This lively sporting contest, organized by the Real Club Victoria from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, takes place on the last Saturday of September every year. Participants have to swim a little under a mile [a little over 1 km], the distance that separates El Risco de Famara beach (Lanzarote) and Caleta del Sebo, on La Graciosa island of the Chinijo Archipelago (in the northeast of Lanzarote).
The distance can be deceiving due to the strong currents of the river known as Río de Famara. Therefore, the organizers recommend that all participants are in optimum physical condition and a medical report is also requested. It takes approximately one hour to complete the route. All of those who have taken part have agreed that it is a very enjoyable experience and that it feels great to swim across the natural waters of the Parque Natural de Chinijo. The contest caught the attention of world champion swimmer, David Meca, who has taken part in different long distance events. He showed off his swimming skills in 2002, the year in which he won the competition.
In recent years, there have been more than 400 swimmers taking part. For further information about the conditions and registration periods, click here. Athletes of all ages have swum across El Río. The date of this celebration is no coincidence. September is the best month for the northeastern coast of Lanzarote. El Río is calm and tranquil, the sun shining down from an intense yet soft blue cloudless sky.
The fact that this event takes place in a natural area has never caused any problems. There has not been one incident in any of the 17 contests. The crossing is a healthy and fun sport; however, although it may be obvious to point out, safety is always the priority. In this respect, the Lanzarote council and the Real Club Victoria have always done an outstanding job. After finishing the competition, in Caleta del Sebo, the capital of La Graciosa, the participants regain strength by eating some of the traditional food from the island. When it comes to planning your next vacations in Lanzarote, you can take into account a wide range of leisure activities to enjoy. Sounds tempting, doesn’t it?