Graciosa, Canary Islands

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La Graciosa
LaGraciosa from MiradorDelRio.jpg
La Graciosa from Mirador Del Rio
Graciosa, Canary Islands is located in Canary Islands
Graciosa, Canary Islands

Graciosa, Canary Islands
Geography
Archipelago Canary Islands
Area 29.05 km2 (11.22 sq mi)
Highest elevation 266 m (873 ft)
Highest point Las Agujas
Country
Spain
Autonomous Community  Canary Islands
Province Las Palmas
Largest city Caleta de Sebo (pop. 656)
Demographics
Population 658 (as of 2006)
Density 21.93 /km2 (56.8 /sq mi)

Graciosa Island or commonly La Graciosa (pronounced: [la ɣɾaˈθjosa]; Spanish for "graceful") is a volcanic island in the Canary Islands of Spain, located 2 km (1.2 mi) north of the island of Lanzarote across the strait named Río. It was formed by the Canary hotspot. The island is part of Parque Natural del Archipiélago Chinijo, Reserve of the Biosphere, "Marine Reserve of La Graciosa and the islands to the North of Lanzarote" and it is linked to the municipality of Teguise. The island forms a part of the Chinijo Archipelago. The village is in the southeastern part of the island with houses encircling the harbor which has two piers and a yacht area in the bay. The only two settlements are Caleta del Sebo and summer-residence Casas de Pedro Barba. The island is entirely made up of volcanic rock and sands.

The population is 700. Tourism is the main industry along with fishing. Every year, tourists flock to the island for its tempered climate and its sandy volcanic coasts. The island has a school, lyceum, post office, supermarkets, medical center, pharmacy, a Bankia bank branch (in danger of elimination as of September 2013[1]), port, beaches, and — except bar-restaurants[clarification needed] — a square where bicycles can be hired (plaza).

Streets and roads on La Graciosa are unpaved sand. The Gracioseras can often be seen early each morning sweeping the streets smooth of the previous night's footprints. Motor vehicles are strictly prohibited and limited to a handful of licensed vehicles for special purposes. Since the roads are bad, and cars have to be shipped to Lanzarote for repair, about 70% of the motor vehicles on the island are old Land Rovers which often can be repaired by a local serviceman. Usually there are Land Rover taxis available by the port offering island tours, lasting about an hour. Alternatively they take tourists to their preferred beach and pick them up later.

Access to the Island is by a 35-minute ferry crossing from Orzola on Lanzarote to the harbour in the village.

There is a campsite on the Island situated on Playa del Salado at the western edge of Caleta del Sebo.

Geographical features[edit]

As part of the easternmost islands in the archipelago, and the smallest inhabited Canary Island, the island is extremely arid and entirely made up of bushes and dry soil. Its length is 8 km (5.0 mi) and the width is 4 km (2.5 mi), making an area of 29 km2 (11 sq mi). There are no natural water sources on the island; desalinated water has been piped directly from neighbouring Lanzarote since 2001.

The mountains lie to the northern and the western part. The southern and the eastern part are hilly. The tallest mountain is Aguja Grandes rising to 266 m (873 ft). The second tallest is Las Agujas Chicas at 228 m (748 ft). Other mountains include Montaña Amarilla (Spanish for yellow mountain), situated in the southwestern part, and the crater-peaked Monte Bermeja to the northeast. It is partially eroding in the lower part. The elevation is 152 m (499 ft).

The island's many beaches include Playa Francesa to the southwest, Playa de la Cocina to the west, Playa Lambra to the east, and the magnificent Playa de las Conchas on the far side. Points include Punta Gorda.

Panorama photo taken from Lanzarote showing La Graciosa

References[edit]

  1. ^ El Cabildo pide reconsiderar el cierre de Bankia en La Graciosa, Canarias 7, Carlos Inza, 4 september 2013.

Coordinates: 29°15′07″N 13°30′29″W / 29.252°N 13.508°W / 29.252; -13.508