Paraíso de buceo, cómo llegar
El Hierro Island
Declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 2000, is the smallest and westernmost of the Canary Islands. Renowned for its rich ecology and biodiversity.
El Hierro, the smallest and westernmost of the Canary Islands, is a unique place with its diverse, varied landscapes. From dense humid forests to old canary pine forests and desert volcanic slopes, the island offers something for everyone. It’s a perfect place for nature lovers to explore, with its rugged beauty and lush nature. El Hierro is truly a magical place. 60% of El Hierro is protected land and in 2000 UNESCO declared El Hierro a Biosphere Reserve. El Hierro is setting a global example in sustainability by becoming the world’s first energy self-sufficient island. En el año 2014 fue declarada la isla completa como Geoparque por la Unesco.
The island, historically, has been known by many different names, before reaching its current name. Ombrion, Capararia, Pluvialia, Eseró or Hero, have been some of the best known designations. It is not known for sure where the name of El Hierro comes from, but it could be due to a derivation of the old Canary language that designated the island with the name of “Hero” or “Esero”, meaning ‘strong place’. The fact that, in spanish, it is related to the metal of the same name has nothing to do with it, since it is conspicuous by its absence on our island. But, without a doubt, the name “Isla del Meridiano” is the one that hides the biggest and most famous story. Since the second century AD, Ptolemy considered the “Zero Meridian” to be the one that passes through the western end of the island, set at the Orchilla lighthouse. o it remained until 1883, when it was displaced to Greenwich (GMT). Hence, on many occasions, they refer to the island of El Hierro as the Meridian Island.
The birth of El Hierro started about 100 million years ago as a rupture in the oceanic plates. After many eruptions the island eventually emerged from the sea, reaching an elevation of more than 2000m high. Lava continued to flow and as it cooled it solidified into huge basalt cliffs.
About 50,000 years ago there was a cataclysmic event on the island, during which in just a few seconds, probably due to an earthquake, much of the island literally fell into the sea. This phenomenon originated the immense amphitheater and viewpoint of El Golfo, which we can visit today.
El Hierro has more than 500 cones visible on the surface and another 300 covered by more recent lava flows. It is now more than 200 years since the last land based eruption. As result of these eruptions, many caves and tubes originated. Only around 70 of the islands caves and tunnels have been investigated thus far.
In 2011-2012 a submarine eruption occured just 2km south of La Restinga with passive degassing continuing. Recent measurements show a peak at 89 meters from the sea surface and slowly rising still.
The land area of El Hierro was formed 1.2 million years ago, today it has more than 500 volcanic cones, the largest of which is “Tanganasoga”, which last erupted in 1793.
The fishing village of La Restinga, located in the south of El Hierro, is the southernmost point of Spain and a unique destination.
This small town is perfect for those seeking a relaxing sun and beach getaway away from the crowds, with its tranquil streets and coves, and the richness of its seabed being the main attractions.
In addition, its beach is perfect for the whole family, as it is protected from the winds and waves.
The weather on El Hierro is mild all year round but can be very different around the island. Along the coast the temperature is between 19ºC and 30ºC with a mild breeze most of the year. The nights are cooler, usually clear and with very little light pollution, so the stars are one more sight you can enjoy. he water temperature is between 18ºC during the winter and 25ºC in late Summer.
La Restinga is the driest part of El Hierro and the surrounding landscape is in stark contrast to other areas of El Hierro. You can expect sunny days with daytime temperatures around 25o. But never visit the island without a coat, since the difference in altitude makes the temperature difference noticeable in several parts of the island.
How to get to El Hierro
There are a number of ways to Get to El Hierro. First step is to get to Tenerife or Gran Canaria, then take onward connections either by Air or Sea. To help you in organising your trip we have outlined the main options for getting here.
- Binter Canarias
- Tel: +(34) 902 391 392
The airline Binter Canarias operates 4-5 daily flights from Tenerife North Airport to Valverde, El Hierro. The flight is only 40 minutes.
Please note flights to El Hierro only depart from Los Rodeos Airport in the North of Tenerife.
If your flight to lands at Reina Sofia Airport – South Tenerife (TFS) and you need to transfer to Tenerife Airport North (TFN), there is a direct public bus several times a day as well as a number of private transfer companies. Journey time is approximately 1 hour.
- Tel: +(34) 928 01 85 00
At the moment operates 1 flight only, on Fridays and Sundays, from Tenerife North (Los Rodeos); flight duration is 40 minutes only.
- Naviera Armas
- Tel: +(34) 902 456 500
If your flight arrives in Tenerife South before 3pm, then Naviera Armas ferry is a good option. These Ferries depart at late afternoon from Los Cristianos – South of Tenerife and the journey takes approximatly 2 & 1⁄2 hours.
Important notice: There is no ferry running on Saturdays to/from El Hierro. You can find the ferry company schedule on their website, but only 3 months in advanced.
There is a fleet of public buses or ‘guaguas’ serving the Island. The buses usually run every few hours and serve all the main towns and villages on the island. Transhierro Bus
If you really want to see more of the island and explore a little, the best way is to hire a car for a few days. The roads in El Hierro are excellent and there are many beautiful drives around the island.
For those who want to explore it on foot there are many very well marked hiking trails of different level and free routes maps are available.