The Jandía Natural Park in Fuerteventura
|The Natural Park of Jandía (Parque Natural de Jandía) is a protected area that covers almost the entire peninsula of Jandía (Peninsula de Jandía) and the isthmus connecting the peninsula to the southwest of the island of Fuerteventura. Only the coastal fringe of the southeast and southwest of the peninsula are outside the Park; it is urbanized areas almost exclusively dedicated to tourism with the resorts of Costa Calma and Morro del Jable.|
The Natural Park of Jandía includes mainly a mountainous area of volcanic origin bordered to the northwest by white sand beaches that stretch over several tens of kilometers; the rest of the coastline consists of rocky headlands and cliffs, spaced by smaller beaches.
In these arid landscapes - and virtually intact - pushes a rare but remarkable vegetation, consisting of often endemic species; the area is also the breeding ground for several species of birds. For these reasons - and also because of the threat posed by the emerging mass tourism - the area was declared a natural park in 1987.
The Park is located entirely within the territory of the municipality of Pájara. The Park is - even today - almost deserted: the only two localities, situated inside the park, are hamlets of fishermen and farmers: Cofete, northwest of the almost island, and Puertito de la Cruz, in the southwest.
|The Regional Natural Park Jandía is located in the southwest of the island of Fuerteventura. The park encompasses most of the isthmus of La Pared (Istmo de La Pared, the "isthmus of the Wall”), located immediately south of the village of the same name.|
You can reach Jandía by car via the coastal road FV-2 from Puerto del Rosario, or the FV-605 road, if we just Pájara. The FV-2 road serves the resorts of Costa Calma, Esquinzo, Jandía Playa and Morro del Jable, which is the terminus of the FV-2 road.
After Morro Jable tracks of earth and stones are used to enter the Nature Park and reach the western tip of the island near the Punta de Jandía; just before the Punta de Jandía, at the hamlet of Puertito de la Cruz, a branch on the right provides access to the Punta Pesebre, along the old airstrip that Gustav Winter had built to the point of the almost island.
Halfway the track of Punta de Jandía, a track off to the right and crosses the crest of the mountains towards Cofete, on the northwest coast of the almost island, then down to the huge deserted beaches Playa de Cofete and Playa de Barlovento.
It is better to have an all-terrain vehicle to take these tracks, especially that of Cofete, very curvy and sometimes in poor condition.
|The peninsula of Jandía|
|The peninsula of Jandía was originally a separate volcanic island - but contemporary - the rest of the island of Fuerteventura, itself formed of several volcanoes welded together. The volcano Jandía was separated from Fuerteventura by a strait that further volcanic eruptions filled up to form the isthmus of La Pared that connects today Jandía in Fuerteventura. At its peak - there are 14 or 15 million years - Island Jandía was to reach a diameter of 26 km and an altitude of 1500 m; this would correspond to a surface area of approximately 530 km², that is to say a larger island La Gomera. The last eruption of the volcano Jandía caused a collapse of much of the volcanic edifice in the Atlantic Ocean.|
|These geological events can be read in the landscape of Jandía: peninsula in the shape of a large mountainous arc: the part of the caldera that has survived the collapse; the northwest coast - typically the Arco de Cofete - with its steep cliffs falling into the sea, is the crater of the caldera; the central peak corresponds to the rim of the caldera, with as highlight of the peak, the Pico de la Zarza; the gentler slopes of the coast southeast and southwest correspond to the slopes of the volcano, furrowed volcanic flows. These lava flows have created ridges (named cuchillos, "knives”) separated by rocky valleys shaped “U”, or ravines, barrancos.|
To the west, the headlands of Punta de Jandía and Punta Pesebre mark where the rim of the caldera is sinking into the ocean.
To the east - from the Valle del Pecenescal - these volcanic flows give way to the dune landscape of the isthmus of La Pared, from which emerge only a few hills almost buried under the sands.
|The Natural Park of Jandía (Parque Natural de Jandía)|
|In addition to its landscape and geomorphological interest, the peninsula of Jandia contains plant species endemic, some of which are endangered, as well as animal species threatened like the Houbara Bustard (Chlamydotis undulata). It is for these reasons that a large part of the peninsula was declared a nature reserve in 1987, ranking as the Natural Park (Parque natural de Jandía). This space was also declared “Special Protection Area for Birds” (ZEPA).|
Natural Park Jandía occupies an area of 144 km² on the 200 km² of almost island. Only excluded from the Park of the coastal strip already urbanized, located around Costa Calma and Morro del Jable; However, the salt meadows area of Saladar de Jandía at Morro Jable is also the subject of a measure of protection.
Many fences have been put in place - especially around the huge wind farm in the Isthmus of La Pared and the central ridge around the Pico de la Zarza - to preserve the vegetation, often endemic, the goats voracity .
|The isthmus of La Pared (Istmo de La Pared)|
|The isthmus of La Pared is the narrow strip of land - off 4 at 5 km and an area of 45 km² - between Jandía in Fuerteventura; this is the narrowest part of the island.|
It was long believed that the isthmus was the border between the two indigenous kingdoms that existed before the conquest of Fuerteventura by the Norman Jean de Béthencourt and Gadifer de La Salle: the kingdom of Maxorata, north, and the Kingdom of Jandía, south. This is what has earned the name of “la pared” (the wall) to the isthmus and the village nearby. In fact, historians now believe that the border went 20 km further north along a line going from Ajuy to Salinas del Carmen.
The istmo de la Pared is largely covered with sand brought from the Moroccan Sahara by easterly winds occur when the phenomenon of the sirocco (chergui Moroccan), although the prevailing winds are westerly winds; This golden sand also formed the splendid beaches, which benefits the resort of Costa Calma, the beaches known as the Playas de Sotavento de Jandía (“beaches downwind”). The wind also provides energy to the station with a huge wind farm fifty wind towers placed on the isthmus.
This dune landscape gives way to the first mountains around the valley Pecenescal (Barranco del Pecenescal), with the mountains Loma Negra (335 m) and El Paso (253 m).
|The massif of Jandía (Macizo de Jandía)|
|The Massif of Jandía rises gradually by a series of volcanic flows (cuchillos) separated by valleys and ravines, to the highest point of the peninsula - and the island - the Pico de la Zarza (“Peak of the Bramble ”) or Pico de Jandía, at 807 meters, with the peak Annex appointed by the inhabitants Las Orejas de Asno (“the Donkey Ears ”). Neighboring peaks are the Pico de la Palma (744 m) to the west, and the Pico de Mocán (801 m) to the northeast.|
The Massif of Jandía is the remnant of a stratovolcano emerged from the sea there are 21 million years, the northwestern part of the crater rim collapsed into the ocean there are about 12 to 14 million years and leaves today Massif de Jandía crescent. The northwestern edge of the Pico de la Zarza falls steeply to the coastal plain of Cofete, while the slopes southeast and southwest are softer. In the mountains of Jandía found the oldest material that makes up the base of the island of Fuerteventura, including marine sediments of the Mesozoic era, prior to the formation of the archipelago; from the ravine Amanay and to Pic de Jandía dominate the materials of Miocene volcanic corresponding to the first phase. The massif is covered - especially in the area of Vigocho - a volcanic gravel, locally named the “jable”, which is a kind of pozzolan.
You can visit the Massif de Jandía walk from Morro del Jable; PR FV 54 hiking trail leads to the Pico de la Zarza or Pico de Jandía, the highest point of the island of Fuerteventura, 807 m. The starting point for this trail is the tourist resort of Jandía Playa, district of Morro del Jable, around the mall Ventura. The trail - well signposted - begins near the promenade and taken to the peak of the Degollada de Vinámar and finally to the Pico de la Zarza, after a walk of 7.5 km and a vertical drop of nearly 800 meters. This hike should only be undertaken in good weather because the winds can be strong and very fresh at the top of Jandía, and the summit shrouded in nebulous.
Le Massif de Jandía is then lowered to the west, but with high peaks like Pico Fraile (689 m), the valley of Gran Valle where the track passes leading to Cofete. On the track Cofete, the viewpoint of the Mirador Degollada Agua Oveja (“Belvedere Casting Water Sheep ...”), 230 m above sea level, offers a magnificent view on the beaches of Cofete and Barlovento, with a covered area and a panel of information.
|The southeast coast of the peninsula of Jandía|
|The southeast coast of Jandía is the coast “downwind” (sotavento), protected from westerly winds by the ridge of the Massif de Jandía; this part of the peninsula is not part of the park; she was discovered by tourism since the late 1970s and resorts there have emerged: Costa Calma, on the isthmus of La Pared, Esquinzo and Jandía Playa benefiting from beautiful sandy beaches and favorable winds the practice of windsurfing and kite-surf. The clientele of these stations is mainly German and Scandinavian.|
|The southwest coast of the peninsula of Jandía|
|The southwest coast is largely located outside the natural park although only the area around Morro del Jable is now urbanized. It is true that beyond the new port of Morro Jable the coast of this most beautiful sandy beaches; we find again the pleasant beaches - but small - a dozen kilometers west of Morro Jable: the Playa de Juan Gómez and Playa de las Pilas that are inside the Park. To get there you must use the dirt track and stones leading to the Punta de Jandía; these beaches are often deserted.|
After the beach Las Pilas is a natural cave, the Cueva de la Negra.
|The western tip of the peninsula of Jandía|
|The stony track from Morro del Jable splits into two one km before arriving at the Punta de Jandía, at the hamlet of Puertito de la Cruz; the left branch leads to the tip and the lighthouse of Jandía, while the right arm allows head towards the Punta Pesebre north.|
Puertito de la Cruz is a hamlet of fishermen, dilapidated caravans and second homes where some residents of Morro del Jable come to spend the weekend away from the bustle of the tourist resort. The small port facilities were completed on the initiative of the German entrepreneur Gustav Winter, who had the concession of nearly all of the peninsula of Jandía in 1950-1960. Two small restaurants (the restaurant Punta de Jandía and the restaurant El Caletón), located on the beach, serve grilled fish or soup of freshly caught fish.
In the first fortnight of September the Octopus Festival (Fiesta del Pulpito).
|The Punta de Jandía is the extreme southwestern tip of the island of Fuerteventura; the path of Great Excursion GR 131 Fuerteventura there ends after crossing the island in its length from Corralejo, a distance of 154 km. The Punta de Jandía is a rocky promontory beaten winds where swimming is dangerous.|
At the Punta de Jandía is the lighthouse of Jandía (Faro de Jandía) 1884. electrically powered by solar panels and a wind turbine tower. The lighthouse houses the visitor center of the Natural Park of Jandía and a small coffee shop, but that is not open all year. From Pointe de Jandía, it is possible to see a clear day the coast of Gran Canaria.
Since Puertito de la Cruz a track - tough enough - to get to the northwestern tip of the island near the Punta Pesebre (“Pointe Manger”), a distance of about 4.5 km.
Halfway you can access a small often deserted beach, the Playa de Ojos, accessible by a wooden staircase. On the right of the dirt road you can see the runway of an abandoned airfield that had been projected by Gustav Winter. The Punta Pesebre has steep cliffs with crashing Atlantic waves; it is the walls of the caldera of the volcano Jandía falling into the ocean.
This geological landscape is even more spectacular in the Caleta de la Madera (“Cove of the plank”) a few kilometers east of Punta Pesebre. Following the coast from Punta Pesebre, it reached - in half an hour walk - a small hill with a splendid view of the Caleta de la Madera and the northwest coast of the peninsula Jandía.
On a height behind the Caleta de la Madera is the site of Las Talahijas, a former aboriginal hamlet located 189 m above sea level, which leads many winding paths.
|The northwest coast of the peninsula of Jandía|
|The northwest coast of Jandía consists of the remains of the southern part of the caldera of the volcano Jandía; other parts of the caldera have sunk into the ocean. The volcanic cliffs fall abruptly from the rim of the caldera to the bowl of the crater that looks like a vast plain in ascending (Arco de Cofete) lined with huge white sand beaches stretching 10 km: beaches Cofete and Barlovento (“Windward”).|
This coast is indeed exposed to prevailing westerly winds and ocean currents, making swimming dangerous, but the delight of surfers who have the courage to reach so far.
|Access to the only town in the north-west coast, Cofete, is difficult: it is made from Morro del Jable by a stony track crossing the volcanic ridge; an all-terrain vehicle is recommended to explore the Playa de Barlovento and the surrounding beaches. This inaccessibility has preserved however this wild coast tourism development.|
Cofete is a hamlet of farmers and ranchers with few houses and a restaurant. Above the village, at the foot of the Pico de la Zarza, is a curiosity: a large secluded villa that seems to monitor the coast, the Villa Winter.
|The flora of Jandía|
|The flora of Jandía includes many endemic species or protected species like the viper shrub Jandía (Echium handiense) (tajinaste azul de Jandía) with blue flowers, daisy Winter (Argyranthemum winteri) (magarza de Winter), dedicated to Gustav Winter, with white and yellow flowers and buplèvre of Jandía (Bupleurum handiense) with bright green leaves and yellow inflorescences.|
In the vicinity of Pico de la Zarza encountered the silky asterisk (Asteriscus sericeus), also known as “silky gold star” groundsel leaf oleander (Senecio kleinia synonymus Kleinia neriifolia) and houseleek Bethencourt (Aichryson bethencourtianum).
But the symbol of Jandía is certainly spurge of Jandía (Euphorbia handiensis) (cardón de Jandía), a kind of cactus that grows only in these parts.
On the Isthmus of La Pared develops a very special flora because herders are grazing their goats, mainly grows the tree launée (Launaea arborescens) is not sensitive to animal feed. However, after the first winter rains, gush all over the floor tiny flowering plants that survived in the dry season as seeds.
|The Fauna of Jandía|
|The animal symbol of Jandía is the Houbara Bustard (Chlamydotis undulata) present in the natural park, but we find nearly 30 species of birds wintering or nesting as the Kentish plover (Charadrius alexandrinus) (chorlitejo patinegro), the little Ringed plover (Charadrius dubius) (chorlitejo), the kestrel (Falco tinnunculus canariensis) (cernícalo vulgar), the wheatear the Canary islands (Saxicola dacotiae), the buzzard (Buteo buteo) or another representative bird of island, the Egyptian vulture of Fuerteventura (Neophron percnopterus majorensis) (guirre majorero), who finds refuge in the crags and cliffs.|
|We meet three species of terrestrial reptiles endemic lizard Eastern Canary Islands, the Chalcides at many scales (Chalcides simonyi) (lisneja). The leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) (tortuga laúd) and green turtle (Chelonia mydas) (tortuga verde) frequent the beaches of Jandía; the loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) (tortuga boba) is being reintroduced. In its waters there are also a large amount of breeding whales as the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) (delfín mular), Risso’s dolphin (Grampus griseus) (calderón gris) and different species of whales including the sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) .|
|The peninsula of Jandía is the only part of the island of Fuerteventura which has remained - until recently - under the control of feudal lords. These gentlemen have left their lands in the hands of managers who ran the peninsula. Gustav Winter was probably the last of them; Winter marked the separation of the peninsula by building a fence two meters high stretched across the entire isthmus of La Pared, not far from the ancient wall that separated Jandía from the rest of the island.|
| Natural Park Visitors Centre Jandía|
|There is a visitor center of the Natural Park of Jandía (Centro de Interpretación del Parque Natural de Jandía), which is located in the lighthouse Jandía in the southwest tip of the island almost. The center provides explanations on the geology, flora and fauna of Jandía. On the ceiling hangs a fin whale skeleton (Balaenoptera physalus) 6 m in length.|
Visiting hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 10 am to 18 pm (the interpretation center seems to be temporarily closed).
Phone: 00 34 928 858 998
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