After sighting the fairest of the Chinijo Archipelago from the shores fo the Famara cliffs, we feel desire for its golden beaches caressed by turquoise seas, and its placid houses laid out on its sandy ochre canvas. This special island is for sensitive travellers, who know how to enjoy nature, silence, beauty, as well as sun and solitary beaches.
La Graciosa is probably one of the few places in Europe where there are still no tarmac roads. It is the most unknown and the one that lavishes most serenity of the entire Canarian Archipelago.
Although the origin of the name is unknown, it might be due to the fascinating colours of its beaches and volcanic mountains, and how these change from dawn to dusk, painting different landscapes that evolute from different tones of red to yellow through the entire spectre of browns and ochres. Who ever seeks a place that is different will be thrilled by this charming and perfectl suited island.
La Graciosa is a flat island, where four very different volcanic unities stand out, the one called Las Agujas with its 266 meters being the highest. The island has two populated kernels:
PEDRO BARBA: Is the second human settling that colonised the island of La Graciosa, today transformed into a exclusive and privileged vacation resort. The founders of Pedro Barba arrived in a second wave of families decided upon following the example fo the people of Caleta del Sebo.
From the thirties to the sixties of the XX century, this small hamlet of thick walled low houses, of exuberant light and generous seas has been transformed into a paradise where once the emigration of Lanzarote started.
CALETA DEL SEBO: A unit of white houses and sandy streets is the picture offered by the capital of the most oriental island of the Canarian archipelago. La Graciosa is situated near one of the worlds most abundant fish banks, the inhabitants main source of income. As a matter of fact it was the reason why Caleta del Sebo was founded in the middle of the XIX century.
|From Lanzarote (Órzola) La Graciosa|
|08:30 / 10:00 / 11:00 / 12:00 / 13:30 / 16:00 / 17:00 / 18:00 / 19:00* / 20:00*|
* July 01 to October 31
|From La Graciosa to Lanzarote (Órzola)|
|08:00 / 08:40 / 10:00 / 11:00 / 12:30 / 15:00 / 16:00 / 17:00 / 18:00* / 19:00*|
* From 01 July to 31 October
The island La Graciosa and the islets of Alegranza, Montaña Clara, Roque del Este and Roque del Oeste, is framed within the Marine Reserve of the Chinijo Archipelago, the largest marine reserve in Europe and an area of exceptional landscape value.
The Canarian Achipelago is the area presenting best conditions for scuba diving. Its geographical position serves as a bridge between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean on one hand, and on the other the tropical waters of the Caribbean.
Sportfishing in La Graciosa
Determining factor of good fishing in this area is the water temperature and climate. Most frequent captures are tuna, bonito, ravil and with these come the sharks. The different species are caught with artificial bait unlike sharks and bows on the bait used to lure previously captured earlier.
In the waters off La Graciosa we find:
WHITE AND BLUE MARLIN - The White Marlin fishing is done by trolling with artificial bait type technique for octopus and blue is similar to the shark. Its average weight is between 20 and 60 kilos. The blue and white marlin are returned to the sea, most of the clubs of La Graciosa is working with the Billfish Foundation to study this species.
Yellowtail - are slow trolling with bait glaive and other similar species. Their weight ranges between 10 and 50 kilos is captured in shallow and near the islets.
GOLDEN, bigeye or Bluefin Tuna BIG EYES - These species are caught trolling with artificial bait type octopus. His weight is between 20 and 150 kilos.
From the island of La Graciosa you can make trips to the islets that belong to the Marine Reserve and admire the beautiful and still completely intact views. These tours usually take to one of the fabulous beaches where you can marvel at the water sights, fun slide down chutes or ride in a giant banana.
Excursions usually include lunch such as an energetic and succulent paella accompanied by refreshing sangria or some other typical island dish. No doubt these excursions will offer you the possibility to see other panoramic of the lesse less accessible islet which are absolutely suprising.
La Graciosa by bike
Another great alternative to know La Graciosa and exotic landscapes, is cycling. There are paths which will take us to the most special corners of this tinygeography, paths which we must follow without leaving them in other not o erode or deteriorate the soil.
Although we can bring our own bike together with our luggage, there are places in Caleta de Sebo where we can rent one, and where we shall receive help in case of puncture or other problems. Naturally, the roughness of the soil needs a strong bike that is able to circulate on difficult roads, as there are no special paths to ease our journey.
Brochure La Graciosa
La Graciosa on Flickr
Beaches on La Graciosa
The offer on accommodation in La Graciosa is new and well cared for. It is better to reserve before arriving at La Graciosa, especially around Carnival, in Summer, during the Fiestas del Carmen (July 16), Easter and Christmas holidays. It is always possible to find previous information on the internet, in the tourist board offices or in travel agencies.
In Caleta de Sebo is where the entire accommodation offer concentrates, with pensions, houses for longer stays, apartments and also a camping area with showers and bathrooms, not far from the capital.
La Graciosa is not a place for mass tourism, but it is an ideal island in which you can literally forget shoes. Referring to clothes, it is imperative bathing suit and a light jersey for evening. Obviously a sunscreen and a hat are not to be forgotten as once walk away from Caleta del Sebo it will be almost impossible to find any shadow.
Those who visit La Graciosa can take away some little typical souvernirs, such as practical palm leaf hats, typical marine blue or colourful fishermens clothing and beige linen shoes with rubber soles.
The treatment of refuse and waste carries with it very high additional costs and any deterioration of La Graciosa has a major negative impact on the island. We must not forget that we are talking about a Marine Reserve since 1995 Biosphere Reserve since 1992 and Natural Park since 1984.
NUESTRA SEÑORA DEL CARMEN
On the 16th July numerous fishing villages celebrate the festivity of the Virgen del Carmen.
In the fishing village Caleta del Sebo, devotion to this patron saint is strongly rooted amongst its inhabitants. Every year on the most important festivity of the year boats and ships are beautifully adorned and the Virgen is taken out in a colourful procession on the sea. These days Caleta del Sebo is full of life, and people draw near from everywhere, young folk from the camping site as well as numerous curious tourist wanting to have a good time. The festivities, music parties on the beach, theatre plays, games, etc. are there to be enjoyed by every one.
As to the most deeply rooted festivities, we must not forget that the tradition of carnival also reaches this corner fo the Canarian archipelago. In those days wanting to transform into someone else or break the daily monotony is the main object to be followed. At hte end of February or beginning of March, Sir Carnival is installed in the streets of Caleta del Sebo and the neighbours and those who visit the island to partake in the celebration seem to catch the contagious wish of vital and colourful diversion and fun.