El Hierro HIKING

El Hierro HIKING

El Hierro: Hikes of Paradise

El Hierro is considered as a real Paradise in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. A virgen island concerning tourism due to the lack of infrastructure.  And still unexplored and unknown for the conventional tourism. The paths of El Hierro were the usual way of comunication until beginning of the 20th century. The island is situated in the west of the archipelago and has also the same subtropical climate.  Like on the other islands the trade winds garantize a stable amount of clowds providing the necessary humidity during the whole year. But in spite of its small size, El Hierro is a rough island with high elevation.

Situation and Population

El Hierro belongs to the province of Cruz de Tenerife. Its capital, Valverde, of just 11.147 inhabitants, is situated on 600 meters. Close to the capital we find the Estaca Port and the airport. El Hierro has been pioneer in the generation of sustainable energy.  At the present the island achieve self-sufficiency by a system of wind generators intereconnected with a hydroelectric  power station.From Valverde you can follow the trails of El Hierro reaching at the same day the municipailties of La Frontera and El Pinar.

El Hierro is un island with slow rhythm which invites to slow down. Time is lived with calm, the houses are open for everybody, nobody would ask you where you come from or even who you are. In El Hierro you breathe the ocean, you can dive on the bottom of the sea and you can finish your day with a fresh beer and potatoes with mojo sauce. El Hierro owns an excellent gastronomy with fresh products of extraordinary quality from the land and of the sea. Also vines of unique taste, with Denomination of Origin. The economy revolves around the agricultural production. El Hierro produces tropical pineapple, bananas and mangos. These products are exported to the oher islands or to Spain.

To bring down the virgin on the trails of El Hierro

The history of the Bajada de La Virgen goes back to the 16th century.  In the Day of the Kings (Día de Reyes) a brigg travelling to the New World leaves a image of a virgin. It was the 6th of january and the present was done in acknowlagement of the food delivery. The pastors put this icon in a cave and it was called the Cave of the Virgin. And the icon was called the Virgin of the Kings (Virgen de Los Reyes).  This virgin turns into the protective patron of La Dehesa, of the cattle and later on of the whole island.

In 1643, after a serious drought, the Virgen de Los Reyes was proclaimed as “titular patron of Water” to claim the credit of the wonder of the end of the drought. This took place at the Bajada de la Virgen which is now celebrated the first Saturday of july every 4 years. The virgin is moved from its sanctuary in a pilgrimage and on the trails of El Hierro to the capital Valverde.

Climate, Landscape and Trails of El Hierro

The Unesco declared El Hierro as Biosphere Reserve (2000). Later (2004) it was declared as Geopark. Little rain falls and a bright sunshine are the main characteristics of the climate of El Hierro. Clear skys and nice temperatures between 19 and 23 degrees during the whole year. A perfect island to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of city life. The skys of El Hierro are between the more clearest and brightest ones. Clear and bright nights are perfect for romantics or for astronomy lovers.

And also breathtaking panoramas and science fiction settings. Streets crossing volcanic landscapes and lava flows. Trees deformed from the wind. Viewing points with breathtaking panoramic views. Lush forests of canarian pine tres and rugged cliffs. And native fauna with the giant lizzards, living relicts of past times. In addition, El Hierro owns relaxing naural swimming pools with turquoise waters. Without doubt, the most spectacular place to take a bath is Charco Azul: an extraordinary natural swimming pool close to Pozo de las Calcosas.

Adventure and Diving

The Marine Reserve  of  “Mar de las Calmas” is one of the 3 Marine Reserves of the Canary Islands. It is one of the best spots in Europe for diving. Due to the clear water with visibility of until 30 meters and the big variety of species this Marine Reserves won deserved fame.

How to reach El Hierro

El Hierro has a little airport for local flights. There are no direct connections to the peninsula or the continent.  To reach the island by plane, first you have to take a flight to the neighboring islands Tenerife or Gran Canaria.  By a connection flight it is posible to reach El Hierro by two companies, Binter or CanaryFly. But i is also posible to travel by boat. From Los Cristianos the two navigation companies Armas and Fred Olsen offer daily connection between El Hierro and Tenerife (4.5 hours).

Trails of El Hierro

The island owns an extended net of trails which crosses and goes around the whole island.  The trails of El Hierro are a heritage of the past when all ways were done on foot. In the present manyo f these trails have been marked based on standard criterio. The paths are kept permanently in best conditions and are appropriate for enjoying  the island on foot. Visitors who want to walk the trails of El Hierro will find many possibilities to enjoy the diversity of landscapes.

Places to visit

Following we propose a series of locations which you should not miss during your stay in El Hierro:

  • The lighthouse of Orchilla: Romantic spot to enjoy the sunset
  • La Llanía: Fairy forest in the center of the volcanic island
  • La Restinga and La Frontera: two charming villages. La Restinga, situated in the south of the island of El Hierro, is known because of suffering the youngest submarine eruption of the canary archipelago (2011).
  • The volcanic arch of Charco Manso.
  • Los Sargos: natural swimming pools, absolutely splendid.
  • Charco Azul: natural swimming pool protected in a natural vault sculpted of the sea.
  • Viewing Point of Isora: situated on 1075 meters. A breathtaking descending trail towards Las Playas and Roque de la Bonanza.
  • Pozo de Las Calcosas, one of the essential rock pools and one of the most impressive ones.
  • Viewing Point/Mirador de Las Playas, one of the most impressive, from there you can contemplate the view to Las Playas
  • Mirador de Jinama, this viewing point is special: you have a priviledged view to the island of La Palma and also to El Golfo; here starts the descending tour to Tigaday, walking with impressive panoramic views overcoming ancient laurel forests.The path is running through open fields, crossing pine forests until reaching the sacred tree of Garoé.