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      our holidays > Walking Holidays > Spain & its Islands > Canary Islands > El Hierro – the Last Outpost

El Hierro – the Last Outpost

Journey to the 'Ends of the Earth'

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We are keen for as many customers as possible to review their holiday. To make it easier to do so, since 2 October 2015 we have included a specific review section on our post-holiday questionnaire, and this is what we now publish here, unedited. Read our full review policy >

Dr S Lamont  Morpeth April 2019

We walked for 6 days and met a total of four other walkers. The holiday was everything we could have hoped for and more. Wonderful flowers on the paths; fantastic views, constantly changing. 

Mark & Steph   March 2019

We had an excellent holiday due to the great organisation and service provided by the Inntravel team. Organisation of accommodation and transfer was very smooth, the route maps and notes were excellent (no missed turns or getting lost during the whole trip) and support from the customer service during the trip was friendly, helpful and very swift. The additional guided day tour was a great addition. 

Dr E Penn  Salisbury March 2019

This was an excellent holiday. We enjoyed the walking, but really appreciated the opportunity to learn about the island history, culture and way of life over the centuries. This came through Inntravel walk notes, the frequent information boards on the walks, and through seeing for ourselves the landscape, ancient migration routes, agriculture (including evidence of unsuccessful attempts to cultivate the land).

Mr A King  Winchester February 2019

This was a challenging walk and some areas are very steep with loose gravel & rocks. Great care is needed.

Mrs E Meek  London February 2019

Good holiday and most enjoyable walking - the right combination of passing through flower-decked fields and climbing up and down rocky mountainsides. The best walk was the one from Mocanal to Frontera, with its gentle ascent through green fields and drystone walls, two spectacular viewpoints and the final rugged descent to the flatlands of El Golfo. We found the landscape and history of El Hierro fascinating. The taxi-drivers on Tenerife describe it as tranquilla, which is apt. It has the feeling of a place that time forgot and when you see the small and austere dwellings that people lived in at the excellent little museum in Guinea, you can understand why. Paolo was very good on the geology and ecology and Enrica gave us a delightful lunch.

Mr D Walker  Norway January 2019

This is an excellent walking holiday, on a beautiful non touristy island. There are some steep descents for those with bad knees, but interesting walking and views. We all thoroughly enjoyed the trip.

Mr J Turner  Hereford December 2018

The day with Paulo and Erica was superb and they give extremely good value in both their depth of knowledge and the provision of a tasty lunch. El Hierro is a beautiful unspoilt island for those not looking for sophistication. It is very special in this rushed modern world of ours and comes highly recommended. We look forward to returning.

Mr E Rosenthal  St Albans December 2018

Enjoyable and varied walking routes. Down hills quite challenging - we needed to allow more time for these than anticipated. Trip with Enrica & Paulo was an enjoyable extra to the self guided walking.

Mr B Meeker  Canada November 2018

By far the best part of the trip was the guided day with Paolo and Enrica. My son and I enjoyed their company very much and we learned so much about the island, its volcanic history, and their sustainable and hopeful view of the world. We added a rental car for our last two days at the Parador and it allowed us to visit other parts of the island, including the Mercadillo in Tigaday on Sunday and to revisit La Restinga for a wonderful harbourside lunch.  

Mr W Paul  Banchory October 2018

This was our third walking holiday with Inntravel and as usual the planning, organisation and accommodation were all first class. Our latest, on El Hierro, was a unique opportunity to see the 'other' side of The Canaries seldom seen by tourists. Tough walking at times but very rewarding.

Mr J Thomas  Brighton May 2018

It was a most amazing holiday with fairly difficult, but very rewarding, walking that allowed us to see the whole island and its very varied climate and flora.  Truly a unique experience on an island unspoilt by tourism (so far). The trip to La Restinga with Paolo and Enrica was definitely one of the highlights of the holiday, and well worth doing. 

brendan & helen barnes  brussels March 2018
We travelled to El Hierro in April this year. I think our overall view would be that the nature of the holiday is clearly stated on the website, but it would be worth underlining certain points. The most important of these is that several of the walks involve descents which are both long (2-4 Km) and steep. We are both 60+ and reasonably fit and we found the descents physically challenging. We would say walking sticks are essential. The second is that, if you are a foodie, this is probably not the trip for you. The food is pretty basic, even in Pozo and the Parador which are both wonderful locations. We’re not totally sure why Frontera is a two-night stop as it is not particularly attractive. Those are the gripes. Otherwise we had a wonderful holiday. We saw an enormous variety of landscapes, a spectacular array of wildflowers and not many other tourists. The route marking is good for the most part, although the map is sometimes out-of-date. An important part of the trip for us were the extras. The day out with Paolo and Enrica is highly-recommended and you might want to think about doing it at the beginning of the week. There is a small museum in Valverde (day 1) , which is interesting in itself, but is also the only place we saw local products being sold (casa de las quinteras). If you want to buy something, you might want to loop back here on your final transfer day. The walks out of La Frontera are not particularly attractive (there’s a reason Inntravel propose a taxi for the return), but the swimming pool at La Maceta is worth a look (but too rough to go in when we were there). The Ecomuseum is also interesting and the walk down to it through the village is enjoyable. You can buy beauty and spa treatments at Pozo, as you will feel like having a sauna and a massage by the time you get there! (Note of warning - don’t forget that Inntravel has a special deal with them for some basic treatments before you book - like we did)! For the circular walk from Pozo, we went along the coast (the “badlands” walk). We thought it was excellent and with a rough sea, it would be really spectacular.
Walkers of Garforth   February 2018

Inn Travel made a very good job of organising travel, accommodation and luggage transfer, as well as taxis to link between walks, hotels and airports / ferry terminal.

The walking information supplied was of high quality.

Mr A McLeod  Crieff February 2018

Overall excellent trip with varied landscape. Couple of good coastal walks (break from steep climbs and descents). The rock formations were amazing. Our guided tour worth the money. Paolo very informative and enthusiastic and then down to the coast for a lovely lunch prepared by Enrica. Alex particularly enjoyed the cold beer! Then to La Restinga to hear all about the eruption in 2011, with photos to illustrate.

Anon   February 2018

A good holiday, unfortunately rather marred by cold weather.  The parador at the end was great to finish with and the additional guided tour of Restinga is highly recommended

Mr SJ Hurd  Crewe January 2018

Day 1 section by the revered tree And red ash area. Day 2 was un-memorable for first part followed by gruelling descent. Day 3 was spoiled by poor route description - it was a bit of a slog on the ascent. Day 4 taxi ride was interesting as was walk through pine forests - followed by long descent in cloud, which was a pity as we missed the views. The add-in day with Paolo and Enrica was excellent - very interesting talk and vegan lunch. Extra rest day at the Parador was marred by cool, cloudy weather. We are glad we went but it does not rank as near our best walking holiday.

Anon   November 2017

Do not miss the rock pools and swimming with the fish at Charco Azul. We spent our extra day there, travelling by bus there and back, and it was very worthwhile.  Also, the Malpais circuit on Day 5 was excellent - views of very dramatic seas and arches in the rock. The hill was in cloud so the longer walk would have been a waste of time, as we had had very good views on previous days.

John   November 2017

Exceptionally good walking and varied landscapes. The day with Paulo and Enrica was both enjoyable and informative. The accommodation was variable, but acceptable. We enjoyed a few extra days at the Parador which was the best hotel and is quiet and peaceful as described. 

Anon   October 2017

We loved the island and the accommodation - it was a really brilliant holiday. Cannot praise the couple Paulo and Enrica high enough - absolutely great day, so interesting and a fabulous meal.

 

Mrs I Robinson Zeki  Cambridge October 2017

Personal highlights included: Day 1 - walking to the Garoe tree; Day 3 Option 1 Las Puntas circuit - we spent hours at La Maceta enjoying the spectacular waves and swimming in the rock pools, even spotted dolphins; Day 5 Option 1 El Sabinar curcuit - this is definitely the best day of walking, as you say in the notes. It is worth every metre of the ascent, as it is full of interest and a variety of walking.

Recommendations: We would definitely recommend the excursion with Paulo and Enrica - we were able to ask all of the questions we had been forming during our six days of walking and found the couple incredibly informative, enthusiastic and extremely pleasant company. The vegan lunch they provided was the best food we had on the island! We would strongly recommend El Hierro as a walking destination - the paths were well-marked and full of interest and the pace of life on the island was refreshingly slow. We would recommend Inntravel as they organised a fabulous six days of walking.

Mr A Hallett  Stroud September 2017

Amazing trip overall. The whole trip flowed really well with the taxi transfers and the bags being transported seamlessly between hotels. Great level of detail in the trip notes about the walking, hotels, local amenities and historical information.  

The walks take you via places you would not otherwise go and allow you to really explore this lovely island. The scenery is beautiful and varied across this island and you get to experience all of this on foot giving you time to really enjoy it.

El Hierro is a very quiet and undeveloped island, which allows large beautiful areas of countryside. The paths are very well marked and have very few walkers using them giving very quiet and relaxing walks.

Make sure you try the local delicacy of the El Hierro Quesadilla!

I would definitely recommend Inntravel and would definitely recommend the Last Outpost trip.

Mr P Collins  Bristol March 2017

If you want somewhere off the beaten track with wonderful scenery and walking El Hierro the place for you. A world away from the mass tourism of the larger Islands

Mr M Wood  London March 2017

A fantastic holiday with sometimes challenging ascents and descents, but warm welcomes from the hotels and appartments when we finally arrived and to cap it all the wonderful day with Paulo and Enrica on the holiday extension option which shouldn't be missed! 

Mr M Tollan  York March 2017

We had a fantastic holiday, bathed in warm spring sunshine throughout. We really enjoyed the diversity of the walking and every day was different in terms of scenery, topography and challenge.

Our highlights were the coastal walk at Malpais through the spectacular lava formations with the backdrop of brilliant white and turquoise colours created by the crashing waves coming in off the North Atlantic.

Also the walk from La Frontera up the escarpment of El Golfo and across to the Mirador de la Pena included a challenging climb but a highly rewarding day's walking which ended with coffee on the sunny cafe terrace of the Mirador - a perfect place to end a walk!

The excursion with Paolo and Enrica was a fabulous way to end the holiday. They were relaxed guides and great company who knew how to share their knowledge and passion for the island. They prepared a lovely picnic lunch which was enjoyed by the beach after a swim in the sea.

 

Mr I Mallinson  Frodsham March 2017

Overall the holiday was great, helped by the unique weather for the time of year, with temperatures in the mid 30's. Walking was good with some strenuous downs but worth it for a dip in the ocean in the natural pools. Highlight of the holiday was the pine forest and the volcano guided tour with Paulo and Enrica, so much knowledge, great company and a great lunch - the best meal of the holiday! The tour pulled all of the different parts of our island walks together making sense of everything we had seen.

Mr K Wall  Kendal March 2017

Whilst we have been on many walking holidays under our own steam, the luxury of having well informed structure, baggage transfers and taxis to start or finish of walks added an extra dimension to our enjoyment. We were especially impressed by the punctuality and service of the taxi service. We enjoyed walking at our own pace yet comparing notes with fellow pilgims at the end of the day. Given the limited accommodation on El Hierro the choice was just right. Of course, as many of your previous travellers have commented, the day spent with Paulo and Enrica was a complete joy, the picnic, mostly home made by Enrica, was probably the best meal of the whole trip, eaten in a perfect location, rivalling many restaurant meals. Paulo's informed enthuisiasm for volcanology together with his personal view on the politics of tourism on a small island provided an insight to island life.

Dr A Cochrane  Burntisland February 2017

The trip round the volcanoes with Paolo was very intetresting and informative.

Mr R Taylor  Rickmansworth February 2017

We were pleased we went on this holiday: we enjoyed some lovely walks and found the islanders very welcoming. We thought that the Inntravel website gave an accurate impression of what to expect. All of the arrangements worked out perfectly, the waymarking and map were good and the weather was dry and not too windy for walking, which it could have been in February! The taxi drivers were extremely helpful, even though most of them spoke little or no English. Our lack of Spanish meant we were not confident to follow a route ending at a mirador and requiring a taxi back to the hotel. We did not think to phone Inntravel to make a taxi booking for us. That was our mistake, as we found out from another Inntravel walker that this worked very effectively. Even in hotels, shops and restaurants, knowledge of English cannot be assumed as tourism is relatively new and visitor numbers small. We made our own arrangements for a night in Tenerife before our flight to El Hierro. We chose Hotel Laguna Nivaria, which we found excellent, giving us half a day to explore the lovely historic town of La Laguna before the 10 minute taxi ride to the North Airport.

In retrospect, we wished we had customised the holiday to stay 2 or 3 nights at the Parador, in place of the stay in Mocanal, where the accommodation and food were not to our taste. We spoke with other walkers who had completed a walk very similar to the Valverde to Mocanal route by taking a taxi from the Parador.

The recommended walks include two long descents, which we avoided by travelling with the luggage and then walking up and down parts of the path we were meant to descend. The advantage on the northern side of the island was that we stayed below the persistent cloud, whereas half of the recommended 1500 metre descent would have been through fog. It is common for the top of the ridge to be in cloud on this side of the island and all the views, even at lower heights, are hazy. For the walk to the Parador, we were deterred by the walking notes as they mentioned steepness and the loose surface on the path.

Finally, we thought the walk from Pozo de La Salud to Frontera was a waste of a day. We realised it would be flat but as it was the only walk suggested for the day we assumed it would have something to recommend it. The notes mention the views, but those are mainly of the disused water pipe and the dirt track. Instead, we should have have taken a taxi and walked one of the options recommended for the day in Frontera.

 

 

Mr A Collins  Luxembourg February 2017

The walk on the final day was my personal highlight - the first part of which was also the most demanding of the trip.  The walk on the second day might have snatched first prize, but that when we arrived at Malpaso it was shrouded in mist, followed by strong winds and a little rain as we decended towards the laurisilva forest.  That it was cooler than average for February doubtless assisted our walking, even if at times it felt as if I was in the Andes.  One had a very real sense of being far away from the rest of the world in a place in a state of constant evolution.  The very paths require a considerable effort to be kept open and I encountered a number of landslides on the last day that could very easily have blocked them completely!  The ferocity of the landscape was tempered by the calm of its inhabitants, both human and animal.

I cannot speak too highly of the Guachinche Frontera, both the quality of the food and the atmosphere were exhilarating.  Restaurant Joapira next door was also very good and better than the food in the hotels.  The quality of the produce was uniformly good, but the ambitions of some chefs appeared to be beyond their ability.  I should add that if one is staying the La Frontera it makes sense to take a taxi to the aforesaid restaurants since it is not expensive and the approach to both is quite steep.

Mr H Aldous  London February 2017

Excellent walking holiday.

Good way to start the year.

Peace and quiet and scenery superb.

Geology and flora added attractions.

 

Only real downside - El Hierro has no tradition for good cuisine!  There do not appear to be any good chefs!   So this is not like mainland Spain.   But the food is acceptable and the local wines are not bad at all.

Mrs A Backhouse  Edinburgh February 2017

We enjoyed the varied volcanic landscapes and found it a fascinating island to explore.

JH   February 2017

You must take the two additional days at the Parador. The privately guided excursion with Enrica and Paulo was the highlight of the holiday. Great company, superb knowledge of the island - its history, geology, flora and fauna - and the best meal in nine days. On top of that, as expected, we spent some time in mist and cloud earlier in the week. Time in the south of the island promised blue skies and sunshine - and it did not disappoint!

Some say the excursion should be at the start of the holiday. I disagree. By the end, we had a context into which we could place the information from Paulo. A great end to our time on the very special island of El Hierro.

Mr R Sewell  Ashbourne February 2017

Really is a completely unspoilt island with so many different landscapes and climates plus everyone is very friendly. In places it very much feels like you are in a land of volcanoes which is really brought to life by taking the optional excursion with Paulo and Enrica which we could not recommend highly enough. A lot was learnt about the volcanic activity both past and present plus the lunch lived up to expectations!

The path network is outstanding - they are very well signposted and the walking notes were great.

 

Professor J Laidlaw  London February 2017

On both La Gomera and El Hierro the walking is really excellent, and both are extremely interesting islands: not perhaps conventional winter sun (you spend a fair bit of time in cloud!) but really fascinating and enjoyable. 

Liz and Pete, W. Yorks   February 2017

Turns out Paolo is responsible for the excellent waymarking of the El Hierro footpaths. What a star. Our day with him and Enrica flew by and her lunch was one of the nicest meals we had all week.

Mrs P Tatlow  Richmond February 2017

Option 2 coast walk on walking day 3 is definitely worth doing and somewhat harder and takes longer than suggested in the notes if you walk to the end of the lava path and back. And ignore the advice about not taking walking poles - they're useful on this walk as well. Overall this is definirely 2/3 grade walking holiday and on some days a 3 but if you're used to this type of walking an interesting place to walk.

anon   January 2017

Organisation was excellent and choice of accommodation good, particularly as it ranged from basic to good, a variation is appreciated. Walking notes and markers ensured I didn't get lost, not even in thick cloud on Malpasa. Taxis worked well, were punctual and driving was safe.

The island was attractive and the excursion with Paolo and Enrica excellent.

I didn't care for the breakfast food at Los Veronese as there was too much processed meat, inedible white sliced bread, nothing green and no ground coffee.

Mrs J Brown  Amersham January 2017

This was a lovely holiday with some challenging ascents and descents and although low cloud on top was a bit of a problem at times the rewards were great views and peace and quiet. We did not hear an English voice until almost the end of our holiday. The paths are all clearly marked and there is so much variety in such a small island. We had one or two problems because we did not speak Spanish and explaining to the taxi company over the phone what we wanted proved tricky one time(!), but we were rescued by a very kind local so all was fine.

The trip with Paolo and Enrica was special in so many ways. They are so friendly and knowlegable about the island, the walk was great, as was the swim before Enrica's delicious lunch. We came back feeling we had been shown round the island by friends. We still can't quite believe that Paolo has painted all the waymark signs on the island! Thank you for a wonderful day!

We were so glad we had extra days at Balneario and at the Parador. Another great holiday, thank you.

c low   January 2017

Excellent organisation, were very glad that we took a compass to navigate downhill in the dense cloud! We were a little surprised at the steepness of the descent on day 2, and were not entirely astonished that someone had fallen and fractured their ankle on the preceeding day. I suspect that seasoned walkers might have realised the difficulty involved but as novices, we felt the descriptions could have been more revealing, and did not equate to the degree of difficulty in previous cycling trips with you

Mr CS Vassiades  South Croydon January 2017

The guided walk from the Parador was excellent as was the picnic provided by Paolo and Enrica. We wondered whether they offered other guided walks from other locations as some guests might not stay at the Parador long enough. Paolo's narrative serves as an excellent introduction to the island. We found El Hierro an enchanting place, horizontal rain included.

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