Perched at an elevation of 645 meters in the northern reaches of El Hierro, the La Peña Viewpoint unveils an unparalleled spectacle, commanding the island’s most breathtaking panorama. It instills a profound sense of our world’s vast wonders from a towering cliff overlooking the valley village and an expansive seascape that seems to stretch into eternity. Unlike typical viewpoints, Mirador de La Peña is also a masterpiece in itself, seamlessly blending with the landscape like the luminous moon in a starlit sky. Here, visitors aren’t merely spectators; they stand upon a tourist attraction, experiencing the beauty rather than merely observing it.

A Cliffside Icon’s History

The distinctive touch of the visionary César Manrique, renowned for his seamless integration of architecture, art, and nature, left an enduring mark on Lanzarote, transforming it into a tourist haven. His artistic philosophy of embracing the harmonious coexistence of art within nature and nature within art extended its influence to the shores of El Hierro. Manrique ascended a barren cliff in Guarazoca, a secluded yet expansive locale boasting the most panoramic views on the island, in his quest for a pristine canvas. Here, he conceived his next masterpiece.

By 1989, the grand realization of Manrique’s vision materialized as Mirador de La Peña, with its blend of stone and wood structure seamlessly interwoven with the natural surroundings, particularly the volcanic rock environment. The viewpoint has since become a cherished tourist destination, captivating visitors with artistic merit and spectacular views, solidifying its status as one of El Hierro’s premier attractions.

Why Go Up There

To witness the unspoiled beauty of El Hierro, a journey north to Valverde and a visit to the La Peña Viewpoint is an absolute must. Upon arrival, the senses are captivated by a breathtaking panorama. Guests are welcomed by a splendid garden adorned with an array of native Canarian plants and the awe-inspiring presence of Juniper trees, their gnarled forms shaped by the persistent trade winds.

A Masterpiece to Showcase the Real Masterpiece
A Masterpiece to Showcase the Real Masterpiece – @Arocas

The La Peña Viewpoint building seamlessly blends traditional El Hierro architecture with a modern twist. The exterior, crafted from cobblestone and rock bricks, harmoniously integrates the structure with its surroundings, while glass panel enclosures add a contemporary touch. Upon entering through the glass door, a wooden staircase leads to a remarkable restaurant. Beyond the delectable cuisine, the real allure of the place lies in the panoramic views past the glass windows. Nature itself takes center stage as the true artist here, with the viewpoint serving as a canvas for the real masterpieces.

From the expansive, deep blue sea, the towering cliff of Rosco de Tibataje ascends to the sky, guarding the valley below. On one side of the mirador is the soul-stirring El Golfo valley. The sculpted landscape shaped by violent eruptions millions of years ago reveals its magnificence in full splendor from the viewpoint.

On the opposite side, the Rocks of Salmor (Roques de Salmor) emerge from the ocean, their peculiar forms likened poetically to beads of a necklace dropped into the sea. Beyond their mesmerizing beauty, these rocks serve as both a habitat for seabirds and the giant lizards of El Hierro, adding a touch of wildlife allure to the stunning surroundings.

Restaurante El Mirador de La Peña

Hungry? Indulge your taste buds at Restaurante El Mirador de La Peña for a culinary journey through the flavors of the Canaries. The restaurant offers a relatively extensive menu of authentic Canarian dishes and prides itself on using locally sourced produce. Among their best-sellers are the delectable caldo de huevo (egg soup), quesadilla, goat cheese salad with honey vinaigrette and nuts, sweet gofio with cheese and mojos, and chicken breast stuffed with mushroom sauce. Save room for their popular desserts, including the gofio mousse with honey and almond granules, helado cremoso de frutas, and the local cheesecake with fruit coulis.

Pair your meal with a selection from their fantastic array of local La Frontera wines, enhancing the dining experience with the rich flavors of the region. If you’re in the mood for a cozy coffee break, Restaurante El Mirador de La Peña is also an excellent choice, providing a delightful spot to savor a cup of coffee amidst the surroundings.

Tips When Visiting La Peña Viewpoint

La Peña Viewpoint is open daily from 7:30 to 18:00, with no admission charge. To make the most of your visit to La Peña Viewpoint in El Hierro, consider the following tips:

Timing is Key: Visit during sunrise or sunset for a truly magical experience. The sky’s changing colors against the backdrop of the landscape create a breathtaking scene.

Check the Weather: El Hierro is known for its varied climate. Ensure you check the weather forecast before your visit, as clear skies enhance the panoramic views.

La Peña View El Hierro
Touch the Clouds Amidst the Natural Canvas of La Peña Viewpoint – ©gadzius

Comfortable Attire: Layer comfortable clothes and wear suitable footwear, as temperatures can vary, especially if you plan to explore the surrounding areas.

Bring Photography Gear: If you’re a photography enthusiast, bring your camera or smartphone. The viewpoint offers fantastic opportunities for capturing stunning landscapes, especially during golden hours.

Bring Binoculars: Enhance your experience by bringing binoculars. The expansive views from La Peña Viewpoint offer opportunities to spot marine life, birds, and other details in the surrounding landscape. Binoculars can add an extra dimension to your visual exploration.

Learn About the Area: Familiarize yourself with the geological and historical aspects of El Hierro. Understanding the significance of the landscape enhances the overall experience.

Respect the Environment: Practice responsible tourism by respecting the natural surroundings. Avoid littering in this piece of paradise and follow any guidelines or rules provided at the viewpoint.

Visit Nearby Attractions: Explore other nearby attractions, such as the Rocks of Salmor or the El Golfo Valley, to make your trip more comprehensive.

Plan for Tranquility: If you prefer a quieter experience, consider visiting during non-peak hours to fully appreciate the area’s serenity.

Observe the Wildlife: Keep an eye out for the seemingly fearless goats navigating the cliff ledges. While their movements may appear daring, these goats are well-adapted to the terrain and, despite appearances, navigate the cliffs with ease. Observing their unique behavior adds an intriguing natural element to your visit.

How to Get to La Peña Viewpoint

Getting to La Peña Viewpoint is an adventure worth taking. Check out the travel directions below from major municipalities on the island to discover what this incredible place has in store for you:

From Valverde

Driving: Get on HI-1, continue on HI-5, then take the 2nd exit onto HI-10, and you’ll find signs directing you to La Peña Viewpoint.

Public Transportation: Bus line 05 connects Valverde to Isora, stopping at La Peña Viewpoint along the way.

From Frontera

Driving: Get on HI-5, continue on C. Cruz al Barranco to Guarazoca, then turn right onto HI-10 and follow the signs leading to La Peña Viewpoint. 

Public Transportation: Bus line 03 connects Frontera to Valverde, where you can transfer to bus line 05 to reach the viewpoint.

From El Pinar

Driving: Begin by heading north on HI-4, then make a right onto HI-1. Briefly follow HI-1 until you get on HI-10, and pay attention to the signage guiding you to the destination.

Public Transportation: Take bus line 02 from El Pinar to San Andres, then transfer to bus line 05 to reach Mirador de La Peña.

Please note that road conditions and public transportation schedules may vary, so checking for the latest updates before planning your trip is advisable.

A Day Well Spent

La Peña Viewpoint encapsulates a realm of tranquility and natural wonders, offering a balm for the soul and mind. Here, amid the captivating vistas of El Golfo Valley, witness the thrill of base jumpers and savor a moment of serenity with a cup of coffee, allowing your gaze to wander from one marvel to the next. The timeless beauty of El Hierro and its valley, carefully curated by a visionary genius, invites visitors to stand on a stage where the magic of the experience unfolds. While a day spent here may conclude, the enchanting narrative woven through these sights remains enduringly etched in the hearts and minds of all who have ventured to this extraordinary place.