Should you ever need reminding that Lanzarote lies just some 100km off the coast of Africa then a trip to Haria should do the trick.
An Introduction to Haria
Described by Canarian author Alberto Vazquez as; "Without doubt the most beautiful village on the island, if not the world", this palm-filled oasis is green and verdant, providing a stunning contrast to the starker, southern landscapes of Lanzarote.
Even César Manrique, Lanzarote’s favourite son, chose to spend his retirement years here and whilst his house is closed to the public his final resting place in the pretty cemetery at the edge of the village is open to visitors.
Haria lends its name to a wider municipality that basically encompasses the northern wedge of Lanzarote, but the village itself is home to only around 2,000 inhabitants.
Valley of 1,000 Palms
It lies nestled in the aptly named Valley of 1,000 Palms which is surrounded by the island’s tallest mountain range — the Risco de Famara, which stands at around 670 metres at it’s highest point.
This location begins to explain why the region stays so green, as the altitude attracts cloud and overnight condensation from which the plant life below can draw water. But this alone still doesn’t account for the proliferation of palm groves here.
Indeed, much earthier influences account for the valleys fertility.
During the 17th and 18th centuries villagers celebrated the birth of a new baby by planting palms — one for a girl and two for a boy, possibly in reaction to the burning of most of Haria’s trees and plants by marauding pirates during raids in the 1570’s.
Either way, this politically incorrect planting policy has now created an incredible spectacle that is one of Lanzarote’s most stunning sights.
A barranco - an old water course - runs through the village from outside the back of the Town Hall - which is great for walking and exploring.
El Aljibe Art Gallery
Beneath the bougainvillea bedecked main square lies a small art gallery - El Aljibe - created within the walls of an old water deposit.
Maximum Viewing Pleasure
To maximize your viewing pleasure it’s best to approach Haria from the north, on the LZ10 via Los Valles.
As the road winds down into the valley an incredible panorama lies spread out below, as the crowns of countless Canarian palms sway gently against the backdrop of white washed village houses.
It could be a village in Africa. It could be an oasis in the Middle East. One thing’s for sure though — Haria is out of this world.