Visiting this pretty village is a like stumbling upon a treasure trove. The open-air market is held in the tree shaded, Plaza Leon y Castillo. It is open 9.00-2:30 and is a hub of small privately owned artisans’ stalls, shops and cafe bars. I love to browse and chat, or watch the jewellery makers, potters, painters, sculptures, silk painters, glass blowers and leather crafters at their work. Woven amongst the stalls are sellers of local produce, including bakeries and organic fruit and vegetables. I was happy to be showing Haria market off to my latest guests, an Italian chef with a passion for local food and a Chinese ceramicist from Taiwan.

Surrounding the busy Plaza are unique shops as well as the local church, a mouthful of words even to the locals, Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación. Local wines and souvenirs can be bought from Casa Canaria open 10-3, closed Monday; Boho clothing and shoes, beautiful cotton bedspreads and the choicest gifts from Capricho de Haría; and finely handcrafted artisan jewellery from Joyería Göpal who specialise in crystal, gemstones, pearl and silver, in designer rings, bracelets and necklaces. They are normally open 10.30-8pm daily. Check their schedule on WhatsApp +34634273449.

I bought a beautiful handmade soap dish from ceramicist, Patrizia Casiroro. It was made using the Japanese, Raku technique. I am nosy by nature and asked about her materials & techniques. Raku, is a low-fire method in which the hand thrown ceramic is quickly heated in the kiln. It is removed when the glaze has melted & left too cool in the open air. Raku is exciting, unpredictable and fun she said. Each hand made piece is unique & identified by a numbering system, approved by the artisans’ code of practice for Haria. I can hardly believe my purchase was just €10 & Patrizia gave me a free hand-made pottery fridge magnet of a cute fish. She also makes stunning jewellery, plates, mugs, butter dishes with lids, trays, pots, teapots, and stunning ceramic hearts. To sneak peek some of her work, look at her Instagram account, Lotusartesania.

Click any image to open the gallery and see the descriptions

My shopping basket was soon brimming with local goat cheese, flowers, organic kale, tomatoes, lettuce & fruit. I couldn’t resist a couple of the lightest of bread, the turmeric bread rolls that taste so delicious with cheese. My guests bought a mountain of organic vegetables, including the local teeny, tiny, black potatoes. Seriously, they were only just bigger than a pea. I was curious how they intended to cook them. I have never seen them on a menu in Lanzarote. My guests were also having m’m’m’m moments, nibbling on the flaky sweet-potatoe pasties from one of the bakery stalls.

Cocooning the market are a number of outdoor cafes, including Centro Cultural, La Tegala. This is a locals meeting place, a cross between a social club and indoor café-bar with a delicious inexpensive menu, open to the public. Bar Cafeteria El Rincón de Quino is located at the entrance to the market and we agreed they make the best Barraquitos. (Coffee made in layers with coffee, cinnamon, lemon, evaporated milk, and brandy liqueur). Divinely sweet. Brandy at 11am! I angelically, sipped a deliciously creamy decaff café con leche, as the designated driver.

Suitably satiated, we headed to Mercado de Abastos, the indoor market. It is just a 5-minute walk from the plaza. It has a delightful array of permanent stalls. We passed the Plaza de la Constitución with its underground art exhibition space, a peaceful seating area surrounded by purple flowering bougainvillea. We found the market had a thriving bakery, a health food shop (herbalario), fish, meat & fruit & vegetables stalls, as well as the busy & popular cafe /takeaway with indoor & outdoor seating. The aroma of a chicken cooking on a spit draws people in to buy take-away, along with a number of their other speciality dishes of the day to eat in or take out.  It is open Monday to Saturday.

Next door is Taller de Artesanía Municipal, a large old whitewashed building containing the permanent artisan workshops. Open Monday to Saturday 10:00 to 14.00. It is a warren of activity with rooms for exhibitions, talks & lectures, or fun to watch one of the 15 or so artisans at work and chat to them or buy their products. I watched local potter Miguel Clavijo working on his creations on the ground floor. He explained to my friends who speak 5 languages, some of the secrets of local clays and dyes that he uses in his array of pots and figurines. We were sworn to secrecy on his sources.

Miguel pointed us to a whole troop of his fast sellers. They are the old, pre-Spanish conquest, fertility figures that can be seen around the island. The story of these is that at one time if a boy was attracted to a girl in the village, he would give her a male figure made of clay. If the girl reciprocated his affection, she would make a female clay figure and give it to him in return. S’oooo sweet when you consider the complexities of modern dating arrangements. Next, we trooped upstairs, and were cheered to find at the top of the building, Itziar Alvarez a painter, selling colourful canvases of local scenes from €10. They were snapped up immediately for gifts by my friends. Looking out of one of the artists wooden windows to the outside you can understand why she is so inspired by nature and that this village is known as ‘the place of 1000 palm trees’. You can contact her at itziarlvarez@hoymail.es to check opening times, which are normally Saturday 10-2;30 and Tuesday to Friday 9:00-15:00.

Top Tips:
Free parking is available next to the marketplace, but get there early! Or find parking in the surrounding streets as 100s of people descend on this popular Saturday destination, by bicycle, car, bus and foot.

Buses:
From Costa Teguise, Saturday only, take the 03 or 33 bus to the estacion de guaguas in Arrecife, then number 7 bus from the same location at 10.00 am and return at 13.00 and 19:00.

From Puerto Del Carmen take the 03 bus to the stop estacion de guaguas in Arrecife, (it runs every half an hour), then catch the number 7 bus at 10.00 am to Haria, and return at either 13.00 and 19:00.

From Playa Blanca, it would be quicker to travel by camel to be honest!

Remember, on local buses, everyone is obligated to wear a mask, and because the fares are cheap, the drivers prefer small change & can refuse notes over €10.

Alternatively hire a car, take a taxi, share a taxi, or join a tour from the resorts that takes in the Haria Saturday market.

If you have time between the markets, the tapas and shopping, visit César Manrique’s old sprawling house and gardens. Despite that he died in a tragic accident in 1992, his home looks just like he had popped out for the day. His clothes hang in the wardrobe, his extensive book collection and books are on the table, his art workshop in the garden shows his paint brushes and canvases, laying around ready to be used. The garden and courtyards are a delightful statement of his artistic leanings. Click Link to information about tickets and location here.

As an aside, the number 7 bus that travels between Arrecife and Haria is a delightful journey on any weekday from 9:00 AM until 18:10 PM, and Saturday and Sunday from 7:00 until 20:00. For the adventurous, the bus makes stops at the César Manrique roundabout for a visit to his famous art style house; the hillside village of Nazaret; the old capital of Teguise with its grand old buildings and tapas bars and large Sunday market; the beach resort of Arrietta with its many fish and seafood restaurants; the Cactus Garden, which is believed to be César Manrique’s favourite project (Lanzarote artist, sculptor, architect and nature activist); and many pretty villages between Arrietta and Haria.

With our purchases tucked into the boot of my car, we felt humbled that buying and consuming local produce & buying artisans work helps protect the jobs of hundreds of families on this unique island. My friends and I, delighted with the morning, drove home via the beach resort of Arrietta. They kindly bought a delicious range of tapas, at the popular Churinguitos café bar. We sat overlooking the high surf beach with hundreds of surfers enjoying the waves, and sun worshippers enjoying the hot weather.

Later that evening my Italian guest, cooked the teeny black potatoes as an appetizer. He stir-fried them in a little olive oil, salt and pepper and put the lid on the pan to steam them a little, cooked in less than 10 minutes and sprinkled with chopped cilantro. Delicious pops of flavour. We nibbled on the delicious bites and cheered him with a glass of local dry white, Famara wine.