La Estaca, El Hierro
La Estaca is a scenic, pleasant port which has thankfully so far managed to escape the mass tourism of the rest of the Canaries. The port itself is very quiet and despite not offering much in the way of entertainment, nature lovers will no doubt enjoy the surrounding mountains trails that are perfect for hiking, offering sensational views notably of the Mirador de las Playas, Sabinosa from the El golfo valley. Most people then will go to the capital Valverde, about a 20-minute drive from the port. Taxis are easily available as well as car hire – but the latter must be pre-arranged.
Valverde is located at 571m above sea level so depending on the time of year that you are visiting, a warm jumper might be advisable. Founded at the end of the 15th century, this is the youngest settlements in the Canaries, and the only island with a capital that is not on the sea. Because of its position, clear days afford views all the way to La Gomera and Tenerife. The local church Nuestra Señora de la Concepcion is an outstanding example of Canarias architecture. Casa de Las Quinteras, a museum of historic artefacts and a travel back into history, is well worth a visit particularly the little shop that with its artisanal pottery and locally made crafts. Despite being the smallest island in all the Canaries, the island has vast ecological diversity ranging from clear seas with visibility of around 50 metres to lush forests (Valverde meaning literally “Green Valley”).