Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays


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Explore the volcanic landscape of El Hierro on an independent walking tour
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Highlights

  • Following superb trails across this little-known island, the ‘Isla del Meridiano’.
  • Incredible views of El Golfo Bay and the other-worldly volcanic landscape.
  • Witnessing remarkable twisted trees, shaped by the forces of Mother Nature.
  • Exploring unspoilt villages and the authentic hospitality of the islanders.
  • Tastes of the Canaries—fabulous food, including locally-grown tropical fruits.

The remarkable island outpost of El Hierro is perched on the westernmost outreaches of Europe; a true Atlantic gem with a rare sleepy charm and fantastic walking trails. Until Columbus set sail, El Hierro was seen as the ‘Ends of the Earth’, and still remains one of the least-visited of the Canary Islands. Now a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, 60% of its territory is protected to preserve El Hierro’s natural and cultural diversity.

Wild coastlines are edged with columns of basalt, whilst a subtropical interior is flanked by lava flows spilling from volcanic cones. Trails explore picturesque farmland, evergreen woodlands of juniper and laurel, and other-worldly semi-arid lunar-like landscapes.

Day 1: Arrive El Hierro, transfer to Las Playas


The tiny island outpost of El Hierro is perched on the edge of the Atlantic. Arrive into its small airport and transfer to your hotel in the beautiful bay of Las Playas. Spend two nights at the superb Parador, enjoying outstanding sea views and nestled at the foot of an incredible volcanic mountain.



Depending on your arrival time, you may like to stretch your legs on a short stroll from the hotel.


Overnight: Hotel Parador***, Las Playas



You’ll stay in a lovely ocean view room at the beautiful Hotel Parador for two nights. There is a swimming pool, gardens and terrace.



Day 2: Loop walk from Valverde


Your day begins with a transfer to the quaint capital of the island, Valverde. Located at 600m, it’s the highest capital in the archipelago and is the only one not found on the coast! 



Walk through changing landscapes of meadows, evergreen forests and stretches of red clay. Reach the legendary sacred tree Garoé, an icon of El Hierro. Transfer by taxi back to the Parador.


Walk: 12 km, 550m ascent/descent, approx. 4h30, download walk profile.


Overnight: Hotel Parador***, Las Playas



Day 3: Walk from Mirador de la Peña to Tigaday


After a hearty breakfast, transfer by taxi to the Mirador de la Peña, which overlooks the bay of El Golfo—a patchwork of green edged by a wild coastline.  



Admire the sweeping views out to sea as you follow the path through the highland of the Meseta de Nisdafe, walking between volcanic cones with outstanding view to El Golfo below. Descend through mossy subtropical laurel forests to Tigaday.


Walk: 14 km, 550m ascent, 900m descent, approx. 5hrs, download walk profile.


Overnight: Apartamentos Los Verodes, Tigaday



Hosts Mayuri and Gustavo invite you to share in a slice of village life during your three-night stay at their charming apartment complex, situated in a quiet area of Tigaday with sea and mountain views. Each of the 9 family-run apartments can accommodate between 2-4 people.



Day 4: Loop walk to La Maceta natural pools


An easy day of walking awaits as you venture through El Hierro’s open farmland; this area is perfect for the production of bananas, pineapples and other tropical fruits.



Perhaps visit the Eco Museum of Guinea, and learn about the fascinating history of the island.  From Hotel Punta Grande;  the smallest in the world, follow the path along the coastline of Las Puntas and reach the natural swimming pools of La Maceta. As today’s walk is relatively easy, you can relax this afternoon on the rooftop terrace of the apartments.


Walk: 13 km, 200m ascent/descent, approx. 4 hrs, download walk profile


Overnight: Apartamentos Los Verodes, Tigaday



Day 5: Walk from El Morcillo to Tigaday


A taxi transfer brings you high into the heart of pine forest and to El Morcillo. Today’s path traditionally connected the villages on the two sides of the island. You’ll be captivated by a myriad of views.



Aromatic pine forest soon gives way to the dryer Fayal-Brezal (firetree and heath). As you walk along the ridgeline of the island, you’ll be rewarded with views of volcanic lava flows which tumble towards the south coast, as you descend on the path to Tigaday.


Walk: 13 km, 400m ascent, 1050m descent, approx. 4h30, download walk profile.


Overnight:  Apartamentos Los Verodes, Tigaday



Day 6: Walk from Ermita de La Virgen de Los Reyes to Pozo de La Salud


After a transfer to the pretty white-washed Ermita de La Virgen (the hermitage of the island’s patron saint), continue your walk through the ‘dehesa’ pastureland. Soon you’ll come across the Sabinar, endemic and protected species of juniper that are shaped by the trade winds into incredible twisted forms.



From the Mirador de Bascos admire the views over El Golfo and follow a high path which then descends through the lush Monteverde forest to the picturesque village of Sabinosa.


Walk: 12 km, 200m ascent, 850m descent, approx. 4h30, download walk profile.


Overnight: Hotel Balneario Pozo de la Salud, Sabinosa



Situated on the west coast, this small spa hotel is located right on the water — relax and enjoy the ocean views from the terrace or take a dip in the outdoor pool.



Day 7: Volcanic loop walk, or optional guided tour ‘Route of the Meridiano’


Today you have a choice of a self-guided walk, or an optional excursion.


Set off on an easy walk to explore the beach at Arenas Blancas, the only one on the island formed by shell fragments, before following a path between lava flows along the coast with its magnificent arches of basalt and cliffs carved by the ocean.



Alternatively, take a guided tour of the ‘Route of the Meridiano’; the western lava fields, the Orchilla lighthouse and the site of the Prime Meridian. Learn about the recent volcanic eruptions on a 3-4 hour walk. Transfers to/from the hotel and a picnic style lunch are included. Cost approx. EUR65 per person, payable locally.


Walk: 10 km, 50m ascent/descent, approx. 2h30, download walk profile.


Overnight: Hotel Balneario Poxo de la Salud, Sabinosa



Day 8: Transfer to airport. Onward travel


Your walking trip on El Hierro ends with a final transfer to El Hierro airport.

Accommodation

7 nights accommodation is included in your trip in properties of a 3* standard (unofficial rating),

We carefully select small friendly hotels that offer great value and warm welcomes. The accommodation we normally use is detailed in the itinerary and below, however if unavailable we may need to offer alternative hotels, and we will inform you on booking if this is the case.  


You can add extra nights at any point during your stay—please contact us for details. 


Solo Walkers & Single Rooms

This trip is available to solo walkers and there is a supplement as
some of the costs are then not shared. Single rooms are available and
again a supplement is payable.


Meals

7 Breakfasts are included. Packed lunches are available from your
accommodation (order the night before) or you can stop and buy a picnic
on the way. Drinks are not included but available at all overnight
accommodations.



 

 

 




Hotel Parador - Las Playas

You’ll stay in a lovely ocean view room for two nights. There is a swimming pool, gardens and terrace. The views from the Parador are simply stunning. 


 

 

 


 

 

 



Apartamentos Los Verodes - Tigaday



Apartamentos Los Verodes - Tigaday

Share in a slice of village life during your stay at this apartment complex, in a quiet area of Tigaday with sea and mountain views. The 9 apartments can each accommodate between 2-4 people.


 

 

 


 

 

 



Hotel Balneario Pozo de la Salud - Sabinosa



Hotel Balneario Pozo de la Salud - Sabinosa

Situated on the west coast, this small spa hotel is located right on the water — relax and enjoy the ocean views from the terrace or take a dip in the outdoor pool.


 

 

 

Availability

You can start your El Hierro: Edge of Europe trip on any day of the week, from September to June. Please note that there may be a supplement payable for travel over Christmas and Easter. 


Grade & Terrain

This tour is graded easy to moderate, and the longest day is 15 km; the biggest
ascent is 600m and descent is 1050m. On a couple of the days the walks are closer to the 'moderate' grading due to elevation gain/loss, but are manageable for experienced hikers or those who are in good shape. On some days you’ll be walking for
around 6 hours, but on several of the days there are optional loop
walks, so you can relax at your hotel if you prefer. To make the most of
this trip you should have a good level of walking fitness. 


Navigation, Route Notes & Maps

There is some way-marking on this walk, and we will provide you with maps and comprehensive route notes so you can easily find your way.  GPX tracks are available for this walk. As this is a self guided walk you will be responsible for navigation, decision making and safety during your trip.


Baggage Transfer

Baggage transfers are included on this tour, as per the itinerary on days 3 and 6, so you only walk with a small back-pack.  


Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity and emergency evacuation and hospital care.


General Information

Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and pants), sun hat, sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack.


Getting to and from El Hierro

By Air: there are several companies flying from Tenerife (where there are 2 airports, North and South) to El Hierro. Most of the flights from the UK land in the South airport. To get to El Hierro there are two options: flying (bintercanarias.com, operating only from Tenerife North) or you can take the ferry from Los Cristianos near Tenerife South airport, which departs in the afternoon to El Hierro (2-2h30 each way).


We suggest that you book an early flight to Tenerife and then fly to
El Hierro; in case there is a change of airport a transfer by taxi can
be booked or there is an excellent local bus service connecting the
airports.

Included

  • 7 Nights in 3* standard hotels
  • 7 Breakfasts
  • Return airport transfers on El Hierro
  • Transfers to start of walk as per itinerary
  • Luggage transfers as per itinerary
  • Route notes, daily maps and detailed information pack
  • 24/7 telephone support from our UK office and local partner.

Excluded

  • Travel to and from El Hierro.
  • Lunches.
  • Dinners.
  • Drinks and snacks.
  • Personal equipment.
  • Optional guided tour on Day 7 (bookable in advance, but payable locally).
  • Travel insurance (required)

Extras

  • Additional nights before, during or after the walk.
  • Single room or solo walker supplement if required.

We are often asked the following questions and we hope that you will find the answers useful. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any further queries.

How far in advance do I need to book?

We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised; El Hierro is a small island and good accommodation is limited.

How fit do I need to be?

This tour is graded easy to moderate, and the longest day is 15 km; the biggest ascent is 600m and descent is 1050m. On some days you’ll be walking for around 6 hours, but on several of the days there are optional loop walks, so you can relax at your hotel if you prefer. To make the most of this trip you should have a good level of walking fitness.

How do the baggage transfers work?

Your bags will be transferred between your accommodations as per your itinerary. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 20kg per person.

What equipment do I need?

You will need good walking shoes/boots, comfortable walking clothes, waterproof jacket and trousers, a daypack, warm clothing in the early/late part of the year and hats etc during the summer. We supply a detailed packing list with your information pack.

When is the best time of year?

The best months for walking are September through to June. In the summer it can be very hot which is why we don't offer this tour from July to August.  

Which is the best airport to fly to?

By Air: there are several companies flying from Tenerife (where there are 2 airports, North and South) to El Hierro. Most of the flights from the UK land in the South airport. To get to El Hierro there are two options: flying (bintercanarias.com, operating only from Tenerife North) or you can take the ferry from Los Cristianos near Tenerife South airport, which departs in the afternoon to El Hierro (2-2h30 each way).

We suggest that you book an early flight to Tenerife and then fly to El Hierro; in case there is a change of airport a transfer by taxi can be booked or there is an excellent local bus service connecting the airports.

What happens if I can't walk a stage?

You can use public transport or local taxi to continue to your next overnight stop.

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
macs adventureEl Hierro: Edge of Europe
 
5.0

(based on 3 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

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    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Great accommodations (3)
  • Well organised (3)

Cons

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Best Uses

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Reviewed by 3 customers

Displaying reviews 1-3

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5.0

Great Trip

By Chris

from Central California

About Me World Traveller

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Fun
  • Great Accommodations
  • Well Organised

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Trying Something New

    Comments about macs adventure El Hierro: Edge of Europe:

    A great tour to see and understand this off the grid island. We saw all areas of the island with well written explanations of what we were seeing. Map and guide are spot on. Trails very well marked, in great condition and almost entirely free of litter.

    Two of the three accommodations are right on the beach, and are very relaxing, resort quality hotels. A nice place to return to after a good, strenuous day of hiking. Room in the interior town Frontera, is fine, but not the same as the hotels on the beach.

    The people on El Hierro are very friendly. Service in all establishments was friendly and attentive. Food in El Hierro is good, not great. Beer good. The local wines might be the low point. Weather was as advertised, supposed to be best climate in the world.

    Only word of caution is that there are 3 steep declines. Be sure to bring poles and be prepared if you have tender knees.

    A great trip that combines good, hard hiking in different areas with relaxing hotels at the end of the trail, and gives insight into a different world.

     
    5.0

    A well organized hike

    By Rupert

    from Calgary AB

    About Me Avid Adventurer

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Fun
    • Great Accommodations
    • Well Organised

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Holiday

      Comments about macs adventure El Hierro: Edge of Europe:

      This is a great Island for Hiking with many well established trails. Every day the scenery and topography was varied resulting in each new day to be a new experience. The hotels/apartments were ideal for this week and the taxis shuttles were prompt each day. Adding to the enjoyment was the weather which was ideal.
      Overall a well organized week with considerable thought into the planning of each days hike.

      The limitations were few: English speakers were few but the locals really tried to help.
      Hiking poles are essential for two of the descents

      A great experience.

      (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      An excellent holiday

      By n

      from n

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Great Accommodations
      • Well Organised

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Holiday

        Comments about macs adventure El Hierro: Edge of Europe:

        We had an excellent holiday. The walks were varied with clear notes describing the route and well way marked. The hotels were all very comfortable and in excellent locations. The whole trip was well orgamised and everything worked like clockwork. Thank you

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