Travelling to El Hierro, you reach the westernmost part of the Canary archipelago and at the same time the smallest island. Hardly more than a rock in the immense waters of the Atlantic, if you don’t pay it much attention. But a true paradise for your next El Hierro walking holidays. Hiking is a great way to explore the area, but there are so many options here, so many variations of El Hierro, that this activity is just one of many.
El Hierro Hiking Holidays !
The Meridiano Island
Less than 50 kilometres separate one end from the other, but they will contain something once they have been declared a biosphere reserve by UNESCO. Within such a short distance, you’ll find surprisingly dense forests, natural pools and coasts with crystal-clear waters perfect for diving and other water sports.
The coastline could not be more diverse in its almost 100 kilometres. From the steepest cliffs to the calmest and most accessible coves and lagoons. The entire Canary Islands seascape, reduced to its minimal expression, condensed and sublimated in El Hierro’s many beaches.
Like the rest of the Canary Islands, El Hierro (the island with soul, as it is also called, the island of tranquillity) has a mild and peaceful climate all year round, so a visit is not dependent on a particular time in the calendar and is possible at any time. You don’t have to worry about overcrowding either. You can definetly discover all in your next El Hierro walking holidays
Natural spaces on El Hierro
It is no easy task to select some of the great successes of El Hierro’s natural spaces, but here are some of them. Some of the most spectacular, beautiful and legendary places
La Peña viewpoint
The La Peña viewpoint offers an impressive view of the island’s geological history. From a height of 650 metres, visitors can admire the great depression of El Golfo, formed by volcanic activity some 100,000 years ago.
The Dehesa forest, shaped by the trade winds, is a magical and surreal place where the junipers have taken on impossible shapes over time.
Roque de la Bonanza
Like so many other formations in the Canary Islands, it is of volcanic origin and emerges from the water with a capricious shape that hides some underwater secrets. Among other things, the flora and fauna that live around it.
Don Justo Cave
The Cave of Don Justo is just one of the volcanic tubes that run through El Hierro. From here you can access a network of tunnels more than 6,500 metres long.
Mar de las Calmas Marine Reserve
Since its creation in 1996, the Mar de las Calmas Marine Reserve has been home to the largest and richest marine ecosystem on the island. Among them are cetaceans such as beaked whales, those great unknown species.
This cliff is located at the northernmost tip of El Golfo and its walls show the geological evolution of the area over thousands of years. Something like the rings of tree trunks.
Garoé Sacred Tree
According to tradition, at the time of the Bimbache there was no other drinking water on the island than that which flowed from this tree. It is still honoured today by its representation in the coat of arms of El Hierro.
Recent History of El Hierro
In October 2011, El Hierro experienced a submarine volcanic eruption off its southern coast. This eruption generated great scientific and media interest. Although it did not cause serious damage, it led to changes in the underwater landscape and the formation of a new, small island.
El Hierro has been noted for its commitment to renewable energy. In 2014, it inaugurated the Gorona del Viento hydro-wind power plant, which combines wind and hydroelectric power to supply most of the island with clean energy.
The island has promoted sustainable tourism, attracting visitors interested in nature and tranquillity. Its natural landscapes and outdoor activities are attractive to nature lovers.
Over the years, El Hierro has worked on economic development and the improvement of its infrastructure, including transport and communications.
In 2000, El Hierro was declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve because of its rich biodiversity and its efforts to conserve the natural environment.
The island is famous for being the only one in the world without traffic lights. Residents take their time and prioritise road safety with traffic signs and courtesy on the roads.
Much of the island’s drinking water is obtained from rainwater harvesting and desalination, as there are no permanent rivers.
On El Hierro, you can find a rare cloud forest ecosystem in the higher areas of the island. This type of forest is very rare in the world and is home to a variety of unique plant species.
The inhabitants of El Hierro are known for their friendliness and hospitality towards visitors, which makes the island a welcoming destination.
The waters surrounding the island are rich in marine life, making it a popular spot for scuba diving and whale and dolphin watching.
Despite its small size, El Hierro boasts a wide variety of landscapes, from rugged mountains to black sand beaches and green fields.
In recent years a new facet of tourism has developed: El Hierro hiking holidays. Old paths have been marked according to European standards to facilitate visitors’ El Hierro hiking holidays.
Our INDEPENDENT EL HIERRO HIKING programmes:
Our escorted WALKING PROGRAMMES in a group:
Do you have your OWN GROUP ?
…And if you prefer a tailor-made plan for your group that
combine different islands or visit special places
we will adapt it to your prerogatives.
Your own group? Ask us !
If you wish a tailor-made plan
for your group that combine different
islands or visit special places,
we will adapt it to your prerogatives.
Your own group? Ask us !
Our small & CHARMING HOTELS:
find the perfect accommodation for your next El Hierro hiking holidays
What can you do on El Hierro? What not to do in El Hierro. As well as El Hierro hiking holidays, the island offers much more. Take a tour by car, bike or on foot, let yourself be carried away by the trade winds while paragliding, admire the contrasts of the landscape, taste a Herreño wine accompanied by fresh fish and quesadillas. The island is not easy to leave.
Its offer is as extensive as the accommodation options. It depends on your plans, your budget and your individual interests. There are many flats by the sea, but also holiday homes, country houses and the so-called emblematic houses, which are located away from the tourist centres and are part of the historic centre of El Hierro.
Not to mention the diving sites, which, with a water temperature that does not exceed 25ºC and does not drop below 18ºC all year round, and underwater visibility of up to 50 metres, cover the entire area and allow the observation of an enormous number of species of all kinds.
And the sights to see, such as the El Hierro Giant Lizard Sanctuary, the Cruz de los Navegantes (long considered the most westerly point in the world), the Monument to the Prime Meridian (which is an exact reminder of the time when the island was the Prime Meridian), the El Julan Cultural Park with its Bimbache petroglyphs, or the Pozo de la Salud Spa, which has been a public utility since 1949.
And of course El Hierro Hiking is one of the most exiting activities you can afford. There are a multitude of trails that criss-cross the island from side to side.
El Hierro Hiking
El Hierro is a fantastic destination for hiking holidays. This volcanic island offers diverse landscapes, rugged coastlines, lush forests, and dramatic cliffs, making it a paradise for nature enthusiasts and hikers. Here’s a guide to planning the best El Hierro hiking holiday:
1. Select the Right Time: The best time for El Hierro hiking is during the spring and autumn when the weather is pleasant, and the island is not as crowded. Summers can be hot, while winters are milder but wetter.
2. Trail Selection: El Hierro hiking boasts a network of well-marked hiking trails, some of which are part of the GR 131 long-distance trail that crosses the entire Canary Islands. Popular routes include:
– Camino de la Virgen: A coastal trail offering stunning views of the ocean.
– El Julán Route: Takes you through a lush forested area with centuries-old trees.
– La Llanía Route: Leads to La Llanía viewpoint, providing panoramic vistas of the island.
– La Dehesa Forest: Explore the island’s pine forests and dramatic landscapes.
4. Prepare Properly: Be sure to bring suitable El Hierro hiking gear, including comfortable footwear, sunscreen, a hat, and plenty of water. Check the weather forecast before setting out.
5. Local Cuisine: Sample the local cuisine, which includes fresh seafood, goat cheese, and delicious Canary Island specialties like “papas arrugadas” (wrinkled potatoes) with mojo sauce.
6. Respect Nature: El Hierro is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, so it’s crucial to respect the environment. Stay on designated paths, avoid disturbing wildlife, and don’t leave any litter behind.
7. Emergency Contacts: Make sure you have access to local emergency numbers and let someone know your hiking plans, especially if you’re going on longer or more remote trails.
8. Island Exploration: While El Hierro hiking is a major draw, don’t forget to explore other attractions on El Hierro, such as the charming villages, cultural sites, and the unique volcanic landscape.
9. Transportation: Renting a car is the most convenient way to explore the island and access trailheads. Public transportation is limited, especially to more remote areas.
El Hierro hiking offers a tranquil and unspoiled natural setting for hikers, where you can immerse yourself in the beauty of the Canary Islands’ outdoors while enjoying a slower pace of life. Remember to plan ahead, stay safe, and savor the unique beauty of this island during your hiking holiday.
Whether you’re a seasoned hiker seeking challenging terrain or a nature enthusiast looking for a tranquil escape, El Hierro hiking offers an unforgettable journey through a volcanic wonderland where every step unveils a new adventure.
El Hierro hiking is an incredible adventure that allows you to explore the untouched natural beauty of the island. El Hierro hiking offers a variety of trails suitable for adventurers of all levels.
El Hierro hiking routes range from leisurely coastal strolls to challenging mountain paths. When you embark on El Hierro hiking, you can discover the famous GR-131, a long-distance trail that takes you on an unforgettable journey across the island.
During El Hierro hiking, you can also encounter the island’s unique wildlife. Keep an eye out for the El Hierro giant lizard, an endemic species found only here.
El Hierro hiking not only provides physical activity but also cultural experiences. You can visit traditional villages and experience the warm hospitality of the locals while El Hierro hiking.
El Hierro hiking is also an opportunity to protect the environment. Be sure to follow local environmental regulations and help preserve the beauty of this island.
Whether you’re an experienced hiker or a beginner, El Hierro hiking will captivate you. Get ready to enjoy El Hierro hiking to the fullest and uncover the beauty of this island!
Culture and gastronomy
Naturally, the island’s cultural and gastronomic offer is also very diverse, just like its landscapes.
In addition to fish, harvested in a traditional and protected way, and wines with designation of origin, the island’s culinary tradition includes all kinds of meat, with rabbit and kid standing out (not least because they are less common on the mainland). They are served with mojo rojo and potatoes.
El Hierro is the only island in the Canaries to have preserved the archipelago’s traditional tree model, the tagoror, a round or elliptical building surrounded by a stone wall with an entrance. The term comes from the Berber language and means “meeting place”, for which it was already used in the time of the island’s indigenous people.
The numerous petroglyphs scattered all over the island are from ancient Berber peoples, as are the origins of the craft practices and other folkloric performances that are still very present today and help to make El Hierro what it has always been: a mythical land.