It’s Friyay. I’m not really feeling that Friyay feelin’. I’ve just come back from another shift at work, I’ve got another one to look forward to on Sunday and the weather is around Arctic temperatures compared to the 29 degree heat I was sunnin’ myself in a few weeks back. I think it’s safe to say I’ve come down with a case of holiday blues. Wahoo.
Now, instead of moping around like a moody lil ungrateful thang, I thought I’d pop my SD card into my laptop, delve into my holiday pics and share a lil trip I went on whilst I was away with ya’ll.
All I can say is prepare for a bumper of a post. Having visited Lanzarote now 3 times in my life (once when I was a wee thing, a second time with my boyfriend a couple years back and now again this year) I am definitely the first person to shout ‘shush you’ to anyone who labels this Canary Island as a certain ‘Lanzagrotty’. Lanzarote is a classic case of misrepresentation; it’s unfairly been stuck with a reputation which should be shook. Other than being that one island that every single British person will have undoubtedly been to at least once in their lifetime, I have absolutely no idea how Lanzarote ended up stuck with it’s ‘pet name’.
My boyfriend’s Nan and Pops have the loveliest apartment over in Costa Teguise, a hugely popular resort on the island, so they kindly have let us stay there twice now. And I am just in love with being there. Lanzarote has the perfect mix of feeling like a home from home, with plenty of English-speaking restaurants and trips, tours and activities to keep you entertained whilst you’re there, yet at the same time it’s not too heavily tainted by tourism. And a perfect example of the hidden beauty that Lanzarote has to offer is in La Graciosa, a tiny island just off the North coast.
With just over 500 people inhabiting the island, La Graciosa is honestly an untouched Spanish paradise. There are just two settlements on the island: the main town of Caleta del Sebo and another residential area further along the island called Pedro Barba. Many of the islanders have never left the comfort of their island and they create their income solely from fishing and the tourists that come to visit their side of the shores. The children on the island spend their weekdays staying at residencias in Lanzarote to go to school, and no vehicles are allowed on the island, with sand roads replacing the normality of tarmac.
Our ferry crossing from the far North tip of Lanzarote (Orzola) to La Graciosa was a rather rocky 20-25 minutes, as Lanzarote is kinda known for being particularly windy. Hilariously, myself and Samuel aren’t exactly naturals when it comes to bein’ at sea, and I’d equally hilariously forgotten to bring travel sickness tablets with us, so it’s safe to say we weren’t feeling our best. However, as soon as we got towards La Graciosa’s lil harbour, the waters became so calm and we were met with the clearest, crystal blue. It was absolute heaven.
We wobb-ily, and queasily left the boat, and our first stop was some grub to cure our sickness. Our lunch spot was the most adorable lil restaurant (one of only 3 on the island !!) overlooking the harbour, the empty paradise of the beach and the peaceful waters. I think we must have been the first lot of tourists on the island that morning, because there was no one in sight and the beach was completely untouched. We ordered pizza to nurse us back to health, *attempted* to speak Spanish to the barely-English-speaking waiter and made friends with the most ADORBS local doggo. All whilst lookin’ out to sea. It was pure bliss.
After truly stuffing ourselves with a good ol’ Margherita, we took off to explore the island. With bikes on hire and with an island measuring just 11 square miles, you can definitely take to cycling and explore every nook and cranny La Graciosa has to offer. However, myself and Sam decided to stick on foot and we took to exploring the quiet, sandy streets. It felt so surreal wandering amongst the locals’ homes and now and again catching a glimpse of the crystal waters that give these houses a sea view that you’d usually pay raaaather a lot for.
And in all honesty, I don’t think I’ve ever felt so relaxed as I did this day. As soon as you set foot on the island, you instantly get drawn in to the relaxed La Graciosa way of life. And the locals were just the loveliest, loveliest people. Wandering the streets, I felt hugely aware not to peek in at people’s homes or take photos of them, because I just felt like I was intruding on their quiet way of life and probably annoying them immensely. However, how wrong I was. When I found a cute lil photo opp by a palm tree next to someone’s house, I hesitated before asking Sam to take a few photos, as I was concerned about interrupting a local. However, this adorable lady popped her head out of her door, smiled at me and said in her absolute 0 English, ‘No problemo! No problemo!’ and insisted that I take a photo right outside her front door. I just felt incredibly touched by that.
For the rest of our day in paradise, we continued to explore the shores, took a dip in the crystal waters swimming with the fishes and relaxed by the quiet beach. We chatted to the locals at the one and only Spanish beach bar and tasted the most incredible STRAWBERRY CHEESECAKE ICECREAM. With just 20 minutes to spare before our lil boat picked us up at 4pm, I picked up the most beautiful handcrafted bracelets (of which don’t leave my arm now) at a lil market stall by the harbour.
My summary of La Graciosa just cannot do the island justice enough. I had the most relaxing day exploring a new place, a life that is just a million miles different from the lives we lead, and the island will always hold a special place in my heart. I have the fondest memories, would honestly move there in a heartbeat and will 110% visit again as soon as I can.
If you’re heading to Lanzarote any time soon and fancy heading to La Graciosa yourself, you can book an excursion through Last Minute Travel, who were incredible to us throughout our trip to possibly my favourite place on earth.