Moya and its Tilos

Moya and its Tilos

Maybe you didn´t know that more than 500 years ago most of the north of Gran Canaria used to be covered by a large jungle. Only 1% of this original forest survived untill now and in this article we are going to invite you to explore it together with the neighbouring picturesque village of Moya situated on a breathtaking cliff.

The village of Moya with its 8600 inhabitants is situated in 490 metres above the sea level approximately 25 kms far from the capital of Las Palmas. The village is literally sitting on the edge of the ravine of the same name, from where you can have impressive views of the ocean and of the bottom of the gorge. In the history all the area of Moya used to be covered with the huge Jungle of Doramas, that used to ocuppy the mayor part of the north of the island. Streight after the conquest of the island the sugar cane had been introduced here which meant that a significant part of the Jungle of Doramas had been cut down and the initial boom of the sugar cane caused the multiplication of the local population.

Thanks to the global florescence and prosperity the local bishop Arce decided to built a chappel here dedicated to Our Lady of Candlemas. The church and the parish flourished untill the end of the 16th century when all the area suffered a hard crisis because of the fall of the sugar cane. The church was deteriorating until the 20th century when the local offices decided about its demolition and they a new one was built in the eclectic style, that combinates the elements of neogotism and neoromanticism together with the tradicional neocanarism. The interior hosts several peaces of arts of unmeasurable historical value, for example the statues restaurated by local artist Luján Peréz.

In front of the church there is a house where used to live a famous native of Moya, the poet Tomás Moráles, whose house had been converted into a museum, where you can admire the interior of the traditional canarian house, the original paintings and portraits, artists library and his cabinet and another objects connected with his life.

Approximately 2 kms far from the centre of Moya there is the entrance into the protected natural reserve of Tilos de Moya, named acording to the abundant tils in the area. Another important and very numerous trees here are the laurels. The reserve is only a tiny part of the formerly huge Jungle of Doramas that used to cover the mayor part of the north of Gran Canaria. During the 2kms long easy path you will learn about many endemic plants and if you are lucky and patient, you could also see some birds as chaffinch, atlantic canary, blackbird, European robin or grey wagtail, also the giant lizard, Tenerife gecko or different types of frogs. Suprisingly the place have usually very small amount of visitors and mostly they are botanists and zoologists, the entrance is for free and most possibly you will enjoy this unspoild peace of world almost on your own.