El Hierro, once known as the end of the world until Columbus sailed the ocean in 1492, is the most western most island of the peninsula. It is one of the smallest and remote islands of the Canaries, but that is part of its appeal, for a secluded beach break to remember. There is stark volcanic landscape, impenetrable cliff lined shores and an idyllic location in the middle of the Atlantic.
The island is relaxed and slow paced which adds to its character. El Hierro is a great place to escape the crowds and retreat. The largest town has less than two thousand residents, with crops of figs, almonds, vines, pineapples, mangoes, bananas and potatoes to feed on!
Things to do
Despite its remoteness, there are plenty of things to do and see in El Hierro. A wide range of sports and outdoor activities are available to visitors and the beach is well worth a visit. There is a massive amphitheatre of imposing cliffs that have now been declared as a national monument because of their geo-morphological value. There are other great natural sites such as the Ventejis mountain range, located North of the island which have stunning views.
Frontera Rural is the largest park on the island. At El Julan you’ll see some fascinating rock engravings and aboriginal ruins. El Hierro has its own Craft Centre in Valverde and also it is home to the smallest hotel in the world – the Punta Grande Hotel.
Due to its fantastic location, there is no surprise to learn that there are plenty of surf shops to buy your essential water sport items. However, it’s hard to place El Hierro as a retail capital but there are a few small clothes shops, a pharmacy and your usual banks and garages. The airport is your best bet for duty free goods.
On the remote island of El Hierro, tourists can relax in the lovely and characteristic clubs of Valverde and of La Restinga which is a bit more exciting.
Don’t leave without trying the superb Vina Frontera Blanco. It’s definitely the best white wine on the Canary Islands. Try it with the local cheese (a blend delicious of cow, sheep and goat milk) – very tasty!
Delicious, fresh seafood is the main attraction at most restaurants in La Restinga. This friendly place, popular with locals, is no exception, serving up hearty portions of fresh fish, soup, salad, papas (potatoes) and grilled meats. Warmly recommended.
Serving fresh fish and seafood (the restaurant has its own fishing boat), El Refugio is one block up from the waterfront. To get there, follow the sounds of the singing bird, which lives in a cage outside the restaurant.
Set above a pharmacy, with picture windows looking down onto the main street, this is Valverde’s finest dining experience. Specialities include steak with local cheese, and the fresh catch served in burgundy sauce.