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Die Bucht von Tacaron auf El Hierro, Bild: gadzius / shutterstock

El Hierro – the natural island paradise of the Canary Islands

El Hierro is not only the smallest and westernmost island of the Canary Islands, but a true natural paradise. Mass tourism passed El Hierro by and so the small island paradise presents itself not only with a breathtakingly beautiful volcanic landscape, but also with a fascinating flora and fauna. The gem clearly stands out from the sister islands and invites you to explore and enjoy nature. The small island has long since made a name for itself as a sustainable travel destination, as the island is completely self-sufficient with renewable energies and relies on nature tourism.

Sights and the unique natural beauty of El-Hierro

Valverde, El Hierro
Valverde, Image: Alexandre Arocas / shutterstock

The jewel of El Hierro was declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 2000. This clearly shows the sustainable development of the island in ecological, economic and social terms. Unlike on the sister islands, there are no shopping and strolling miles on El Hierro, but there are still numerous sights. A special highlight is the Iglesias de la Concepción church in Valverde. The 18th-century church delights visitors with its uniquely beautiful architecture. In general, the main town of Valverde is extremely worth seeing and inspires with its traditional atmosphere. Another hotspot is the Faro de Orchilla. The lighthouse in the west of the island is a popular destination, especially in the evening hours, because here you can enjoy a wonderful sunset.

Mirador de La Peña

One of the most beautiful viewpoints on the island is the Mirador de La Peña. From here, the Al Golfo Valley lies at the feet of the visitor and the view of the fabulously beautiful island landscape is breathtaking. The viewpoint is a complex built by the architect and artist César Manrique, consisting of small gardens on different levels and a restaurant.

Frontera Landscape Park

An absolute must is a hike through the Frontera Landscape Park. Here you can enjoy the diverse vegetation of the island and the dense forests with old juniper trees create a special atmosphere. Many of the trees are severely deformed due to the harsh climate, so that some of the plants offer a bizarre sight.

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Charco Azul

Charco Azul, El Hierro
Charco Azul, Image: acongar / shutterstock

One of the most beautiful spots on the island is located on the north coast of the island, as this is where Charco Azul is located. It is a natural swimming pool created by volcanic eruptions in the El Golfo Valley, which invites you to swim with its turquoise green water.

Dreamlike natural landscape

In general, the natural landscape of the Canary Island is extremely worth seeing and so hikes through the panoramic landscapes are worthwhile. In addition to dense forests, there are impressive lava rock formations, sand dunes, the cloud forest and much more. Especially the variety of colors of the rocky landscapes is extremely picturesque and so the landscape often looks as if it was created by an artist’s hand.

The island of idyllic bays

El Hierro’s coastal landscape is mostly very steep and so accessible beaches are only available in a manageable number. However, some wonderful bays make up for the fact that there are no endless beaches, because they are very idyllic. Of course, the aforementioned Chaco Azul natural swimming pool invites you to swim, but there are other beautiful bays and beaches on the Canary Island that are worth visiting.

Bahia de Timijiraque – the family beach

The black-sand beach Bahia de Timijiraque is a particularly family-friendly beach and one of the most beautiful beaches in El Hierro. The beautiful bay invites you to relax and offers a shallow water entry and a low wave, so the bay is very suitable for children.

Las Playas – wildly romantic bay

In the east of the island, Las Playas Bay beckons, which is bordered by huge rock formations. The wildly romantic atmosphere of the bay is enhanced by the grey-black pebble beach, which forms a wonderful contrast to the deep blue sea. Divers in particular are enthusiastic about the bay, because thanks to the clear water, the colourful underwater world of El Hierro can be explored particularly well here.

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Playa de Tacorón – picturesque beach landscape

Playa de Tacorón is located in the south of the Canary Island. The combination of reddish cliffs, black sand and lava rock is impressive. Although the waves are a bit stronger here, you can still swim here without any problems. Divers also like to use the bay for exploration tours, because not only is the beach beautiful here, but the underwater world is also extremely diverse.

Playa del Verodal – the red beach

The largest beach on the island is Playa del Verodal. It is one of the few beaches in the world that is characterized by red sand. The play of colours of countless shades of red and brown alone makes a visit to Playa del Verodal worthwhile. But the beach is also surrounded by beautiful high rock walls and offers a great, wind-protected picnic area with barbecue facilities and seating.

Facts about El-Hierro

  1. Geography: El Hierro is a volcanic island and part of the Canary archipelago. It covers an area of about 278 square kilometers and has a coastline of about 107 kilometers.
  2. Population: The island has a population of about 10,000 people (as of 2021). The largest city and capital of El Hierro is Valverde.
  3. UNESCO Biosphere Reserve: El Hierro has been recognized by UNESCO as a Biosphere Reserve. The island is known for its unique ecology and its efforts to promote sustainability and environmental protection.
  4. Volcanic heritage: El Hierro is known for its volcanic activity. The El Hierro volcano is the youngest volcano in the Canary Islands and had its last eruption in 2011. The volcanic landscape of the island offers impressive landscapes and hiking trails.
  5. Renewable energy: El Hierro prides itself on having an almost entirely renewable energy supply. The island uses wind and hydropower to generate electricity and aims to be independent of fossil fuels.
  6. Diving paradise: The waters around El Hierro are known for their biodiversity and are a popular destination for divers. There are a variety of dive sites to explore coral reefs, rock formations, and rich marine life.
  7. Nature Reserves: El Hierro has several nature reserves that help protect the island’s unique flora and fauna. For example, the nature reserve “Mar de las Calmas”, known for its clear waters and its underwater caves.
  8. Rest and relaxation: El Hierro is often referred to as the quietest and most unspoiled of the Canary Islands. The island offers a relaxed atmosphere and is a popular destination for people who want to escape mass tourism and enjoy nature.