island.
Telephone: (+34) 928 798 007

Restaurante el Calabrote (in Pozo Izquierdo)


Attached to the Playa de Pozo’s International Windsurfing Centre, specialities include traditional Canarian dishes and a decent selection of fresh fish.

Where: Diseminado Pozo Izquierdo, s/n, 35119 Santa Lucia de Tirajana, Gran Canaria island.
Telephone: (+34) 938 121 400

Shopping

If you’re looking for charming little trinkets of craftsmanship and local pottery, it’s best to visit the town on Sunday when the local market day is held.

Vecindario is also one of the island’s major commercial hubs. Among its three large shopping centres (C. C. Atlántico, C. C. La Ciel, C. C. Avenida de Canarias), there are a number of fashion stores, supermarkets and other outlets.