El Hierro? Where’s That?
El Hierro is small, unique and unforgettable. It’s the most westerly of the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean, for centuries thought to be the westernmost point of the known world – until Columbus went further west to the Americas. He stopped off here to gather supplies before making his second voyage to the Americas.
El Hierro’s Punta de Orchilla was the original prime meridian of 0º established by Egyptian astronomer, mathematician and scientist Ptolemy (born c. 100 ce—died c. 170 ce). It remained earth’s prime meridian for over 200 years until 1884 when an international conference voted to move it to Greenwich, England.
El Hierro has only around 10,000 inhabitants and modest numbers of visitors. It’s small but offers a wide variety of landscapes from rocky cliffs to green meadows, hamlets and farms to ancient gnarled forests. You can hire a car, walk, bike or hire a taxista or explore by public bus at pocket-money prices. For all the travel information once you’re on the island see http://www.transhierro.com/
If you have already travelled to Tenerife you can either fly to the tiny capital of Valverde in 40 minutes, or ferry in about 2-3 hours. There are also flights from Gran Canaria (approx. 55 minutes).
El Hierro may be a small island, yet it has developed its own character and cuisine. They make excellent cheeses, wines and local specialties.
The island is in the forefront of using renewable energy sources. obtained from inexhaustible natural resources such as wind or waterfalls. A combination of hydro and wind energy at the Gorona del Viento Power Plant supplies a sizeable proportion of the island’s energy needs.
There’s a good website with plenty of useful and inspiring information:
If you’re tempted to visit, we suggest a really detailed and up to date map from Discovery Walking Guides