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The Villa of Garafia

The large municipality of La Villa de Garafía occupies 102 km2 of the extreme northwest of the Island of La Palma, extending from the sea to the summit between the deep ravines of Franceses and Izcagua. Its rugged topography is influenced by the trade winds; In fact, the stamp of the old windmills identifies the Garafiano landscape. The vegetation cover of fayal-brezal and pine forest was historically exploited as the main economic resource. The old canton of Tagalgen after the Castilian conquest was populated mainly by Portuguese inhabitants, many of them Jews expelled from their country. The lands of the undistributed royal middle zones were ceded to the peasants from 1579 with the obligation to pay a fifth of the products obtained; the Quintos system lasted until a few years ago. In 1812 it acquired the municipality and in 1906 King Alfonso XIII granted it the title of Villa. The economic activity of the Municipality focuses on agriculture and livestock, generating an important cheese industry that has a center for maturing and marketing the product. But without a doubt, Rural Tourism is the most innovative bet; the quality accommodation offer and its beautiful landscapes guarantee this prosperous sector.
On the other hand, the summits of Garafía are a point of reference for the International Astrophysical Community, the Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands-IAC in favor of a greater knowledge of the universe.

Asociacion Española del Perro Pastor Garafiano 03.jpg

Traditions linked to Pastoreo

Through time, the hard work of grazing has survived in Garafía; Our ancestors already drove their herds from the sea to the summit in search of food, for them animals meant life. But the shepherds are the true protagonists of this deep-rooted custom, they are wise connoisseurs of mountains, ravines, shelters, paths, fountains... who walk with their cattle, ringing the singing bells with which the goatherd distinguishes his animals. In the bag or backpack he carries the provisions and in his hands the long spear, inherited from the pre-Hispanic shepherds, with which he masterfully slides making spectacular jumps to overcome the difficulties of the terrain. These leisurely and whole men live thousands of anecdotes, unexpected dangers, extreme temperatures, long distances, silences and loneliness mitigated by the faithful company of the Garafiano shepherd dog, with an affable character, considered to be an autochthonous breed from Palma. The rested rite of milking is followed by the elaboration of the tasty artisan cheese that acquires its characteristic flavor after being smoked with dried prickly pear leaves, heather or almond shells.

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