Part of the province of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, the island is reached via El Hierro Airport (also known as Valverde Hierro Airport). You’ll find the island relatively quiet as the crowds tend to favour the larger islands. Rest assured, however, there’s plenty to enjoy once you’ve collected your hire car from El Hierro Airport.
A protected UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, the entire island is a haven for lovers of the great outdoors, divers, naturalists, and ornithologists.
Things to See and Do in Valverde
The main town of Villa de Valverde is perched on a hill a 15 minute drive from the airport and, as the island’s capital, is one of the main tourist destinations. Interestingly, it’s the only capital in the Canary Islands not located on the coast. Whilst its architecture is fairly uninspiring, the views more than make up for it on a clear day.
Make sure you visit the Ventejis Mountains rising up behind Valverde. The area boasts wonderful scenery and remarkable views out to sea and neighbouring islands when the weather is clear. Surrounded by scrubland and plains, it’s a great spot for bird watching.
Exploring El Hierro
The island’s coast may be craggy and lined with cliffs but the surrounding waters are ideal for swimming, snorkelling, and scuba diving.
Head to the La Peña or El Roncon viewpoints overlooking the El Golfo valley. Offering great views of the 700m drop, La Peña also boasts an excellent restaurant serving up local cuisine.
One of El Hierro’s big attractions is scuba diving. Baja Bocarones, El Arco (The Arch), El Rincon, and Punta Miradera are amongst the most popular dive sites. Moray eels, puffer fish, and scorpion fish are amongst the most common sites but if you’re lucky, you may spot beaked whales and manta rays too.
The Roques de Salmor, found just offshore near Las Puntas, are home to a diverse variety of bird life. Bulwer petrels, storm petrels, and shearwaters can all be spotted here, whilst if you’re lucky, you may spot the rare giant lizard of El Hierro.