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Madeira - Portugal B'side

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Autonomous Region of Madeira

Trivia: The origins of Laurissilva, Madeira’s indigenous forest, dates back to the Earth’s Tertiary period. Madeira has the largest Laurel Forest in the world.

Some points of interest: Laurissilva Forest, Pico do Arieiro, Tropical Garden, Mercado dos Lavradores Farmer’s Market, Mountain Cable Car

Some activities: Downhill toboggans, Walking tours, Jeep tours, Horse rides

Typical: Madeira wine, Poncha, Bolo do Caco, Stick laurel kebab, Honey Cake, Madeira’s shoes, Santana houses

Madeira archipelago, known as the "Floating Garden", has the highest concentration of Laurel forest in the world, occupying over 20% of the island surface, and is known as one of the best preserved. The emerald green of this vegetation where stands out colorful exotic flowers, reflected in the sapphire blue Atlantic Ocean which surrounds the islands are a haven of rare extreme beauty perfect for unforgettable moments of leisure.

The archipelago located in the Atlantic Ocean about 900 km (559 miles) from mainland Portugal and 600 km (373 miles) from Morocco, was officially discovered in 1419 by Portuguese navigators Tristão Vaz Teixeira, Bartolomeu Perestrelo and João Gonçalves Zarco. These islands were found in the sequence of a storm that occurred on high seas, when Portuguese navigators left their route along the coast of Africa, sailing several days adrift until sighting the small island of Porto Santo, which they called of Porto Seguro (Safe Port) because it saved the crew from a fateful destiny.

Madeira archipelago is composed of Madeira Island, Porto Santo Island and the uninhabited Desertas and Selvagens islands (these a little closer to Africa). The archipelago has a volcanic origin and a subtropical climate, allowing the practice of diverse outdoor activities. The volcanic origins of Madeira remain well marked in several places such as the mountainous amphitheater that surrounds the city of Funchal, traces of an ancient caldera. The Madeira Island is extremely rugged, with peaks that reach the 1860 m (6102 ft) altitude allowing the presentation of the most beautiful settings for car or walk tours, between large waterfalls, winding paths and vertiginous walls covered with exotic vegetation.

Recommended time:

5 days