El Hierro – the Last Outpost

Journey to the 'Ends of the Earth'
 

Holiday Highlights

El Golfo Bay | Dominated by a dramatic escarpment and cloaked in atmospheric laurel forests.
Las Puntas | A scenic swimming spot, thanks to a clutch of natural seawater pools.
The volcanic landscapes | Explore the dramatic, moon-like Punta de la Dehesa ‘badlands’.
Sabinosa | An isolated village, where El Hierro’s traditions and customs are best preserved.
El Hierro – the Last Outpost. 7 nights
El Hierro – the Last Outpost. 7 nights
 

Holiday information

 

A walking holiday on El Hierro

Explore Europe’s furthermost outpost and UNESCO biosphere reserve on this self-guided walking holiday, with luggage transported. Revel in the tranquillity and welcoming hospitality, and discover dramatic landscapes on challenging, varied routes as you journey through the heart of the island.
Little El Hierro is the least-known and least-visited of the Canary Islands. For centuries, it was seen as the 'Ends of the Earth' before adventurers and intrepid explorers began to use it as a jumping-off point for even greater discoveries. Such was its importance that the prime meridian was placed here right up to the end of the 19th century, giving rise to the island's nickname Isla del Meridiano. Today, it remains largely untouched and unspoiled by the trappings of modern tourism and is rich in folklore, making it an ideal destination for those wishing to spend time well off the beaten track.

The joy of this quiet and unassuming island is the magnificence of its varied landscapes and geography.
A cataclysmic landslip 50,000 years ago saw a huge section of the land fall into the sea, leaving an immense bay, El Golfo, dominated by a towering escarpment. The steep slopes of this bay are characterised by ancient laurisilva forest, watered by trade winds which blow cool clouds in before coming to a halt beneath the cliffs. The high ridge clearly marks the change in scenery, for, on the drier leeward side, you find stands of tall pine trees and rough moorland leading, sometimes very steeply, down to the rocky shore. The varied terrain is both beautiful and dramatic, and home to a fascinating, often endemic, array of wildlife – such as a giant lizard, once thought to be extinct – so special that 60% of El Hierro is designated a UNESCO biosphere reserve.
 
Gallery

 

Itinerary

The key to Inntravel holidays is flexibility. You can start on the day of your choice, and are free to add extra nights.
  • The average maximum daytime temperatures and monthly rainfall relate to the nearest weather station and are intended as a guide only.

    The best time for flowers is April.

     
    Average temperatures and rainfall
      Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
    °C 17 17 18 18 19 21 23 24 24 22 20 18
    mm 65 55 41 25 8 3 1 2 13 40 73 74
  • Arrival in Mocanal
    Night 1: at Hotel Villa El Mocanal (the first of two nights here).
    As your first night's accommodation is on the day of travel, Day 1 is your first day of walking.

    Please note: If your international flight arrives after 1200, you will spend your first night on Tenerife at La Laguna Gran Hotel. This is located in San Cristóbal de la Laguna, a World Heritage town close to Tenerife North airport.
  • Linear walk from Valverde to Mocanal: 12.5km, 4hrs; ascent 610m / descent 695m
    We suggest a linear walk for your first day, which begins after a short transfer to the charming capital, Valverde. You have time to explore this small town before setting off along a section of the Camino de la Virgen – a pilgrimage route that runs the full length of the island. The route takes you to a viewpoint and you also pass the famous sacred tree, the Garoé, which was worshipped by the pre-colonial Bimbache people due its propensity to provide water on an island where fresh water is scarce. Moisture from the clouds condenses on its leaves and the droplets collect in pits around its trunk. The original tree was destroyed by a hurricane in 1610 but another was planted here in 1949 as a tribute to the original. From here, you descend back to Mocanal, enjoying views across the sea towards La Gomera and Tenerife, and with the option of extending your walk to the shanty coastal settlement of Pozo de Las Calcosas.

    Please note: If your travel arrangements mean you have to spend your first night on Tenerife, you will travel to El Hierro first thing in the morning. You will be collected from the airport by taxi, and then dropped off at the start of this walk while your luggage is taken on ahead to the hotel.
     
    Linear walk from Valverde to Mocanal: 12.5km
    Walking between Valverde and Mocanal
  • Mocanal to Frontera: 17.5km, 6hrs; ascent 810m / descent 1185m
    Beginning with a transfer to the superb Mirador de la Peña viewpoint, from where you can gaze down upon El Golfo basin, today’s route takes you along the spine of the island. The landscapes morph from bucolic meadows to volcanic terrain as you approach the Fireba volcano at the volcanic axis of the island. From the crater rim, follow an ancient path to descend El Golfo escarpment, before continuing through vineyards to the iconic bell tower of Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria. A final descent brings you to Apartamentos Los Verodes, where you stay two nights.
    Mocanal to Frontera: 17.5km
    Mirador de la Peña
  • Circular walk from Frontera: 15km, 4hrs; ascent / descent 370m
    Today’s route leads you along quiet roads to the coast at Las Puntas, where you can swim in the natural seawater pools before a relaxing lunch in a seafood restaurant. On the way there or back, take time to explore fertile El Golfo valley: visit its fascinating eco-museum, a small village comprising houses illustrating the development of post-Bimbache culture over the centuries; and tour the small reptile house dedicated to breeding the island's endangered giant lizard (it can grow up to 75cm long) for re-introduction into the wild.
    The coast at Las Puntas
    Circular walk via Las Puntas: 15km
  • Frontera to Sabinosa: 18.5km, 6.5hrs; ascent 1045m / descent 1305m
    You begin by walking along the course of a former canal, before snaking high above the valley on a path which leads into forested and mossy terrain. As your route levels out, you traverse the valley with views to the coast below before a final ascent brings you to the attractive picnic area of Hoya del Pino. Descending through lichen-covered laurisilva forest, you emerge onto a wide track which traverses the remainder of El Golfo basin before beginning the descent into pretty Sabinosa village and down its volcanic cone face to reach the Balneario Pozo de la Salud. Situated on the coast, alongside a natural well famed for its health-giving properties, this serves as your base for three nights.
    Frontera to Sabinosa: 18.5km
    Frontera to Sabinosa
  • Choice of routes from Sabinosa: 9km or 11km
    After a full day’s walking to reach Sabinosa, we recommend our shorter trail (across the Punta de la Dehesa) for your first day here. Our second suggested route begins with an included taxi transfer, which is set for day 6, but which can be brought forward if preferred.

    Linear walk across the Punta de la Dehesa: 9km, 2.5hrs; ascent / descent 150m
    Explore the Punta de la Dehesa ‘badlands’ – an area of volcanic lava on the island’s north-west corner – on this short circuit. Formed from a volcanic eruption in 1793, this is a dramatic, moon-like landscape where you can still trace the original course of the lava flow. The circuit also takes in Arenas Blancas, which, although not a true white beach, is one of the least rocky sections of coast on the island and a good spot for a paddle.

    Circular walk via juniper forest: 11km, 5.5hrs; ascent 390m / descent 1100m
    This superb walk begins with a transfer to the lovely Ermita de la Virgen de Los Reyes and nearby cave dwellings. Continuing through La Dehesa, an area characterised by the wind-sculpted wild juniper trees that thrive here and which are an iconic emblem of the island, you are rewarded with impressive views over El Golfo Bay. A short ascent brings you to the edge of a ridge from where you descend steeply via a volcanic cone to return to Sabinosa.
    Wild juniper trees
    Linear walk across the Punta de la Dehesa: 9km
    Circular walk via juniper forest: 11km
 

Accommodation

You stay in a delightful mix of accommodation.
 

Extend your stay

 
Prices & travel options
All prices are in £ sterling (GBP). If you'd like to see what they equate to in your currency, use the converter. For general information on pricing, see the 'your holiday price explained' page.
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  • 7 nights: 01 January 2024 - 31 May 2024, 01 September 2024 - 31 May 2025 & 01 September 2025 - 07 January 2026

    Start any day | End by latest date(s) shown above

    Starting Price Single room
    1 - 31 Jan 2024 £1085 £245
    1 Feb - 14 Apr 2024 £1110 £255
    15 Apr - 24 May 2024 £1065 £245
    1 Sep - 31 Oct 2024 £1110 £255
    1 Nov - 31 Dec 2024 £1085 £245
    1 - 31 Jan 2025 £1130 £255
    1 Feb - 14 Apr 2025 £1155 £270
    15 Apr - 24 May 2025 £1110 £255
    1 Sep - 31 Oct 2025 £1155 £270
    1 Nov - 31 Dec 2025 £1130 £255
    3rd & 4th person discount -£70 to -£73
    Single traveller supplement £70 to £73

    Includes accommodation, meals and services integral to the holiday as described, plus walking notes and maps, but no travel from the UK, nor any connecting travel from the airport unless stated below.

    Add £81pp in 2023, £92pp in 2024 for celebratory dinner if staying in Mocanal on 24 or 31 Dec
     

    If your flight arrives after the latest arrival time shown in the 'connecting travel' section below, you will spend your first night on Tenerife instead (on a bed-and-breakfast basis) and transfer to El Hierro the following morning. There is no additional cost for this EXCEPT during the Tenerife Carnival, which is on request – please call for details.

    Included travel: return flight between Tenerife North and El Hierro and transfer to first hotel and from last hotel on El Hierro
    Not included: transfer from Tenerife South to Tenerife North airport or, if spending first night on Tenerife, from Tenerife South to Santa Cruz (in both cases, pay locally for taxi or bus – call for details)

    Book your flights through us and we'll find the best route and times to suit you. Please contact us to find out more about our flight booking service. We can also book connecting travel - see below.

  • RECOMMENDED AIRPORT(S):
    Tenerife South

    Travelling from the UK

    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  you may need to fly via an airport not listed. To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    Outward route Airline
    Aberdeen - Tenerife Reina Sofia (South) TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Belfast Intl. - Tenerife Reina Sofia (South) easyJet,  jet2 
    Belfast Intl. - Tenerife Reina Sofia (South) Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Birmingham - Tenerife Reina Sofia (South) jet2,  Ryanair,  TUI,  Vueling 
    Outward route Airline
    Bournemouth - Tenerife Reina Sofia (South) Ryanair,  TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Bristol - Tenerife Reina Sofia (South) easyJet,  jet2,  Ryanair,  TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Cardiff - Tenerife Reina Sofia (South) Ryanair,  TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Nottingham East Midlands - Tenerife Reina Sofia (South) jet2,  Ryanair,  TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Edinburgh - Tenerife Reina Sofia (South) easyJet,  jet2,  Ryanair,  TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Exeter - Tenerife Reina Sofia (South) TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Glasgow - Tenerife Reina Sofia (South) jet2,  TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Glasgow Prestwick - Tenerife Reina Sofia (South) Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Leeds Bradford - Tenerife Reina Sofia (South) jet2,  Ryanair,  TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Liverpool - Tenerife Reina Sofia (South) Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Gatwick - Tenerife Reina Sofia (South) British Airways,  easyJet,  TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Heathrow - Tenerife Reina Sofia (South) British Airways 
    Outward route Airline
    Luton - Tenerife Reina Sofia (South) easyJet,  Ryanair,  TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Stansted - Tenerife Reina Sofia (South) jet2,  Ryanair,  TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Manchester - Tenerife Reina Sofia (South) easyJet,  jet2,  Ryanair,  TUI,  Vueling 
    Outward route Airline
    Newcastle - Tenerife Reina Sofia (South) easyJet,  jet2,  Ryanair,  TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Norwich - Tenerife Reina Sofia (South) TUI 
    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  you may need to fly via an airport not listed. To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    This list of flight options should be used as a guide only, and you should check each airline’s website for current routes, frequency and schedules. Not all flights operate daily, and may not run for the entire season. You should also heed the latest flight arrival time and earliest flight departure time stated in the connecting travel section, as it may not be possible to arrange connecting travel outside these times. Please do not book your flights until we have confirmed your accommodation to you. Alternatively, our expert reservations team will be happy to offer advice and to make flight bookings for you for any of the options listed above. We charge £35 per person for our flight booking service. Your flights are then covered by our package-booking conditions, which give you greater protection in the event of delay or cancellation, as well as providing ATOL cover.

  • Prices below are based on 2 people travelling together. If you are travelling solo or as a party of 3 or more and our arrangements include a taxi, please contact us for prices; additional passengers often pay less.

    Where a price range is given, the price you pay depends on your date of travel.

    Connecting travel options - flying via Tenerife South

    Outward route Price per person Latest flight
    arrival time
    bus or taxi Tenerife South to Tenerife North (1h, pay locally), Binter flight Tenerife North to El Hierro (1h check-in + 0h40 in air), taxi El Hierro airport to hotel (0h20) some elements included 1200 (1000 Tue, Fri & Sat)
    Homeward route Price per person Earliest flight
    departure time
    taxi hotel to El Hierro airport (0h40), Binter flight El Hierro to Tenerife North (0h40 check-in + 0h40 in air), bus or taxi Tenerife North to Tenerife South (1h, pay locally) some elements included 1400
What is included
  • 7 nights
  • 5 dinners
    2 picnics
    7 breakfasts
  • luggage transported
  • route notes and maps
  • GPS navigation
  • return flight from Tenerife North
  • taxi from/to El Hierro airport
 
Reviews

If you've experienced this holiday first hand, why not write a review?

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

 

FAQs

If you have any questions relating to this or any other Inntravel holiday, our friendly travel experts will be happy to help. You might also find our General FAQs section helpful.
  • We’ll send you route notes and maps 2-3 weeks before your holiday. The route notes not only contain directions to get from A to B, but also include practical information about places of interest and eateries along each route, plus cultural information about the area. If/when you are moving between hotels, you leave your luggage in reception as you leave, and it will be transferred ahead to your next accommodation, meaning that all you need to take with you are a camera, sun cream, drinks, food and waterproofs.

    For more detailed information, see our walking holidays in Europe page.
  • Yes, prior to going on holiday you will be able to download GPX tracks so that you can follow your route on your smartphone or dedicated GPS device if you wish. It’s entirely up to you whether or not you use them – our detailed, step-by-step route notes remain the principal means of guiding you from A to B – but we provide them as a secondary means of navigation for additional reassurance when walking.
  • We can book a wide range of routes from the UK with a variety of airlines. As well as being more convenient for you to book all elements of your holiday together, it also means that we’ll accept liability for your travel arrangements, so if things go wrong, such as the airline going bust, we’ll make suitable alternative arrangements for you. The fee for this service is £35 per person (£15 for children aged 2-11). More information on flights >
  • We can’t book flights that originate outside the UK, but if you wanted to book your own flights to London (or elsewhere in the UK), we can make all onward travel arrangements (including flights) from there. Alternatively, if you are booking your own flights to an airport in continental Europe that’s appropriate for your holiday, we can book onward rail travel and/or taxis. More information about how we can tailor holidays for customers outside the UK >
  • Since our holidays are self-guided, we recommend calling us for a chat about your plans before making a booking, especially if it’s the first time you’ve booked with us.
    The price panel shows the supplement for a single room and also the single traveller charge (this covers (luggage) transfers and other costs which are usually shared between two people).
  • Once you’ve decided on your exact itinerary (our travel experts will be happy to offer advice), you need to provide us with your party’s details, either by phone or via our booking form. At this point we also ask you to pay a deposit so that we can secure a room for you immediately on confirming availability with the hotel(s). If it turns out that we can’t secure the accommodation for the holiday you’ve requested, or offer an acceptable alternative, we’ll refund your deposit promptly and in full. After booking your accommodation and other key elements, we'll then book your travel (or you can do so if you’re making your own arrangements) and send you a Booking Confirmation and Invoice.

    More information about the booking process >
    Information about accommodation, general practicalities and more >
    Booking conditions >
  • Yes, it’s something we insist on, even for holidays in the UK. The vast majority of holidays go smoothly, but when things go wrong, it can be expensive to put them right. Buying a new pair of walking boots after your suitcase is stolen mightn’t seem so bad, but the bill for being airlifted down from a mountain with a broken leg or flown home while still recovering from an illness or accident can incur a five or six-figure bill.

    Many insurers offer travel insurance (you can find details on our insurance page of a policy that you may like to consider if you are a UK resident), but you do need to make sure that you’re covered for medical emergencies – including falling ill with Covid-19 while on holiday – and repatriation. We also recommend that you are covered for other eventualities, such as cancellation and loss of luggage and passports.

    When you purchase a policy, be sure to check that it covers the activities you'll be doing on holiday and that it is adequate for your own individual needs.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure you are in possession of the correct travel documents, with the correct validity. If you’re a UK citizen, you need a full British passport to travel to Spain, but not a visa (please note, however, that a new travel authorisation system is being introduced). If you are a citizen of another country, you’ll need to check requirements with the national embassy or your own consulate.

    Current information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice for UK citizens can be found through the Travel Health Pro website. You must make sure you have adequate insurance cover for illness, accidents and repatriation (see the insurance question). You should also apply for a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) if your EHIC has expired (if you have a still-valid EHIC, you can use this until it expires).
  • (Castilian) Spanish is one of several official languages; Catalan, Basque and Gallego have equal status in Catalonia, the Basque Country and Galicia, respectively. The currency is the Euro. Spanish time is GMT/UTC + 1. It uses Daylight Saving Time, so in summer is on BST + 1.
  • For information on the practicalities of travel now that the UK is no longer part of the European Union, visit www.gov.uk/visit-eu-switzerland-norway-iceland-liechtenstein.
  • The UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) provides up-to-date, country-by-country travel advice, as well as information on security, local laws, passports and visas for UK citizens.

    If you live outside the UK, see our essential travel information page for a list of relevant websites.
  • You are the best judge of your child’s/children’s capabilities. We are happy to take bookings for families of older children/teenagers if they walk regularly, love the outdoors and are comfortable with the distances and ascent/descent involved. Please note that the bedrooms at most of the accommodation we use will normally only sleep a maximum of 3 people, and sometimes only 2.
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