Haría is the beautiful green oasis of Lanzarote fondly known as the Valley of a Thousand Palms due to a tradition of planting palm trees to mark the birth of a child, two were planted for a boy and one for each girl. The name Haría translates as “would do” which is thought to have originated from the natives who called it Faria which could be a derivation of Chafariz which means spring of water.
History tells us that Haría was the second most populated area on the island after Teguise due to the fertile land. The pueblo suffered terribly in a pirate attack on the 1st August 1586 when Algerian pirate Morato Arráez raided the town for livestock and ransacked the town burning down the palm trees. The tunnels within the Cueva de los Verdes provided sanctuary for the residents, they would flee here to escape the pirate attacks.
Haría is also known for the beautiful views as well as palm trees making it incredibly popular with walkers and mountain bikers who take advantage of the many paths in the area. Situated at the top of the Mirador del Haría is a path that leads to the Bosquecillo, Lanzarote’s only forest and picnic area, this is a lovely walk up from the village. For the more adventurous walkers, there is a path that clings to the Risco de Famara and connects the Mirador del Río to Playa Famara.
The municipality of Haría had a range of industries, there were two ports at Órzola and Arrieta, livestock that grazed in the hills, fertile land to grow crops, a salt pan underneath the risco and cochineal farming in Mala. However, even having all these industries the area suffered over time as cheaper foreign imports of flour were introduced bringing about the collapse of the municipal market, artificial dyes replaced the beetle and when the capital was moved to Arrecife in 1852, Haría became less important. This northernmost municipality covers the villages of Órzola, Punta Mujeres, Arrieta, Mala, Charco del Palo, Yé, Guinate, Máguez and Tabayesco.
There are many old traditional buildings, with fascinating architecture, stone walls and wooden balconies. Many gardens are full of fruit trees and rows of vegetables as well as ornamental plants. The plaza León y Castillo forms the centre of the village, this is a shady and sheltered area and the centre of any village activities. Haría has two churches the smaller one San Juan and the Iglesia de La Encarnación de Haría situated at one end of the plaza. The Sociedad La Tegala is a hub for the residents, offering culture and social activities as well as good tapas and cheap food / drink.
The patron saint of Haría is St. John the Baptist and the month of June has a programme of events leading up to midsummer's night on the 23rd and the Festividad de San Juan Bautista. There are two midsummer traditions, this is the only night of the year that residents are legally allowed to have a bonfire, similar to bonfire night in the UK they place a dummy on the fire to represent the devil or witch, you are also expected to jump over the bonfire three times! Before you go to bed you should leave a bowl of water outside with flowers and herbs, in the morning you should wash your face with the scented water to purify your soul and ward off evil spirits.
César Manrique chose Haría as the place he wanted to retire to, leaving his house in Tahiche to become the Fundación, he worked from home in his garden studio. His final resting place was the cemetery in Haría, where flowers are laid each year in remembrance of the man who shaped Lanzarote for tourism whilst enhancing the natural beauty of the island.
Haría is known for its artisans (artists) there is a local craft and produce market each Saturday, a gallery in the Aljibe, artists workshop and individual shops around the pueblo. The raw material provided by the local palm trees is made into baskets, traditional hats, mats etc. The Museo de Arte Sacro was reopened in 2008 and is situated in the plaza.
The pueblo is centered around the plaza León y Castillo which isn’t visible from the main roads. If approaching from Arrieta on Calle San Juan, look out for the back of the church on your left and then take the next left turning and park.
The best route to reach Haría is over the top from Teguise on the LZ-10, stop at the top to admire the panoramic view before descending the Malpaso Way, park when you reach Restaurante El Cortijo – if you come down this road at night look out for the bruja (witch)!
Coming from the North via Máguez as you reach the top of the hill at the start to the village, there is a right turn, you’ll see a wall of signposts here, take the right turn and immediately follow the road to the left, when you come to the stop at the bottom of the hill, turn left and you're in the centre.
The village has a good selection of restaurants to suit all everyone:
Restaurante Dos Hermanos: Situated in the plaza, busy on market day with coffee and tarte de abuela (grandmothers cake)
Bar Neya: Situated in the centre, good for tapas, snack bar and menu del día
Boutique del Pan: Bakery next to the plaza also serving tapas
Restaurante Grill El Cortijo: On the road heading to Teguise, only open in the day with nice outdoor area
Restaurante Grill Meson La Frontera: Offering stunning views to Máguez with a children’s play area and wood fired grill, very popular on a Sunday
Restaurante La Puerta Verde: Located on the main road heading to Máguez rustic tapas restaurant with daily specials
You may wonder about the statue with what could be an English name - Tony Martin known as the "Pollo del Puerto", he was a local lucha wrestler and you can read more information about him in our earlier post Canarian Wrestling.
Haría is a great place to stop when exploring Lanzarote on any day of the week but especially so on a Saturday when the plaza is filled with the art and craft market and a walk or lazy lunch can be combined.
For the men, you wouldn’t have experienced Haría if you didn’t call in to the local deaf and dumb barber who has a number 1 or 2 haircut and a cut throat shave complete with the alcohol rub to finish. Look for the open green door opposite to the bakery, this comes highly recommended!
If you’re looking for a Wi-Fi connection, find the library next to the ayuntamiento building in the Plaza de Constitución, there is a poster in the window with free internet access connection, at the time of posting the connection code is Z0013496F9DB6 and if they’re closed there are two benches outside for some al fresco surfing!
Would you like to stay a little longer? There are two rural hotels in the village, Villa Lola y Juan is in the centre and Finca La Crucita is a few minutes walk away.