La Graciosa, Canary Islands

The Most Graceful of the Canary Islands

Caleta del Oro
Sunset gilds the west above the port of Caleta del Sebo.
peak in sight
Hikers about to reach the summit of the Bermeja de La Graciosa mountain.
The Marginal of Caleta
The Marginal of Caleta del Sebo, facing the Estrecho del Rio.
No sign of asphalt
Jeep travels along a sand road on the island. La Graciosa is one of the few territories in Europe still without asphalt.
untamed vacancy
Wave breaks up on the golden sands of Playa de Las Conchas, with Isla Montaña Clara in the background.
risky baths
White houses of Caleta del Sebo against the volcanic cliffs of Lanzarote.
A Youth Outing
A young resident of Caleta del Sebo carries a baby in her arms, on the golden sunset of La Graciosa.
Last Dive of the Day
Visitor prepares to dive in the waters of the Estrecho del Rio that separates La Graciosa from Lanzarote.
graceful art
Artistic patio in a villa in the capital and the only fixed settlement on the island of La Graciosa.
Playa Dorada de Las Conchas
Golden sand of Praia das Conchas, at the foot of Montaña Bermeja
Caleta del Sebo
The port and target houses of the only fixed settlement in La Graciosa.
Playa de Las Conchas vs Isla Montana Clara
Red flag at Playa de Las Conchas, with Isla Montaña Clara in the background.
Canarian art
Decoration and architecture on the facade of one of the traditional houses in Caleta del Sebo.
to Punta Fariones
The sharp point that ends the north of Lanzarote.
Island Tones
The slope of Montaña Bermeja contrasts with the Atlantic blue of Playa de Las Conchas.
roques fariones
Fariones Rocks that accompany Ponta Farione in the far north of Lanzarote.
to Punta Fariones
The sharp point that ends the north of Lanzarote.
Until 2018, the smallest of the inhabited Canaries did not count for the archipelago. Arriving in La Graciosa, we discover the insular charm of the now eighth island.

The seduction had been going on for over a year. In early 2019, on discovering Lanzarote, we arrived late to the northern end of the island to visit its famous Mirador del Rio.

Conforming to the mishap, we descend on the road that runs along the top of the adjoining cliffs.

When we reach the threshold of the Risco de Famara, more than 500 meters high, we peer down into the Atlantic and beyond, the sight of La Graciosa and the remaining islands of the Chinicho archipelago it leaves us in disbelief.

View of La Graciosa de Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain

Two friends chat on the edge of Lanzarote, overlooking La Graciosa and other islands in the Chinicho archipelago.

Even tiny compared to the massive Lanzarote and Fuerteventura, in such a way that, even close, La Graciosa fit us in the breadth of a single look, the insular extension that we admired there immediately generated in us an anxiety.

Over the next sixteen months, given over to planning the next trips, that vision came back to us again and again.

With the chance to return to a new itinerary in Canary Islands, we made sure that it went through the north of Lanzarote and that it included La Graciosa. So it happened.

Already on board the ferry Romero Lines, the more Orzola faded, the closer we got to the sharp peninsula that encloses the summit of Lanzarote, Punta Fariones and Fariones, the great rocks that were also sharp that inspired his baptism.

Fariones, Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain

Fariones Rocks that accompany Ponta Farione in the far north of Lanzarote.

In its imminence, the ocean to the north battles with the waters of the River Strait, the canal, despite its name, marine that separates Lanzarote from La Graciosa.

Used to seeing himself in this dispute, the commander maneuvers the navigation with the way he has gained in countless passages there, smooth, in an oscillating way of being.

we bypassed the tip. With Graciosa in sight, we entered the canal next to the fluted base of Lanzarote, which, made of cliffs so high and rough, made the boat a nutshell.

Punta Fariones, Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain

The sharp point that ends the north of Lanzarote.

With the Mirador de Rio high up, the captain makes the boat cross the river. He points it to the port of Caleta del Sebo, the capital of La Graciosa.

Saturday unfolds. We come across the city in an obvious decompression mode. The jetty that we went around to enter, serves as a landing for a restless community of young fishermen who celebrate our entry with a cheerful mime.

Twilight Landing in the Small Capital of Caleta del Sebo

Already moored beside a forest of flagpoles and flags, we survey the bay ahead. A flurry of bathers indulges in the last swims of the day on the village's sandy beach. Simultaneously, a community of chatty guests drinks reeds and enjoy snacks from the sea on the airy terraces all around.

Behind the houses in the west of the city, the sun now peeked, now disappeared among a caravan of low clouds propelled by the Alisios. It was already under the dark Atlantic that we crossed the bay carrying our suitcases, some on our shoulders, others pulled with effort over the sand to the apartment we had booked there.

Sunset over Caleta del Sebo, La Graciosa, Canary Islands, Spain

Sunset gilds the west above the port of Caleta del Sebo.

We went out again an hour later, heading towards the restaurant "the sailor”, one of its gastronomic Meccas. There we stuffed ourselves with Starters of sardines, shrimp, with octopus and the gofio e wrinkled potatoes almost impossible to circumvent all over the Canary Islands.

After the meal, even without our bags, we crawled back to the apartment. We had a whole new island to discover. For a change, we were going to explore it by bicycle.

A Semi-Ride by Bike to La Graciosa

Much less early than we wanted the next day, we knocked on the door of La Molina Bike.

Doña Demelza, welcomes us thinking that we would find visitors something younger. Even so, somewhere between our ease and the desire to pedal, it lets itself be impressed. “You have the air of adventurers, I can already see that, in order to take pictures, you will want to go through the sand, the rocky paths and all that. Look... I'll give it to you Bikes of the off-road, those with the thickest tires.”

Even aware that, in one of the few places with capital where there is no asphalt, the artillery bicycles would tire us to bend, we feel privileged. We are grateful for the blessing, we say goodbye to the smiling Demelza, we disappear among the white houses of Caleta del Sebo.

Casario de Caleta del Sebo, La Graciosa, Canary Islands, Spain

The Marginal of Caleta del Sebo, facing the Estrecho del Rio.

Leaving the village behind, with the exception of a sequence of villagers' small vegetable gardens, the island quickly revealed to us how it came into the world.

As you would expect in the Canary Islands archipelago, La Graciosa is volcanic, in geological practice, an insular volcanic massif dotted with five volcanoes. Even if with contained heights, these volcanoes, here and there, spice up the circuit around the island.

A few good rides later, we found ourselves at a crossroads of sand roads between two of them, La Aguja Grande (266m), the highest on the island, in the company of the crater Aguja Chica and the neighboring Montanha del Mojon (185m).

Curious about what the coast from there to Graciosa would have in store, we headed towards it, at the same time, from the north of the island. We reject the Playa Baja del Ganado. Instead, we point to Las Conchas and the foot of the ocher volcano of Montaña Bermeja.

Montaña Bermeja's Conquest and Omni-Revelation

At its confluence, we found a bicycle parking lot more crowded than we expected. We estimated that the yellow sand of the beach next door, in duo with a delicious turquoise sea there, would attract a good part of the cyclists entertained with the return to Graciosa.

The desire to immediately surrender to that Atlantic blown by the Alíseos was not lacking, but with the trail and the challenge of conquering the Montaña Bermeja (157m) starting a few meters away, we had no way of resisting.

On tiptoe, along the trail already marked on its crest, we ascend to the colored summit covered with light green lichens or a very dark yellow one.

Ascension of Montaña Bermeja, La Graciosa, Canary Islands, Spain

Hikers about to reach the summit of the Bermeja de La Graciosa mountain.

In addition to the lichens clinging to the rocks, we found the top decorated with an unexpected work of art, four statuettes, carved in what seemed to us sandstone, with shapes, if human twisted, almost amorphous.

We found out later that a cross with the inscription of 1499 came to accompany these sculptures, the year in which the conquest of the Canary Islands archipelago, which began in 1402, is considered to have ended.

Jean de Béthencourt and Enchantment with Little Graciosa

The story goes that Norman Jean de Béthencourt was the discoverer who baptized La Graciosa.

After several weeks at sea, counting since the departure from the port of La Rochelle, Béthencourt delighted in the sight of the almost shallow island at the foot of the gigantic neighbor Lanzarote. He called it, thus, la graceuse, title that was adapted to Castilian.

Montaña Bermeja and Playa de Las Conchas, La Graciosa, Canary Islands, Spain

The slope of Montaña Bermeja contrasts with the blue of Playa de Las Conchas. A setting that illustrates the baptism of Jean de Béthencourt.

Béthencourt was determined to stock up on heather, a lichen from which a color comparable to violet is extracted. It ended up conquering Lanzarote and Fuerteventura and colonizing much of the Canary Islands archipelago.

We see no sign of the cross or, among the abundant lichens around us, the precious heather. In any case, the surrounding scenarios quickly claimed our attention and aroused an inevitable visual ecstasy.

To the north and east, La Graciosa stretched out into a sandy expanse filled with low dunes dotted with xerophytic vegetation.

To the south and southeast, the small local desert yielded to the dictatorship of volcanic soil and an almost black grey.

From this brown soil, in the distance, we could see the other elevations of the island rising, the further south, the more diffused in the haze (dusty mist) that arrived there from Sara.

And around La Graciosa, the extension of the Chinijo sub-Archipelago

When we turned to the north and northwest, with the sea in the middle, we saw several inhospitable and uninhabited islands: the Isla de Montaña Clara, just ahead. Further away, the Isla de Alegranza.

We also glimpsed two other islets, Roque del Oeste – also known as Roque del Infierno – in the vicinity of the island of Montaña Clara, the Roque del Este.

This set, plus our hostess La Graciosa (the largest island with 27km2), forms the Chinicho Canary Islands sub-archipelago that kept us a good half-hour in absolute sensory delight.

We interrupted it because of the notion of the time we had left to go around the island and the urgency of recovering the postponed dive at Playa de Las Conchas, which, just below, insinuated itself in turquoise gold.

No sooner said than done. We return to the base of the mountain Bermeja, we crossed the beach. With extra care, we dived under the waves that the trades continued to spur.

Wave at Playa de Las Conchas, La Graciosa, Canary Islands, Spain

Wave breaks up on the golden sands of Playa de Las Conchas, with Isla Montaña Clara in the background.

With the return to the island still to be completed, we return to the bicycles still to dry.

We cycle to its northern coast, peeking at the windy seaside of Playas Lambra and Del Ambar.

Instead of going around the entirety of the north coast, we cut our way to Pedro Barba, the second village on the island, even if it is mainly made up of second homes by people from Graciosa and others by foreign vacationers.

Caleta del Sebo vs Lanzarote, La Graciosa, Canary Islands, Spain

White houses of Caleta del Sebo against the volcanic cliffs of Lanzarote.

It didn't take us long to see the white line of its houses, against the immense cliffs of Lanzarote in the background.

Afterwards, we climbed, with effort, between the Morros Negros and the eastern slopes of Aguja Grande and Chica. We tried to extend our efforts in order to conquer the island south of Caleta del Sebo.

Return in Time for a New Sunset in Caleta del Sebo

As Doña Demelza had warned us, the road to Punta de la Herradura and its Montaña Amarilla turned out to be too sandy even for the supposedly off-road bikes we were riding.

Exhausted, watching the sun fall over the Atlantic in front of us, with no time to reach the planned destination of Playa de la Cocina, we reversed our way to Caleta del Sebo.

Back to village, we return the Bikes special to Demelza.

Caleta del Sebo, La Graciosa, Canary Islands, Spain

A young resident of Caleta del Sebo carries a baby in her arms, on the golden sunset of La Graciosa.

In the temple that was left to us until the dark resettled, we walked through the alleys and along the almost shallow seafront that confronts the huge cliffs of Lanzarote.

La Graciosa still enchants us today.

Caleta del Sebo, La Graciosa, Canary Islands, Spain

Artistic patio in a villa in the capital and the only fixed settlement on the island of La Graciosa.

Lanzarote, Canary Islands

To César Manrique what is César Manrique's

By itself, Lanzarote would always be a Canaria by itself, but it is almost impossible to explore it without discovering the restless and activist genius of one of its prodigal sons. César Manrique passed away nearly thirty years ago. The prolific work he left shines on the lava of the volcanic island that saw him born.
Fuerteventura, Canary Islands, Spain (España)

Fuerteventura's Atlantic Ventura

The Romans knew the Canaries as the lucky islands. Fuerteventura, preserves many of the attributes of that time. Its perfect beaches for the windsurf and the kite-surfing or just for bathing, they justify successive “invasions” by the sun-hungry northern peoples. In the volcanic and rugged interior, the bastion of the island's indigenous and colonial cultures remains. We started to unravel it along its long south.
El Hierro, Canary Islands

The Volcanic Rim of the Canaries and the Old World

Until Columbus arrived in the Americas, El Hierro was seen as the threshold of the known world and, for a time, the Meridian that delimited it. Half a millennium later, the last western island of the Canaries is teeming with exuberant volcanism.
La Palma, Canary IslandsSpain (España)

The Most Mediatic of the Cataclysms to Happen

The BBC reported that the collapse of a volcanic slope on the island of La Palma could generate a mega-tsunami. Whenever the area's volcanic activity increases, the media take the opportunity to scare the world.
Terra Chã and Pico Branco footpaths, Porto Santo

Pico Branco, Terra Chã and Other Whims of the Golden Island

In its northeast corner, Porto Santo is another thing. With its back facing south and its large beach, we unveil a mountainous, rugged and even wooded coastline, dotted with islets that dot an even bluer Atlantic.
Porto Santo, Portugal

Praised Be the Island of Porto Santo

Discovered during a stormy sea tour, Porto Santo remains a providential shelter. Countless planes that the weather diverts from neighboring Madeira guarantee their landing there. As thousands of vacationers do every year, they surrender to the softness and immensity of the golden beach and the exuberance of the volcanic sceneries.
Paul do Mar a Ponta do Pargo a Achadas da Cruz, Madeira, Portugal

Discovering the Madeira Finisterre

Curve after curve, tunnel after tunnel, we arrive at the sunny and festive south of Paul do Mar. We get goosebumps with the descent to the vertiginous retreat of Achadas da Cruz. We ascend again and marvel at the final cape of Ponta do Pargo. All this, in the western reaches of Madeira.
Pico do Arieiro - Pico Ruivo, Madeira, Portugal

Pico Arieiro to Pico Ruivo, Above a Sea of ​​Clouds

The journey begins with a resplendent dawn at 1818 m, high above the sea of ​​clouds that snuggles the Atlantic. This is followed by a winding, ups and downs walk that ends on the lush insular summit of Pico Ruivo, 1861 meters away.
Rhinoceros, PN Kaziranga, Assam, India
PN Kaziranga, India

The Indian Monoceros Stronghold

Situated in the state of Assam, south of the great Brahmaputra river, PN Kaziranga occupies a vast area of ​​alluvial swamp. Two-thirds of the rhinocerus unicornis around the world, there are around 100 tigers, 1200 elephants and many other animals. Pressured by human proximity and the inevitable poaching, this precious park has not been able to protect itself from the hyperbolic floods of the monsoons and from some controversies.
Prayer flags in Ghyaru, Nepal
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 4th – Upper Banana to Ngawal, Nepal

From Nightmare to Dazzle

Unbeknownst to us, we are faced with an ascent that leads us to despair. We pulled our strength as far as possible and reached Ghyaru where we felt closer than ever to the Annapurnas. The rest of the way to Ngawal felt like a kind of extension of the reward.
shadow vs light
Architecture & Design
Kyoto, Japan

The Kyoto Temple Reborn from the Ashes

The Golden Pavilion has been spared destruction several times throughout history, including that of US-dropped bombs, but it did not withstand the mental disturbance of Hayashi Yoken. When we admired him, he looked like never before.
Boats on ice, Hailuoto Island, Finland.
Hailuoto, Finland

A Refuge in the Gulf of Bothnia

During winter, the island of Hailuoto is connected to the rest of Finland by the country's longest ice road. Most of its 986 inhabitants esteem, above all, the distance that the island grants them.
self-flagellation, passion of christ, philippines
Ceremonies and Festivities
Marinduque, Philippines

The Philippine Passion of Christ

No nation around is Catholic but many Filipinos are not intimidated. In Holy Week, they surrender to the belief inherited from the Spanish colonists. Self-flagellation becomes a bloody test of faith
Itamaraty Palace Staircase, Brasilia, Utopia, Brazil
Brasilia, Brazil

Brasília: from Utopia to the Capital and Political Arena of Brazil

Since the days of the Marquis of Pombal, there has been talk of transferring the capital to the interior. Today, the chimera city continues to look surreal but dictates the rules of Brazilian development.
Tsukiji fish market, Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo, Japan

The Fish Market That Lost its Freshness

In a year, each Japanese eats more than their weight in fish and shellfish. Since 1935, a considerable part was processed and sold in the largest fish market in the world. Tsukiji was terminated in October 2018, and replaced by Toyosu's.
Apia, Western Samoa

Fia Fia – High Rotation Polynesian Folklore

From New Zealand to Easter Island and from here to Hawaii, there are many variations of Polynesian dances. Fia Fia's Samoan nights, in particular, are enlivened by one of the more fast-paced styles.

Man: an Ever Tested Species

It's in our genes. For the pleasure of participating, for titles, honor or money, competitions give meaning to the world. Some are more eccentric than others.
Inle Lake, Myanmar

A Pleasant Forced Stop

In the second of the holes that we have during a tour around Lake Inlé, we hope that they will bring us the bicycle with the patched tyre. At the roadside shop that welcomes and helps us, everyday life doesn't stop.
Gizo, Solomon Islands

A Saeraghi Young Singers Gala

In Gizo, the damage caused by the tsunami that hit the Solomon Islands is still very visible. On the coast of Saeraghi, children's bathing happiness contrasts with their heritage of desolation.
Portfolio, Got2Globe, Best Images, Photography, Images, Cleopatra, Dioscorides, Delos, Greece
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Got2Globe Portfolio

The Earthly and the Celestial

Vesikko submarine, Suomenlinna, Helsinki, Finland
Helsinki, Finland

Finland's once Swedish Fortress

Detached in a small archipelago at the entrance to Helsinki, Suomenlinna was built by the Swedish kingdom's political-military designs. For more than a century, the Russia stopped her. Since 1917, the Suomi people have venerated it as the historic bastion of their thorny independence.
Seixal, Madeira Island, pool
Seixal, Madeira, Portugal

The Island of Madeira at the Heart

Visitors to Madeira are enchanted by its almost tropical drama. In this case, the author must confess that it was the destination of his first three plane trips. That he has a friend from there, who made him be a bit from there. From the Madeira facing the endless North. From the fearless and welcoming Seixal.
St. Trinity Church, Kazbegi, Georgia, Caucasus
Winter White
Kazbegi, Georgia

God in the Caucasus Heights

In the 4000th century, Orthodox religious took their inspiration from a hermitage that a monk had erected at an altitude of 5047 m and perched a church between the summit of Mount Kazbek (XNUMXm) and the village at the foot. More and more visitors flock to these mystical stops on the edge of Russia. Like them, to get there, we submit to the whims of the reckless Georgia Military Road.
Lake Manyara, National Park, Ernest Hemingway, Giraffes
Lake Manyara NP, Tanzania

Hemingway's Favorite Africa

Situated on the western edge of the Rift Valley, Lake Manyara National Park is one of the smallest but charming and richest in Europe. wild life of Tanzania. In 1933, between hunting and literary discussions, Ernest Hemingway dedicated a month of his troubled life to him. He narrated those adventurous safari days in “The Green Hills of Africa".
Pitões das Junias, Montalegre, Portugal
Montalegre, Portugal

Through Alto do Barroso, Top of Trás-os-Montes

we moved from Terras de Bouro for those of Barroso. Based in Montalegre, we wander around the discovery of Paredes do Rio, Tourém, Pitões das Júnias and its monastery, stunning villages on the border of Portugal. If it is true that Barroso has had more inhabitants, visitors should not miss it.
Sheki, Autumn in the Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Autumn Homes
Sheki, Azerbaijan

autumn in the caucasus

Lost among the snowy mountains that separate Europe from Asia, Sheki is one of Azerbaijan's most iconic towns. Its largely silky history includes periods of great harshness. When we visited it, autumn pastels added color to a peculiar post-Soviet and Muslim life.
Miniature houses, Chã das Caldeiras, Fogo Volcano, Cape Verde
Natural Parks
Chã das Caldeiras, Fogo Island Cape Verde

A "French" Clan at the Mercy of Fogo

In 1870, a Count born in Grenoble on his way to Brazilian exile, made a stopover in Cape Verde where native beauties tied him to the island of Fogo. Two of his children settled in the middle of the volcano's crater and continued to raise offspring there. Not even the destruction caused by the recent eruptions deters the prolific Montrond from the “county” they founded in Chã das Caldeiras.    
Bertie in jalopy, Napier, New Zealand
UNESCO World Heritage
Napier, New Zealand

Back to the 30s

Devastated by an earthquake, Napier was rebuilt in an almost ground-floor Art Deco and lives pretending to stop in the Thirties. Its visitors surrender to the Great Gatsby atmosphere that the city enacts.
Heroes Acre Monument, Zimbabwe
Harare, Zimbabwewe

The Last Rales of Surreal Mugabué

In 2015, Zimbabwe's first lady Grace Mugabe said the 91-year-old president would rule until the age of 100 in a special wheelchair. Shortly thereafter, it began to insinuate itself into his succession. But in recent days, the generals have finally precipitated the removal of Robert Mugabe, who has replaced him with former Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Magnificent Atlantic Days
Morro de São Paulo, Brazil

A Divine Seaside of Bahia

Three decades ago, it was just a remote and humble fishing village. Until some post-hippie communities revealed the Morro's retreat to the world and promoted it to a kind of bathing sanctuary.
church, our lady, virgin, guadalupe, mexico
San Cristóbal de las Casas a Campeche, Mexico

A Relay of Faith

The Catholic equivalent of Our Lady of Fátima, Our Lady of Guadalupe moves and moves Mexico. Its faithful cross the country's roads, determined to bring the proof of their faith to the patroness of the Americas.
End of the World Train, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina
On Rails
Ushuaia, Argentina

Last Station: End of the World

Until 1947, the Tren del Fin del Mundo made countless trips for the inmates of the Ushuaia prison to cut firewood. Today, passengers are different, but no other train goes further south.
Tombola, street bingo-Campeche, Mexico
Campeche, Mexico

200 Years of Playing with Luck

At the end of the XNUMXth century, the peasants surrendered to a game introduced to cool the fever of cash cards. Today, played almost only for Abuelites, lottery little more than a fun place.
Busy intersection of Tokyo, Japan
Daily life
Tokyo, Japan

The Endless Night of the Rising Sun Capital

Say that Tokyo do not sleep is an understatement. In one of the largest and most sophisticated cities on the face of the Earth, twilight marks only the renewal of the frenetic daily life. And there are millions of souls that either find no place in the sun, or make more sense in the “dark” and obscure turns that follow.
Lion, Elephants, PN Hwange, Zimbabwe
PN Hwange, Zimbabwe

The Legacy of the Late Cecil Lion

On July 1, 2015, Walter Palmer, a dentist and trophy hunter from Minnesota killed Cecil, Zimbabwe's most famous lion. The slaughter generated a viral wave of outrage. As we saw in PN Hwange, nearly two years later, Cecil's descendants thrive.
Napali Coast and Waimea Canyon, Kauai, Hawaii Wrinkles
Scenic Flights
napali coast, Hawaii

Hawaii's Dazzling Wrinkles

Kauai is the greenest and rainiest island in the Hawaiian archipelago. It is also the oldest. As we explore its Napalo Coast by land, sea and air, we are amazed to see how the passage of millennia has only favored it.