El Hierro: a fate with unexpected turns

If you have already seen the series “Hierro” (Movistar+ 2019-2022) you will surely remember two things: its detective plots and the breathtaking beauty of the “youngest” island of the Canary Islands (it emerged from the sea 1.1 million years ago). For those who saw the island for the first time on screen, its striking volcanic landscapes, full of calm and bathed in a magical light, were a real discovery. 

The success of the multi-award winning series is due to the cocktail of an intriguing murder case, memorable performances and that third omnipresent protagonist: the island’s landscape. For the Canary Islands Film Commission, this was predictable, but at the same time, they did not expect the flood of visitors they began to receive after the series aired.

In the footsteps of the judge and the “Hierro” trafficker

The first season of “Hierro” revolves around the murder of the young man who was going to marry the daughter of the character played by Darío Grandinetti (Díaz). A newly arrived judge (Candela Peña) takes over the investigation of the case. Both have a common goal: to uncover the truth. 

The investigation of the crime takes the characters all over the island: between the beaches of El Verodal and Arenas Blancas; the natural pools of La Maceta and Tarocón; the viewpoint of Jinama; the coast of La Restinga; the hermitage of the Virgen de los Reyes and the old town of Valverde (where the court building is located).

El Hierro: A paradise for screen tourism with a commitment to sustainability

Just as Judge Montes (Candela Peña) falls in love with this island, any visitor ends up falling in love with its fascinating beauty. Its small size is no obstacle to finding a surprising variety of landscapes. Moreover, as the distances between one point and another are so short, you can be taking a relaxing bath on the coast and, in a short time, walking along one of its laurisilva trails. One of the most famous is the Camino de Jinama, which ends at the viewpoint of the same name, from which there is a spectacular panoramic view over the valley of El Golfo (widely used as a location in the series).

Mirador de Jinama / Canary Islands Film Commission

To go from these cliffs, where the sea roars with force, to the absolute calm of the La Restinga-Mar de las Calmas Marine Reserve is just a short drive away. This is precisely one of the favourite areas for lovers of scuba diving, a sport practised by several of the main characters in the series. That is why, if you are a diving enthusiast, we recommend this place, a must for those looking for a good dive. Specifically, it is located in front of the fishing dock of the town of La Restinga and is a tongue of underwater lava, with a very varied relief and a wide variety of marine flora and fauna on its seabed.

El Hierro is famous not only for its underwater landscapes and warm, crystal-clear waters, but also for its many other natural attractions. Volcanoes, lava flows, lush forests, steep cliffs, relaxing natural pools and breathtaking panoramic views complete the picture offered by this Atlantic island. Furthermore, El Hierro is on the way to achieving energy self-sufficiency through clean and renewable energies. It is, therefore, a perfect destination for lovers of tranquillity and the environment. 

El Hierro is not lacking in breathtaking volcanic landscapes either, such as the area around the Orchilla lighthouse, the place considered to be the end of the world in ancient times and where the Zero Meridian was established until 1884 (when it was moved to Greenwich).

Orchilla lighthouse surroundings / Canary Island Film Commission

Natural pools and quesadillas

There are hardly any beaches on the island, but there are some paradisiacal natural pools. One of the best known is Charco Azul, so called because of its transparent turquoise waters. Carved under the volcanic cliffs, it is the perfect place to relax, enjoy a dip in its dreamy waters and forget about the world.

Also on the coast of the valley of El Golfo, sheltered from the sea currents, is the set of natural pools of La Maceta, with a solarium and picnic area, perfect to enjoy, especially if you are travelling with your family. Another must for those who don’t want to miss a single ray of sunshine and a relaxing swim is Tamaduste, a privileged spot on the Herreño coastline due to its calm waters, the beauty of its surroundings and the calm you can breathe in this small village, where you can also sample the island’s gastronomy in one of its restaurants.

The island’s gastronomy is another factor that will make your stay unforgettable. Fresh fish is the star of the island’s cuisine. It can be accompanied by the typical “papas arrugás” con mojo (wrinkled potatoes with mojo sauce) and the island’s famous cheese. This cheese, which is used in almost all local dishes, is the main ingredient of the famous quesadillas, the island’s star sweet. Of course, high-quality fruits are also grown on El Hierro (Díaz, the dealer-entrepreneur, has an extensive banana plantation in Tacorón). Among them, pineapple is considered one of the best in the world. To round off the gastronomic feast, there is nothing better than tasting the island’s Denomination of Origin wines.  

Special mention should be made of the gastronomic tour of the island, the Pizzeria Il Pomodoro, the favourite place of Candela Peña’s character in the series, where it is possible to sit at the same table that the actress occupied during filming. 

Candela Peña at the Pizzeria Il Pomodoro / Canary Islands Film Commission

Popular pilgrimages and Canarian wrestling

One of the most crowded scenes of the series was filmed around the chapel of Nuestra Señora de Los Reyes, patron saint of the island. In the middle of the celebration of her feast day, there is a thrilling chase with several gangs. Under normal circumstances, this event is much more playful and less hectic. 

Another distinctive element of the area’s culture, Canarian wrestling, is reflected in the scenes recorded in the Ramón Méndez arena, located in the Plaza de la Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria. You can take advantage of your stay on the island to watch a match of this wrestling sport characterised by the ability to take advantage of the opponent’s strength.

Filming of Canarian wrestling scenes / Canary Islands Film Commission

Cities and towns

Of course, in addition to its beautiful landscapes, the island has urban environments. Within the three municipalities of El Hierro – Valverde, Frontera and El Pinar – there are numerous villages. The one that appears most in the series is Valverde, where the courthouse, the police station and the port of La Estaca (maritime station where ferries arrive and depart) are located. Valverde is also the best place to do some shopping. Its main shopping street is nicknamed “La Calle” by the locals. You can’t miss it.

We hope we have given you the right clues to follow in the footsteps of the main characters of “Hierro”. But, if you don’t want to miss a single corner of the filming, here is a guide that, under the slogan #elhierroisladecine, goes through the two seasons of the series location by location. 

That’s El Hierro: enigmatic and breathtaking, like the series set in its land. It is also a haven of calm, where spring is experienced all year round. In short, a little piece of that paradise in the middle of the Atlantic that is the Canary Islands. Of course, this is something that the Canary Islands Film Commission knows very well, which is why they receive so many filming requests for all kinds of productions. So, if you want to know more about how to practice screen tourism in this archipelago, be sure to read on.

By María Parcero

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