El Hierro - Escape to Nature in the Canary Islands

Back when people thought that the Earth was flat, El Hierro seemed to be the last place in the west where you could sail without falling off the planet into outer space.

Nowadays, travelling to this green Canary Island is much easier. The majority of people who visit the island are independent travellers who plan and organise everything themselves. Many of them choose to find accommodation in nearby Tenerife or another of the Canary Islands and include a few day excursions to El Hierro during their stay. 

In a very short time, El Hierro´s reputation as a great nature-lovers destination has spread widely throughout the world. The green paradise of the Canary Islands is extremely beautiful, unique and has remained fairly untouched - unlike its better-known neighbour islands. You can´t find shopping centres or noisy English bars here. Therein lies the true attraction of El Hierro.

Nature lovers, this one´s for you. 

A Different Canary Island

El Hierro island, Canary Islands

El Hierro is the smallest of the Canary Islands and a mere 10,000 people have the privilege of calling this amazing place home. The beautiful scenery of the island hasn´t been spoiled by hotels and artificial beaches. El Hierro offers travellers a chance to get in touch with nature while travelling through these stunning landscapes, sleepy villages and fascinating forests. 

The true charm of El Hierro is its completely unique nature. On this tiny island of 30 kilometres across the landscapes and weather change constantly, a heavy rainstorm can change into clear skies in a matter of minutes. 

El Hierro also has an exceptional underwater world and an ocean full of secrets. Many divers travel here to discover the unique marine life of the island. 

Energy Self-Sufficient island

El Hierro, Canary Islands

The rich nature is extremely valuable to the people of El Hierro. The island has a very ambitious goal to reach full energy sovereignty (creating enough energy to meet the demands of the island) by using renewable energy sources. El Hierro opened a new hydro-wind power station in 2015 and it is already producing more than half of the energy needed by the island.

Another goal is to make people only drive eco-friendly, electric vehicles. That's the reason why you´ll find car charging ports in the most peculiar places on the island. 

These important eco-projects have gained attention throughout the world and the green image of El Hierro is attracting tourists and scientists to the island. The environmentally friendly El Hierro is also one of UNESCO's recognised biosphere reserve areas

 El Hierro might just be the greenest island in the world. 

The Many Faces of El Hierro

La Frontera valley, El Hierro Island

The landscapes of El Hierro changes on a minute to minute basis. Striking green foliage, misty forests, fertile valleys, volcanic scenery and privileged views of the blue Atlantic ocean all do wonders for the soul of the traveller. 

It is necessary to rent a car in El Hierro in order to reach the most fascinating places. 

El Hierro, Canary Islands

The west-coast of El Hierro is the most deserted and sparsely populated area of the island. Nevertheless, it is recommended to drive the winding, small road from El Pinar to the small village of Sabinosa and all the way to the city of La Frontera. You´ll be able to enjoy one of the most striking landscapes while driving. We recommend you to check the road conditions beforehand because sometimes they can be closed due to landslides. 

La Frontera, El Hierro

There´s hardly any beaches on the island, but you can enjoy a whole different swimming experience when you dip into one of the natural pools of the island. You´ll also find many recreational areas with picnic tables and barbecue spots around the island. Many of them have man-made stairs to the sea to make swimming easier.

If you'd prefer to stay on a Canary Island with some of the most beautiful beaches in Spain, then have a look at our selection of accommodation to rent on Fuerteventura. Renowned for its unbeatable beaches, this island offers the perfect base for a holiday in the Canaries and it is very easy to get to El Hierro from here.    

The best natural pools on El Hierro are Charco Azul and La Maceta, both situated in La Frontera and Pozo de Calcosas in the northern tip of the island. 

Natural pools of Pozo de Calcosas, El Hierro

Underwater Volcano

Another reason why El Hierro is drawing international attention is because of a fascinating secret deep down in the blue waters of the island. There is an underwater volcano pushing up from the ocean right in front of the small fishing harbour of La Restinga. 

In 2011, all 600 inhabitants of La Restinga were evacuated when the underwater cone started spewing a huge amount of gas into the air after a 4.3 magnitude earthquake. 

La Restinga village, El Hierro

The volcano gases turned the sea green and magma bubbles could be seen right in front of the small fishing village. The volcano is getting closer to the sea level every day and at the moment the tip is just 70 metres from the surface. 

Will this volcano be the next newcomer in the Canary Islands collection? That remains to be seen. 

How to get there...

Las Playas, El Hierro

You can get to El Hierro from the neighbouring islands of Tenerife, La Gomera and Gran Canaria. Flights and ferries go to the island regularly and the prices of both are similar.

The Canary Islands has its own airline - Binter - and it flies from Tenerife and Gran Canaria to El Hierro daily. The airline also sells flights to El Hierro from the other Canary Islands, but there will always be a stopover in Tenerife or Gran Canaria on the way.

If you choose to stay on one of the other Canary Islands and make a day-trip or excursion to El Hierro then perhaps staying in a private holiday home on Gran Canaria would be a convenient idea or even a holiday apartment on Lanzarote, which is the furthest away of the Canary Islands but has a lot to offer for all ages.   

A slower but comfortable option is to travel to El Hierro on a ferry. Naviera Armas travels to El Hierro six times a week from Los Cristianos, Tenerife. The same company connects El Hierro with La Gomera island. 

Map of El Hierro