For those of you whose holidays go beyond sunbathing on the beach and are looking for more active tourism, scuba diving in the Canary Islands has become an almost compulsory activity on any visit to the islands.
The archipelago contains a number of exceptional sites on virtually every island, either because of the wealth of fauna we can find or because of the geomorphological peculiarities of some locations or for other reasons.
The agitation of the water can be a challenge in some spots, but, of course, there are also many perfect places for those who are starting in this exciting exercise.
El Hierro is one of the most privileged in terms of seabed. Ask any scuba diving expert in the Canary Islands. When you’re on the surface, don’t forget the 3 most interesting places to see in El Hierro. But when you dive… Well, now we’ll tell you.
Cala Tacorón, cerca de la Restinga en El Hierro. / Cala Tacorón, near the Restinga in El Hierro.
General information about scuba diving in El Hierro.
Temperature and visibility are not a problem in El Hierro, on the contrary. We are talking about 20-26 degrees all the time and visibility is always good and higher than 30 metres horizontally. The currents are a very important issue to take into account, which can force you to cancel a dive except in the most protected points.
The volcanic eruption of 2011 gave this part of the world a new breath of life. Thus, in addition to enjoying an impressive landscape, the result of the small surface area of the island’s platform, there are lava ridges and samples of local volcanic activity everywhere.
These vast depths are a paradise for all kinds of underwater flora and fauna. The abundance of corals and algae and their inhabitants are the joy of divers and the encounter with large groupers, sharks and rays of various species or even turtles is not uncommon.
The best scuba diving sites in El Hierro.
The southern end of the island is the favorite place for amateurs to dive. Whether you have done diving in the Canary Islands before or not, these are the dive sites you can’t miss when you go to El Hierro:
- Restinga Point. Two minutes by boat from the village of La Restinga we will find the most complete place on the island. It is convenient to choose a day when the sea is very calm if we do not want to suffer with the currents. Good routes (El Veril, El Arco) at about 10 metres and an impressive vertical at 25.
- Restinga dock. The little brother of the previous one; inside the pier the level of difficulty is low (perfect for beginners and at night), but the visibility and the fauna richness are impressive.
El bajón. The Mecca of El Hierro scuba diving. The Mar de las Calmas marine reserve takes great care of this spot, where a submerged volcano (the summit is 9 metres away) delights visitors.
- Chinese ship: How come there are no wrecks in El Hierro? Well, the wreck is very deep… The interesting thing here is the six rock arches submerged between 6 and 18 metres. It is moderately difficult and the entertainment is guaranteed.
- El salto. Towards the west, in an area that is difficult to access, we can find a real gift for beginners. The route has a wall, canyon and cave and the fauna… Apart from the omnipresent groupers, sea bream, abbots and drums, perhaps you will find some sharks.
- Devil’s cave. We were not going to leave you without a cave… Very close to the previous one, with very little difficulty, with a penetration of light from the top that gives it a lot of charm and a great possibility to see the usual fauna and, perhaps, some stripes…
TRAVELLER TIP: Take note, these are not all the spots! You can have a look at some of the most ideal places for scuba diving in this interactive map.
When it comes to scuba diving, it’s not all about getting to the water, it’s all about finding information, finding the nearest club, getting diving equipment and getting transportation to the spot.
As far as diving companies are concerned, the best known and most frequented are La Restinga, El Tamboril and El Hierro, but there are several more: Taxi Diver, Arrecifal, Meridiano Cero, Green Shark… They are usually small and very welcoming centres, well prepared and have expert staff who know the island perfectly.
In these centres you will find equipment, instructors, courses and all the necessary information about the peculiarities of the area. In some cases they provide accommodation or offer packages that include dives, accommodation, sometimes food and sometimes other activities.
Remember to look for accommodation in La Restinga (which is, in addition to the southernmost town in Spain, the epicentre of island scuba diving). Well, it’s not that the hotel offer is unlimited, but something can be found. Actually, that’s where a lot of its charm lies, right?
OUR ADVICE: Although El Hierro is a small island, transportation can be a bit complicated at times; ideally you should stay at La Restinga to avoid “wasting” a lot of time on the road.
For your next scuba diving experience in the Canary Islands you have decided to go to El Hierro… Well done! 👌
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Redactor. Especialista en Viajes.
Uno de esos que piensa que nunca se puede viajar demasiado, y que no hay que irse a la otra esquina del planeta para descubrir un nuevo mundo. Veinte años con la mochila a cuestas y sin ganas de posarla, todavía… En familia, con amigos o con las ganas de escribir como única compañía, y la afición a la historia como bastón.
Editor. Travel specialist
One of those who thinks that you can never travel too much, and that you do not have to go to the other corner of the planet to discover a new world. Twenty years with the backpack on his back and unwilling to pose, still … In family, with friends or with the desire to write as a sole company, and the love of history as a cane.