Madeira Island

Madeira Island

Madeira is an archipelago in tropical areas of the Atlantic Ocean 310 miles from the coast of Africa (it’s further north, closer to Europe than Lanzarotte of The Canary Islands). Madeira is the main and largest island of the four-island Madeira archipelago. Porto Santo is the second populated island. Desertas and Selvagens Islands are unpopulated. Madeira Islands are the autonomous region under jurisdiction of Portugal and fall within the European Union ultraperifric area. Madeira Island offers truly spectacular natural scenery and warm temperatures year-round. Follow walking trails that run parallel to man-made irrigation channels and take in views of clear blue waters and green cliffs. Spot brightly colored and sweetly scented flowers in the spring. Chill out on sandy beaches, participate in exhilarating watersports or delve into the island’s fascinating cultural heritage.

When Christopher Columbus went to describe Madeira Island to Queen Isabella of Spain, he said it looked like scrunched piece of paper. This description is rather accurate. With its sharp edged ridges and volcanic hills, most of Madeira’s mainland looks harsh and rigid. Along the coastline, however, the island overgrows with lush vegetation and rich gardens. Owing to its rich vegetation and year round mild climate, Madeira is known as the island of eternal spring. If you like plants, flowers, trees and other things that grow from the Earth, you will love Madeira Island.

City of Funchal got its name from the word funcho (fennel) which is abundant throughout Madeira Islands. The downtown area of Funchal is contained and can be easily explored on foot. It’s full of cute shops and as whole of Madeira – abundant in tropical gardens. In the South of Madeira is Funchal, a charming and pleasant city of 112,000 inhabitants. With a climate that could be called “tropical” the whole year through, Funchal will greet you from dawn till dusk in a warm and friendly environment. For those who want a new sunny, comfortable and modern travel experience, the South of the Island is the perfect choice. For hikers, nature and authenticity lovers we invite you to discover the north of the island. It is sometimes a bit cloudy and chilly but it has breathtaking landscapes.

One of the best ways to take in Madeira’s idyllic natural scenery is to enjoy a levada walk. The levadas are a series of mini-canals developed by early settlers to distribute water around the island. Explore a network of more than 870 miles (1,400 kilometers) of trails to find waterfalls and lagoons, as well as valleys, mountain ranges and laurel forests. Brave the glass-floored skywalk at Cabo Girão, one of the highest ocean cliffs in the world. Standing 1,902 feet (580 meters) above the water, you can spot Funchal and Câmara de Lobos from this dramatic location. Visit the gorgeous village of Santana, known for its multicolored A-framed cottages, called palheiros. These charming thatched-roof residences are unique to the island and well worth a visit. Calheta Beach may be man-made, but its golden sands and clear waters are nonetheless scenic. Canoe, windsurf, swim or stop for some fresh seafood at one of the restaurants found along the beach. Be sure to sample the region’s unique white rum called aguardente.

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