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