Much Better Adventures

Adventures / Adventure School

Freedive a remote Canary Island

Discover the calm and relaxed sport of freediving on the UNESCO-listed island of El Hierro – one of Europe’s most famous dive sites

Annual Leave

5 days off work

Location

Canary Islands

Difficulty

Moderate

No particular level of fitness is needed, just the ability to swim for around ten minutes at a time.

Why it's Much Better

Travel to peaceful El Hierro, the smallest and most remote of the Canary Islands and site of some of the best diving in the world

Connect with nature as you experience the weightlessness, freedom and relaxation of diving without scuba equipment

Explore the natural wonders of this protected UNESCO Biosphere, including dramatic coastline, meadows of wildflowers and forests of gnarled juniper

Dive in the Mar de las Calmas Marine Reserve, a unique volcanic landscape that's home to octopus, manta rays, whale sharks, dolphins and turtles

Train in sky-blue, natural swimming pools and earn your AIDA1 and AIDA2 certification that proves your skill beneath the waves

What's Included

Guides

Expert, English-speaking guides

Accommodation

6 nights in a private apartment in La Caleta

Transfers

Rental car with full insurance

Equipment

Everything you need above and below the waves

Permits

All certification fees, diving insurance and course materials

Happiness Guaranteed

We're so confident that your holiday will be your best yet, we actually guarantee it

Feel Good Vibes

We mitigate 4x the carbon emitted by all our travellers and support important conservation projects

Itinerary

Day 1

Remote and beautiful El Hierro

Activity

Easy day

Accommodation Type

Apartment in La Caleta

Meet your host on the beautiful island of El Hierro, considered before the voyage of Columbus to be the end of the world.

Settle into your apartment and then meet your team for dinner in La Caleta town.

Day 2 - 6

Learn to freedive

On the Water

Approx. ten 90-minute practical sessions

Accommodation Type

Apartment in La Caleta

Wake up on an island paradise. Each day you’ll work on your breathing technique, body positioning, water rescue and freedive theory and learn how to stay relaxed and comfortable while exploring the underwater world (approx. ten 90-minute practical sessions and 5.5 hours in the classroom.)

In between you’re free to explore the island in your rental car, try paragliding, swim in idyllic natural pools and caves or hike to some of El Hierro’s many volcanoes and its famous forests of wind-sculpted juniper.

In the evening, return to your private apartment to cook dinner, or explore the town in search of a local restaurant.

Day 7

Leave El Hierro

Activity

Easy day

After breakfast it’s time to head back to the airport or ferry terminal and return home armed with your AIDA1 and AIDA2 certificates, complimentary underwater photographs and tons of stories to share with your friends.

Please Note

All our adventures take place in wild places. Things can go wrong in wild places. Your perfectly planned itinerary may change a bit (or a lot) if the weather turns, someone gets hurt, or a volcano erupts. Usually though, changes make it all the better.

Accommodation

La Caleta

Accommodation

Guesthouse

Rooms

Twin share

You’ll stay in an apartment in the heart of La Caleta with sunrise ocean views from the terrace. All options are private, clean, and located within 300m of the sea and dive training site. Unfortunately there is no island-wide internet, however, your host can sort you out with Wi-Fi passwords.

Frequently Asked Questions

The following are not included in the trip price:

  • Travel to and from El Hierro (Please contact you local host if you find cheaper flights a day earlier or later.)
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal expenses
  • Optional activities
  • Food and drinks

Freediving is suitable for anyone who can swim for at least 10 minutes. No particular level of fitness is needed and you don’t need any previous SCUBA or snorkelling experience. You will, however, need to complete a pre-trip medical statement to ensure that you don’t have any conditions that might prevent you from freediving safely.

This trip is aimed at very small groups, and will run with a minimum of 2 people, and a maximum of 3. Please note if there are not 2 people booked the trip may be rearranged or cancelled.

Sure can! Over 50% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

Visitors to the Canary Islands are often surprised by the quality of the food, with many ingredients produced locally, including vegetables grown in rich volcanic soil and fish and shellfish caught in the surrounding waters.

You’re sure to encounter papas arrugadas - small potatoes served in a sauce of garlic, olive oil, vinegar, herbs and spices. Thick vegetable and meat soups are also common. Main courses include grilled fresh, calamari, prawns, and a variety of meats served roasted or stewed. Most restaurants have one or two vegetarian options on the menu, but vegan food is harder to come by, however, your apartment includes a full kitchen and there are several grocery stores on the island, including two natural food stores, so you should be able to cook for any diet. The islands also produce award-winning wines.

It’s recommended that you drink bottled water while on El Hierro.

El Hierro has a subtropical desert climate, meaning it’s hot and dry all year round. From April to October temperatures average 16 – 29 °C, with record highs exceeding 40 °C. Rain is almost unheard of in the summer. From November to March temperatures average 14 – 24 °C, and it’s sunny nearly every day.

Of course, you can safely leave any excess luggage in your apartment.

Many destinations require a visa and for your passport to be valid for 6 months minimum. Up to date advice for UK citizens can be found here.

We recommend checking out the country specific information here and also talking to a travel nurse.

We’ve teamed up with the guys at World Nomads to offer insurance designed for adventurous travellers across 140 countries that includes overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities. To get yours sorted, click here.

We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book the trip, just to cover you for any last minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!

For current advice about travelling in Spain, have a read of the UK Foreign Office pages here.

Our group adventures are adult only, however, if you would like to bring children along this can be arranged by requesting a private trip with the host. This trip is suitable for children from age 16 only.

Recreational freediving is a peaceful and elegant sport where you use breath control and body positioning techniques to swim underwater with comfort and ease, rather than rely on technology. You may have seen competitive freediving on TV, where divers use weights to plunge hundreds of meters down, but that’s a very different sport to recreational freediving, which isn’t about how deep you go, but how much fun you have,

Once down there you can use the time to explore the sea bed, investigate schools of fish, or simply enjoy the relaxing sensation of weightlessness. As long as you’re always diving with a buddy there’s a low risk of injury and at worst you might experience cold chills or discomfort in your ears.

The International Association for the Development of Apnea (AIDA) sets the international standards for freediving. AIDA1 is an introductory level that only takes a day to complete and focuses on gaining confidence in the water and learning the basics of freediving techniques, equipment and most importantly safety.

AIDA2 takes your freediving to the next level. Here you’ll learn advanced breathing techniques, water rescue skills, dive accuracy and more. At the end of the course almost all students are able to hold their breath for 2+ minutes, swim underwater for 40m, and dive to depths of around 16 – 20m.

If you’re already a certified freediver, AIDA3 training can be arranged on request.

Given its remote location, El Hierro takes two connections to get to. Your host suggests flying in via Gran Canaria or Tenerife before continuing your onward journey to El Hierro. The following instructions are based on information available at the time of writing and are likely to be accurate for trips in 2019. Please double check to ensure its accuracy.

El Hierro via Gran Canaria.

  • Step 1 - Fly to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Airport (LPA) which is served by regular, inexpensive flights from all across mainland Europe. Please schedule your flight to arrive by 14:00.
  • Step 2 - Connect to El Hierro: There’s only one daily flight between the islands, so plan accordingly. Feel free to contact your local host if you find cheaper flights a day earlier or later.

El Hierro via Tenerife

  • Step 1 - Fly to Tenerife South Airport (TFS), which is also served by regular, inexpensive flights from across mainland Europe. Schedule your flight to arrive by 18:30 to ensure that you don’t miss the last ferry to El Hierro.
  • Step 2 - Catch a cab from the front of the airport and get dropped off at the port of Cristianos (20 minutes - EUR 20-30).
  • Step 3 – Get the ferry to El Hierro: The ferry operator is Naviera Armas. Tickets cost approximately EUR 99 round trip. The ferry leaves Wednesdays at 07:55 and 20:15, arriving in El Hierro 2 hours and 45 minutes later.

Meeting Point

Start

Where

El Hierro Airport or Seaport

When

Anytime

Given El Hierro's remote location, please see the FAQ on how to get there.

End

Where

El Hierro Airport or Seaport

When

Anytime

You’ll be returned to the airport/seaport on your final day. The ferry leaves El Hierro at 14:00 and arrives in Cristianos at 16:30, so please schedule your return flight to depart no earlier than 18:30.

Kitlist

15% Off Outdoor Gear

In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 15% discount on us to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock, Runner's Need, and Cycle Surgery.

What's included?

Your host will supply all the freediving equipment, but if you have any of your own gear you’re welcome to bring it. Freediving equipment includes:

  • Wetsuit
  • Mask (special freediving masks are best)
  • Snorkel
  • Fins
  • Weight belt

What do I need to bring?

  • Small backpack for carrying personal items on day hikes
  • Hiking shoes
  • Comfortable, breathable shirts and trousers/shorts
  • Sun protection (hat, sunglasses and sunblock)
  • Windbreaker
  • Swimsuit and towel
  • Water bottle
  • Driver’s license for your rental car
  • Minimum 8GB SD card or USB stick for complimentary copies of your underwater photos

Meet Your Host

Karsten and team

After becoming captivated by the meditative aspects of the sport of freediving, your host Karsten set up El Hierro’s first dedicated freediving centre to take advantage of the islands incredible underwater landscape. Since then he has drawn together a likeminded team to help spread the word about this calm and relaxing sport and pass on their knowledge, skills and passion to new divers.

Contact Host

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Dates & Prices

Bespoke trips only

There are currently no planned group departures. Please contact this host to request a quote for a custom trip.

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