El Hierro lsland (aka "Meridian Island", or Isla del Meridiano) is the Canaries' smallest and farthest island located west and south of the archipelago's main Islands. Canary Islands are an autonomous territory of Spain, located off the coast of Africa (to the west) in the Atlantic Ocean. El Hierro's port (and largest settlement) is Valverde (population around 6,000). The island itself covers a total area of 269 km2 (104 mi2) and has total population of around 10,000.
El Hierro Island is home to unique species, such as the endangered El Hierro giant lizard (Gallotia Simonyi). There is a breeding programme for it, allowing its reintroduction. In the island's interior, there are a pine forest, thermophilous juniper forest and evergreen woodlands. In 2000, the island was designated as a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO, with 60% of its territory protected in order to preserve natural and cultural diversity. It is notable that among cetaceans (aquatic mammals) in these waters, several species of less known beaked whales were confirmed to inhabit around this island.
Like the rest of Canary Islands chain, the El Hierro Island is mountainous and volcanic. Fortunately, only one eruption has ever been recorded. Volcan de Lomo Negro's 1793 eruption lasted a whole month.
Like all of the Canaries, El Hierro is a popular tourist travel destination. The island is served by a ferry terminal at Puerto de la Estaca, as well as by El Hierro Airport at Valverde, both of which connecting to Tenerife. Though El Hierro Island has a Parador (Spanish hotel owned and administered by the government), general hotel accommodations are in small family enterprises. Due to its status as a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, the island has limited construction works to less than 50% of its total surface and buildings are limited to 2 floors. This also allows it to maintain its traditional look more than the other 6 major Canary Islands.
El Hierro cruise terminal
Cruise ships to El Hierro Island dock (anchor) at Puerto de la Estaca (Valverde) - ferry port town on the northeastern coast.
On April 22, 2020, AIDA Cruises (the Germany-based subsidiary company of Carnival Corporation) announced a plan to use the AIDAperla ship to...April 25, 2020
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