The most beautiful dive sites in Europe
All the immersion points are within 15 minutes of navigation.
The island’s seabed resembles terrestrial landscapes by their volcanic origin. This part of the Atlantic Ocean is full of lava formations, caves and tunnels, but also large expanses of sand. The Marine Reserve allows animals to find many shelters.
El Hierro has the particularity of having in its waters a mixture of different species from the Atlantic but also sub-tropical. You can therefore meet lobsters and coral as well as parrot fish or schools of tunas …
Many rays are listed here such as black stingrays, eagle rays, butterfly rays but also mobula rays and manta rays!
Some sharks are also present such as angel sharks, blue sharks and mako sharks offshore, but especially the famous ferox shark which comes up from the ocean depths during the summer!
The Canarys are also famous for the presence of many species of cetaceans such as long-beaked dolphins, tursiops, bottlenose dolphins, pilot whales, humpback whales and even blue whales!
see also: Gallery
The Marine Reserve of El Hierro
The “Mar de las Calmas“, sheltered from the prevailing winds, marine biosphere reserve, guarantees you to enjoy calm waters and underwater landscapes throughout the year in temperate water.
The exceptional underwater world of the Mar de la Calmas marine reserve, created in 1996, makes it a major diving spot in the Canaries. The waters, protected from winds and currents, are extraordinarily clear: the diver has a visibility of 20 to 40 m. The subtropical climate causes the water temperature to fluctuate between 18 and 26 ° C. All around the reserve, only line fishing is allowed, which allows fish stocks (especially tuna) to rebuild. Its waters are characterized by continuous calm (can be plunged all year round) because the reserve is sheltered from the trade winds and by its tropical character, sheltering species that are not found in the rest of the archipelago. Due to the volcanic topography of the island, it reaches depths of over 300 meters. It has an approximate quadrilateral shape with an area of 1180 ha (7.5km2).
"Exterior" part of the Marin Reserve:
2 close dives sites , for experimented divers
The most famous and fabulous dive in El Hierro! It appears according to Cousteau as one of the 100 most beautiful dives in the world. Two towers of rocks separated by a “crater”, the largest which falls to more than 100m deep and which rises to 12m. Black coral, groupers, black-headed sebreams, trevally, salemas, barracudas … large pelagics such as amberjacks, tunas or even mobula rays! This is a dive for experimented diver because the currents can sometimes be quite marked.
Very interesting because of its spectacular relief, with a magnificent arch at 40 m, covered with black coral and wildlife in abundance. A sand plateau after the arch at more than 40m allows groupers and rays to come in large numbers to take shelter near the wall which rises ten meters from the surface, covered with black coral, sponges yellow with many faults and caves where lobsters and groupers shelter. Above the mu, canyons go up to the point of Restinga, with schools of salemas and parrot fishes.
"Inside" part of the Marin Resrve
12 inmersion points . Here are some of them.
Last buoy of the marine reserve, the dive begins near the shore with a rocky bottom that slides towards a sandy plateau filled with garden eels, the largest in Europe (11km!). This black sand garden is the ideal place for stingrays, razor fish, sand conger eels and soles. This place is also a favorite place of passage for mobula rays and hammerhead sharks! We then go up on a rocky plateau with arches and small cracks, territories of blue triggerfishes and curious brown groupers.
Quiet and entertaining dive for all levels, located next to the Tacorón natural swimming pool. In the 20-meter zone, garden eels, starfish, stingrays, small groupers …. Heading towards the natural swimming pool, we discover the entrance vault which is located at 7 meters. The small caves formed in the cliff make this place an ideal place to look for porcupine fish. This area is sheltered from winds and currents, you are like in an aquarium!
Cueva Del Diablo
This dive takes place along the rocky cliff. It is known because it is frequented by divers but also walkers. Accessible by boat when the tide permits. The cave is open on its upper part by two large “skylights” which let light in over the entire central area. You will find all the small fauna of crustaceans of the Canaries, the two types of lobsters … The dive ends in the zone of 5 meters on a stone arch. Diving accessible to all levels although it is a cave.
Punta Las Cañas
The immersion begins in a flat area which becomes increasingly steeper as you move away from the coast. Large eroded rocks and dykes perpendicular to the coast provide refuge for many species. It is common to meet the yellow moray, shoal of seabreams, shears, grupers, amberjacks …
This dive probably has the most typical underwater landscapes of the region with caves and faults. In the caves, it is easy to see porcupine fish and schools of saupes that will pop out as soon as you enter. The caves are not easily accessible if the surf is too heavy. Outside the caves, it is possible to see cuttlefishes, eagle rays or schools of jackfishes.
East side, outside of the Marin reserve
Dizzying drop-offs and spectacular arches
The most interesting of this dive is to explore the many cavities that shelter the Canarian lobster, the porcupine fish … In a small cave 5 meters deep, we can observe black coral, and the funny effect of the halocline due to the upwelling of fresh water in the rock. Throughout the year, many arches to discover!
This dive consists of two columns near the coast of which the furthest from the coast has a part at 10 meters and the deep one at more than 40 meters. With an abundance of life, there are many black corals, sponges, large barracudas, groupers, sergeants … The other small column is at a maximum depth of only 15-20 meters and has a cave that we can cross. The spectacular configuration of this site favors both the passage of angel sharks and rays in the sandy part, but also mobula rays which come to turn around the columns …
This dive is also known as “La grotte des Jureles” (yellow jackfishes). East of the port, it is only done when sea conditions permit. A cave full of “jureles” is present at 28 meters deep, watched by large groupers, and in which lobster can sometimes hide. Black coral is present around 35 meters near the cave.
Muelle de la Restinga Nocturna
Departure from the shore. This is an opportunity to observe an impressive quantity of shrimp and shellfish which appear as if by magic during the night … not to mention the many octopusses and cuttlefishes that invade the marina! High place of reproduction and hunting of stingrays and butterflies during the night, their broom is a delight!