Winter Island Escapes: La Graciosa, Canary Islands

Start planning where to warm up this winter. We’ve made it easy with these 15 adventure-packed, off-radar island hideaways.

graciosa playa

Caleta del Sebo, La Graciosa.     Photo: Andreas Weibel

POPULATION: 600
SIZE:
Ten square miles
TAGS:
Wild beaches, volcanic peaks

There are few cars or roads this far out in the Atlantic. Locals still haul most goods by wheelbarrow. And not only are there no Club Med-scale resorts, but there are no hotels whatsoever. In other words, it’s our kind of place. Rent an apartment (from $43) or stay at a small pension (from $43) in the island’s hub of Caleta del Sebo, a simple cluster of whitewashed stucco buildings. On land: hike the island’s four volcanic peaks for God’s-eye views of the surrounding seascape and the feral Playa las Conchas and Playa Francesca. To get on the water: ferry over to Lanzarote and head to charter-boat company Rubicon Fishing; its guides will take you to the best spots to catch-and-release the area’s abundant marlin (from $600 for a half-day). The staff at Manta Diving has all the knowledge and equipment you need to encounter bluefin tuna, hammerhead sharks, and dolphins at El Canal, the junction of the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea (one-tank dive, $48). Ferry back to La Graciosa and join locals at Meson de la Tierra or El Marinero for grilled shellfish and a glass of local white wine made from grapes grown in the volcanic picón soil.

ACCESS: Take a two-hour direct flight from Madrid (Iberia Airlines) or a four-hour one from London (British Airways or Air Europa) to the neighboring island of Lanzarote. Go to the Orzola main pier, and hop a 35-minute ferry ($18) to La Graciosa.

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