The only populated island of the far-flung Chinijo Archipelago, north of Lanzarote, beautiful sand-dusted Isla Graciosa was formally named the eighth Canary Island in 2018. Though still managed from Lanzarote, La Graciosa – with its great white-gold beaches, dry volcanic landscapes, world-class surfing, water sports, and low-key hiking – feels worlds away.
Graciosa Island is part of the Acores primary group, including Faial, Pico, Terceira, Sao Jorge. There are regular flights to Graciosa from Terceira and a few other islands as well. And in the summer months, a ferry connects all of the islands in the main group, making it quite convenient to see several islands in one vacation.
Moving Around Graciosa Island
Only roads in Caleta de Sebo are paved; the other roads on the island are dirt roads. There is a path linking Caleta de Sebo with Casas de Pedro Barba through the inland, or a 5-km coastal trail. There are rental opportunities for lovely mountain bikes in Caleta de Sebo and safari taxis. There is no formal public transport.
Top Attractions in Graciosa Island
Playa de las Conchas
Golden, lovely, sandy, and wild, Playa de las Conchas sweeps across the island’s northwest corner, 5.5km north of Caleta de Sebo. It’s the island’s most prized beach, though swimming is risky.
A 3km, 40-minute walk southwest of Caleta de Sebo, Playa Francesa is a gorgeous golden-white strand lapped by beautiful Atlantic waves.
Perhaps the smallest museum in the world, the Museo Chinijo hosts well laid-out displays on the history and geography of the islands and the area’s cetaceans (30 species swim the waters here) production of aloe and salt in Lanzarote.
Playa del Salado
Staring out on the Risco de Famara, the beautiful 2km-long blonde strand shortly southwest of Caleta de Sebo is the most easily approachable of Isla Graciosa’s beaches, so it gets busy with day-trippers.
Church of Our Lady of Carmen
You can visit the church on La Graciosa, built-in 1945 CE and devoted to Our Lady Carmen, the patron saint of Caleta de Sebo. It was ordained as a parish church in 1993 CE. The altar stands out because of its many decoration elements drawing influence from the maritime traditions of the town; most notably, the central altar is in a fishing boat shape.
Things to do in Graciosa Island
- Diving Adventure: diving excursions are readily accessible on Graciosa Island. You will be provided with a boat and gears.
- Dolphin and Whale Watching. Every town with a Marina offers dolphin and whale watching.
- Off-road mountain bike circuits are omnipresent.
- Yachting and hiking are unmissable. Local guides will help you in this venture.