About Isla de La Graciosa

Isla de La Graciosa is truly a tropical paradise. The beautiful turquoise sea laps at the golden sands underneath the stunning volcanic backdrop. It is rare that such a popular tourist spot is able to remain so desolate, especially considering its immense natural beauty. Only 650 people live on this 27km2 island, which is the only one to be populated in the Chinijo archipelago, which lies off the north-eastern tip of Lanzarote. Technically La Graciosa island is still part of the Teguise administrative region of Lanzarote, but it is now officially the 8th Canary Island. La Graciosa is full of natural riches to discover. Pristine coastlines are overlooked by mountains of red and yellow and the beaches are of gold and white sands; their splendour being rivalled only by the bright blue seas and sky.


The concrete landscapes of other islands haven’t made it to La Graciosa yet, so there are no high-rise hotels, and no real roads. Therefore, getting around La Graciosa can be difficult, but an adventurous spirit and a little determination will compensate for that. Despite La Graciosa becoming a popular day-trip destination, the natural beauty of La Graciosa has not been compromised. It embraces the very essence of island-hopping.


History


La Graciosa was the last of the Canary Islands to be inhabited and the history of the localities we run between has a little bit less more than 100 years. During the 19th century, only businessmen from the fishing industry had interest on the island, seen as a good base of operations for fishing tasks in the close African coast. It was a promising business, even the US Government made an offer to Spain in order to buy that piece of land for those purposes. Finally it was the businessman Ramón de Silva Ferro, in 1876, who persuaded the Spanish Government to concede him temporarily some of those lands in order to set up a factory, where some of the poorest inhabitants of Lanzarote went to work at.

Nevertheless the business run into a lot of problems, among them the death of Ramón de Silva, and finally the factory was abandoned, leaving the workers there with a few facilities for fish processing tasks. This is how Caleta de Sebo was born. Some years after, few of the fishermen would settle themselves farther in the north, founding the town of Pedro Barba, which was abandoned in the 70s. Later the houses in Pedro Barba were bought by outsiders as holiday residences.


During decades, the life of the “gracioseros” (inhabitants of La Graciosa) was harder than any of us could imagine, with barely fresh water and living in mud and stone built shacks. An example of the isolated life was the system of three bonfires used when the sick people of the small island were transported, carried on shoulders, up through the Famara cliff, towards the doctor in Lanzarote. Up there, the person in charge of the sick person, burned as many bonfires depending on the condition of the patient: one lighted fire meant the condition was good, two if the patient got worse and three in order to inform that the person would never come back to the small island, as there was no cemetery there.


La Graciosa was the last of the Canary Islands to be inhabited and the history of the localities we run between has a little bit less more than 100 years. During the 19th century, only businessmen from the fishing industry had interest on the island, seen as a good base of operations for fishing tasks in the close African coast. It was a promising business, even the US Government made an offer to Spain in order to buy that piece of land for those purposes. Finally it was the businessman Ramón de Silva Ferro, in 1876, who persuaded the Spanish Government to concede him temporarily some of those lands in order to set up a factory, where some of the poorest inhabitants of Lanzarote went to work at.

Nevertheless the business run into a lot of problems, among them the death of Ramón de Silva, and finally the factory was abandoned, leaving the workers there with a few facilities for fish processing tasks. This is how Caleta de Sebo was born. Some years after, few of the fishermen would settle themselves farther in the north, founding the town of Pedro Barba, which was abandoned in the 70s. Later the houses in Pedro Barba were bought by outsiders as holiday residences.


During decades, the life of the “gracioseros” (inhabitants of La Graciosa) was harder than any of us could imagine, with barely fresh water and living in mud and stone built shacks. An example of the isolated life was the system of three bonfires used when the sick people of the small island were transported, carried on shoulders, up through the Famara cliff, towards the doctor in Lanzarote. Up there, the person in charge of the sick person, burned as many bonfires depending on the condition of the patient: one lighted fire meant the condition was good, two if the patient got worse and three in order to inform that the person would never come back to the small island, as there was no cemetery there.

We are a small family run business based in Lanzarote. 

 

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