In the south of the island there is a unique place, framed between impressive escarpments that shelter those who want to dedicate themselves to contemplating the waves of the sea. We talk about the Garcey Beach, one of the few paradisiacal redoubts, which still have not been massively invaded by tourists, ideal for who seek to get away from the crowds.
In spite of being, Garcey, a reference among the beaches of Fuerteventura and being found in almost all the travel guides, this beach continues to maintain part of its charm. Its uncomfortable access, only possible through unpaved tracks, has been one of the reasons why this enclave has managed to keep its hippie spirit almost intact.
Garcey beach is a true haven of peace. Here, your only concern will be to enjoy of the sound of the Atlantic. Its natural beauty, formed by wide rocky cliffs flanking the beach, coupled with spectacular coves, and several caves, has made Garcey one of the most desired destinations in Pájara, the municipality to which it belongs. One of its attractions is precisely an impressive opening natural, like a corridor, which is in the westernmost escarpment, and that communicates the Garcey beach with the adjoining beach. The width and the depth of the corridor is such that, during high tide, it forms an idyllic indoor pool.
In Garcey you have more than half a kilometer of beach to walk uninterruptedly along its shore. Its soil is formed by stones and a mixture of white and black sands.
The wind and the strong waves that hit it, for much of the year, it is one of the most unique characteristics of Garcey beach,and one of the reasons why competitions are usually held such us the Surf and BodyBoard Championship of Garcey, a spectacle that is worthwile as it attracts more than 100 high-level athletes. This competition, despite not being included in the Canary Island Surf and BodyBoard circuit, has managed to carve a niche in the surfing calendar of the islands. The quality of the participants and, especially, its atmosphere during the weekend are the signs of identity of this competition.
But, if Garcey beach is known for something, it is for hosting, In its depths, the scant remains of the American Star, one of the most luxurious ships that sailed the Atlantic in the second half 20th century.
The American Star and its wreck
The S.S. America, first name of the seven that this ship had, was baptized in August 1939. It was 220 long and 28meters wide, it has a capacity for more than 1,200 passengers and a crew of 643 men, the S.S. America was the largest ship American passenger, and was destined to be one of the most iconic ocean liners of the century.
It was equipped with great detail, including swimming pools, and innovative materials like stainless steel. Its maiden voyage, planned by 1941, had to be postponed because of the Second War World. The ship was militarized. And although it was renamed as U.S.S. Westpoint, was better known as “The Gray Ghost”. Its mission, during the war, was to transfer American soldiers
After the Second World War, the ship was returned to its owners. The ocean liner was restored in all the original luxury. In 1946 it made its maiden voyage New York-Cobh-Le Havre-Southampton, repeating the journey countless times until which was withdrawn from service in 1964.
Despite nearly 25 years of service, the ship continued transporting travelers, this time in our antipodes with the name of S.S. Australis. She brought emigrants from Southampton to Australia and New Zealand, and circumnavigated the Earth in 62 occasions. After that, the ship had as many names and owners.
The last American Star trip took place on January 15, 1994. The rusty ship was heading to the port of La Luz, (Gran Canaria) when it was surprised by a great storm. The moorings that joined the S.S. American Star and its tugboat broke down,leaving the ship at the mercy of the ocean currents. Fate caused that 3 days later, the ship, stranded in Garcey Beach, breaking its hull in two.
For a time the Guardia civil guarded the American Star. But,once the vigilance was removed, locals and strangers pounced On the rickety luxury cruise liner, like birds of prey. Eyes of ox, boilers, motors, water pumps, machinery, lamps, ornaments, furnishings of all kinds, even the most insignificant pieces They were ripped from the old American Star, to go to the decoration of private homes, used industrially or sold by weight.
Frequently Asked Questions about Playa de Garcey:
How to get to Garcey beach?
To get to Garcey from Pájara, you have to take the road FV-605. A little over 1.5 km is the detour to Ajuy. We pass the crossroads leaving it on the right. We continue to the South, and about 4 kilometers from Pájara we will find a wooden sign that indicates “La Solapa – Garcey”. We took that detour, at right. It is a dirt track that will bring us closer to Playa de la Solapa about 4 kilometers. We will continue along the dirt track, a couple of kilometers until we reach Garcey.
Is Garcey dangerous for bathing?
Playa de Garcey, like many other beaches on the west coast, strong waves predominate Take extreme precautions and do not stray from the shore.
Are there any remains of the American Star ship?
Many people approach Garcey expecting to see intact the ship aground. However, it should be noted that there is nothing visible.