The village of Gran Tarajal in Fuerteventura
|Gran Tarajal is a port city on the southwestern coast of the island of Fuerteventura; its commercial port has long been the first port of the island for the export of agricultural production in the south of the island. Gran Tarajal is the third locality of Fuerteventura by the size of its population (7300 inhabitants), after the capital, Puerto del Rosario and Corralejo. It is much crowded as the capital of the municipality to which it belongs, Tuineje.
Gran Tarajal is not a tourist town despite its beach of brown sand, but the tourist can find some authentic Canarian unknown in the tourist resorts of the almost island of Jandía, Costa Calma and Morro del Jable. Much of the population of Gran Tarajal working in the tourism industry of these stations, in agriculture or fishing.
The small town is especially an important economic center and a very useful service center for the indigenous population of the south of the island post office, police station, administration offices, shops, schools, sports fields and even an arena Canarian wrestling (lucha canaria).
|Etymology and toponymy
|Gran Tarajal means “Grand Tamaris”. The town owes its name to the large population of the Canary tamarisk (Tamarix canariensis) which occupied the valley of Gran Tarajal. The tamarisk is named Canary tarajal, taraje or taray de Canarias in Spanish.
This tree grows on coastal saline soils or at the bottom of ravines, often mixed with palm trees. Its trunk can reach 2.50 meters in circumference. Its population in Gran Tarajal is threatened by urban development.
|Gran Tarajal is located at the mouth of the Río de Gran Tarajal, which is almost always dry but whose waters poured over the centuries, volcanic sand that form the beach of gray-brown color which lies at the foot the village. The town has expanded in the river valley between two volcanic ridge (cuchillos) low height (200 m to 500 m). One of these reddish peaks form the backdrop feature of Gran Tarajal by his camel silhouette with two humps, the Punta del Camellito, east
Above the village palm grove covers the bottom of the valley; we see on the left when you get to Gran Tajaral. This grove was planted decades ago to protect arid soils against wind erosion.
From Puerto del Rosario, we arrive at Gran Tarajal by taking the coastal road FV-2 towards Morro del Jable; after 30 km, at a large roundabout, turn left on the short road FV-4 leading to Gran Tarajal in 3.5 km. Since Antigua and Tuineje, take, in the south, the FV-20 road leading to the same roundabout. Before arriving in Gran Tarajal, a road on the left leads to the small seaside resort Las Playitas, 4 km.
|Church of Our Lady of Candlemas (Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria)
|The parish church of Our Lady of Candlemas was built in 1900 with funding from the Foundation Matías López, a Canarian emigrant returned from Cuba. At that time Gran Tarajal was sparsely populated and was only wearing the capital of the municipality, Tuineje. Matías López invests his fortune amassed in Cuba in the development of Gran Tarajal, especially in the expansion of its port.
The church is located on the Plaza de la Candelaria, a place that is a favorite meeting place of the inhabitants of Gran Tarajal at nap time. The square is decorated with a shaded and adorned with a beautiful fountain representing six seahorses stone.
Feast of “Our Lady of Candlemas,” on 2 February.
|The port of Gran Tarajal
|Due to its geographical location and its commercial port, Gran Tarajal was long the central area for importing and exporting goods, especially in the southern part of the island. The most important products are fish, cheeses and agricultural products, including tomatoes intended for European countries. Most of these goods are now shipped from Puerto del Rosario, or even by air from the airport of Fuerteventura. However the storage and packaging of tomatoes harvested in the south of the island were maintained at Gran Tarajal; tomatoes are then sent by truck to Puerto del Rosario.
Since the commercial port, the ferry lines of the company Naviera Armas ensured connections with Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and Tenerife; these bonds are now arrested. For these reasons, the commercial port of Gran Tarajal now seems disproportionate to the importance of traffic.
The fishing port still shelters some boats; the new marina (puerto deportivo) developed and every year, in September, the offshore championship, “La Pesca de Altura”.
|Beach Gran Tarajal
|Gran Tarajal has a sandy gray-brown sand, with a length of 500 m and a maximum width of 100 m; This beach is protected by the pier, located west of the beach: the waters are relatively calm and conducive to the practice of various water sports. Beach Gran Tarajal can not compete with the long golden beaches of the almost island of Jandía : it is especially crowded in summer by the inhabitants of the island.
The beach is bordered by a promenade on the sea front, the Avenida Paco Hierro, on which there are many cafes and restaurants with terraces.
|Lime kilns (Hornos de Cal)
|The lime kiln of Gran Tarajal is one of the largest of the island; it was built in 1953 at a time when the lime industry began to decline.
The use of lime in Fuerteventura goes back at least to the seventeenth century, but in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century that many lime kilns were built. These furnaces were burning limestone, the raw material to produce lime. Quicklime was once an important export product.
There exist two types of furnaces: “domestic” ovens, which were conical in shape and were built stone spliced with clay; they produced intermittently and used as fuel bushes; furnaces “industrial”, built of brickwork, which is found in different forms (square, cylindrical, rectangular, and so on). These furnaces produce two types of lime, a type which suited for use with mortar for jointer stones, and another type, thinner, used for whitewashing.
| Canarian cheese (Queseria Maxorata)
|The center of production Queseria Maxorata is on the road FV-20 between Tuineje and Gran Tarajal, 5.5 km north of Gran Tarajal. At the roundabout junction of the road FV-2 and Highway FV-20, take the first exit towards Tuineje; the cheese is in the industrial area of Llanos de la Higuera.
At the cheese you can buy in direct sales, goat cheese from the island, the Queso majorero at four different stages of maturity, such as semi-soft cheese (semi curado) that may have been rolled into paprika powder or flour gofio. The dairy also produces raw milk cheeses.
Address: Carretera FV-20 Tuineje - Gran Tarajal, km 39,7.
Phone: 00 34 928 870 890
Hours: Monday to Saturday, 9 am to 16 pm.
Site on the Web: www.maxorata.es
|The tourism office
|Address: information kiosk on the seafront promenade, Avenida Paco Hierro.
Phone: 00 34 669 162 723
Site on the Web: www.tuineje.es
Hours: Monday to Friday, 10 am to 14 pm; Saturday from 10 am to 13 pm.
|Weather and forecasts
|The bus station is located on the Plaza de la Candelaria.
Line 1 connects Puerto del Rosario to Morro del Jable, via Antigua, Gran Tarajal and Costa Calma, every 30 or 60 minutes.
Hours at: www.tiadhe.com/rutas/01.htm
The line 10 connects Puerto del Rosario to Morro del Jable via Gran Tarajal, four times a day.
Hours at: www.tiadhe.com/rutas/10.htm
The line 12 connects Las Playitas in Gran Tarajal, twelve times a day, every 30 or 60 minutes.
Hours at: www.tiadhe.com/rutas/12.htm
Line # 16 connects Puerto del Rosario in Gran Tarajal, via Tuineje and Antigua, four times a day.
Hours at: www.tiadhe.com/rutas/16.htm
Line # 18 connects Pájara to Gran Tarajal, two to four times a day.
Hours at: www.tiadhe.com/rutas/18.htm
Address: Calle Juan Carlos I (near the church).
Phone: 00 34 928 870 059
Radio taxi Tarajal :
Phone: 00 34 928 870 737
|The Oceanic Fisheries Open International Championship (Open Internacional de Pesca de Altura) takes place in Gran Tarajal since 1992; the reason is the abundance of blue marlin in these waters. The competition takes place over several days in early September to mid-September. One hundred motor yachts of all the Canary Islands participate.
Phone: 00 34 928 165 278
Site on the Web: www.pescadealtura-grantarajal.com
|Accommodation options in Gran Tarajal are rare; the main one is the Hostal Tamonante, a small hotel, 6 rooms with balcony and shower, located 3 minutes from the beach. Hotel very simple but modern and cheap.
Address: Calle Juan Carlos I, 17, a street parallel to the beach, which leaves from the Plaza de la Candelaria.
Phone: 00 34 928 162 472; mobile phone: 00 34 607 774 976
Rates: Single room: 20 €; double room: about 28 €.
Site on the Web: www.tamonantefuerteventura.com
|Restaurant La Cofradía
|Fresh fish restaurant, including red mullet (salmonetes) and parrotfish (viejas), managed by the fishing cooperative.
Address: at the beginning of the harbor pier (muelle portuario).
Phone: 00 34 928 162 074
Hours: Thursday to Tuesday from 8 am to 22 pm 30 30.
Main course around € 10.
|Restaurant Faro La Entallada
|Good fish restaurant.
Address: Pier Marina (muelle deportivo).
Phone: 00 34 662 643 721
Hours: daily from 6 am to 22 pm 30.
Main course around € 12.