Next on your list should be the Faro de Orchilla, a lighthouse marking the westernmost point of Spain. If you’re seeking a quirky souvenir you can get a certificate from the tourist office in Valverde to prove that you have visited the end of the world. Not far away is another record holder, well, a former one – what was for a long time the smallest hotel in the world perches on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean in Punta Grande. Not far away are two must-sees: the Ecomuseo de Guinea and the Giant Lizard Recuperation Centre. The former highlights the pre-Hispanic culture of the island, the latter is a research centre to breed the highly endangered Giant Lizard, which grows to lengths of up to 75cm. Long thought to be extinct, there are now around 300 left and your only real chance of seeing one is at the Recuperation Centre.
In the south of the island you’ll find a small pine forest with picnic areas and the freshest of fresh air and on the coast a cute little resort. La Restinga has nothing in common with larger tourist developments on other islands and that’s how locals want it to stay. There’s a small black sand beach, some family-run apartments to rent and some world-class scuba diving just off the coast.
Finally, in the east of the island head to Timijiraque with its wide sandy beach (black sand, of course – there are no man made beaches on this isla). Nearby is another of the island’s emblems, Roque de la Bonanza, an arch that rises 200m straight from the sea bed.
Driving El Hierro’s endlessly winding roads can be tiresome, but you can break up your journey at the numerous miradores (lookout points) dotted around. Placed in all of the prettiest spots, touring between miradores is perhaps the best way to experience El Hierro.
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