La Graciosa is the island off the Northern tip of Lanzarote, its part of the Teguise municipality and the Archipiélago Chinijo, the natural park covering the El Risco de Famara and the islands of La Graciosa, Alegranza, Montaña Clara and Los Roques del Este and del Oeste.
As of 2018, La Graciosa officially became the 8th Canary Island.
The waters surrounding La Graciosa are the only two marine and fishing reserves found in the Canary Islands. The water separating La Graciosa from Lanzarote is called El Río, hence the name of the attraction situated high on top of the risco – Mirador del Río which looks directly over to the island.
The island of La Graciosa is home for a population of around 500 residents, the main town is Caleta del Sebo, but there is another residential area, further up the coast called Pedro Barba. It is rumoured that many of these islanders have never set foot off the island of La Graciosa, they survive primarily with fishing and then tourism. Many of the children stay at residencias in Lanzarote during the week to attend school and the island has a rota for a doctor from Lanzarote to stay a month at a time. Any urgent medical cases are airlifted to hospital or met off the ferry by an ambulance. There aren’t any tarmac roads on the island, there are a few sand roads traversed by Land Rovers and a couple of other 4×4’s.
How to get there
There are daily ferry crossings from Órzola to La Graciosa run by Biosphere Express & Lineas Romero. The cost is €26 return for an adult and €12 for a child, Canary Islands residents have a discount off this price (original ID and proof required). The crossing takes about 20 minutes.
Where to stay
Most visitors go to La Graciosa for the day but it is possible to stay overnight in Caleta del Sebo, there are various apartments to rent, a few small basic hotels and a free campsite.
Pensión & Restaurante Enriqueta- Tel: 928 842 051, 12 rooms and maximum of 24 people.
Pensión Girasol Playa – Tel: 928 842 118, 8 rooms and maximum of 16 people.
Evita Beach – Tel: 928 842185, apartments & suites.
The campsite now has to be reserved in advance, it’s an easy 10 minute stroll from the harbour area, just follow the track to the left past the harbour beach to the end and around to the right and you are there. The facilities are basic but you do have a shower and toilet block, the ladies are on the left and men’s on the right – the showers are fresh (cold) and the toilets flush (take your own toilet roll). It’s very basic but free and situated right on Playa del Salado which is a bit slippery and shallow at low tide to get into the water but great for snorkelling.
How to get around
Transport on La Graciosa is mainly walking or cycling, if you’re there for just a day trip, I would recommend that you either walk to the left and enjoy the beaches at Playa Francesa or Playa de La Cocina and Montaña Amarilla or you hire a bike and head for Playa de Las Conchas, through the centre of the island and to the right. Alternatively you can either take a water taxi from the ferry company Lineas Romero or persuade one of the local 4×4 drivers to drop you at the far side of the island and either come back for you or walk back for your ferry.
What do do
La Graciosa is a very chilled island, do not expect tourist shops and facilities, there is a bakery, a couple of small supermarkets, DIY shop, one nightclub, the sociedad and a choice of bars and restaurants. The Nuestra Señora del Carmen church is fascinating, do have a look in if it’s open when you are passing, there’s lots of references to fishermen and the sea inside.
The water around La Graciosa and the other islands is part of a marine reserve and a protected area, it is possible to go scuba diving here, but only accompanied by the local dive schools. For surfers, the locals head for the reef between Playa Francesa and Playa de La Cocina.
We enjoyed the Menu del Día at Meson de La Tierra on the harbour front, which included a salad for the starter, a choice of fresh fish or ribs for the main course, then melon or coffee for desert and a glass of wine or water for €9.50. This bar restaurant is very popular, it has a great atmosphere and is in a good position, right on the front overlooking the harbour.
In the evening we went to La Pizzaria Korrikkia which is set back from the harbour beach. There are a few tables outside and more inside and the pizzas are fantastic, thin bases with a good selection of toppings – they range in price from 8-10 Euros and have a selection of tapas dishes for starters.
Above is a copy of a map available from the information tent at the harbour. The purple area shows the restricted zones, the yellow are the sand tracks suitable for 4×4’s and bikes and the white are footpaths. There is too much to see in one day, even if you are on a bike and take the first and last ferry, the island covers 27km2.
If on foot for your first visit explore Caleta del Sebo and then head along the coast to Playa Francesa and Playa de La Cocina, the red and yellow colours in the Montaña Amarilla are amazing and worth an explore. If you want to see more of the island then either take a water taxi or hire a bike and head over to Playa de Las Conchas, if on bike you can cover the round circuit to Pedro Barba and back in time for the ferry.
The map shows the following distances and times from Caleta del Sebo via footpath or track to the destination:
Playa de El Salado 0.6km – 1 min walk / 0 min bike
Playa Francesa 2.5km – 40 min walk / 15 min bike
Playa de La Cocina 3.6km – 50 min walk / not accessible by bike
Bajo de El Corral 2.8km – 45 min walk / bike route on track 3.9km 1hr 10 min walk / 30 min bike
Punta de El Pobre 6.2km – 1hr 40 min / bike route on track 7.4km 2hr walk / 50 min bike
Playa de Las Conchas 4.5km – 1hr 20 min walk / 35 min bike
Pedro Barba 6.1km – 1hr 40 min walk / 40 min bike
Read about Famara too.
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