El Hierro

el-hierro-restinga
La Restinga – El Hierro

El Hierro, the westernmost island, covers 268.71 km2 (103.75 sq. mi.), making it the smallest of the major islands, and the least populous with around 10,000 inhabitants. The whole island was declared a Biosphere Reserver by UNESCO in 2000 with 60% of its territory protected to preserve its natural and cultural diversity. Its capital is Valverde. Also known as Ferro, it was once believed to be the westernmost land in the world. Like all of the Canary Islands, El Hierro is a tourist destination and is served by a small airport, El Hierro Airport at Valverde and a ferry terminal, both of which connect to Tenerife.

Volcanic_Cones-and-Pahoehoe-Lava-at-La-Restinga-El-Hierro
Volcanic Cones and Pahoehoe Lava at La Restinga – El Hierro

Photograph reproduced under Common Attribution Share Alike License.

Like the rest of the Canary Islands chain, El Hierro is sharply mountainous and volcanic; only one eruption has ever been recorded on the island from the Volcan de Lomo Negro vent in 1793. The eruption lasted a month.

Being a small island in the Atlantic, it gets windy at times and according to the Spanish Ministry for Industry, Tourism and Commerce, El Hierro will become the first island in the world to be energy self-sufficient. This will be achieved through a €54 million project combining a greater than 11 megawatt wind farm and two hydroelectric projects.

How to Get There

El Hierro Airport was completed in 1972, allowing the island to open up to tourism in certain numbers. El Hierro is one of two Canary Islands without direct tourist flights from mainland Europe (other than Spain), the other being La Gomera. Most people fly to Tenerife North or Gran Canaria and take a daily connecting flight provided by the local carrier, Binter.

A ferry service, operated by Naviera Armas, runs daily between the port Puerto de La Estaca in Valverde and Los Cristianos in Tenerife.

Accommodation

The entire island can only accommodate around 1,300 visitors and is made up of guest houses and B&B’s, and traditional hotels including the National Parador.

Getting Around

Although buses operate between the main towns, the best option is to rent a car to fully explore the island.

Things to Do

scuba-diving-in-gran-canaria

Photograph reproduced under Common Attribution Share Alike License.

The clear, deep waters around the island make this a haven for lovers of diving and snorkeling. There are various diving centres and schools for both beginners and experts, with organised outings to the best local dive sites.

The island is a great place for outdoor activities such as paragliding, mountain biking, surfing, caving and hiking.

Tourist Office – El Hierro

C/. Doctor Quintero Magdaleno, 4, 38900, Valverde. El Hierro. Spain. Tel: (+34) 922 55 03 02. Fax: (+34) 922 55 29 03. Email: turismo@el-hierro.org. Official Web.

Video – A Drone’s eye view of El Hierro

Video – Scuba Diving in El Hierro

Portions of this page are modifications based on work created and shared by Google and used according to terms described in the Creative Commons 3.0 Attribution License, in particular, Wikipedia.


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