28 ago. 2013

La Graciosa: a deserted island in the Canaries

Not only are seven Canary Islands. You have to take into account several other islets and small islands, of which La Graciosa is the biggest one. It is located north of Lanzarote, only separated by a narrow channel locally known as "El Rio" (the river).

La Graciosa is part of Archipielago Chinijo with Alegranza, Montana Clara and the islets of East and West. The whole archipielago is a nature conservation area in the form of a Marine Reserve and a Regional Natural Park that also includes the north of Lanzarote. Both the islands and the seabed display an extraordinary diversity of fauna and flora, with an abundance of endemic species.
La Graciosa is the only island with an estable population in the village of Caleta del Sebo (the houses in Pedro Barba are holiday homes). Two maritime lines make around 12 daily conections between there and Orzola, in northern Lanzarote. A one day excursion to La Graciosa is possible, but bear in mind the time the last ship departs.

Alternatively, you can stay in guesthouses, rent and apartment, or camp in the designated campsite. All the island is a protected area, so you can not camp out of there. Just imagine how quiet La Graciosa is at night.

There is not any paved road in the island, not even the streets of Caleta del Sebeo, where the sandy beach continues between the houses. Only a few 4WD vehicles move around the island. Some of them work as taxis and can bring you to the beaches, but the best way is on foot or by bike (provided you are prepared to deal with the sand, the sun, the wind and a few short but steep slopes).

Canarian weather ensures a perfec temperature all year round, with values seldom higher than 30ºC in the summer, or lower than 14ºC in the winter. Rain virtually does not exist in summertime.

Caleta del Sebo y Playa de La Laja (La Graciosa, Canarias)

In the south coast, beaches and rocky areas alternate in front of the cliff and the beach of Famara in Lanzarote. Most turists finish here, both the ones that arrive in the ferry and those that come in the boats making an excursion to La Graciosa. The shortest and most popular route starts in the harbour and leads to Francesa beach. Further on are the spectacular La Cocina beach and the volcano known as Montana Amarilla. 

The other routes cross the island towards the north coast. Longer and more difficult, few people follow them. The reward, however, are fantastic beaches where you can be alone.

The beaches

In an island which can only be described as unspoiled, nudism is something natural. In the south, you can take your clothes off as soon as you are far from the campsite in El Salado, and you will only need them (maybe) to go through the most populated sections of La Francesa or La Cocina beaches. In the rest of the beaches, the complete isolation invites to nudism.

The list of nude beaches, so, includes all but La Laja (the one right in Caleta del Sebo), but not all of them in the same degree:
  • El Salado: Very long beach, with most of textiles at the beginning, near the campsite and the village. Plenty of space for nudists out of there.
  • La Francesa: Having to walk for 50 minutes, textiles again prefer the first part. At the end, nudists are the majority.
  • La Cocina: The incredible environment and the calm sea work as a magnet for visitors. It may be crowded and then nude sunbathing may is not possible.
  • Las Conchas: Many say this is the best beach in the island. Very far from the village and virtually deserted, nudism is totally accepted.
  • Lambra: As isolated as Las Conchas and even farther. No problem for nudism.
  • Barranco de los Conejos: Not even a track to go there. Nice views over Lanzarote, and, once again, absolute solitude.


About the Author

Nat Biss

Author & Editor

I have dedicated most of my free time in the last years to discover the world, and beaches offer some of the most stunning landscapes on Earth. The next step was to enjoy them as naturally as possible, which obviously mean without clothes. Now I think it is time for me to share this liberating experience and try to help others to discover it.

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