El Hierro is the smallest and most south-western of the Canary Islands. On 278 km2, one finds a variety of landscapes, from the rough coastal area in the south and east to the pretty vineyards and plantations around the bay El Golfo, with dense forest with almond and fig trees on the high mountain that forms the heart of the island. The capricious rock formations along the coast – with cliffs as high as 1000 meters – make place for beaches and inlets where natural pools have been formed.
Unesco has nominated El Hierro as bio reserve. A substantial EU subsidy has launched an ambitious programme to make the island the first island in the world to be energy self-sufficient, with a combination of wind turbines and solar energy, which will also power water desalination facilities. The clear sea water and one of the most spectacular underwater landscapes of the world makes it ideal for scuba diving.
El Hierro is part of the Spanish province Tenerife. From the small airport, located near the capital Valverde, there are three daily flights to Tenerife, and several weekly flights to La Palma and Gran Canaria. Several times a day, boats sail to Tenerife (a fast hydrofoil watercraft, or a nightboat).
The climate on the island is created through the interaction between the ocean currents from the Saharan Bank and the Trade Winds, which means that the weather is uniformly mild. Coastal temperatures vary between 19 degrees and 23 degrees centigrade and there are moderate winds during most of the year.
There is considerable variation in both the number of sunny days in a year as well as the intensity of the sun. Precautions against taking too much sun must be taken seriously, as the refreshing effect of the breeze means that you´re not always concious of the amount of sun you´re getting. The nights tend to be very clear and cloudless, letting you see of one of the cleanest and most brilliant skies in the world – a delight for both romantics and astronomers.
The sea temperature varies between 19 degrees centigrade in January and 23 degrees centigrade in September.