Chinijo Archipelago, the islands of the Canary Islands
The Chinijo Archipelago is formed by a group of islands located north of Lanzarote. These are volcanic territories created in the formation sequences of the islands of Fuerteventura and Lanzarote.
The name of chinijo is due to its size, chinijo is, among the Canarian idioms of Lanzarote, something small, as are these islets. The Chinijo Archipelago is formed by the island of La Graciosa, the only one inhabited by the group, and by the islets of Alegranza, Montaña Clara, Roque del Este and Roque del Oeste.
All the emerged territory is preserved as protected natural areas (Chinijo Archipelago Natural Park, Los Islotes Integral Reserve and special bird protection zone), but also its waters, those of the Chinijo Archipelago Marine Reserve and the Marine Reserve Integral, which extend over an area of about 700 square kilometers, the largest in the European Union.
The island of La Graciosa has an area of 24 square kilometers and two inhabited nuclei, Caleta del Sebo, the capital, which has a small fishing port, and Pedro Barba, a group of houses in the place where a factory was installed in 1880 for the exploitation of marine resources of the Canary-Saharan bank. Pedro Barba was inhabited from the 1930s to the 1960s, when the nascent tourism of Lanzarote became a great opportunity for gracioseros. The group of islands belongs to the municipality of Lanzarote in Teguise.
Caleta del Sebo is the access point to the island that has a maritime connection with Órzola in Lanzarote, with between 16 and 19 boat trips per day. From Caleta del Sebo it is easy to travel to the most striking beaches of the island, Playa de las Conchas, La Cocina or La Francesa, which also offers anchorage areas.
In Caleta del Sebo, you should not miss the maritime procession of your Virgin of Carmen, the so-called Virgin of the Sea, every July 16. The parish church, founded in 1945, also houses a curious altar that rests on an anchor.
In the funds that separate the island of La Graciosa from Lanzarote, El Río, underwater archaeological remains, wrecks, anchors and amphorae and wrecks have been found, which speak of the relationship of these islands with the Romanized world of North Africa.
Alegranza is the second largest island, after La Graciosa, it has a characteristic caldera (289 m.) Whose mouth has a diameter of 1.1 kilometers. In it, a large population of ashen shearwaters sits. The islet belongs to the Jordán-Martinón family, from Masdache, Lanzarote.
Montaña Clara is located between La Graciosa and Alegranza. The islet is, in fact, a stratovolcano that highlights the profile of a main cone, La Mariana (256 m.). Its extension reaches 2.7 square kilometers and is also private property. Its small territory is a nesting place for seabirds such as the Eleonor falcon, the osprey or the same cinderella shear.
Roque del Oeste has an area of just 0.15 km², the smallest of the islets, being little more than a practically unattainable sea rock from the sea. Its highest point rises to 41 meters above sea level and its length reaches 255 meters. The Roque del Oeste is also known as the Roque del Infierno or simply as ‘El Roquete’ and its position makes it a neighbor of Montaña Clara from which a hundred meters is barely separated.
Roque del Este (0,06 km²) is located 12 kilometers east of Lanzarote, in what is the easternmost point of the Canary Islands. Its apparent form is that of an inverted ‘L’. In the relief of the Roque del Este, two small peaks stand out, one of 84 meters high and another of 63 meters, opposite each other, one to the north and one to the south.
The Chinijo Archipelago, the islands of the Islands.
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