From 15th to 18th September the festivities in honour of the island’s patron saint will be held in La Vega de Rio Palmas in Betancuria, an event to get acquainted with the most ancient customs of the island.
Since ancient times, the people of Fuerteventura come once a year to Vega de Rio Palmas in Betancuria, to venerate the island’s patron saint, “La Virgen de la Peña”. It is a pilgrimage that in the past was done on foot, donkey or camel, and this tradition is currently kept, using the insular network of walking and signposted paths.
This means, therefore, a great opportunity for visitors interested in outdoor activities and customs and local culture. Thousands of people carry out this activity, which is why the island administrations have a rigorous security plan.
The pilgrimage takes place between Friday 16th first time and the early hours of Saturday 17th. The most accessible trails, with paths taking from one and four hours, depart from Betancuria, Tiscamanita, Valles Ortega, Antigua and Pájara. They all allow you to enjoy incredible rural landscapes. However, a continuous public transport service between Antigua and La Vega de Rio Palmas will also be enabled.
The most special and authentic moment of the program currently takes place on Friday afternoon, with the Pilgrimage Offering to the Virgin, when hundreds of pilgrims cross the Ravine of Betancuria with donkeys, camels and carts, dressed up in traditional costumes, and performing traditional music and dance. It’s really worth witnessing this offering of local products to the Virgin, who is waiting for them on the porch of the Chapel of Our Lady of “La Peña”. Church authorities then allocate the collected goods to disadvantaged people.
La Vega de Río Palmas also deserves a tour. This small, cosy village is an example of the traditional architecture of the island, and throughout all the festivities, which are held from September Thursday 15th to Sunday 18th, there will be stands of local food, crafts, displays of traditional games and musical performances.
Click HERE to view the event programme.