As you head towards the centre of the island approaching San Bartolomé de Tirajana, you pass the huge volcanic crater of Caldera de Tirajana at the beginning of the Barranco de Tirajana, which is overgrown with lush vegetation.
The historic little town of San Bartolomé de Tirajana also serves as the administrative centre of the coastal regions of Maspalomas and Playa del Inglés, which makes it the most extended municipality in Gran Canaria. This region is known for its plantations of almonds, plums, peaches and cherries, which are used in the production of spirits and liqueurs. These fruits are an extra special ingredient in the San Bartolomé specialties Guindilla, a cherry liqueur, and Mejunje, a sweet concoction of honey, rum and lemon.
The triple-nave parish church Iglesia de San Bartolomé started being built in 1690, but it was consecrated almost three centuries later in 1922. In its interior it features Mudéjar-style wooden vaults and a main altarpiece with the image of Saint Bartholomew occupying the centre. Every Sunday morning a market is held in the surrounds of the church. Another church to be found in San Bartolomé is the Iglesia de Santiago de Tunte, consecrated to St. James.
The main festivals in this region are celebrated on the 24th of August, day of San Bartolomé, and the 25th of July, day of Santiago (St. James) -a major party here and all over the island.
Many of the ancient aboriginal tracks, Caminos Reales (royal roads), can to be found in this area. These old tracks were once the only means to get around in the centre of the island. In recent years many of them have been restored and re-opened to walkers and hikers in a bid to promote eco-friendly tourism. Find more information about the Caminos Reales on our Leisure & Sports pages.
If you would like to stay in a paradise retreat surrounded by lush greenery and beautiful landscapes, Spain-Grancanaria suggests reserving a room with an awe-inspiring view at Hotel Rural Paradise Las Tirajanas. This 4-star hotel is a sanctuary for the senses; be at one with nature while enjoying fantastic hospitality and sumptuous accommodation in one of the island’s most beautiful places.