El Hierro

Smallest and most remote of the seven, main Canary Islands, El Hierro is the one that has managed to remain completely untarnished by mass tourism. Home to cryptic ancient writings; giant lizards, and wind-subjugated, wild juniper trees whose tortured and twisted limbs shine white against the infinity of the Atlantic Ocean beyond, El Hierro is as mysterious and magic today as it must have been when Ptolomy placed the Zero Meridian here and proclaimed it the ‘End of the Ancient World’.

El Hierro

El Hierro Overview
El Hierro’s 278km² surface area amalgamates the landscapes of each of its archipelago peers into a single, spectacular island and then trumps them with the addition of green meadows and softly rolling hills, dry stone walls and moorlands, strangely redolent of Yorkshire and the Peak District.

Expansive stark and windswept lava fields strewn with eruptive debris smother the south and west of the island, from the mineral rich waters of Pozo de la Salud to the little harbour of Restinga whose current, oceanic eruptive activity is bringing it unaccustomed world attention. By arrant contrast, the fertile north west of the island is embroidered in vineyards and almond and fruit trees while the floor of the green basin of El Golfo, created by a monumental landslide 50,000 years ago, is carpeted in the silver spikes of pineapples and the torn leaves of banana plants.

Inhospitable cliffs rise almost perpendicular to over 1000 metres, their feet bathed in cyan rock pools and their sides decorated with the bleached bones of sheep whose greed has sent them, literally, over the edge. Sandy beaches are few and far between, some of the nicest being at Timijiraque and Las Playas by the port and La Restinga in the south. But locals are rarely discouraged from spending long summer days by the sea and you’ll find stone walkways and  sunbathing decking in the small and pretty resorts of Tamaduste and La Caleta in the north .

El Hierro

The fact that, until recently, El Hierro was in the Guiness Book of Records for having the smallest hotel in the world gives you some idea of how keen the island is on mass tourism. The handful of visitors who weekly make the three hour ferry trip or the 40 minute flight from Tenerife mainly come to walk the forest paths, dive to the extraordinary subterranean world, cycle the mountain trails and explore the volcanic tubes and caves. Those not heading to the resorts choose to stay at the spectacular, Las Playas setting of the Parador; at one of the rural hotels dotted around the island or in La Frontera in the heart of El Golfo where a nice selection of family run apartments and mainly traditional restaurants provide everything you need as a base.

Buzz Trips Opinion
Of all the Canary Islands, this is the one that most takes you by surprise. If you’re looking for sun, sand, sea and entertainment look elsewhere because what El Hierro does best is tranquilidad (peace and quiet). But if you want to discover a truly beautiful island whose presence lies far below the radar of modern tourism and whose pleasures are derived solely from its natural resources and the smiling warmth of its people, then let El Hierro wash over you.

El Hierro

El Hierro Articles

The other Canary Islands, the green ones

October 17, 2019 Jack 0

Social media can often be a forum full of people spouting things they think they know and doing so with unshakeable, definitive confidence. An example of this caught my eye the other morning in relation to a comment on a sponsored post about the Canary Islands. […]

Worlds of difference, comparing Canary Islands

September 17, 2018 Jack 0

Going into detail about the differences between the Canary Islands would fill a book, so I’m only going to provide a brief snapshot as an illustration why it’s essential to universe-hop when carrying out travel research. […]

The colonial charm of the Canary Islands

June 22, 2017 Jack 0
Quite a few years ago, when we were wearing particularly thick rose-tinted glasses, we had a discussion with a Canarian friend about the beauty of the Canary Islands. Although she loved the islands she took [...]

12 favourite scenes from travel in 2016

January 2, 2017 Jack 0

We’ve lost count of the kilometres we’ve notched up walking through landscapes where nature has done its best to compensate for a year which, in world terms, has seemed a bit of a mess. […]

2 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. El Hierro, Hiking At The Edge Of The World | Walking Tenerife
  2. Weather Forecast for Tenerife from 29 August to 4 September | Walking Tenerife

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