Landed in El Hierro – The Remotest Part of Canary Islands

Wow, we have landed in El Hierro and we will stay here for three months. It is the smallest of the Canary Islands located outside the coast of North Africa in the Atlantic Ocean. In the old days, it was considered to be the end of the world, and it’s easy to understand why. I must confess I have never been to a very isolated and wild place, but I immediately fell in love with the dramatic lava formations standing against angry waves.

While the four largest islands (Gran Canaria, Tenerife, Lanzarote and Fuerteventura) are packed with mass tourism, the three smallest and remotest ones (La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro) mostly attract eco tourists, walkers and hikers who want peace and solitude. La Palma and La Gomera is more populated and accessible, but there are not so many tourists visiting El Hierro. Most of them come in the summer.

El Hierro is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and the island is a front runner when it comes to renewable energy. Five wind turbines produce electricity for the 11,000 residents and the excess power is used to pump seawater up to a volcano crater. When the wind stops blowing, the water is sent down to a lower water reservoir through water turbines creating electricity and when the wind starts to blow again, the water returns to the upper reservoir. It is a clever solution and a great example to follow. Some visionaries here have done a great job.  There is interest for the technology from several places in the world.  My dream is that this idea will also reach the Philippines. We have both wind and volcano craters and electricity is really scarce and often produced by coal.

We have been in El Hierro for a week and I already love the place. We have rented a flat in El Tamaduste, a small coastal community near the airport that handles a few propeller flights a day. The first thing we did was rent a car for a week to explore the island. The roads are good, but some of them are very, very scary. Climbing up over one thousand meters on first gear on a narrow, extremely steep, curvy road on the edge of deep unsecured abysses made me feel close to panic…. from 21ºC to 10ºC through mist and rain, and suddenly sunshine again with fruit trees in blossom on green and arable areas…  I prayed intensely for our safety, but I have never seen so fantastic scenery. Here are some photos from our first week. Enjoy!

Welcomed by the wind, the electricity creator on El Hierro

Welcomed by the wind, the electricity creator in El Hierro

 

Wind and waves...just to get used to it, the sooner the better

Wind and waves…just to get used to it, the sooner the better

 

Living on the edge. La Caleta, one of several small coastal communities

Living on the edge. La Caleta, one of several small coastal communities

 

My husband searching for the shortcut to the mountain plateau...

My husband searching for a shortcut to the mountain villages…

 

..while I’m enjoying the sun that has suddenly appeared

..while I am enjoying the sun that has suddenly appeared

 

This road will take us right up above the clouds. I did not know what situation I went to LOL

This road will take us right up above the clouds, and I did not know what situation I went to LOL

 

Farewell to the coast

Farewell to the coast

 

Getting higher and higher

Getting higher and higher

 

My husband is driving while I’m praying :)

My husband is driving, while I’m praying :)

 

The climb on first gear came to an end, time to relax

The climb on first gear came to an end, time to relax…

 

Back to civilization

Back to civilization

 

Spring in January

Spring in January

 

Somewhere over the clouds

Somewhere over the clouds

 

Down again towards the forest

Down again towards the forest

 

Old pine trees near El Pinar

Old pine trees near El Pinar

 

Forest interior between El Pinar and Valverde

Forest interior between El Pinar and Valverde

 

The end of the Old World in the fishing village of La Restinga

The end of the Old World in the fishing village of La Restinga

 

The rocky beach, two-minute walk from our flat in Tamaduste

The rocky beach, a two-minute walk from our flat in El Tamaduste

 

Low tide in Tamaduste

Low tide in El Tamaduste

 

Sunrise in Tamaduste

Sunrise in El Tamaduste

 

Temple of Lava

Temple of Lava

4 thoughts on “Landed in El Hierro – The Remotest Part of Canary Islands

  1. Wow Grace,
    The place has all the natural environment qualities and its a nice place of visits and staying..
    Very peace and good for writing and for those who wants an escape life from the city..
    You are really enjoying life Grace..
    Take care and have a great day ahead..

    • Yes, I will be writing more about this place 🙂 Thank you for reading 🙂

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