The island of El Hierro, so fashionable recently because of the appearance of a small volcano next to its coasts or the Movisyar series, and so unknown because most of the tourism, and thanks, takes it to its sister islands, makes that they visit it return with more than one memory difficult to forget. The island of El Hierro is the smallest, southern and western of the Canary Islands, and this isolation away from the tourist centers of Tenerife or Great Canaria They make it lonely, beautiful and with spectacular landscapes and seabed.
El Hierro Island, Frontera
El Hierro Island
The most isolated island
El Hierro is the Canary Island with the largest number of open-sky volcanoes, more than 500, and one of the islands with the largest number of caves or volcanic tubes. It is an island of contrasts and relatively small, because you can spend in just a few minutes of being in front of the sea to touch the sky at 1,500m in Misstep, the highest point of the island.
We depart on a spring morning from Los Cristianos, Tenerife, heading by boat to port of La Estaca, the access point by sea to the island.
The first thing you see about El Hierro when you approach by boat are its huge cliffs, which surround much of the island, and the Parador de El Hierro, located in front of the sea enjoying a privileged position and some isolation.
Our first goal on the island was to dive in The Restinga, possibly the best diving point in all of Spain, and tour the island watching its volcanoes, pine forests and cliffs.
The Resting It is a small fishing village that has become a meeting place for many divers in the world. Currently its waters are home to rich flora and fauna such as black and yellow coral, seahorses, roosters, medregales, tunas, puffer fish, parrot fish, trumpet, turtles, moray eels and occasionally whale or hammerhead dolphins and sharks. All this diversity is within the Marine Reserve Punta Restinga Mar de las Calmas, where its crystalline waters allow you to see on clear days beyond 30m.
Diving on the Island of Iron
There we were able to make several dives, some of them nocturnal, and taste the fish that fishermen bring to the terraces of the port.
Already out of La Restinga, traveling west you find the Orchilla lighthouse, a historical point of the island since here was until 1884 the meridian 0, now known as the Greenwich meridian, the name of the British city where it passes. Not far from there you can find one of the few beaches on the island, the Verodal beach, a beach of black and volcanic sand ideal for sunbathing or resting.
El Sabinar de El Hierro
Departing from the Verodal beach, a little further east, you will find the Sabinate, a story place where the wind has molded the trees creating strange and sometimes gloomy forms, giving a hint at night to the films of Tim Burton.
From Sabinar, address BorderOn the coast you can find the smallest hotel in the world, the hotel Punta Grande, located by the sea where the imposing waves of the Atlantic shake this part of the coast day after day.
The smallest hotel in the world
In Frontera we find a beautiful hermitage located on top of a hill on Calle El Congreso, from which you can see all this area of the island. Frontera is surrounded by imposing cliffs to the south and the sea to the north, making the occasional traveler think that this area of the island is really isolated, but no, just to get out of this “valley” you just have to take the tunnel that access the northwest side of the island, towards the Mirador de la Peña.
If I had to opt for a viewpoint, maybe it would be for him Peña Viewpoint, where there is a fabulous restaurant designed by the architect Cesar Manrique, which in addition to being able to enjoy traditional Canarian food, you can dine next to a window that gives a vertigo cliff.
The capital, Valverde
And finally Valverde, the capital, where I remember a quiet city, without traffic lights, with many narrow streets and a cinema, perhaps the only one on the whole island. After all, El Hierro has scarcely 10,000 inhabitants, the least populated island of all the Canary Islands.
Once we finished our tour of El Hierro we went to Gomera and La Palma, but this is another story and it is another trip.
When to go?
One of the privileges that the Canary Islands have is the weather, since the average throughout the year ranges between 18 and 24 degrees, therefore, any time is good.
How to get?
You can arrive by plane since it has a small airport, however if you come traveling through the Canaries perhaps the best option is to arrive by boat from Tenerife.Fred-Olsen departs every day, except Saturdays, at 10:30 from Los Christians and in the afternoon partNaviera Armas doing the same route at 19h.
Once there, touring the island is easy, just rent a car (you can take it from Tenerife if you want), but reserve it in advance as there is a limited number of vehicles on any small island in the world.
What to wear
With this good weather, flip flops, a t-shirt and shorts for everyday life, but if you really like adventure, take everything you need to practice trekking, mountain biking or diving. In El Hierro everything is possible.
Where to sleep?
You can opt for the El Hierro Parador as a unique place and with some luxury, or enjoy the rural atmosphere in any of the rural houses around the island.