Overview of San Bartolomé de Tirajana

The small town of San Bartolomé de Tirajana (meaning Saint Bartholomew of Tirajana) can be found at the heart of Gran Canaria, nestled in the middle of a volcanic crater - the Caldera de Tirajana. Located at an altitude of 850 metres above sea level, it is the capital of the largest municipality on the island which bares the same name. The locals, however, refer to this historic town as ‘Tunte’, a title it received from its aboriginal days. Not content with being the administrative centre for a region which includes Maspalomas and Playa del Inglés, it boasts heritage and natural beauty, making it an ideal destination to visit. With so much significance to the island it would be easy to assume that what awaits you is an eruption of noise and activity, yet the opposite is true. San Bartolomé de Tirajana is known for its stillness, as if yet to awake to the modern world.

Only a 10 minute drive south of San Bartolomé de Tirajana is the ancient village of Fataga. The history of the settlement dates back more than 2000 years, with it being host to the climatic battles of the Spanish Invasion. Currently less than 400 people call Fataga home, but a substantial amount of tourists pass through the grounds each year to explore the narrow lanes and the Iglesia de San José.

History

The aboriginal name, along with the ancient roads, point towards a very humble history with the settlement acting as a stop-off point for natives travelling from north to south. The simple ways of the aboriginal Canarii can still be seen today, but it is unlikely that these ancestors could have ever envisioned San Bartolomé de Tirajana being the capital of the island’s largest municipality, much less it being a point of interest for thousands of tourists wishing to seize the essence of true Canarian life.

Culture

The culture is that of any traditional Canarian town. It is proud of its heritage and has managed to maintain and display it to curious tourists. What supports the economy has also become a fabric of the society with the local plantations providing the town with its unique alcohol drinks and tasty fruits.

Economy

Tourists visit the town to marvel at its quaintness, and whilst there they also help to keep it alive by spending money on food and souvenirs. Along with this, San Bartolomé de Tirajana is renowned for its nearby plantations of almonds, plums, peaches and cherries. The latter are used to make the town’s famous Guindilla liquor which it sells in various shops. Another beverage it likes to show off is the honey, rum and lemon concoction called Mejunje. Much of the town’s economy is still based on self-sufficiency too, with wheat and grain farmers residing close by.

How to get there

By Bus:
The best way to visit the town is by taking the number 18 Global bus from Maspalomas. The route runs 5 times daily Monday to Saturday and 4 times daily on Sunday. The bus also passes Fataga en-route to San Bartolomé de Tirajana. It will take less than 60 minutes to arrive, with the same bus continuing on towards Tejeda if you fancy visiting two beautiful towns in one day.

By Car:
Once again the easiest way to visit San Bartolomé de Tirajana is from Maspalomas. A 40 minute drive north on the GC-60 road will get you to the town quickest . The small town of Fataga can also be found on the way and is a perfect place for a quick visit. Beware that driving back or forth at night can sometimes be hazardous as there is very little light on this route.

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.