“Attractive or agreeable to the eye,” something “graciosa”, in Spanish, is beautiful or nice. Today’s post in our Abama Resort blog is about a small, charismatic island graced with this name that will delight anyone intent on exploring the extraordinary Canary Islands. A paradise protected within the Natural Park of the Chinijo Archipelago and easily accessible from our resort, perhaps you’ve already had the fortune to discover La Graciosa. Recently officially named the eighth Canary Island, it can be reached from Lanzarote by ferry, and more than 25,000 people visit each year to explore its 29 square kilometers. The charm of La Graciosa goes beyond its impressive beaches and underwater depths, as well as four perfectly defined volcanic heights. You can also meet its 700-some inhabitants and dip into the past as you travel along its dirt roads.
But La Graciosa is also currently making new history, as the Spanish Parliament has recently officially recognized it as the eighth inhabited Canary Island. It has been incorporated into the Statutes of Autonomy of the Fortunate Isles and into the lyrics of the official Canary Islands hymn. From this moment forward, this little protected island has an official assigned budget and can manage its public services directly.
La Graciosa is situated to the northeast of Lanzarote, just 20 minutes by ferry from the port of Órzola across the bit of ocean that separates the two islands, called El Rio (“The River”). It belongs to the Chinijo archipelago, which also includes the isles of Montaña Clara, Alegranza, Roque del Este y del Oeste, the Infierno, and the Risco de Famara.
If you decide to take a trip from your exclusive residence on Tenerife at Abama Resort, don’t miss the opportunity to uncover the secrets of La Graciosa. Its 700 inhabitants live between two recognized towns: Caleta de Sebo, the island capital and more traditional in appearance, and Casas de Pedro Barba, a grouping of homes dedicated to fishing and tourism. If you wish to spend the night, there are inns and camping areas, but also apartments and houses for more extended stays.
When you traverse the island, you’ll see that in some corners time seems to have stopped, as La Graciosa is one of the few places in Europe with roads that have not been paved. You cannot rent cars, but, as the island is completely flat, it is perfect for discovering on foot or by bicycle. You can even kick off your shoes and put yourself in direct contact with nature. Fascinated though you will be by the people, the island’s exceptional landscapes will draw you in as well.
Like the rest of the Chinijo Archipelago, La Graciosa is surrounded by the largest marine reserve in the European Union, with a surface area of over 70,000 hectares. In its depths, perfect for diving, live at least 304 catalogued macroalgae species, making it the Canary Island with the greatest diversity index for this type of algae. In corners like Punta de la Cocina, you can dive through passages, arches and caves, where you’ll see anemonies and sea birds, including Scopoli’s shearwater, owls, the White-faced storm petrel, and Eleonora’s falcon.
On La Graciosa you’ll also find, of course, large beaches on which to bask in the sun or take a dip. Particularly beautiful are the crystal waters of the beaches on the south of the island, including Los Franceses and La Cocina. The latter is ideal if you want to combine your visit with impressive volcanic landscapes. There are four perfectly defined peaks on La Graciosa, and just at the edge of La Cocina, you’ll find one of the most spectacular: the Montaña Amarilla volcano, which stands at 172 metres. You’ll be impressed by its beauty, characterised by its varied geological formations and range of attractive colors.
If you need even more reasons to visit, the climate on La Graciosa is mild and pleasant throughout the year, similar to what you enjoy at Abama Resort. In summer, the temperatures rarely rise above 25 degrees, while in winter they rarely dip below 16. These favourable conditions let you enjoy a perfect day at the beach on almost any day of the year. Not even the rare rain shower produces a drop in temperature on La Graciosa.
What more are you waiting for? Discover this impressive island, the least well known of all the Canaries, and take a few hours away from your luxury property on Tenerife. Two of the best times of year to visit are around Carnival or the 16th of July, when they celebrate local holidays, but really any moment of the year will do to discover this island bit by bit, as you leave the noise of the world behind you.