La Graciosa is a Spanish island belonging to the province of Las Palmas, in the autonomous community of the Canary Islands. It forms part of the Chinijo archipelago together with the islets of Montaña Clara, Roque del Este, Roque del Oeste and Alegranza, and all of them are part of the municipality of Teguise, whose main territory is in Lanzarote. The insular economy is based mainly on tourism. Since 2018 it has been known by the nickname “the eighth island”.
La Graciosa has about 29 km² in which the only two towns on the island are found: Caleta del Sebo (island capital) and Pedro Barba. It is the least populated of the eight inhabited islands with 1000 inhabitants (2019). Except for the two urban centers, the rest of the island belongs to the national patrimony as part of the Achipiélago Chinijo Natural Park.
It was conquered in 1402 by the Norman explorer Juan de Bethencourt. The island is named as “One of the Canary Islands”.
On June 26, 2018, the General Commission of the Autonomous Communities of the Senate unanimously approved a motion that recognizes La Graciosa as the eighth inhabited island in the Canary Islands, ceasing to be considered an islet. However, this measure does not equate it to the rest of the islands of the archipelago, since La Graciosa continues to belong to the Lanzarote municipality of Teguise and does not have its own island council, an essential political body for its comparison with the rest of the islands of the archipelago.
With this measure, the status of La Graciosa is that of a district island, that is, a minor local entity with legal personality. It has its own budget that is invested directly in the necessary public services for the residents. This measure recognizes La Graciosa island as the eighth inhabited island of the Canary archipelago, but it continues to depend administratively on Lanzarote.
Its main economic activities are fishing and tourism. It has a port that connects La Graciosa with the town of Órzola in Lanzarote.
Caleta del Sebo
Caleta del Sebo (also called Caleta de Sebo) is located in the southeastern part of the island of La Graciosa. It is the main population center of La Graciosa Island. For this reason, Caleta del Sebo is considered the “de facto” capital of La Graciosa.
In architecture, the parish church of the town stands out, the Church of Nuestra Señora del Carmen, also called Virgen del Mar, patron saint of the island of La Graciosa and Caleta del Sebo. The church was built in 1945 and in 1993 it was elevated to the rank of parish church.
The main altar stands out with elements of the seafaring tradition, the main altarpiece is in the shape of a boat and is the place where the image of the Virgen del Carmen is found with the Child Jesus in her arms. Next to the Virgin there is an image of Jesus Christ crucified and the custody of the Tabernacle. In the church there are other religious images such as San Felipe, the Virgin of Candelaria, patron saint of the Canary Islands and San Francisco de Asís. The church has a single nave. The Eucharistic table that is supported by an anchor.
The Chinijo Museum keeps secrets inside that reveal some of the hidden riches of these Atlantic islands. The center is, without a doubt, “the smallest in the world” in its concept. A multi-themed museum space in its 70 square meters, it houses corners dedicated to cetaceans, salt, the Chinijo Archipelago and aloe vera.
A few words in conclusion
Two hours will be enough to get to know the city and enjoy its atmosphere with a cup of coffee. If you want to get to know the whole island with its beautiful beaches and interesting nature, you need a whole day. Of course you can also swim in the ocean directly in Caleta del Sebo. A beach is located right next to the port. Other beaches are located on the outskirts of the city.
The best way to get to know the island is to rent a bike. Right in and around the port, you will find many rental shops where you can rent a bike for the whole day at very cheap prices. You also have the opportunity to use one of the jeep tours offered. You can spend several days on the island. There are many apartments for rent in Caleta del Sebo.
When you return to Lanzarote, be sure to visit the Mirador del Río. From there you will have a beautiful view of the town of Caleta del Sebo and the entire island of La Graciosa. In case of good weather, you can also see other islands of the Chinijo archipelago: Montaña Clara, Roque del Oeste and Alegranza.
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