The Mythical Island !

El Hierro

Travelling to El Hierro you will 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 close attention. It’s a paradise If you choose this island for your next walking holidays. Hiking is a great way to explore the area, among many other options.

El Hierro Hiking Holidays !

Sabinar El Hierro
El Hierro Costa de Frontera

The Meridiano Island

Less than 50 kilometers from one end to the other, filled with dense forests, natural pools, and coasts with crystal clear waters, perfect for diving. It has been declared a biosphere reserve by UNESCO.

The coastline is very diverse in its almost 100 kilometers. From the steepest cliffs to the calmest and most accessible coves and lagoons. The entire Canary Islands seascape, reduced to its minimal expression and condensed within El Hierro’s many beaches.

Like the rest of the Canary Islands, El Hierro (the island with soul or the island of tranquility, as its also called) has a mild and peaceful climate all year round. A visit is not dependent on a particular time of the year and its possible at any time. You don’t have to worry about overcrowding either. Discover everything El Hierro has to offer in your next walking holidays.

El Hierro Mirador Isora
El Hierro pino canario

Natural spaces on El Hierro

It is no easy task to choose the best of  El Hierro’s natural spaces, but here are some of them worth mentioning. 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 meters, visitors can admire the great depression of El Golfo, formed by volcanic activity some 100000 years ago.

The Sabinar

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 rocky formations in the Canary Islands, it is of volcanic origin and emerges from the water with a whimsical shape that hides underwater flora and fauna living around it.

Don Justo Cave

The Cave of Don Justo is just one of the many volcanic tubes that run through El Hierro. From here you can access a network of tunnels more than 6500 meters long.

Mar de las Calmas Marine Reserve

Since its creation in 1996, the Mar de las Calmas Reserve has been home to the largest and richest marine ecosystem of the island. Among them are cetaceans such as beaked whales.

Punta Grande

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, just like the rings of tree trunks.

Garoé Sacred Tree

According to tradition, when the Bimbaches inhabited the island, there was no other drinking water source other than the one that flowed from this tree. It is still honored 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 small new island.

El Hierro has been known for its commitment to renewable energy. In 2014, it unveiled 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 peace. Its natural landscapes and outdoor activities are attractive to those who love nature.

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 prioritize road safety while driving.

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 or 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 kind of tourism has developed: El Hierro hiking holidays. Old paths have been marked according to European standards to facilitate visitors’ navigation around the island.

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Next group: January 2025 ▸ from 25th Jan. to 1st Feb. ⨳ Hiking program to discover the smallest of the Canary Islands, on foot
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      The island offers much more than just hiking. Take a tour by car, bike or on foot and let yourself be carried away by the trade winds while paragliding. Admire the contrasts of the landscape, taste a local Herreño wine accompanied by fresh fish and typical baked goods.

      Its offer is as extensive as the accommodation options. It depends on your plans, your budget, and your interests. There are many apartments by the sea, but also vacation homes, country houses and the so-called emblematic houses, which are located away from the tourist hubs and are part of the historic center of El Hierro.

      Not to mention the diving sites, its water temperature does not exceed 25ºC and does not drop below 18ºC all year round. The underwater visibility of up to 50 meters cover the entire area and allows the observation of a great number of species of all kinds.

      Among its most famous sights, we can visit the El Hierro Giant Lizard Sanctuary, the Cruz de los Navegantes (considered the most western point in the world for a long time), the Monument of the Prime Meridian (which is an exact reminder of the time when the island was the Prime Meridian), the Julan Cultural Park with the Bimbache petroglyphs, or lastly, the Pozo de la Salud Spa, which has been a public utility since 1949.

      And of course, hiking on El Hierro is one of the most exciting activities you can do. There are a multitude of trails that zigzag across the island from side to side.

      El Hierro hiking
      El Hierro hiking

      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 is a guide to planning the best El Hierro hiking holiday.

      1. Select the Right Time: The best time for hiking in El Hierro is during spring and autumn, when the weather is pleasant, and the island is not crowded. Summers can be hot, and winters might bring some rains.

      2. Choose the trails: El Hierro boasts a network of well-marked hiking trails, some of which are part of the GR131 long distance trail that crosses the entire Canary Islands. Here are some examples:

      – 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 hiking gear, include comfortable footwear, sunscreen, a hat, and plenty of water with you. 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 for the day, especially if you’re going on longer or more remote trails.

      8. Island Exploration: Don’t forget to explore other cultural attractions El Hierro has to offer, such as the charming villages or the unique volcanic landscape.

      9. Transportation: Renting a car is the most convenient way to explore the island and access their trails. Public transportation is limited, especially to the most remote areas.

      Hiking in El Hierro offers a tranquil and unspoiled natural setting for its visitors. 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 enjoy the unique beauty of this island during your holidays.

      Whether you’re a seasoned hiker seeking challenging terrain or a nature enthusiast looking for a quiet escape. El Hierro offers an unforgettable journey through a volcanic wonderland where every step unveils a new adventure.

      Hiking in El Hierro 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 adventurer of all levels.

      El Hierro hiking routes range from leisurely coastal strolls to challenging mountain paths. Discover the famous GR131, a long-distance trail that takes you on an unforgettable journey across the island.

      The island has unique wildlife. Keep an eye out for El Hierro giant lizard, an endemic species only found here.

      Enrich yourself with not only physical activity but also cultural experiences. Visit traditional villages and experience the warm hospitality of the locals while hiking in El Hierro.

      Protect the environment while hiking in El Hierro. Follow the local environmental regulations and help preserve the beauty of this island.

      El Hierro hiking will captivate you, whether you’re an experience hiker or beginner. Get ready to enjoy El Hierro to the fullest and uncover the beauty of this island!

      Culture and gastronomy

      Naturally, the island’s cultural and gastronomic offer is very diverse, just like its landscapes.

      In addition to fish, the island culinary tradition includes all kinds of meat, especially rabbit and goat meat. These are served with wrinkly potatoes and mojo sauce. Wine is also made locally the traditional way.

      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”. It was already used by the indigenous people.

      The numerous petroglyphs scattered all over the island are from ancient Berber people, as are the origins of the craft practices and other folkloric performances that are present today. This help make El Hierro what is has always been: a mythical land.

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