to our newsletter and be the first to know about the BEST TRAVEL DEALS!
Take a look at the rugged beauty of the little-known Canary Island, El Hierro
The seventh Canary Island of El Hierro may not be what immediately springs to mind when Canaries holidays are mentioned. A UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, El Hierro is the smallest of the Canary Islands and offers visitors a serene paradise, well away from the busier beaches and resorts of Tenerife, Lanzarote and its other bigger neighbours.
What it does have in common with the other isles is a dramatic volcanic landscape, and although just over 100 square miles in size, it contains the greatest number of volcanoes of any island in the group, as well as around 70 volcanic caves and galleries. The mountainous landscape is ancient and wild, with juniper and pine forests inland leading down to sea cliffs 3,000 feet high, while areas of the fertile island are also cultivated, raising crops of grapes, figs and almonds.
The island has a population of around 6,000 people, most of whom live in the largest town and capital Valverde. The town has its own little airport, a small beach and port and a handful of plazas, and is surrounded by both pastureland and wild grasslands.
For visitors looking for a swim on El Hierro, there are numerous bays and beaches, as well as natural pools at La Maceta for a refreshing dip. Diving enthusiasts flock to the island thanks to its clear, warm waters and good visibility year-round. The volcanic geography of the underwater terrain produces unique varieties of flora and fauna, and there are various diving centres which can help visitors wanting to explore the surrounding seas.
There are a number of accommodation options on El Hierro, with self-catering villas and apartments popular, as well as campsites for the more adventurous visitor. Local food consists of a lot of fish dishes, as well as rabbit and goat. Other cuisine is similar to the other Canary Islands, with the ubiquitous ‘wrinkled potatoes’ (papas arrugadas) and red and green ‘mojo’ sauces. The island also produces wine and cheeses for export and sale on El Hierro.
One spot not to miss when visiting El Hierro is the La Peña lookout point, perfect for impressive views around the rugged coastlines. The lookout point experience is not complete without a meal at the Mirador de La Peña restaurant for something to chew with a view.
Every four years on El Hierro the Festival of the Virgin of Los Reyes takes place, with people walking from Valverde and La Dehesa, carrying the image of the Virgin Mary in each town they pass through. The festival lasts around a month and involves most of the population of the island, as well as thousands of visitors from overseas.
As well as diving, more energetic visitors to El Hierro can take part in a variety of other sports on the island. Paragliding and surfing both give visitors new perspectives from which to enjoy El Hierro’s unique landscapes.
Powered by Facebook Comments
Cheska is a resident blogger at Beat the Brochure who has spent many a good year backpacking round the world, as well as a stint living in Beijing. Cheska has visited 6 out of 7 continents and will, repeat will, visit the last one before turning 30. Cheska is an avid CSI fan, streetfood expert and cat lover who can often be found with chocolate on her desk.