TRIP REPORT: Island hopping with Binter Canarias


Written by Klemen Klančar

Route: El Hierro (VDE) - Gran Canaria (LPA)
Date: July 31, 2021
Airline: Binter Canarias
Flight: NT368
Aircraft: ATR 72-600
Registration: EC-MVI

This trip report describes a short island hop from El Hierro to Gran Canaria. El Hierro is the smallest, geologically the youngest and by far the least visited in the Canary Islands archipelago. It hosts Spain's westernmost airport VDE named after the island's capital Valverde. The airport was opened in 1972 and its only routes are to Tenerife North and Gran Canaria served by Binter Canarias and Canaryfly. A very short runway (1,250 m in length) is the reason that only turboprops operate here.

Arriving by car gives a great view of the airport which is located right next to the Atlantic Ocean.

Approaching the airport by car

The car park is almost entirely dedicated to rental cars and is clearly marked.

Rental car parking

The terminal building is small, but it is a very welcome change compared to the airports where passengers have to walk long distances in seemingly endless corridors to get to the gate. Check-in for this flight had already been done in Gran Canaria before the inbound flight. Therefore, only baggage drop-off was needed in El Hierro. Security control and the only two gates are a few metres away. In the waiting area there is a shop and a café. The small size of the terminal is best described by the fact that approximately 70 passengers made it look crowded, even more so in these pandemic times.

I hope I can remember the gate number...

One of the filming locations of Spanish crime show "Hierro" was also at El Hierro airport

The same two airport employees from the check-in desk were awaiting the passengers at the gate. Boarding began on time and the passengers walked towards the aircraft which was parked next to the terminal.

Our ride to Gran Canaria

El Hierro terminal building

Control tower

Strong wind as usual in the Canaries

The flight was almost full and the vast majority of the passengers seemed to be Spanish citizens. The Spanish government subsidises travel of Canarian residents. They are entitled to a 75% discount on all domestic air and sea travel fares which means they can fly between the islands for as little as 15 euros.

We took off five minutes ahead of schedule. Unsurprisingly, at the time there was no other traffic at El Hierro airport. The legroom on board the ATR 72-600 was more generous than on many bigger aircraft types. No in-flight service was provided with the exception of small packets of cookies which were handed out by the cabin crew during disembarking in Gran Canaria.

More than sufficient legroom

Covid-19 preventive measures on board

The 50-minute flight landed a few minutes early in Gran Canaria. Despite the gusting wind the landing was soft. After disembarking (one row at a time) the bus took us to the domestic part of the arrival hall. The Spanish Health Control Form must be shown only upon entering the country, so we could proceed directly to the baggage belts as this was a domestic flight.

Arrival into the domestic part of the terminal in Gran Canaria

All in all, this short flight was a pleasant experience. If you are planning your holiday in the Canary Islands, I absolutely recommend visiting El Hierro. Still undiscovered by mass tourism this volcanic island is well worth exploring.

Hope you enjoyed reading this trip report!

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  1. Very nice report. I even didn't hear about that island.

  2. Anonymous10:23

    Do you know if they offer some sort of "island hopping pass"? What was the price of your ticket?

  3. Anonymous11:31

    Yep, with Binter I think you can hop between islands, for free. For example, price from Madrid to Tenerife will be the same as Madrid-Tenerife and from there hopping to El Hiero.

  4. I used a few times CanaryFly that is for some reason much cheaper than Binter. Perhaps because it is new, has only 4 aircraft and thus less reliable. Tickets were for 20-30 eur (so Canarian citizens were paying 5-7 eur) and LF never reached more than 50-60%.

    I would love to visit El Hierro once. For now, my favourite Canarian island is La Palma which is also a bit out of touristic crowds but has gorgios landscape (both volcanic and rainforest).

    1. Anonymous14:13

      Have you been to the desertic Fuerteventura? La Palma is VERY picturesque, loved it to pieces.

    2. Yes, I spent two days on Fuerteventura and to say honestly - that is the only Canary island I don't have any intention to visit again. Lanzarote is similar but not so brutaly empty, so there I can imagine coming again for few days. But on La Palma or Tenerife (north part) I can imagine living.
      Gran Canaria has also beautiful nature inside but the big fire from 2 years ago made the north part quite black and sad.

  5. Anonymous14:12

    Canarias has 7 islands each of which are very different. Tenerife is one of the greenest if not the greenest of all and Fuerteventura is a desertic one but with stunning beaches. Binter is growing nicely and now aggressively expanding towards Continental Europe especially France and Italy because Canarias is a year-round destination where the temperature remains almost the same throughout the whole year. I know this place so well. They also have a kinda latino accent being between Latin America and Spain. One of the most famous air disasters happened there in 1977 because of the Dutch idiot pilot. Lots of material online.
    Las Palmas is more urban and does not feel homey compared to the rest of the islands but Tenerife, Fuerteventura and La Palma are highly recommended,
    Binter seem to be growing very nicely putting an end to the long Iberia colony of Iberia, Vueling and Air Europa which was bought by them. They operate using the newest generation of Embraer E2.
    If you ever visit you must try Papas con mojo - potatoes with a special Canarias sauce and the Conejo en salmorejo rabbit dish.
    Wishing Binter all the best and very nice report!!

  6. Anonymous16:52

    I love island hopping reports! Thank you.

  7. Anonymous18:41

    Very interesting trip report. Thank you. It would be nice to have Air Serbia and GoS stimulate flights Belgrade-Nis, Belgrade-Morava Kraljevo, where return tickets could around 50 or less euros. We need this kind of domestic routes. I think that ATR42 would be great with 3 daily departures to Nis and twice to KVO


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