Disconnect on a wild Paradise island
La Graciosa is a truly unspoilt paradise in the Chinijo Archipelago, in the northeasternmost part of the Canary Islands. With less than 800 inhabitants, it’s a desert jewel that boasts natural landscapes that are unique in the world. Do you want to explore this island? Travel with Líneas Romero from the port of Órzola in Lanzarote to Caleta de Sebo – La Graciosa’s capital and only village.
Where is La Graciosa?
La Graciosa is one of the Canary Islands. Specifically, it’s part of the Chinijo Archipelago, located northeast of Lanzarote, which was declared a Natural Reserve in 1986 and to which the islets of Montaña Clara, Roque del Este, Roque del Oeste and Alegranza also belong. El Río is the name given to the strait that’s one kilometre wide and a few metres deep separating La Graciosa from Lanzarote. But with Líneas Romero, we bring them together thanks to our ferries, which connect the villages of Caleta de Sebo (La Graciosa) and Órzola (Lanzarote).
In 2018, La Graciosa was recognised as the eight inhabited island of the Canary Islands. Nevertheless, it still reports to the Lanzarote authorities and belongs to the province of Las Palmas. This small island has a total area of 29 km² and only two settlements: Caleta del Sebo and Pedro Barba, where just over 700 people live.
Caleta del Sebo – its capital – is the only inhabited place on the island, which clearly reflects the untamed nature of La Graciosa, with its unpaved roads and where sand is everywhere. The main – and practically the only – economic activities on the island are tourism and fishing.
In contrast, Pedro Barba was the place chosen for the first settlement on the island, where a fish salting factory was built in 1880. However, at present, it’s more like a resort town with holiday homes that are perfect for enjoying relaxing holidays on La Graciosa.
History of La Graciosa
It was conquered in 1402 by Jean de Bethencourt, a Norman explorer who arrived under a mandate by King Henry III of Castile. Thus, it was proclaimed as one of the islands belonging to the Canary Islands – all under a mandate by the Kingdom of Castile and León in accordance with the Treaty of Alcáçovas in 1479.
The origin of its name is unknown, but several writings confirm that the name of La Graciosa existed long before Lanzarote was integrated into the Kingdom of Castile. In terms of its formation, according to experts, it dates from the second series of effusive eruptions from the Quaternary – the result of volcanic activity in the ocean.
Since ancient times, La Graciosa has been a place to make landfall, a refuge for sailors passing through the archipelago. Furthermore, according to Le Canarien, a manuscript written by the clergymen who came on an expedition in 1402, it seemed that the island served as the base where the members of this expedition landed to initiate contact with the natives of Lanzarote.
More recently, La Graciosa served as a refuge for the people of Lanzarote during the eruptions of Timanfaya in 1730. It was also the place where people went looking for shearwater chicks, a protected species whose capture is currently prohibited, rabbits, the slenderleaf iceplant from which gofio was obtained, shellfish and fish.
La Graciosa is a dream come true for all lovers of the sea as it’s home to a few wonderfully unspoilt beaches. You can’t miss:
Playa de Las Conchas
Northwest of the island, you’ll find this beach, which is – without a doubt – one of the favourites of visitors to La Graciosa. It’s not the best for swimming, as its strong waves make it quite dangerous. Nevertheless, the contrast between its turquoise waters, white sand and the red colour of Montaña Bermeja behind it makes it a must-visit to capture its beauty with a snapshot.
Playa de La Francesa
Located to the south of the island, it’s the best beach for snorkelling, soaking up the sun on its white sand and taking a dip in its calm, turquoise waters. In addition, its views are impressive, as it’s found right in front of the Risco de Famara cliffs in Lanzarote.
Are you ready to explore it? Líneas Romero offer you our catamaran tour called I love La Graciosa, where you can enjoy this incredible beach by kayaking.
Playa de La Cocina
You’ll find this magnificent unspoilt cove with crystal-clear waters just a few kilometres south of Playa de La Francesa. Sheltered from the ancient volcano of Montaña Amarilla, the ochre hues of its surroundings give it an extraordinary appearance, and it’s an absolute haven of peace and quiet.
Playa de El Salado
Walking from Caleta de Sebo, you’ll find this beach surrounded by white sand dunes and with placid turquoise waters. The only place where camping is allowed on La Graciosa is found very close to it.
A hidden underwater treasure
La Graciosa has an underwater treasure. This is why it’s part of the Chinijo Archipelago Marine Reserve. With an area of 70,700 hectares, it’s the largest marine reserve in Europe and an area of exceptional scenic value.
This reserve is home to the greatest marine biodiversity in the Canary Islands. It was declared a marine reserve in 1995 in order to ensure the sustainable use of fishery resources. Among other protective measures, all kinds of sea fishing and the removal of marine living resources are forbidden, with some exceptions, such as recreational fishing at a distance of more than 2 miles.
Although it also has a heliport, the island is only accessible by sea. Líneas Romero’s ferries to La Graciosa are the best option to explore this jewel of the Atlantic. And if you want to enjoy this to the fullest, Líneas Romero also offer tours brimming with activities for you to get to know La Graciosa in fun ways.
Come on board and enjoy nature at its purest. There are few places in the world like it… Make the most of this opportunity!
Líneas Marítimas Romero 2023