El Hierro: Spain’s 100% Renewable Energy Island

El Hierro may be the smallest of Spain’s Canary Islands, but it’s big on appeal. The Gorona del Viento hydroelectric plant makes this island 100% self-sustainable. El Hierro now uses only renewable energy.

El Hierro, Canary Islands

Visitors who cannot do without their internet will be pleased to know El Hierro boasts free WiFi. This is available throughout the island.

El Hierro’s nature and Marine Reserve has earned it the UNESCO World Biosphere status. Beautiful green forests reach down to sheer coastal cliffs. Weirdly twisted juniper trees have been shaped by the wind. The island’s huge Garóe tree was a source of water for earlier inhabitants. The natural pool of Charco Azul is pristine and inviting.

The Capital of El Hierro, Valverde

Valverde Streets, El Hierro

El Hierro’s capital Valverde lies a few kilometres inland from the coast and airport. The town sits atop a mountain ridge and boasts lovely sea and valley views. This is a surprising location and the only landlocked capital of all the Canary Islands. Aside from a few historic buildings and a pretty church, Valverde doesn’t have much to offer visitors. Most tend to visit the town to stock up on essentials not available in the smaller resorts.

Cueva de Don Justo

Cueva de Don Justo Cave

El Hierro has the largest amount of volcanoes in the Canaries. Although not nearly as dramatic as El Teide on Tenerife. Here there are hundreds of volcanic cones dot the landscape. These volcanic cones have also created over 70 caves. The largest cave system being Cueva de Don Justo. These caves, hills and valleys make it a favourite destination for adventure sports. Scuba diving is the other big attraction of El Hierro.

The marine reserve near the village of La Restinga attracts divers from around the world. Along with the marine reserve, there are over 40 dive sites to explore. These include thrilling underwater caves, rainbow coloured reefs and scary cliffs. Many cliffs have sheer drops of up to 300 metres. Dive centres in La Restinga offer courses and recreational dives.

Map of El Hierro

Please click image for full size Google map.

Map of El Hierro