Scuba Diving on El Hierro – La Restinga
There is only one place for a scuba diving holiday on El Hierro. The most southern village called La Restinga. More than 10 dive centres are situated in the 500-soul village. Apart from the night dive, all trips take place by boat here. The Mar de las Calmas marine reserve of 750 hectares, which is less than 5 minutes from the port, offers plenty of dive sites. The location of La Restingas, on the southern tip of the island, offers diving opportunities in almost every weather condition.
After the submarine volcanic eruptions in 2011, the underwater world of El Hierros has recovered, perhaps even improved. Fish and biodiversity are still omnipresent in scuba diving. There are more frequent encounters with different species, which are very rare on the other island.
Diving Centres on El Hierro
There are more than ten diving centres in the village of La Restinga. That is more than twice as many as on La Gomera and La Palma together. The reason for this is quickly identified, the marine reserve in the Mar de las Calmas.
Two of the many dive centres I can recommend:
Since the end of 2015 the diving centre Arrecifal is managed by Peter from Ireland. Me and my girlfriend did 16 dives with the team and we always felt completely taken care of. The safety of diving was always in the first place and immediately after that came the fun. The guides are fluent in English and Spanish. Normally two dives are made in the morning, but the dive centre is flexible according to booking status.
Arrecifal Centro de Buceo
Calle La Orchilla, 30
El Hierro, La Restinga
Günther and Jutta have been running their dive centre on El Hierro since 1997. Günther is diving with you and Jutta takes care of everything that is needed on the surface. Both are specialists when it comes to individual service. Pickup from the airport, apartment agency, as well as photos and videos belong to the normal offer. Advance booking is obligatory, as there are only limited places available!
El Varadero 4
38915 La Restinga
El Hierro, Spain
Dive sites on El Hierro
Around El Hierro there are more than 40 dive sites. Except of the night dive in the harbour basin, all spots are approached with the Zodiac. One of the most famous dive sites is’ El Bajon’, a volcanic crater rising from about 100m to a depth of 5m. But also the other dive sites impress with their biodiversity and magnificent landscapes. Not only the dive sites in the Marine Reserve are recommended. For example,’ El Bajon’ and ‘Punta Restinga’ are two spots, which are not located in the marine reserve but still fascinated me.
Apart from the dive sites mentioned here, there are also other spots worth seeing. However, you can’t always see everything during a holiday. The missing sites will be added as fast as possible!
Mar de las Calmas – Marine reserve
The Mar de las Calmas Marine Reserve was established in 1996. Accordingly, it is already over 20 years old. The special thing about this is that the fishermen of El Hierro have worked for it themselves. Even before the creation of the reserve, fish stocks were in good condition. This is still clearly the case today. From my point of view, there are many species that are very rarely seen in the other Canary Islands. In addition, the balance between the different species seems to be better.
The total area of the Marine Reserve is 750 ha with a circumference of about 21 km. To better imagine, 750ha are about 1500 football pitches! It is important to note that there are both shallow and deep regions. In addition, diving and fishing is only allowed at certain places and there are even more restrictions. For example, a maximum of 12 divers per buoy can be diving only. There is a Zona Integral where all fishing activities are prohibited. In addition, there are zones where only traditional fishing methods are allowed. This ensures that the protected area remains a place of retreat and reproduction for future generations.
The location in the Mar de las Calmas (Silent Sea) is also ideal. As the name suggests, it is usually quiet and therefore offers protection for fish and snail nests, for example. In addition, there is also the fact that the fish migrate to neighbouring areas and are therefore available to fishermen for catching.
As a result, I can only say, keep it up! An optimal solution for fishermen and scuba divers alike.