El Hierro, nicknamed Isla del Meridiano (the "Meridian Island"), is the smallest and farthest south and west of the Canary Islands (an Autonomous Community of Spain), in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Africa, with a population of 10,798 (2018). Its capital is Valverde. At 268.71 square kilometres, it is the smallest of the seven main islands of the Canaries.
|Nickname: Isla del Meridiano|
|Area||268.71 km2 (103.75 sq mi)|
|Highest elevation||1,501 m (4,925 ft)|
|Highest point||Pico de Malpaso|
|Autonomous Community||Canary Islands|
|Province||Santa Cruz de Tenerife|
|Pop. density||37 /km2 (96 /sq mi)|
The name El Hierro, although spelled like the Spanish word for 'iron', is not related to that word. The H in the name of the metal is derived from the F of Latin ferrum (compare higa for 'fig'). The H in the name of the island dates back to the time in Old Spanish orthography when the distinction between the letters I and J was not yet established and a silent h was written before word-initial ie to ensure that the i was read as a semivowel, not as the consonant [ʒ].
The confusion with the name of the metal had effects on the international naming of the island. As early as the 16th century, maps and texts called the island after the word for 'iron' in other languages: Portuguese Ferro, French l'île de Fer, and Latin Insula Ferri.
Nevertheless, the origin of the name ero or erro or yerro is not definitely known. It is thought to be derived from one of several words in the Guanche language of the pre-Hispanic inhabitants, known as Bimbaches. Juan de Abreu Galindo (in a manuscript translated and published by George Glas in 1764) gives the native name of the island as Esero (or Eseró), meaning 'strong'.  Richard Henry Major, however, in notes on his translation of Le Canarien, observes that the Guanche word hero or herro, meaning 'cistern', could easily have lapsed into hierro by a process of folk etymology. It is believed that the Bimbaches had to construct cisterns to save fresh rainwater. The Gran diccionario guanche gives the meaning of the Guanche word hero in Spanish as "fuente" ('spring [water source]').
The ancient natives of the island, called Bimbaches, were subjected to Spanish rule by Jean de Béthencourt (d.1425) – more by the process of negotiation than by military action. Béthencourt had as his ally and negotiator Augeron, brother of the island's native monarch. Augeron had been captured years before by the Europeans and now served as mediator between the Europeans and the Guanches. In return for control over the island, Béthencourt promised to respect the liberty of the natives, but his son eventually broke his promise, selling many of the bimbaches into slavery. Many Frenchmen and Galicians subsequently settled on the island. There was a revolt of the natives against the harsh treatment of the governor Lázaro Vizcaíno, but it was suppressed.
There is evidence of at least three major landslides that have affected El Hierro in the last few hundred thousand years. The most recent of these was the 'El Golfo' landslide that occurred about 15 thousand years ago, involving collapse of the northern flank of the island. The landslide formed the El Golfo valley and created a debris avalanche with a volume of 150–180 km3. Turbidite deposits related to this landslide have been recognized in drill cores from the Agadir Basin to the north of the Canary Islands. Detailed analysis of these deposits suggests that the slope failure did not occur as a single event but a series of smaller failures over a period of hours or days. Local tsunami are likely to have been triggered by these landslides but no evidence has been found to confirm this.
The Instituto Vulcanológico de Canarias (Volcanological Institute of the Canary Islands) and National Geographic Institute’s seismic monitoring station located in Valverde detected increased seismic activity beginning on 17 July 2011. The seismic monitoring network was increased in density on July 21 to allow better detection and location of the seismic events. There was an earthquake swarm with in excess of 400 minor tremors between 20 July and 24 July; by 27 July a further 320 earthquakes had been recorded. On 25 August there were reports that some horizontal deformation had been detected, but that there was no unusual vertical deformation. At that time, the total number of tremors had exceeded 4000. By the end of September, the tremors had increased in frequency and intensity, with experts fearing landslides affecting the town of La Frontera, and also a small possibility of a volcanic eruption through a new vent. Emergency services evacuated several families in the areas at most risk, and made plans to evacuate the island if necessary. Between 4.15 and 4.20am on 10 October 2011 the earthquake swarm changed behaviour and produced a harmonic tremor. Harmonic tremors are produced by magma movements and can indicate that an eruption has begun. A small submarine eruption began, 7 km south of La Restinga. As of 7 November 2011 a confirmed surtseyan type of eruption phase has started at the fissure. On December 4, 2011 the eruption was ongoing with vigorous phreatic bubbles emerging.
The climate of El Hierro depends on the area. The climate ranges are from humid subtropical climate in the center of the island, to hot semi-arid (BSh) and to a tropical desert climate (BWh) in coastal parts (according to the Köppen climate classification). Although the temperatures are very influenced by the ocean. This is the climate chart from El Hierro Airport, which is the only airport in the island and also the island's capital airport:
El Hierro's size and geography supports entirely endemic species including the critically endangered El Hierro giant lizard (Gallotia simonyi), for which there is a captive breeding programme, allowing its reintroduction.
The non-barren parts of the interior rely on relief precipitation, not much more than the average of 19 rainfall days per year, high relative humidity and geothermal springs. This non-arid parts have thermophilous (geothermal heat-liking) juniper clumps and a pine forest with other evergreens. In 2000, El Hierro was designated by UNESCO as a Biosphere Reserve, with 60% of its territory protected to preserve its natural and cultural diversity. Among cetaceans in these waters, it is notable that several species of lesser known beaked whales inhabit around the island.
Like the rest of the Canary Islands chain, El Hierro is volcanic and sharply mountainous. One eruption has to date been recorded on the island: from the Volcan de Lomo Negro vent in 1793, lasting a month. Except as landscaped at its harbour towns the shore is rocky and in places precipitous.
El Hierro is a 268.71-square-kilometre (103.75 sq mi)  island, formed late, about 1.2 million years ago after three successive eruptions, the island emerged from the ocean as a triangle of basaltic dykes topped with a volcanic cone more than 2,000 metres high. With continued activity resulting in the island expanding to have the largest number of volcanoes in the Canaries (over 500 cones, another 300 covered by more recent deposits), together with approximately 70 caves and volcanic galleries, including the Cueva de Don Justo whose collection of channels exceeds 6 km. Landslides, plant erosion and seasonal wind erosion have reduced the size and height of the island. The current highest point is in the middle of the island, in Malpaso, 1501 meters high.
Like all of the Canary Islands, El Hierro is a tourist destination. It is served by a small airport—El Hierro Airport at Valverde—and a ferry terminal at Puerto de la Estaca, both of which connect to Tenerife. Though El Hierro has a Parador, hotel accommodations are generally in small family enterprises; as a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, El Hierro has limited construction to less than half of its total surface and buildings to two floors, maintaining its traditional look and social structure more than the other six major Canary Islands.
The seat of the island government (cabildo insular) is in the town of Valverde, which houses approximately half of the island's population.
El Hierro was used in various parts of Europe for more than 500 years as the prime meridian commonly outside of the future British Empire. Already in the 2nd century A.D., Ptolemy considered a definition of the zero meridian based on the western-most position of the known world, giving a few maps with only positive, eastern longitudes. In 1634 France, ruled by Louis XIII and his minister Richelieu, decided that Ferro's meridian should be used as a key reference of maps, their considering the island's historic meridian and status as the western-most known land of peoples of the 'Known World'. (Flores Island is the westernmost Azore discovered by the Portuguese navigators in the early 15th century — after the First Voyage of Columbus in 1492 scholars and cartographers sometimes grouped them among the new world. The Paris elite considered El Hierro to be exactly 20° west of the Paris meridian (1⁄18th of its relevant parallel of the globe). Old international maps (outside of Anglo-North American realms) often have a common grid with Paris degrees at the top and Ferro degrees (offset by 20 from Paris) at the bottom. Louis Feuillée also worked on this problem in 1724.
The most important festival of El Hierro is the Bajada de la Virgen de los Reyes, held every four years, on the first Saturday of July (the last occasion was in 2017, and the next will be in 2021). During the festival, the Virgin of the Kings (Virgen de los Reyes, patron saint of the island of El Hierro) is taken from her sanctuary in La Dehesa (in the municipality of La Frontera) and carried to the capital of the island, Valverde, making a tour of 44 kilometers and running through all the towns of El Hierro.
The annual festival of the Virgin is celebrated every September 24.
According to the Ministry for Industry, Tourism and Commerce, El Hierro hopes to become the first island in the world to be self-sufficient for electrical energy. This will be achieved through a €54 million project combining a greater than 11 megawatt wind farm and two hydroelectric projects.
This hydro and wind-power project, created by the local Gorona del Viento El Hierro consortium with financial aid from the European Union, and officially inaugurated in 2015, consists of five E-70 wind turbines capable of producing 11.5 megawatts of wind power to supply electricity for approximately 11,000 residents, an additional number of tourists, and three water desalination facilities. The hybrid wind/pumped hydro storage system stores surplus wind power by pumping water up 700 meters (approximately 2,300 feet) to the crater of an extinct volcano. When winds are calm or when demand exceeds supply, water is released from the crater to generate 11.3 MW of electricity, filling a smaller artificial basin created at the bottom of the extinct volcano. Water in the lower basin is then pumped back up again to the upper reservoir when there is excess wind power.
The closed-loop hybrid wind/hydro system is expected to save approximately US$4M per year (calculated with January 2011 oil prices) previously spent on about 40,000 barrels of crude oil imported annually, attempting to make the island completely self-sufficient for electrical energy.
2016 was the first whole year for the power plant and it reached 40.7% of the total demand, reducing consumption of diesel by 6,000 tonnes. In 2017, the share climbed to 46.5%. The installation also powers a desalination plant that provides fresh water. 
In early 2018, El Hierro covered its entire electricity demand between the 25th of January and the 12th of February with its renewable resource base, avoiding the use of polluting energy sources for more than 560 hours in 2018 - and a total of almost 2,000 hours since it started operating.
last data 2018 Blog of Roger Andrews 
The Bimbache openART Festival and Global Initiative for Arts and Sustainability, founded in 2005 by German-born guitarist Torsten de Winkel and other community activists, is a non-profit effort at creating an interdisciplinary platform which seeks to bridge traditional divides, both on a musical and human level, in a globalizing world. The festival is a contribution of the international artist community to El Hierro's "Sustainable Island" program and collaborates with scientists and sustainability-oriented organizations from around the world.
The island of Hierro is mentioned (1) in Umberto Eco's novel The Island of the Day Before (L'isola del giorno prima, 1994), about a 17th-century Italian nobleman trapped on an island on the International Date Line; (2) in Christopher Isherwood's short story "The Turn Round the World", collected in his Exhumations (1966); and (3) in the first chapter of Steven Callahan's (1986) maritime chronicle "Adrift", in which El Hierro is his final port of departure for an ill-fated Atlantic crossing.
The 2011-2012 El Hierro eruption occurred just off the island of El Hierro, the smallest and farthest south and west of the Canary Islands (an Autonomous Community of Spain), in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Africa. The island is also the youngest in the volcanic chain. The October 2011 - March 2012 eruption was underwater, with a fissure of vents located approximately 2 km to the south of the fishing village of La Restinga on the southern coast of the island. As of June 2012, increased seismicity to the north-west of the vent suggests another phase in the area's volcanic activity - comprising just deep-seated magma movements with associated earthquakes and deformation of the island at this June 2012 stage - is under way. A second phase of eruptive activity has not yet occurred, and it does not necessarily follow that it will occur.Cabildo insular
Cabildos are a Spanish system of government administration that are now only used in the Canary Islands, where they are known as cabildos insulares ("island councils"), each governing one of the seven main islands - Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro. The island of La Graciosa falls under the jurisdiction of the cabildo of Lanzarote.
The members of a cabildo are elected by direct universal suffrage by the Spanish citizens of each island. The membership is determined by party-list proportional representation.
The cabildos were created under the Law of Cabildos of 1912. In Francoist Spain they were appointed rather than elected. Cabildos exercise a level of authority between those of their province and their autonomous communities in matters of health, environment, culture, sports, industry, roads, drinking water and irrigation, hunting and fishing licensing, museums, beaches, public transportation and land organization. Cabildos can impose fuel taxes.Canary Islands
The Canary Islands (; Spanish: Islas Canarias, pronounced [ˈizlas kaˈnaɾjas]) is a Spanish archipelago and the southernmost autonomous community of Spain located in the Atlantic Ocean, 100 kilometres (62 miles) west of Morocco at the closest point. The Canary Islands, which are also known informally as the Canaries, are among the outermost regions (OMR) of the European Union proper. It is also one of the eight regions with special consideration of historical nationality recognized as such by the Spanish Government. The Canary Islands belong to the African Plate like the Spanish cities of Ceuta and Melilla, the two on the African mainland.The seven main islands are (from largest to smallest in area) Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro. The archipelago includes much smaller islands and islets: La Graciosa, Alegranza, Isla de Lobos, Montaña Clara, Roque del Oeste and Roque del Este. It also includes a series of adjacent roques (those of Salmor, Fasnia, Bonanza, Garachico and Anaga). In ancient times, the island chain was often referred to as "the Fortunate Isles". The Canary Islands are the most southerly region of Spain and the largest and most populated archipelago of the Macaronesia region. Historically, the Canary Islands have been considered a bridge between four continents: Africa, North America, South America and Europe.The archipelago's beaches, climate and important natural attractions, especially Maspalomas in Gran Canaria and Teide National Park and Mount Teide (a World Heritage Site) in Tenerife (the third tallest volcano in the world measured from its base on the ocean floor), make it a major tourist destination with over 12 million visitors per year, especially Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura and Lanzarote. The islands have a subtropical climate, with long hot summers and moderately warm winters. The precipitation levels and the level of maritime moderation vary depending on location and elevation. Green areas as well as desert exist on the archipelago. Due to their location above the temperature inversion layer, the high mountains of these islands are ideal for astronomical observation. For this reason, two professional observatories, Teide Observatory on the island of Tenerife and Roque de los Muchachos Observatory on the island of La Palma, have been built on the islands.
In 1927, the Province of Canary Islands was split into two provinces. The autonomous community of the Canary Islands was established in 1982. Its capital is shared by the cities of Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, which in turn are the capitals of the provinces of Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Las Palmas. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria has been the largest city in the Canaries since 1768, except for a brief period in the 1910s. Between the 1833 territorial division of Spain and 1927 Santa Cruz de Tenerife was the sole capital of the Canary Islands. In 1927 a decree ordered that the capital of the Canary Islands be shared, as it remains at present. The third largest city of the Canary Islands is San Cristóbal de La Laguna (a World Heritage Site) on Tenerife. This city is also home to the Consejo Consultivo de Canarias, which is the supreme consultative body of the Canary Islands.During the time of the Spanish Empire, the Canaries were the main stopover for Spanish galleons on their way to the Americas, which came south to catch the prevailing northeasterly trade winds.Chácaras
For the style of bags made by some indigenous people in Panama, see Ngobe-Bugle
Chácaras are a type of castanets from the Canary Islands. They are an idiophonic and chattering instrument, with an interior cavity.
Chácaras are used in the traditional music of the islands of El Hierro and La Gomera, the latter being very big, bigger than the hands of the player. They are often accompanied by tambor drums and chanting, and by dancers performing the baile de tambor (drum dance).
When playing, a pair of chácaras is held in each hand, secured by the cord, and the hands are shaken. The macho (male) chácara, with a deeper sound, held in one hand, sets the rhythm, and the hembra (female) chácara, in the other hand, is the one that chimes.In the other islands there are similar smaller instruments, but they are called castañuelas (castanets).
Despite not appearing in the archaeological record, etymological analysis suggests a pre-colonial Guanche origin for this instrument, its name possibly related to Berber words such as šakar, meaning "hoof".Divisiones Regionales de Fútbol in Canary Islands
The Divisiones Regionales de Fútbol in the Canary Islands are ultimately overseen by the Federación Canaria de Fútbol which operates Group 12 of the Tercera División, the fourth tier of the Spanish football league system which is divided among each of the country's autonomous regions. However, unlike most of the regions, the leagues in the fifth tier and below are organised by two separate federations, corresponding to the provinces of Las Palmas and Tenerife. The other region with this arrangement is the Basque Country which has three provincial forks to its amateur setup.El Hierro (DO)
El Hierro is a Spanish Denominación de Origen (DO) for wines that covers the entire island of El Hierro, the smallest and westernmost island of the Canary Islands, Spain. It acquired its DO in 1994.El Hierro (Parliament of the Canary Islands constituency)
El Hierro is one of the seven constituencies (Spanish: circunscripciones) represented in the Parliament of the Canary Islands, the regional legislature of the Autonomous Community of the Canary Islands. The constituency currently elects 3 deputies. Its boundaries correspond to those of the island of El Hierro. The electoral system uses the D'Hondt method and a closed-list proportional representation, with a minimum threshold of 30 percent in the constituency or 6 percent regionally.El Hierro Airport
El Hierro Airport (IATA: VDE, ICAO: GCHI) is an airport located 9 km (5.6 mi) northeast of Valverde. It is the only existing airport on the Island of El Hierro, Spain. It was inaugurated in December 1972 and, officially, it is called Aeropuerto de los Cangrejos.
However, in spite of its size and its limited timetable, it was the airport which had the greatest increase in number of passengers and merchandise in the Canary Islands in 2007.
The air traffic is national, and the flights are normally from/to Tenerife North and Gran Canaria. In 2011, the airport carried 170,225 passengers, with 4,674 operations and 135 tons of merchandise.El Hierro giant lizard
The El Hierro giant lizard (Gallotia simonyi machadoi) is a subspecies of lacertid (wall lizard) that can be found on the island of El Hierro, one of the Canary Islands. It is considered to be a subspecies of Gallotia simonyi, Simony's lizard. The subspecies was once present throughout much of the island and on the small offshore Roque Chico de Salmor, but is now confined to a few small areas of cliff with sparse vegetation. It is currently restricted to the southern end of the Risco de Tibataje in Fuga de Gorreta, located between Guinea and the so-called Paso del Pino (an area of about four hectares). The species was also successfully reintroduced to the Roque Chico de Salmor in 1999, and subsequent reintroductions have taken place at Julan and at la Dehesa.(Miras & Pérez-Mellado 2005b)
About 60 centimetres (2.0 ft) long, the Hierro giant lizard is a thickset reptile with a broad head. Adults are dark grey to brown in colour, with two rows of pale orange patches running along its sides. Its belly is mostly brown, but has an orange to red colouration towards the middle. Older El Hierro giant lizards are mainly black with some grey. Males are larger than females. It is the animal symbol of the island of El Hierro.The Hierro giant lizard is omnivorous. It eats plants - notably verode and Lavandula abrotanoides - as well as insects (ARKive 2006). Mating begins in May and 5 to 13 eggs are laid from June until the end of August. Their eggs hatch after 61 days.El Pinar, Canary Islands
El Pinar (Spanish: El Pinar de El Hierro) is a Spanish municipality on the island of El Hierro (nicknamed Isla del Meridiano, the "Meridian Island"), Canary Islands. It was created in 2007.Hierran Wolfdog
The Hierran Wolfdog or Perro de Pastor Herreño is a dog breed found on the Island of El Hierro, in the Canary Islands (Spain). The islanders know it as a grazing hound named "lobito" or "perro lobo".Although its origin is unknown, dogs similar to wolves existed in 15th century in the Canary Islands, called "cancha" by aborigins. It is generally believed to be of wolfdog ancestry.Independent Herrenian Group
The Independent Herrenian Group (Spanish: Agrupación Herreña Independiente, AHI) is a regionalist and Canarian nationalist political party in El Hierro. AHI was created in 1979, and has ruled the island since then, with the exception of the 1991-1995 period.
The party is generally associated with Canarian Coalition.La Frontera, Santa Cruz de Tenerife
La Frontera (Spanish for "the border") is a municipality in the northwestern part of the island El Hierro, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. In 2007, the southern part of the territory of La Frontera was split off to form the new municipality of El Pinar.List of municipalities in Canary Islands
This is a list of all the municipalities in the autonomous community of the Canary Islands, Spain.Music of the Canary Islands
The music of the Canary Islands reflects its cultural heritage. The islands used to be inhabited by the Guanches which are related to Berbers; they mixed with Spaniards, who live on the islands now. A variant of Jota is popular, as is Latin music, which has left its mark in the form of the timple guitar.
There has been a strong connection with Cuban music, Venezuelan, Puerto Rican, and other Caribbean countries both through commerce and migration.
Popular dances from the Canary Islands include:
Baile del Candil
Baile de Cintas
Danza de Enanos
El Santo Domingo
MalagueñaOf these, the Isas, a local variation of Jota, are the best-known and most characteristic of the Canary Islands. They are graceful music, with a lot of variation among islands. In some places, a captain leads the dance and organizes others in a chain as the dance grows more and more complex.
Rondalla arrangements are very common. Instruments include charangas, timples (similar to a cavaquinho / ukulele), castanets, panderetas, lauds and guitars. A peculiar ensemble in El Hierro island is made of pito herreño players (a wooden transverse flute) and drums. Some ritual dances in Tenerife island are led by a tabor pipe player. Joyful music for carnival lies to a big extent on brass bands and Latin American patterns.Pico de Malpaso
Pico de Malpaso (English: "difficult step peak") is the highest point on the island of El Hierro in the Canary Islands, Spain.Punta Orchilla lighthouse
The Punta Orchilla lighthouse (Spanish: Faro de Punta Orchilla) is an active lighthouse on the Canary island of El Hierro in the municipality of El Pinar. The need for a lighthouse on the island was highlighted in the second maritime lighting plan for the Canaries, and it first became operational in 1933.Roque Chico de Salmor giant lizard
The Roque Chico de Salmor giant lizard (Gallotia simonyi simonyi) was the nominate subspecies of the lacertid (wall lizard) Gallotia simonyi. It was once present on a small islet near El Hierro in the Canary Islands.
Gallotia simonyi simonyi was only known from Roque Chico de Salmor off northwestern Valverde municipality, El Hierro. It disappeared around the 1930s through unsustainable collecting of animals for scientific institutions and commercial interests, as well as predation by feral cats and possibly herring gulls (Diaz & Bischoff 1994, Miras & Pérez-Mellado 2005).Valverde, Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Valverde (Spanish meaning "green valley") is a municipality in the Canary Islands in the province of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. It is located on the north-east part of El Hierro (the rest of the island being the municipalities of Frontera and El Pinar). The town of the same name serves as the island's official capital. It is both the smallest Canarian capital and the only one not located by the sea. The town's airport and seaport are both several kilometres away on the island's east coast.
Pastureland and smallholdings dominate the central plateau area with pine and cloud forest at progressively higher elevations. The coastal areas and lower slopes are arid and mainly left to unimproved scrub and sparse grassland. Volcanism is prominent, with several cinder cones and areas of lava flow to be seen.
|Climate data for Hierro Airport|
|Record high °C (°F)||28.5
|Average high °C (°F)||20.9
|Daily mean °C (°F)||18.8
|Average low °C (°F)||16.6
|Record low °C (°F)||8.0
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||28
|Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm)||3||2||3||1||0||0||0||0||0||2||2||4||19|
|Average relative humidity (%)||74||76||74||74||74||75||77||78||77||76||74||74||75|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||140||158||184||197||233||229||210||234||210||189||157||143||2,339|
|Source #1: Agencia Estatal de Meteorología (normals 1981–2010)|
|Source #2: Agencia Estatal de Meteorología (extremes only 1973–present)|
Municipalities of El Hierro
Islands and provinces of the Canary Islands