This ultimate adventure elopement location combines sea, mountain and desert. La Graciosa in the Canarian Archipelago has all this and more. This holiday island welcomes couples to a private getaway filled with vibrant culture and endless location options for an elopement or intimate wedding.
Remote. Intimate. Rugged. Words that will describe your Canary Islands elopement. This tiny island is one of those places you can’t forget after visiting. I remember standing on the sea cliffs of Playa de las Conchas watching the sun set below the mountains and being in complete awe. The combination of love and landscape here is overwhelmingly beautiful. Want to elope on a secret beach? No problem. Want to take an old Land Rover to hike a volcano at sunrise? You can! The opportunity to explore here is pretty endless.
When I planned my photography trip to the Canary Islands, someone asked me where they were. My answer was something to the effect of “Oh you know! Over there…by um…Spain.” While the Canaries are owned by Spain, this island chain actually sits about 67 miles off the northwest coast of Africa, closest to Morocco. They’re literally a blip out in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. The majority of the landscape is sandy and rocky, formed by volcanic eruptions in the 1700’s.
Gran Canaria and Tenerife are well known islands in the chain. To get to La Graciosa, however, you’ll fly to the island of Lanzarote. This small airport is also referred to as Arrecife (ACE), which is the main city on Lanzarote. I flew from Atlanta to Boston, Boston to Dublin and Dublin to Lanzarote. The Canaries are GMT+1, so from EST they’re five hours ahead. From the states, it’s a pretty good trek over and many people stay a night in a stopover like Dublin or Madrid. There’s tons of ways to get there so if there is a bucket list item you can fly through, take advantage!
Once you arrive at ACE, depending on what time you get in, you can head directly to La Graciosa or you can spend the night in Arrecife! There are no Ubers here, but plenty of AirBnb’s. There are lots of places to grab a bite to eat, grocery stores and even a good sized mall. You’ll need to get any provisions you’d like in Arrecife as there are only a couple small stores on La Graciosa and a few restaurants.
Best Time to Visit The Canary Islands
The Canary Islands are known for their year round warm weather. To avoid the loads of tourists on holiday and the influx of visitors around Carnival, March-May and September-November are the best times to visit. I personally stayed a week on La Graciosa in November and it was sleepy and peaceful. We had a lot of the beaches almost completely to ourselves. The arid environment here means there isn’t a big chance of it raining on your wedding day.
Getting to La Graciosa for Your Canary Islands Elopement
When you’re ready to head to La Graciosa, you can either take a taxi or bus to Orzola. Here you’ll catch the ferry over! The ride is about 30 minutes to get to the north side of Lanzarote, but you’ll have a view the whole time, from mountains jutting out of the ocean to turquoise waters. There are two ferry companies that operate here and they run up to 10 times a day. You can take the boat over and return several days later if you’d like. When you arrive at La Graciosa, you’ll be met with the friendly faces of Caleta del Sebo. The marina is located near the majority of the cafes and restaurants that are there. It will be a short walk to your accommodations. The island is so small that there is nothing far away from the town center.
Adventure abounds on La Graciosa. The island is an elopement photographer’s paradise for couples who want a wedding day that feels tropical, yet otherworldly. It’s almost like the warm desert version of Iceland. You’ve got countless volcanoes, virtually no trees and the Atlantic Ocean waves kissing the beaches. With the two tiny towns on La Graciosa making up a population of about 600, you can avoid the tourists that Iceland sees and have an intimate elopement.
The deep red and brown colors of the volcanic island lends itself to an earthy natural vibe, perfect for free-spirited couples that aren’t afraid to get sandy. If you’re looking for a wild golden desert mood, this is your destination elopement spot hands down.
La Graciosa is both small and easy to navigate. This means eloping couples looking for a destination that’s not logistically complicated will be pleasantly surprised at how simple it is to reach epic locations on the island. To get to Playa de las Conchas you can take a Land Rover that feels like you’re on a desert safari. To get to Playa La Francesca (where you’ll have Montana Amarilla in the background), you can take a short boat ride from the marina. Any location you choose will also have an element of adventure in getting there.
Even the towns are incredible and so photogenic. All of the houses are in the traditional white and blue style. There is no tarmac (or asphalt) on the island. Everything is dirt! You’ll only see a handful of cars, but lots of bikes!
Overall, The Canary Islands are a lesser known option for a rad destination elopement. Each island is beautiful, but La Graciosa has the added layer of welcoming seclusion.
Get a little wanderlust from Sabina and Sergio’s La Graciosa Elopement.
A Canary Islands Elopement comes with a pretty chill timeline. Imagine waking up in your quaint little white house just feet from the water. You can spend the morning together walking down to get coffee and enjoying the breeze and the view. Your house will serve as a perfect backdrop for getting ready photos. The dirt alleyways lined with blue and white is great for your first look before you head out to your destination to say your vows.
Sunset is unbelievable here so I suggest spending the day exploring the island and ending at Playa de las Conchas for a cliffside vow reading. You’ll have a gorgeous panoramic view of the archipelago to compliment your intimate moment together. Have a Land Rover pick you up and take you back to Caleta del Sebo for a celebratory dinner and some vino!
Eloping in The Canary Islands
Your elopement photographer will be able to help you create your timeline as well as securing your vendors. Planning is included in my elopement packages. With a background in hospitality and tourism, I love getting to plan destination elopements for my couples.
Of all the places I’ve been, the landscape and culture of La Graciosa has stuck with me long after leaving. I think it’s a sleeper location for an incredible Canary Islands elopement.
Ready to plan the trip of a lifetime? Want to start planning your dream elopement in a bucket list destination? Contact Chaise to get started! I can’t wait to find sand in my suitcase months after your destination wedding. Let’s do it!
A note about La Graciosa – Most of the residents here speak Spanish. You can definitely get by pointing to things, but it’s really helpful if you or your photographer know basic Spanish. The rules around non-Spanish residents getting married in Spain are also pretty strict so I suggest getting the legal stuff out of the way before heading to The Canary Islands for your adventure elopement.