The Chinijo Archipelago and the island La Graciosa

Mirador Del Rio

An Unspoilt Paradise

The island La Graciosa is part of the nature reserve Chinijo Archipelago (declared 1986), a unique treasure of the Canarian islands due to its natural and cultural wealth. In 1995 the Marine Reserve of the fishing area of La Graciosa and its islets of the north of Lanzarote was established.

With this form of protection and rules we endeavour to conserve the nature and culture of this island within the social economic development, not only for its inhabitants but also for the enjoyment of the many tourists who visit each year.

The independent organisation of the Nature Reserve, owner of the island La Graciosa with the exception of its urban centres, watches over the conservation and the integrity of the island, joining forces with all the other administrative units. This requires the collaboration of all parts.

La Graciosa

Discovering La Graciosa

La Graciosa is an island where you can admire the spectacular landscape, get to know its people and enjoy their hospitality.

In Caleta del Sabo, the bars and restaurants will offer you magnificent fish dishes as the fundamental piece of their gastronomy. Guesthouses and a camping site are available for overnight accommodation, which will enable you to enjoy a characteristic nightlife here on the island.

If you really want to discover the island you should tour all over it. You can walk alone or with a guide on the numerous paths, which lead you to the most beautiful and solitary places. Some of the roads can be used by bicycle, you can rent a bike or use a taxi service. Remember there is no rescue team on the beaches. Be Careful and ask in the guide and information office about the most charming beaches.

A Natural Jewel

The island of La Graciosa, with almost 27Km2, is the biggest and only inhabited island in the Chinijo Archipelago. An island with volcanic landscape, sprinkling of sand dunes which colour the land ochre red. Here we have an enormous biological wealth with exclusive species on the island, for example jopo of La Graciosa, unique to this area. Furthermore other threatened and protected species like the Canary Houbara Bustard or the lizard of Haria ensure La Graciosa is a special enclave of great variety, worthy of conservation.Various factors, such as the water temperature, the underwater relief, rocky and rough areas, along with the great amount of nutrients help to create a large number of differing atmospheres. The varying habits permit the growth of countless species of marine wildlife, many of which are rare in the rest of the Canary islands.

La Graciosa and its People

La Graciosa was uninhabited until the end of the 19th century, although Greeks, Phoenicians, Romans, Arabs, Genoese and pirates reached the coasts. The first colonist settled down when a salted fish factory was built. From this moment the inhabitants of La Graciosa have survived the hard living conditions on the island without drinking water, strong winds, difficult land to cultivate and isolation from trade centres. During many years artisan fishing was the principal activity of its people, they had to cross “El Rio” to sell their fish and get drinking water and other food.

The remaining constructions such as the wells, mills and cisterns to collect water or the special places for fish drying are a testament of these hard living conditions.

After improvement of living conditions, La Graciosa has now turned into a unique tourist destination and source of wealth, however this could also be its principal threat. Respecting its natural environment, the traditional activities and its popular culture allows the island to remain the paradise we know.

Celeta del Sabo

Caleta del Sabo is the principal and oldest urban centre of the island which was founded starting with a few houses and storage space. It is a traditional fishing village which still conserves its original structure. White single storey houses lined up in front of the sea, forming wide non tarmac streets.

Artisan fishing is the principal activity of its people, although due to the increase in tourism over the past years this activity started to change. Here, since the forties they made necessary effort and investment to improve the living conditions in La Graciosa by joining all services of the island together, including the information service for visitors.

Pedro Barba

Close to a warm cove is the settlement of Pedro Barba. A village that was founded in the thirties as a fishing centre but abandoned at the end of the sixties. After this time it was transformed into a secondary residence, which has no service for visitors.

The Camping Site of Bahia del Salado

The Camping Site of Bahia del Salado is the only place in La Graciosa where camping is allowed. To ensure user satisfaction it is necessary to regulate this activity. Therefore, it is essential to get permission first, which is valid for a maximum of 7 days, to ensure maximum occupancy of 200 people is not exceeded.

This area has public toilets and showers. Please use them respectfully and keep them clean.

In this area you can enjoy the beach of Salado in a natural surrounding with easy access. To guarantee the existence of this unique space of exceptional beauty, help us to conserve it.

La Graciosa Red Mountain

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About John Holt

John Holt has worked in the travel industry for over 14 years and comes highly recommended by Trip Advisor for his practical and candid talks on travel destinations. Spending 18 months as a "Local Interest Specialist" for a leading tour operator John has become known as having more practical information than Google.

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