Pajara

Pajara is the southernmost and the largest of the six municipalities in Fuerteventura – from the centre of the island and covers the entire south of Fuerteventura. With most of the revenue from tourist centres of Costa Calma, Morro Jable and Solana Matorral. The whole municipality offers well over 20,000 hotel rooms. The area of Pajara is about ​​383.52 square kilometres (148 square miles) with a coastline of amlost 100 miles. The highest point in Fuerteventura is the Pico de Jandia (Pico de la Zarza) 2650 feet (807 meters) high located in Jandia. Most of this peninsula is protected by Parque Natural de Jandia since 1987. Today the municipality comprises the villages of Morro Jable, Solana Matorral, Cardon, Costa Calma, La Lajita, La Pared, Pájara, Esquinzo, Piedras Caidas, Toto, Ajuy, Mal Nombre, Punta Jandía, Chilegua.

The name Pajara as the town is first time mentioned in 1612 in a document relating Betancuria. The town is like an oasis in the valley between 600 meters high mountains, of which the Fenduca 609 meters above sea level is the highest one. In town Pajara you can visit the church of Nuestra Senora de Regia. The church was originally built in 1687 and subsequently extended and is perhaps the most beautiful church inside of the Fuerteventura, thanks to the lovely wall paintings. Also of interest is the church dedicated to San Antonio de Padua in the village of Toto. It was built in the second half of the 18th century and completed in 1795. Inside is a statue of the patron of the place – San Antonio.

These days, about 90 percent of the population work in the tourist sector. A huge challenge is to keep level so that the ecosystem of the Fuerteventura is not compromised. More hotel buildings are not planned. There is the quote: “The municipality of Pajara don’t need any more hotel rooms!”. They are trying not to be dependent not only on the tourism, the present government has taken on the task of promoting agriculture, especially on the south of Fuerteventura, in Pajara municipality.

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La Oliva

Located in the north of Fuerteventura, the municipality of La Oliva, which includes the Lobos Isle, has an extension of 356.13 square kilometres (about 137 square miles) what is 21.5% of the total area of Fuerteventura. It is the second largest municipality in the Canary Islands, after Pajara.

In this municipality there are two parks, the Natural Park of Corralejo, including its unique dunes, and the Natural Park of the islote de Lobos, comprising the island of Lobos in its entirety, which belongs to La Oliva administratively. The Esmeralda Mountain, one of the main rock art sites of the island, was considered magical by the Guanches. It comprises the capital – La Oliva, and the villages of Tindaya, Vallebron, Villaverde, La Caldereta, Los Lajares, Toston or El Cotillo, El Roque, Corralejo and Parque Holandes, as well as the recently consolidated La Capellania, between Villaverde and Corralejo, and not forgetting the Lobos.
Among the numerous attractions in the municipality, its natural areas are not to be missed, such as Tindaya Mountain, a singular landscape containing important archaeological and geological elements, or Corralejo Natural Park, with its spectacular dunes. Lobos Park is home to around 130 animal and vegetable species that inhabit a landscape practically untouched by man, and Malpais de la Arena, declared a Natural Monument, has its origins in volcanic eruptions that occurred around ten thousand years ago, producing a landscape of great beauty. Finally, the Protected Area of Vallebron conserves man-made structures designed for farming the land located in the midst of a fertile valley.

The vegetation of La Oliva is characterized by thorny bushes (such as gorse or matamoros). Highlights of this municipality  include the beaches of El Cotillo and Corralejo which has allowed tourism development in the municipality. The necessary conditions exist on its shores for the practice of sports like surf, windsurfing, diving, etc.

The exponent, par excellence, of civil architecture in the municipality is the building known as Casa de los Coroneles (House of the Colonels). It was built in the second half of the 17th century by the Cabrera Bethencourt family, though its most significant extensions and reforms were carried out in the 18th century. The Casa de los Coroneles constitutes one of the most important domestic architecture structures to be found in the whole of the Canary Islands. Due to its complex functions in the immediately surrounding area and throughout the island, it became the centre of power in administrative, military, economic and social, etc. circles and it is, therefore, also a reflection of the geo-political changes that took place in the island, with the decline of Betancuria and the rise in importance of La Oliva.

The territorial limits of the municipality have not changed significantly throughout its history, as these are based on the ecclesiastical demarcation carried out during the 18th century.

In 1837, with the abolition of the feudal estates, the island was incorporated in the Spanish Crown and in that same decade, with the restructuring of Spanish territory in municipalities, the Town Council and municipality of La Oliva were created.

Additional info about La Oliva

La Oliva is the home to the 300 year old farmhouse La Casa del los Coroneles, and was formerly the islands’s social and political centre.

In the centre of the village of La Oliva stands the Iglesia de Nuestra Senora de la Candelaria which is one of the most attractive churches on Fuerteventura Island, the Church of Our Lady of Candelaria La Oliva, Fuerteventura – Spain. Built in the early 18th Century, it has a tower of dark volcanic stone. The church is quite large and has three naves. Inside is a mudejar ceiling and there are many paintings and sculptures by Juan de Miranda.

La Rosita is a traditional family farm north of La Oliva and it is open to visitors. Camels are used here to pull the plough as well as carry people on rides through the fields around the farm.
Casa de los Coroneles is a large mansion that was built as a residence for the island`s military governors in the early 18th Century. La Oliva was an important seat of government until 1880. This long, grand mansion has forty rooms, magnificent wooden doors and carved balconies. The building has been restored and is open to visitors. From the tower are superb views of La Oliva and the 1700 foot high Montana de Escantrago.
Museo del Grano La Cila is a museum in an old granary near the church in the village of La Oliva. In the early 19th Century building is an exhibition on the harvesting of grain, once an important agricultural product on the island. Here the visitor can see various displays, including tools and old photographs. Around La Oliva are many windmills which, in the past, were used to grind grain.

Museo del Grano La Cilla La Oliva, Fuerteventura

Phone number: +34 92 885 1400

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Tuineje

The municipality of Tuineje, founded in 1872, covers an area of 276 square kilometres (about 105 square miles), making Tuineje the fourth largest municipality in the island. Thanks to its location, in the southeast of Fuerteventura, it enjoys a benign, cool climate that makes it possible to use the municipality’s resources the whole year round. These resources, together with the area’s cultural attractions and the traditional lifestyle of its inhabitants make this municipality the ideal destination for lovers of nature and ancient customs. The main centres of population are Gran Tarajal, Tarajalejo, Tesejerague and Tuineje.

Tuinejes’ economy is based on tomato agriculture and forage (first island producer) and livestock (goat meat and cheese ). It also has a relevant role the tourism sector. Highlights include the beaches of Gran Tarajal, Tarajalejo, Giniginamar and Las Playitas.

People began to settle in Tuineje shortly after the conquest, including a significant number of Moors.
In 1779 Tuineje became a parish, independent from Betancuria, and at the beginning of the 19th century the Town Council was created, following the abolition of the feudal estates.

 

History of Tuineje

Tuineje used to be dependant on the municipality of Betancuria until the late eighteenth century. It became a municipality in 1872 thanks to the Cortes of Cadiz. In 1740, during the Anglo-Spanish war, English pirates landed in the village for looting. But despite their disadvantage in weapons, the natives achieve a victory over the invaders. Months later the events replayed with the same result. This battle is known as the Battle of Tamasite or Llano Florido. This victory of natives is commemorated every 13 October with a re-enactment the events.

Today the municipality comprises the villages of Tuineje, Gran Tarajal, Tiscamanita, Las Playitas, Tesejerague, Tarajalejo, Giniginamar, Las Casitas, Juan Gopar and Tequital, all of which contain significant exponents of popular and traditional architecture.

Interesting things to see in Tuineje

Ermita de San Marcos Tiscamanita, from the late seventeenth century.

Ermita de San Jose in Tesejerague: dates from the first half of the eighteenth century.

Lime Kiln in Great Tarajal, built in 1953, is the biggest lime kiln on Fuerteventura.

Particularly noteworthy is the 18th century church of Tuineje – Iglesia de San Miguel Arcángel, dedicated to its patron saint San Miguel, as well as the Sanctuary dedicated to San Marcos Evangelista, which also dates back to the 18th century and was built in Tiscamanita under the sponsorship of Pablo Sánchez de Carmona.

Protected areas shared with other municipalities on the island:

Protected Landscape Malpais Grande: volcanic lava emissions field.

Cuchillos de Vigán Natural Monument: stronghold of endangered species like the Egyptian vulture, the Osprey and the Barbary falcon.

Betancuria Rural Park: Area of high interest for fauna and also a shelter to several endangered birds of prey.

Natural Monument Caldera de Gairía: newly erupting volcanic cone.

Interesting people of Tuineje

Eustaquio Gopar Hernández, one of the Spanish soldiers participating in the Siege of Baler, on his return, he became mayor of the town for several terms.

Manuel Velázquez Cabrera, lawyer and politician, impetus for the island councils.

Saray Ramírez, a former contestant on Operación Triunfo 2006.