Why La Graciosa is special?
Both my husband and I love to travel and over the years have been to many glorious places, ranging from picturesque Scottish castles to cherry-flowering Japanese mountains with many palm beaches in between. So why stop at a small Canary Island like La Graciosa? Because it is unique.
La Graciosa is the smallest inhabited Canary Island with the length 8 km (5.0 mi) and the width 4 km (2.5 mi), making an area of 29 km2 (11 sq mi). It is exceptional for its unique ecological area and creates great scientific interest for its volcanology, landscapes and biological richness.
Unlike other Canaries, La Graciosa is a gem that has been successfully hidden from mass tourism and protected from development even during the last building boom, mainly because it was declared a Nature Park. Its arid volcanic landscapes and pristine, spectacular playas remain unspoilt by multi-storey holiday compounds embellishing the rest of the Canary Islands.
The only roads on the island are sand paved and old rattletrap Land Rovers are the only motor vehicles licensed on the island.
Caleta del Sebo and summer-residence Pedro Barba are the only two settlements on the island covering a small area of the island. No signs of civilisation clutter the island’s idyllic beauty: the bright blue sky and ocean, reddish-brown toffee mountain cones and windblown Sahara sand stretching as far as the eyes can see.
Also, being a Canary Island it is part of the only region that offers northern Europeans TRUE winter sun short of Florida or Sri Lanka.
Apart from hiking, cycling, surfing, snorkelling, diving, kayaking and birdwatching it offers the best value-for-money marina in the Canaries and excellent, if slightly challenging, local sailing conditions.
In addition, we very much like the atmosphere. "Like Lanzarote thirty years ago…" as one of the locals puts it. There still is a real village and the locals have retained their authenticity. They do not throw smiles around and do not bother using English even if they could. That might put some off, but we like it. In general, La-Graciosans are polite, warm and relaxed.
And most important, unlike the other smaller islands like El Hiero or Gomera, La Graciosa not only has proper beaches but also the most beautiful and tranquil ones in all of the Canary Islands. Some of La Graciosa's beaches are truly world-class. Most have golden sand and crystalline turquoise water, but there are also dark and rocky lava ones. Furthermore, thanks to being off the main tourist track, outside the main season there is a good chance that you will be the only person on the beach.
All this makes La Graciosa an exclusive holiday location appealing above all to those who love beaches but dislike large holiday resorts and tourist crowds. If you prefer to be surrounded by magnificent natural beauty instead of having the latest gadgets and luxuries, go to La Graciosa. The island is a treat for those searching a get-away from city, crowds and stress. It is a unique destination for sun, sea, unspoilt nature and quiet beaches. So if you are a sun-worshipper or a beachcomber, a keen windsurfer or snorkeller, this is the place for you. This island offers peace and authenticity, something that is hard to find on the rest of the Canary Islands.