Things to do on El Hierro

Written by Ava


Are you on the hunt for the perfect holiday destination? One that strikes a flawless balance between thrill-seeking adventure, serene relaxation, and pristine natural beauty? You’re certainly not alone in this quest.

It can be quite the challenge finding a spot that ticks all those boxes without winding up in the same overcrowded spots as everyone else. I’ve spent nights pondering over where to venture next, yearning for somewhere distinctive yet utterly enthralling.

And would you believe it? I stumbled upon a hidden jewel named El Hierro.

This charming slice of paradise nestled within the Canary Islands may well be travel’s best-kept secret – until now, that is. Thanks to its breath-taking landscapes and diligent preservation efforts, El Hierro was honoured with Unesco Geopark status back in 2014, solidifying its reputation as an eco-conscious traveller’s utopia.

After diligently researching everything this island has to offer (and let me tell you, it’s quite a bit), I have compiled a guide teeming with its dazzling sights, sumptuous cuisine options, exhilarating nature activities and so much more.

Prepared for an unforgettable escape? Let’s set off on our adventure through El Hierro together!


El Hierro packs a punch with its jaw-dropping spots; think stunning lookouts and beaches where you can laze the day away. It’s like a treasure chest, with each discovery more exciting than the last – from hidden natural pools to unique museums that tell tales of days gone by.

Key Takeaways

El Hierro, a part of the Canary Islands, got its Unesco Geopark status in 2014 for its amazing landscapes and eco-friendly travel options.

You can explore beautiful spots like Mirador de la Pena Lookout for great views, relax at Playa de Tacoron Beach or swim in natural pools like La Maceta.


  • The Ecomuseo de Guinea y Lagartario gives you a peek into the island’s history and efforts to save local lizards. It offers tours with food tasting too.


  • For food lovers, trying out a bimbachinche and tasting the traditional quesadilla is a must on El Hierro. These dishes show off the island’s rich flavours.


  • Adventure seekers can dive in La Restinga’s Marine Reserve, hike scenic trails across the island or explore unique places like the twisted trees of El Sabinar and Lava Tunnel of Guinea.

Mirador de la Pena Lookout

I got to visit Mirador de la Pena Lookout and wow, the views took my breath away! From up high, I saw amazing sights of El Hierro’s north side. It’s quite a spot for anyone who loves nature or just wants to see something beautiful.

The lookout shows off the island’s diverse landscapes, from rocky shores to misty clouds brought in by trade winds. Getting there was easy too – I just hopped on Bus 5 from Valverde.

This place isn’t just about staring at pretty scenes; there are sightseeing tours and walking paths to explore. For folks like me who prefer wandering around on their own, it’s perfect for self-guided tours too.

After soaking in the scenic beauty here, I’m ready to hit Playa de Tacoron Beach next!

Playa de Tacoron Beach

Playa de Tacoron Beach is truly a gem on El Hierro. Here, sunbathing feels like a hug from the sun and snorkelling turns into an adventure with colourful fish and clear waters. The beauty of this place? It’s not just about the warm sand or the cool sea.

There’s something magical in how peaceful it all feels, making it perfect for anyone looking to relax. And let me tell you – the sunsets are out of this world! Picture yourself sitting by the water as the sky turns shades of pink and gold.

That’s what evenings at Playa de Tacoron are made of.

Not far from this beachy paradise is Piscina Natural La Maceta – another spot that shouldn’t be missed. Imagine natural swimming pools carved right into volcanic rock, with waves gently crashing over the sides.

So, after enjoying everything Playa de Tacoron has to offer, why not take a short trip to La Maceta for another unforgettable experience?.

Ecomuseo de Guinea y Lagartario

Ecomuseo de Guinea y Lagartario is a must-see spot on El Hierro. I was amazed to learn it’s built on an old settlement and offers a sneak peek into the island’s past life, traditions, and social ways.

They’ve even got archaeological stuff to show off. What truly caught my eye was their work with the El Hierro Giant Lizard Recovery Centre — these folks have pulled these cool reptiles back from the edge of vanishing.

Feeling like Indiana Jones yet? This place wraps you in its unique culture while showing how they’re saving local lizards.

Their guided tour isn’t just a walk in the park; it’s an adventure through history with stops for tasting local food and wine — talk about living the good life! You’ll leave understanding a bit more about what made this island tick centuries ago, all thanks to the Bimbaches.

Ready to taste some traditional quesadilla next?

Food on El Hierro

I found myself in a bimbachinche, a cosy corner on El Hierro where the menu sings tales of land and sea. These traditional food houses are gems for anyone keen to taste local gastronomy shaped by nature itself.

Here, every dish reflects the island’s lush environment and deep-rooted rural culture. It’s like getting a hearty hug from Mother Nature herself, but through your taste buds!

Sampling the fare at a bimbachinche means diving fork-first into rich flavours that tell stories of El Hierro’s fertile soils and salty seas. I couldn’t help but feel connected to this unique place with every bite. 

Sampling the traditional quesadilla

So, there I was, eager to try every bit of El Hierro’s food scene. And guess what caught my eye? The traditional quesadilla! Now, this isn’t your average cheesy snack. It’s a sweet treat made with local cheese, lemon, cinnamon, sugar, and aniseed.

Seriously, the blend of flavours is mind-blowing.

Nature-Based Activities in El Hierro

El Hierro offers amazing adventures in nature, where you can really feel the island’s wild side. From cool dips in natural pools to hiking trails with jaw-dropping views, there’s something for every outdoor lover here.

Bathing in natural pools

I must say, taking a dip in the natural pools on El Hierro is like finding a hidden piece of paradise. Places like Tamaduste, Charco Azul, and La Maceta are gems where you can swim and relax away from the ocean’s waves.

These spots are shielded from the open sea, making them peaceful havens for a good splash or just to chill out.

The water in these natural pools is crystal clear – thanks to being part of the Marine Reserve near La Restinga. It’s so clean and free from pollution that after you dive in, you feel refreshed in a way that only pure nature can manage.

Plus, with such pristine surroundings, it’s easy to spend hours here admiring the view both above and under the water.

Diving in La Restinga

Diving in La Restinga is a must-do for anyone visiting El Hierro. The Marine Reserve here boasts some of the cleanest waters you’ll ever see, thanks to its isolation and lack of pollution.

It’s like plunging into a whole new world where the sea life thrives, untouched and vibrant. Every dive reveals something unique as you explore underwater landscapes shaped by volcanic eruptions.

What makes this spot truly special is the chance to see creatures that call this place home, many of which you won’t find anywhere else on Earth. Picture swimming alongside schools of fish that seem to glow against the backdrop of lava-formed rocks – it’s an experience straight out of a dream.

And with visibility often extending up to 50 meters, every detail stands out in stark beauty beneath the waves at La Restinga.

Hiking the scenic trails

I must say, hiking on El Hierro is like stepping into a different world. The trails wind through laurisilva forests that seem to whisper ancient tales, past craggy coastlines that make you feel you’re at the edge of the world, and across cliffs where your heart skips just by peering down.

These paths aren’t just walks; they’re adventures waiting to be lived. As I lace up my boots and set off, every turn presents a new vista – lush forests here, spring flowers there, and those iconic wind-sculpted juniper trees that look like something from a fantasy novel.

The island’s volcanic heart adds drama to the landscape with its rich tapestry of colour – greens of every hue clash with stark black rock under skies so blue they hurt your eyes in all the right ways.

Historical and Cultural Experiences

Step into history and culture like never before – feel the stories, touch the past, and find yourself lost in time. You’ll want to keep exploring!

Visiting the Ecomuseum of Guinea

I had a brilliant time at the Ecomuseum of Guinea. This place is like a window to the past, showing how people on the island lived through the centuries. And guess what? It’s set right on an ancient settlement.

Walking around, I could feel the stories whispering from every corner.

The cherry on top was meeting those large El Hierro Giant Lizards at their Recovery Centre. They’re fighting off extinction with some help from this museum. Also, exploring that 90 metres long lava tunnel felt like being in another world for a moment.

Just me, my thoughts, and echoes in the cool darkness.. It’s something I won’t forget anytime soon!

Twisted trees of El Sabinar

I’ve got to say, seeing the twisted trees of El Sabinar is something else. These aren’t your everyday trees – nope. They’ve been shaped by trade winds over the years, turning into real-life sculptures that you won’t find just anywhere.

It’s like nature decided to show off its artistic side and boy, did it succeed! The way these junipers twist and turn; it’s as if they’re dancing slowly with the wind.

There’s this vibe in El Sabinar that’s hard to shake off once you’ve been there. You feel like you’ve stepped into a different world where time moves at its own pace, and everything has learned to bend but not break under the pressure of the elements.

This place is a testament to adaptability – showing us how even in harsh conditions, beauty finds a way to emerge triumphant. Trust me when I say that your camera will love it here as much as your eyes do!

Fishermen’s trade in La Restinga

La Restinga is a tiny fishing port at the southern tip of El Hierro, and it’s like stepping into another world. Here, I got to see how the local fishermen live and work. It was fascinating to learn about their day-to-day life, bringing in their catch under the sun.

They use techniques passed down through generations, showing me how deeply rooted fishing is in their culture.

The whole village buzzes with energy, especially when boats come back full of fish. You can feel the excitement in the air as everyone helps out. Watching this made me appreciate where my seafood dinner comes from – it’s more than just food; it’s a story on a plate.

Next up? Marveling at El Hierro’s unique trees at El Sabinar!

Lava Tunnel of Guinea

You won’t believe the thrill of stepping into the Lava Tunnel of Guinea. This 90-meter long natural wonder pulls you straight into the heart of El Hierro’s volcanic landscapes. Walking through, you’ll feel a chill as you imagine molten lava flowing right where your feet are now.

It’s like a journey to the center of the earth, but with sunlight waiting at the end.

The air inside is cool, and every step echoes against ancient rock walls. Guides share stories that sound like fairy tales about how these tunnels formed thousands of years ago during volcanic eruptions.

Each word adds to the magic, making you look at those dark walls with awe and respect for nature’s power.

What is Your Favourite Canary Island?


Gran Canaria

Gran Canaria, oh what a place! It’s like Tenerife’s sibling but with its own unique charm. I found myself exploring stunning beaches that seemed to stretch on forever. The dunes of Maspalomas felt like stepping onto another planet, with golden sands as far as the eye could see.

Culture vultures, listen up! The capital city, Las Palmas, is a treasure trove brimming with history and life. From the cobbled streets of Vegueta to the buzz around Playa de Las Canteras, every corner has a story.  Trust me; Gran Canaria is not just another stopover – it’s an adventure all by itself.


Tenerife lights up the night with its buzzing bars, clubs, and eateries. It’s a place where music echoes into the early hours, making every evening an adventure. For those after something a bit calmer, there are beautiful beaches to relax on and stunning landscapes that look like they’re straight out of a painting.

During the day, Tenerife doesn’t slow down. You can explore Teide National Park or splash around in Siam Park. Want more? How about boat trips that let you spy on dolphins or scuba diving to meet underwater creatures? And if you visit during Christmas or New Year’s, get ready for extra fun with special shows and activities that bring everyone together.


So, I’ve got to tell you about Fuerteventura. This place is a treasure on its own, famed for its unique architecture that’s caught the eye of UNESCO. Imagine wandering through streets lined with buildings that tell stories from ages past—pretty cool, right? It’s like stepping into a different era where every corner and cobblestone has something new to whisper to you.

And here’s a little secret between us; it’s not just about the buildings. The vibe of this island is something else. You’re walking where history left its mark, surrounded by landscapes that seem almost too beautiful to be real. Trust me, your Instagram won’t know what hit it! So why not add Fuerteventura to your travel list? Maybe we’ll bump into each other there.


After exploring Fuerteventura, I couldn’t wait to see what Lanzarote had in store. Guess what? This island blew my mind with its unique architecture – thanks, UNESCO! Lanzarote’s soil isn’t just any dirt; it’s volcanic magic that makes wine taste heavenly.

Now, hiking is not always my thing but the trails here? Absolutely worth every step for the views alone.

Whale-watching turned out to be an unexpected highlight of my trip. Different seasons bring different whales closer to Lanzarote’s shores. Picture me on a boat, eyes wide open, spotting these majestic creatures in their natural habitat – unforgettable! So yeah, saying goodbye to this island wasn’t easy at all.

La Graciosa

I’ve got to tell you about La Graciosa, a little gem just north of Lanzarote. This place is part of the Chinijo Archipelago and it’s nothing short of magical with its stunning beaches, clear waters, and unique volcanic landscapes.

Getting there is easy peasy – a quick ferry ride from Lanzarote.

Now, if you’re like me and love finding spots where you can just relax without bumping into too many people, La Graciosa is your go-to island. It offers this tranquil vibe that’s hard to find these days. Imagine walking on soft sands or swimming in crystal-clear water without the usual crowd. Plus, exploring those volcanic landscapes makes you feel like an adventurer discovering uncharted territories! 

La Gomera

After soaking up the charms of La Graciosa, it’s time to whisk ourselves over to another gem in the Canaries – La Gomera. This island is a paradise for those who love nature and adventure.

Its unique landscapes and ancient forests almost make you feel like you’ve stepped into another world. The Garajonay National Park, with its misty paths and lush greenery, whispers secrets of an olden age.

Exploring this mystical island reveals more than just stunning views; it offers a deep dive into a culture preserved through centuries. From the enchanting whistled language known as “El Silbo” to quaint villages that dot the landscape, every corner tells a story.

The local food will delight your taste buds too – fresh fish and palm honey are must-tries here. Trust me, La Gomera isn’t just a place you visit; it’s an experience that stays with you long after you’ve left its shores.

La Palma

Moving on from the lush La Gomera, we jump over to La Palma. This is another gem in the Canary Islands you can’t miss. I found that hopping on a ferry or catching a short flight from Tenerife gets you there quite easily.

Once there, the choices for where to stay are plenty – hotels, resorts, cosy holiday rentals, and guesthouses all ready to welcome you.

La Palma blew me away with its local food scene – think fresh seafood and unique dishes that have their own story. It’s not just about eating; it’s an experience! And if you’re like me, loving nature and animals, this island has got you covered.

There are spots where you can marvel at diverse plants and creatures all day long. Plus, I soaked up some culture by checking out historic sites and museums – each telling tales of La Palma’s rich past. So yes, adding La Palma to your Tenerife trip? Absolutely worth it 

El Hiero

So, after soaking up the magic of La Palma, it’s time to talk about El Hierro. This little gem in the Canary Islands is a haven for those who love peace and untouched nature. You can hop on a ferry from Tenerife to get here.

It feels like stepping into another world—a place that moves at its own slow pace.

El Hierro is big on keeping things green and clean. They’re all about renewable energy and keeping their island beautiful and healthy. If you’re someone who loves exploring nature without crowds, this is your spot.

Imagine walking through forests and along coastlines where it’s just you, the birds, and maybe a few curious lizards. The air here smells like freedom—with a hint of salt from the sea.

And let’s not forget the adventures waiting for you under water; diving here feels like discovering a secret world full of colour.