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Madeira Information

Funchal city

Madeira is a sub-tropical archipelago located in the Atlantic Ocean and an autonomous region of Portugal. The archipelago is made up of two populated islands, Madeira and Porto Santo, and two groups of unpopulated islands called the Desertas and Selvagens Islands. It is part of the European Union ultraperifric area. Known worldwide as the Islands of eternal Spring, Madeira or "Ilha Jardim"{Garden Island} has a mild climate throughout the entire year. Madeira island is 310 miles from the African coast and 620 miles from the European continent, only 1h 30mn flight from mainland Portugal and about 3h from all the main countries in Europe.

The island of Madeira is at the top of a massive shield volcano that rises about 6 km from the floor of the Atlantic Ocean, on the Tore underwater mountain range. The volcano formation ,over 5 million years ago, was followed by extensive erosion, producing two large amphitheaters open to south in the central part of the island. Volcanic activity later resumed, producing scoria cones and lava flows atop the older eroded shield.

Madeira North Coast

The Portuguese island of volcanic origin has a temperate climate, something of particular appeal to the active over-fifties seeking unseasonal sun. Most people stay in the capital, Funchal, a lively seaside town with plenty of bars, shops and restaurants a good base for all the island's attractions. Many come to visit Madeira's gardens, bursting with exotic orchids, anthuriums and strelitzias flower. Others come to walk the levadas, the island's extensive network of irrigation canals that provide stunning views of emerald peaks and precipitous basalt cliffs.