Madeira

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058! Coucher de soleil
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Poios
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Miradouro cote nord_web
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Madeira is one of those paradises on Earth. Formed 20 million years ago by volcanic origin, it’s a young piece of land, fertile, colourful, powerful and challenging. Discovered by Portuguese navigators in 1419, remained to this kind and warming old nation since then. 

The energy raised from the imposing green mountains and the blue of the endless ocean revitalizes bodies and souls; it’s not easy to leave Madeira without planning a return…

The geomorphology of the island presents you new landscapes after each curve, each tunnel, each mountain. Since the last two decades Madeira has been putting big effort in the infrastructural development and, nowadays, it’s quite easy and really pleasant driving around. The roads are good, take you safely all around the island and get you in close contact with the magic of the island.

Known by the Levada walks, 1500Km of water canals built from the XV century to 1940 to spread the water around the island, there’s a bunch of things you can do to profit the most. Nature, tradition, culture, sports, health, water, adventure…

Besides the driving and the walks Madeira got the people, the traditions, the agriculture and fishing, which made people strong, helpful and proud of their homeland. Visit a field of bananeiras in Madalena do Mar, the Mercado dos Lavradores in Funchal, watch 20 tons of tuna fish being off-loaded from a fishing boat in Caniçal are some of the amazing local experiences you can get.

About water?? Well it’s an island… The Atlantic Ocean is over 20o ten months a year and there are plenty of places where you can access, all around the island, by the rocks, in wonderful natural swimming pools, in sand beaches, small harbours, etc. You can dive, touch and exchange pamperings with a 2 mts long Mero in Garajau’s marine reserve, or snorkeling with dolphins in deep waters. 

Sailing a boat to watch whales and turtles, relaxing on a stand up paddle or canyoning in Madeira waterfalls are also special. By the way, do you know that surfers call Madeira the Hawaii of Europe, because of the perfect swells we have?

Madeira is also a paradise for BTT and downhill, for paragliding, for birds watching, for wellness or just for enjoying a magic garden in the middle of the Ocean.

About gastronomy, we will give you the better tips to enjoy the most delicious Madeirian dishes.

Landscapes

The island is very mountainous, with deep valleys incrusted between the highest peaks and cliffs in the largest extension of the coast (160 km). The medium altitude is 1372 m, being the highest points the Pico Ruivo (1862 m) and Pico das Torres (1853 m). The sandy beaches are rare, most of them are pebble stone beaches. 

The east end, called Ponta São Lourenço forms a low peninsula.

Cabo Girão, one of the highest cliffs of the world (583 m  above the sea) is located on the south coast, west of the capital, Funchal.

“A Laurisilva”, the so called forest that covered the island before the colonization, was almost entirely burned by the first settlers, and just some hectares in some valleys in the north coast of the island were preserved. This laurisilva forest is designated as World Heritage by UNESCO in 1999. 

The actual forest contains endemic species and also plants brought by the settlers, besides are cultivated tropical varieties, as the banana and the passion fruit, among others. The volcanic soil is usually very fertile and the humidity of the mountains enhances the growth of an exuberant vegetation. 

Temperatures and precipitations (average)

Jan – Mar

Temperature °C: 19.7

Precipitation mm: 74.1

Apr – Jun

Temperature °C: 21.6

Precipitation mm: 28.9

Jul – Sep

Temperature °C: 26.4

Precipitation mm: 2.0

Oct – Dec

Temperature °C: 22.6

Precipitation mm: 88.5