Part of the Canary Islands, El Hierro has escaped the development that swamped parts of the archipelago. Instead, El Hierro will mesmerise you with wild and rugged scenery. Exploring the protected UNESCO Geopark, you can swim in shimmering natural pools, hike through juniper forests and explore dramatic volcanic landscapes.
Things to do in El Hierro
Valverde, the captivating capital, is a great base for exploring El Hierro. Nestled in the hillsides, the town will charm you with its whitewashed houses and sun-drenched plazas. There are plenty of cafes and restaurants where you can try traditional Canarian dishes like grilled sea bass, “papas arrugadas” potatoes and “ropa vieja” shredded beef.
Start your day with a refreshing dip at La Maceta, a series of turquoise pools on the north-west coast of the island. Sheltered from the waves, you’ll love swimming in the crystalline water. Visit in the evening to enjoy a sunset dip followed by a seafood meal at the local beach bar. Charco Manso is another popular natural pool, with fascinating volcanic rock formations and lava arches to admire.
El Hierro is dotted with evocative historic sites like Ermita de Nuestra Señora de los Reyes. The whitewashed church dates back to the 18th century and houses an image of Our Lady of the Kings, the island’s beloved patron saint. Stroll around the pine-shaded churchyard and explore scenic trails that lead into the surrounding hillsides.
Ecomuseo de Guinea charts the rich history and heritage of the island. Guided tours are the best way to explore the open-air museum and find out more about the centuries-old houses it protects. Next door is Lagartario, a wildlife sanctuary where you can get up close with endangered El Hierro giant lizards.
Getting around El Hierro
All towns, resorts and villages in El Hierro are pedestrian-friendly and easy to get around on foot. Rental cars offer the freedom to explore the island at your own pace. Daily flights run between El Hierro Airport and Tenerife and Gran Canaria, or you can take the ferry from Tenerife.