Isla Graciosa, Canary Islands
Isla Graciosa is a small Canary Island, which is located less than 1.5 km from the northern tip of Lanzarote and about 153 km off the African coast. It is at about 29 degrees and 15 minutes north latitude and about 13 degrees 30 minutes west longitude. The island occupies an area of about 29 sq km. Its longest distance from northeast to southwest stretches about 8.8 km.
Climate. The average daily temperature of La Graciosa is 20 – 22°C during the winter months of January and February, reaching to about 27 – 28°C at the height of summer in August and September.
It never gets too hot during the summer moths, and autumn is traditionally warmer than spring. Isla Graciosa’s weather is dry all year round with scarce rainfall, falling mainly during the late autumn and early winter.
The constant wind that refreshes the island offers excellent conditions for windsurfing and kitesurfing.
The cold Canary current exerts strong influence on the climate of the island. It is the main reason for the constant dry, sunny and cloudless weather.
Nature. Isla Graciosa is of volcanic origin. There is mostly flat terrain, with several not very high volcanic craters. The highest point is called Las Agujas and rises to a height of 266 m in the central parts of the island. La Graciosa is a semi-arid island.
Here grow only dry-loving desert grasses and shrubs. Trees almost completely absent all throughout the island with the exception of palm trees, planted by local residents around their homes.
The whole territory of Isla Graciosa was declared a protected area. For this reason, vehicles on the island are strictly prohibited.
Coast. Isla Graciosa’s shores are mostly rocky, but except for dark volcanic stones you will find also some very beautiful natural beaches, which remind the color of rose gold.
Paradise beaches can be found in all parts of the island, but mostly to the east and south (around and between the settlements of Caleta de Sebo and Casas de Pedro Barba). The island offers really wonderful places for sunbathing and swimming.
The most famous names are Playa de La Cocina, Playa Francesa, Playa de Las Conchas, Playa Lambra and Playa de Pedro Barba. Since the seawater surrounding the island is crystal clear and the variety of species is quite large, this is one of the best places in the Canary Islands for snorkeling and diving lovers.
Population, settlements and economy. Isla Graciosa is home to about 500 residents who live in the settlements of Caleta de Sebo and Casas de Pedro Barba. Instead of asphalt, the streets of these small towns are covered with golden sand and all the residents go on foot.
The buildings are snow white with blue doors and windows. Along the streets you can see only one – two storey homes with flat roofs.
Official language in Isla Graciosa is Spanish and Christianity (Roman Catholicism) is the official religion. Caleta de Sebo has its own marina for yachts and small boats.
The ferry, which is the only link of local residents with the large island of Lanzarote, also docks here. Basis of the local economy is tourism, which thrives very well in Isla Graciosa because of its peaceful atmosphere, purity and beauty.
Small family hotels and private apartments offer accommodation to visitors all year round just few steps from the beach.
When to visit Isla Graciosa? La Graciosa is year round tourist destination. However, there are several periods, which are particularly busy with tourists.
This are the months of December with its Christmas and New Year holidays and the summer months of July and especially August, traditionally chosen from majority of Europeans for their summer holidays.
What clothes should I wear? Summer clothes are suitable all year round. Although during the winter months there are some cooler days, an anorak or light jacket is enough. Sunglasses, sunscreen and other beach accessories will be your true friends even in winter.