MADEIRA — Madeira island is 310 miles from the African coast and 620 miles from the European continent, which is the equivalent of a 1 hour 30 minute flight from Lisbon.

The Madeira Archipelago, discovered by the Portuguese in 1418, is made up of the islands of Madeira, Porto Santo and the uninhabited islands of Selvagens and Desertas. It is situated between latitude 32º22’20" and 33º7’50" with its longitude between 16º16’30W and 17º16’38"W. The island of Madeira has a surface area of 459 square miles (741 km2), (35 miles long and 13 miles wide).

Madeira is an autonomous region of Portugal. Autonomy was granted soon after the revolution of the 25th April 1974.To the outside world people from Madeira are, to all intents and purposes, Portuguese. They carry Portuguese passports, vote in Portuguese elections and pay Portuguese taxes. Where they differ from the rest (with the exception of their island brethren on the Azores) is that they are also represented at a local level by the Regional Government.

Funchal is the capital. It is located on Madeira’s south coast, in a beautiful bay washed by the warm waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Its name comes from a sweet-smelling wild herb called Foeniculum vulgare, more commonly known as fennel, which was abundant there when the first settlers arrived. The city of Funchal has plenty of leisure activities to offer. You can visit its magnificent gardens, wander through its picturesque streets and squares with Portuguese cobblestone pavements or simply stop and relax at one of the pavement cafés in the city centre. Funchal’s museums and historical buildings are also well worth a visit and there are art galleries with works by national and international artists.

Other Places of Interest

East coast — On Madeira’s east coast each place has its own, different landscape. Here we can find scenery ranging from the lonely aridness of Ponta de São Lourenço in Caniçal to the tall, verdant summits of Machico and Santo da Serra. Caniço is an important tourist centre about 10 km from the Madeiran capital. It has the typical hustle and bustle of a small town and the seaside area in Caniço de Baixo is a real holiday resort.

Santa Cruz:The city of Santa Cruz is on the east coast of the island, about 18.6 km from the capital. This is where Madeira International Airport is located.

Machico: The city of Machico is on the east coast of Madeira, just over 22 km from Funchal. It has a fishing port and is also an attractive holiday resort.

Caniço — Caniço is an important tourist centre about 10 km from the Madeiran capital. It has the typical hustle and bustle of a small town and the seaside area in Caniço de Baixo is a real holiday resort.

West coast - The west coast is the sunniest part of Madeira. Washed by the warm sea, most places have attractive bathing areas for you to swim in.

Câmara de Lobos - This city is about 7 km from Funchal and is an important fishing centre in the archipelago.

Ponta do Sol — Ponta do Sol is translated literally as Sun Point, gets its name from a rocky outcrop that goes down into the sea and reflects the sun’s rays. It is situated on the west coast of the island about 25 km from Funchal.

North coast - Untouched nature is the main feature of Madeira’s north coast. Here we find high mountains and deep valleys full of a wide variety of fauna and flora belonging to the Laurissilva Forest, a relic of bygone ages that has been declared a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site. The best ways of getting to know the north coast is to go rambling through the forest, enjoying the landscapes that seem to plunge into the sea or cooling down in the natural swimming pools.

Porto Moniz — The picturesque town of Porto Moniz is about 48 km from the capital and, like São Vicente, is on the north coast of the island.

Currency: — Euro (€)

Electricity Voltage: 220Volts European round 2 prong plug

Telephone Country Code: +351 (Including Azores & Portugal)

Time: The islands of the Madeira archipelago operate on the 24-hour clock, which can be quite confusing for those who are accustomed to 'am' & 'pm'.

Vehicles drive on the RIGHT

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Enjoy your visit to Madeiria


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