La Graciosa is one of the volcanic Canary Islands. It is located 2 km north of the island of Lanzarote, and it is administrated by the municipality of Teguise. The island is part of the Chinijo Archipelago. Its length is 8 km and the width is 4 km, making a total area of 29 km2.
Only in the year of 2018 La Graciosa officially became the eighth Canary Island. Before then, the island had the status of an islet, administratively dependent on the island of Lanzarote. The only two settlements on the island are Caleta de Sebo in the southeastern part of the island and the summer-residence of Casas de Pedro Barba. There are no natural water sources on the island, the desalinated water has been piped directly from neighboring Lanzarote since 2001.
La Graciosa has no single paved road. Isn’t it cool? 😎 You can walk surrounded by authentic nature in its purest form. The streets and the roads are unpaved sand. Motor vehicles are strictly limited to a handful of licensed vehicles for special purposes. The population is about 700. Tourism is the main industry along with fishing. Every year, tourists flock to the island for its tempered climate and its sandy volcanic coasts. The island has a school, lyceum, post office, supermarkets, medical center, pharmacy, a bank branch, a beautiful port, beaches, bar-restaurants, and a square.
How to get to La Graciosa island?
- The only access to the island is by a 25-minute ferry, crossing from Órzola on Lanzarote to the harbor in the village of Caleta de Sebo.
- Although there is a small heliport for emergencies, La Graciosa can only be reached by boat.
- There are only two ferry companies that operate on this path: Lineas Romero and Biosfera Express Lines.
- If you arrive in Orzola by car, there is parking available to leave it there, because cars are not permitted in La Graciosa, but if you come by bike there is no problem as bikes are allowed on the ferries.
- There are boats practically every hour. The first leaves Orzola at 8:30 a.m. and –depending on the month– the last boat leaves at 8:00 p.m. or at 7:00 p.m. We have taken the ferry at 10.00 in the morning and get back with the 6.00 p.m. one. I think during this time you can have more than sufficient time to enjoy the island.
What to do on La Graciosa?
You can rent a bike in many places in Caleta de Sebo. Once you leave the ferry you just need to walk 20-30 meters and you will see at least 4-5 rent-a-bike stores around. The prices are unified, and their bikes are very well-maintained and adjusted for the sandy roads, so you cannot be mistaken.
Worth to mention, that if you are not an experienced biker, or not in the best physical condition, there are electric bike options as well. Why I’m saying that? Well, even though we both love biking and regularly practice this sport, I need to admit that due to the surface of the roads with a lot of bumps and holes everywhere, not to mention all the hills you need to climb up, some moments can be dangerous and very tiring.
Another thing that you should not forget is to bring water with you! Besides Caleta de Sebo, there are no stores nowhere on the island to buy water, or anything else. Therefore, you must carry a sufficient amount of water and whatever supplies you would need during the day with you. So you have to get out of there with everything you need to practice your favorite sport. The wild nature is waiting for you.
But I must say this is definitely the best and funniest way to explore the various beaches of the small island. A beautiful 5 kilometer road separates Caleta de Sebo from Las Conchas beach, traversing the island diagonally. Las Conchas is one of the most spectacular beaches in whole Spain and the most famous in La Graciosa. It is extensive, with turquoise waters and golden sand, and from there you can see the volcano Montaña Bermeja and the islet Montaña Clara, which also has reddish soil.
Once you are in Las Cochas, you can return to Caleta de Sebo on a circular route through the beach of La Lambra and the core of houses of Pedro Barba. In total, there are 15 kilometres of journey by unpaved roads, between an arid and natural landscape.
Once you rent a bike, you will be loaded with maps and information about the island for sure by the rental store. But if they don’t explain to you on the spot, good to know that there are 6 beaches on the island worth visiting. Some of them are easier to reach, but some of them are not accessible by bikes, so it’s better asking upfront and accepting the maps, and know where to go. There is reception on the whole island, so most likely your GPS will work too, but trust me, the condition of the roads can be really unpleasant in certain areas.
The 6 beaches are the followings – in order of distance:
There are different trekking routes and they all offer an amazing landscape. Go hiking on this small island will allow you to observe a rich birdlife, such as gulls, silver worms, Bulwer petrels, and other species. In addition to endemic plants with such special characteristics that allow them to survive in the extreme conditions of salinity and aridity of the area.
Is it possible to stay overnight on the island?
Yes, it is. There are several options popping up in the Booking search and if you walk around in Caleta de Sebo, you will indeed see the VV signs around (villas vacacionales) on certain houses. But be prepared, there are not many options, and could be much more pricey vs. staying on Orzola for the night.
I can imagine that you could spend 2-3 days on the island, but frankly speaking during our 1-day-trip, biking several hours in this amazing landscape, enjoying the best beaches, and some refreshing Tropicals after returning to Caleta de Sebo, we were satisfied with the experience that La Graciosa could give us even during 1 day, and we happily returned to Lanzarote by our ferry.