El Hierro in detail


El Hierro is perhaps best known as a scuba-diving destination, with La Restinga at its epicentre, but there's also outstanding hiking across the island. Other popular activities include splashing around in natural volcanic-rock pools, touring a growing number of wineries and the odd spot of yoga and meditation.

Hiking on El Hierro

El Hierro bursts with scenic hiking trails, many of them fairly gentle and family-friendly (but nonetheless impressive), though there are also a few very demanding (and rewarding) walks. Routes are either long-distance GR trails (marked with red-and-white signs), 10km-plus PR trails (marked in yellow and white), or short local SL trails (marked in green and white). Valverde's tourist office offers hiking tips and has a basic map outlining routes and distances, though it's best to come armed with a detailed guide such as Walking on La Gomera & El Hierro (Cicerone; 2016).

The island's best-known path is the 27km Camino de la Virgen, stretching from the Ermita de Nuestra Señora de los Reyes to Valverde (eight hours); this ancient trail is walked by thousands during the Bajada de la Virgen de los Reyes and can be tackled in stages. Other challenging walks include the thigh-burning 3.8km Camino de Isora between the Mirador de Isora and Las Playas (two hours); the historical 4.4km cliff-traversing Camino de Jinama between La Frontera and the Mirador de Jinama (2½ hours); and the climb up to the Fuente de Mencáfete (a branch of the PREH1, in the island's west).

Among the gentler worthwhile trails are the 4.2km Camino de la Llanía through elevated laurisilva forest (1½ hours) and El Golfo's 2.5km, 45-minute coastal Las Puntas–La Maceta walk.