El Hierro and La Graciosa – Off the Beaten Track in The Canaries

The smallest and youngest of the six Canary Islands is El Hierro. An age of just over one million years should not be taken too seriously. However, unlike the rest of the Canary Islands, it is only in the first phase of its three-phase formation. Yet like all the other Canary Islands, El Hierro is of volcanic origin, but unlike the other islands it is not criss-crossed by gorges. Here, the forested summit of the volcanic mountains stretches across the island. In terms of landscape, El Hierro is also very extensively represented, so that you have three different zones here. The north with its high plateau, the El Golfo valley in the northwest and the steep areas of El Julian in the southwest. Here you can also notice the great differences in the environment, sometimes there are fertile highlands where everything is green and blossoming, then there are the barren lava deserts where only sparse shrubs can survive, and the steep cliffs where there are almost no sandy beaches.

Only in the west, is there a beach a few hundred metres long, which, however, is only conditionally suitable for bathing, as it has a dangerous surf. Agriculture is very important here, as it is mainly the north that is fertile and can still count on rainfall even in summer. Here, pineapples and bananas are cultivated or the fertile soil is used as pasture land. Tourism is therefore largely absent. There are no bathing beaches here and the capacity of beds is also not very high. Individual holidaymakers are in good hands here, however; the island is very suitable for exploring the varied and cave-rich landscape and for exploring the underwater world.

La Graciosa

If you are looking for peace and solitude by the sea, this is the place for you. La Graciosa belongs to the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean, but not to the six main islands, but to one of the seven small side islands, where not even 1000 people live. La Graciosa can only be reached by boat from its large neighbouring island Lanzarote. This is where the Spaniards make their weekend trip to enjoy the island on beautiful beaches or in their holiday home. The holiday homes of the Spaniards are located in the east of the island in the village of Pedro Barba and can only be reached by boat or via humpy roads, but here only with an off-road vehicle. The place to go for day trippers or those who want to stay a little longer is Caleta del Sebo.

The inhabitants here live from tourism or fishing. Playa de las Conchas is located in the northwest of the island and, apart from solitude, the sea in view and the volcanic mountains in the background, does not have much vegetation to offer. You should also take a look at the lava arches at Punta Gorda, bizarre rock formations made of cooled lava, through which you have a photographic view of the sea. To get a full view of the island with its almost 30 square kilometres, you should climb the red mountain, Montana Bermeja. Here you have a wonderful panoramic view of the island. If you want to enjoy pure nature and pitch your tent here, you’d better look for another place. Due to the sometimes heavy rainfall, falling rocks are to be expected at the foot of the Montana Bermeja.