As October came around it brought our favorite swimming event with it. Every year a Lanzarote Retreats bunch get together and compete in the annual open water swimming race from Lanzarote to Graciosa. This is an awesome swimming race all wrapped up in one helluva party, it should be noted that it is never the swimming aspect that produces the casualties though!

Travesía a nado EL RÍO, literally translated it means the ‘swim across the river’, but the Lanzarote swim team does not like this name, they feel it underplays their exploits somewhat LOL

Actually Travesía a nado EL RÍO, covers the stretch of Atlantic open water, 2.6km in length, between Playa de Bajo Risco in Orzola, Lanzarote and the harbour of Caleta de Sebo in La Graciosa.


The conditions vary considerably from year to year, therefore so do the finish times. The race takes place on a Saturday at the end of September / early October, exact date depends on the tides and is usually confirmed around February / March prior, with registration opening shortly after. A maximum of 700 swimmers can take part and this year the places were all taken less than 48 hours from registration opening.


For everyone there, swimmers and spectators, it is a wonderful day, there is a carnival like atmosphere, a parade of the national flags of all participants and a full island style beach party under the stars that keeps going in to the early hours.

This year Tila, Lanzarote Retreats co-founder, was not present on the start line, his excuse,  a business trip to Outer Mongolia!? Yes we checked and sure enough he was actually in Outer Mongolia!!

Holding it down for Lanzarote Retreats though was a mixture of colleagues, guests and friends who all did brilliantly finishing in times varying from 30 – 50 minutes.

Pictured in the main image above, from left to right, Jamie (Lanzarote resident and LR’s preferred local osteopath), Julian, Duncan & Rupert (guests at Finca de Arrieta), Jules (LR marketing consultant with his son, Jai) and Brian (Lanzarote builder).

This year we were thrilled that guests got involved, Julian chose Finca de Arrieta and  ‘El Rio’ as the ultimate way for him and his friends to celebrate his 47th birthday, they all embraced it fully, not just the swim but the full party afterwards, ending in the early hours camping on La Graciosa. We look forward to seeing them next year as we know how addictive La Graciosa and Travesia a nado ‘El Rio’ really is!!

If you would like to participate then 2017 dates will be announced, early 2017 at

Come and join us!!!!