On January 20, 2002 El Hierro was recognized by UNESCO as the first (and the only in the world) biosphere reserve. This fact and the general interest in ecology around the world gave a powerful boost to the development of ecotourism on the island.
Biosphere reserve, geological and archaeological heritage of the El Hierro geopark, flora and fauna; crafts and festivals, hiking, diving, nature photography, studying the whales - this is an incomplete list of what the lovers of nature and authentic cultures can do on the island.
Top 10 places you should not miss if you are a true wildlife lover.
El Charco Azul
Blue Grotto is a small natural pool with incredibly clear water. There are many nice small places like this on the island, but blue grotto is the most famous poetic place where you can simply lie in the water listening to the ocean waves.
Faro de Orchilla – Orchilla Lighthouse
In the old times, the Europeans considered this place to be the end of the world.
It is worth going there to see with your own eyes the place where the end of the world had happened. Until 1885, the prime meridian ran through this point (now it runs through the village of Greenwich).
Laurel forest de Las Playas
This is a forest where fairies live. That is what you will think when you walk through the dense and moist rainforest - a real miracle on such a severe volcanic island.
You can choose from 3 touristic routes of different lengths.
Natural monument de Las Playas
El Hierro is a wild and pristine island. This place was formed because of numerous landslides. The combination of crystal clear water, black volcanic sand and an unusual terrain makes it one of the most beautiful places on this island.
Viewing place de la Peña
It offers the first-class views on the entire west coast of the island and El Golfo Bay. At the very top of the viewing platform is the famous De la Pena restaurant, designed by Cesar Manrique.
Another little nature miracle. Tacoron Beach is a tiny bay surrounded by brightly colored cliffs and just a few meters of reddish sand. The color contrast is bright and hard.
Plateau El Sabinar
It is located in the northwestern part of the island, on the La Dehesa Plateau. "Sabina" means "juniper" in Spanish. Sabinar is famous for juniper took bizarre forms under the influence of northeast winds blowing for centuries.
Juniper is one of the symbols of El Hierro, classified as a species under special protection. Wood collection is strictly prohibited in this place.
Reserva Marina Marine Reserve near La Restinga Village
La Restinga is a small fishing town, with a small port with fishing boats, several restaurants, bars and a shop that is constantly closed.
And there is the largest tourist attraction on the island - the unique marine reserve Reserva Marina, a real paradise for diving.
The marine reserve Reserva Marina determined the serious and responsible attitude of the islanders towards the local underwater world.
The residents of La Restinga strictly monitor so the life of the local fish and the inhabitants of the deep sea is not disturbed with no need.
No more than one bot normally appears around the diving places, and divers go out on a dive in small groups of 4-6 people.
The city is famous for its sea bay and stunning views. Here begins a 2 km hiking trail. It runs along the ocean and has truly Martian views.
Landscapes during the walk are severe, but breathtaking: embossed basalt columns, deep-blue ocean, white foam of the waves crashing on the shore.
All that with the background of unusually beautiful mountains with rare, but bright greenery, germinating through volcanic rocks.
The local natural pool - the largest on the coast - is volcanic, has a healing effect and direct access to the ocean.
Swimming here is comfortable, the water is calm, even if waves are raging in the ocean.
Natural pool La Maceta
This is a complex of picturesque pools in the El Golfo Valley, in the north of El Hierro. They are considered to be one of the best relaxation places on the island.
La Maceta (Piscinas de la Maceta) - volcanic ponds of various sizes are protected from the ocean by an artificial rock barrier and are filled with clean ocean water at high tide, every 12 hours. Maceta is considered the main swimming area of the El Golfo Valley.
You can spend the whole day at the pools: the water here is warm and so clean that the bases of the rocks are visible.
It’s safe to swim, especially in contrast with the ocean raging nearby - near the dam.
Stairs lead to the water, a flat stone platform under the sun is set up nearby so that tourists could sunbathe. The beach is 40 meters long and 20 meters wide.
The hill above the pool is well-equipped: there is a shower room, relaxation terrace with a thatched roof and tables, and a picnic area.
During the high season, a local cuisine restaurant is opened. It is located near the parking zone.