La Oliva is located about 16 kilometers northeast of Corralejo.
It is the second largest municipality on the island and the second most populated, immediately after that of Puerto del Rosario.
This city and its municipality, which includes towns such as Corralejo itself and El Cotillo, combine history and immaculate beaches, such as Playa de Los Charcos, Playa Punta Remedios or El Cotillo Beach & Lagoons.
But let’s see the most important information to know if you are planning a trip to La Oliva!
A bit of history and geography
The history of La Oliva begins in the distant 1500s, when the Hernandez brothers built two small houses on the current territory of the municipality to be able to stay there during the sowing period.
Starting from this moment, more and more populations began to inhabit the territory of La Oliva until it became, starting from 1800, the economic and governmental hub of the island.
Thanks to the development of economic activities such as fishing, breeding and agriculture, there was an exponential increase in the population (from 2,900 inhabitants in 1975 to about 25,000 today) as well as in tourism.
Without a doubt, the development of activities such as agriculture and breeding is due to the very fertile and mostly flat land, where it is impossible not to notice the abundance of the so-called ”acebuches”, wild olive trees characteristic of the area: hence the name of the municipality and the presence of an olive tree on the city shield.
Given its desert climate, the daytime temperature can be very high, while the night-time temperature can be particularly low: for these reasons, the best time to visit the island is summer (even our winter is still very pleasant).
The best attractions to visit in La Oliva
We are not only talking about architectural works dating back many centuries and which hide a very long history within them, but also about natural wonders that characterize the entire territory of the island.
- The Mountain of Tindaya: this particular mountain of red marble is located within the municipality of La Oliva, a destination for many tourists due to the concentration of deposits of rock representations on the island.
It is therefore a real point of reference for lovers of archeology and geology.
The adjective ”sacred” has been attributed to this mountain precisely because of the aura of mystery and fascination that surrounds it: just think of the popular belief according to which people avoided climbing the mountain as it was guarded by witches.
- Church of Nuestra Senora: this church has a very particular appearance, since the external facade is flanked by a tower made with black lava stones, which give it a very unusual color, strongly in contrast with the white of the walls.
Once upon a time, the tower had a very important task: that of guarding against attacks from enemy populations; in this case, the population could have taken refuge inside it.
Inside there are three naves, which give the church the primacy for the largest on the island, as well as one of the only two churches on the island to have three naves.
The numerous paintings depicting sacred figures are very important from an artistic point of view.
- The chaplain’s house: according to tradition, this little house was inhabited between the 16th and 17th centuries by priests who venerated the ”Virgen del Rosario”. This house is away from the city center and does not immediately catch the eye, being hidden behind a larger and more recent building. The chaplain’s house is surrounded by a stone fence and is immersed in a prickly pear field; it was restored in 1996, as it remained abandoned for a long time.
- The “Il Silo” wheat museum: the wheat collections were kept inside this ancient building.
The symbolic figure was the so-called ”cillero”, who was in charge of the taxation and storage of cereals.
The architecture of the house is extremely functional to the role it was supposed to play: in fact, since maximum freshness was to be guaranteed inside, it only has small openings and curtains that protect from the sun.
The machinery with which the land was once cultivated is also on display inside the museum.
These are just a small part of the many wonders that you can visit in La Oliva: what are you waiting for to explore all the rest?