Madeira is situated in the middle of the north Atlantic Ocean 545 Km from north Africa and 964 Km from Lisbon.
With an area of 794 sq. km the Madeira islands consists of eight larger islands and a few small islets. Only Madeira and Porto
Santo are inhabited.
The Selvagens, three small islands and many tiny islets, are situated a couple of hundred Km to
the south, closer to the Canaries. The rocky Selvagens are a natural bird reserve set aside to scientific study.
islands of Desertas, 20 Kms southwest is strictly a nature reserve. The Desertas consists of three islands; Deserta Grande,
Chão and Búgio.
A very strange phenomenon is happening regarding the Desertas. In foggy weather, they can clearly be
seen from Funchal, but in sunshine they are mostly completely gone.
Madeira is a very dramatic island. Exotic green
with a light that gives the landscape a special shimmer. It is not like any other place. Not like Europe or the Canaries,
and certainly not like Africa even though geographically the island is African, but still European.
The climate is
pleasantly steady, mild subtropical. Never too warm, never too cold. The people are smiling, friendly polite, and hospitable.The
perfect destination for your next vacation? Madeira will soon be the island in your heart.
Porto Santo is a smaller
island 43 km off the NE coast of Madeira.
There are three ways of visiting Porto Santo. Daily flights from Madeira
Island, weekly flights from Lisbon, and finally the daily ferry, Lobo MarinhoII, that crosses from Funchal to Porto Santo
in two and a half hours, and is good for seawatching and birdwatching.
Once on Porto Santo, transport is limited and
it may prove difficult to hire cars. Motor scooters are sometimes available.
Generally speaking, Porto Santo is flatter,
drier and smaller than Madeira, therefore many different species, specially during migration, can be seen here. It is also
a fantastic island for sun-seekers, with its 9km long sandy beach.
The Desertas and the Selvagens archipelagos are
uninhabited, however, both are part of the Natural Park of Madeira due to their incredible terrestrial and marine wildlife.
isn´t easy to get there, especially in rough seas. However there are organised sailing trips, in collaboration with SPEA,
to the Desertas islands.
It´s possible to spend the night there, but only on board the boat, unless you are on one
of the SPEA trips. SPEA is the only body authorised to stay there, and birdwatching trips should be arranged with them.
almost five-century-old (497 years) capital is said to have been named 'Funchal' because of the abundance of fennel (funcho)
that was growing there.
Funchal is located in an absolutely unique area. The amphitheatre of Funchal city begins at
the harbour and rises almost 1200m high on gentle slopes. This provides a natural shelter and was what once attracted the
The best harbour and the best climate combined with an excellent geographical position allowed Funchal
to have a rapid population growth. Today Funchal is a very modern city with over 104,000 inhabitants.
The city can
easily be explored by foot and no matter where your hotel is located (as long as it is in the Funchal tourist area) you will
find no difficulty in walking into the city centre to delight at its sights and sounds.
Social Profile - Madeira
Regional dishes include sopa de tomate e cebola (tomato and onion soup), caldeirada (fish soup), bife de
atum e milho frito (tuna steak and fried maize), carne em vinha alho (pickled pork and garlic), espada (fresh black sword
fish), espetada (beef grilled on laurel wood skewers over an open fire) and bolo de mel (Madeira honey cake).
wines of Madeira are malmsey (Malvasia), a sweet dessert wine, bual and the dry serceal. Wines, spirits and beers imported
from mainland Portugal and Europe are also available. Galão, a glass of milky coffee and bica, a small cup of black coffee,
are also popular.
Some hotels have excellent nightclubs with music for dancing and international cabaret
entertainment. Folk entertainment is also included in the weekly programme of these hotels and, in most cases, non-residents
In Funchal, there is a wide variety of shops selling everyday goods, as well as many souvenirs.
Special purchases include Madeira folk art such as embroidery, tapestry and wickerwork. Madeira wine is a popular gift.
Throughout the year, numerous events take place on Madeira and it is a good idea to visit at the time of a specific
festival. Around Christmas and New Year, for example, there are some really spectacular celebrations. Cruise ships often stop
the night of 31 December in Funchal Harbour so that passengers can appreciate the firework displays, accompanied by church
bells and ships; sirens, which herald the New Year. For a complete list of events on Madeira, contact ICEP (see Contact Addresses
section). The following is a selection of special events celebrated annually in Madeira:
Feb Carnival, Funchal. May
Flower Festival, Funchal. May World Championship Triathlon, Funchal. Jun Cherry Festival, Jardimda Serra. Aug Our Lady of
Grace; Our Lady of Pity. Sep Santíssimo Sacramento; Madeira Wine Festival. Dec Reveillon (New Years Festival), Funchal; Switching
on the Christmas Illuminations; St Silvester Fireworks.
Madeira - THE CLIMATE
The climate of Madeira makes it
an all year round destination, with average temperatures of 23° C (73° F) in the summer and 19° C (66° F) in the winter. The
sea is also warm due to the influence of the warm Gulf Stream. Month Avg Temp.
January 18.5° C/February 18.5° C/ March
19.0° C/ April 19.6° C/ May 20.5° C/ June 21.7° C/ July 23.3° C/ August 24.7° C/ September 25.0° C/ October 23.6° C/ November
21.5° C/ December 19.1° C.
The mildness of the climate, together with the availability of infrastructures, equipment
and services, allows Madeira to offer a very complete range of sporting and leisure activities throughout the year.
IN CANIÇO-Santa Cruz.
Riu 5*, Quinta Splendida 4*, Oasis Atlantic 4*,
Ondamar 4*, Galomar 3*, Royal
Orchid 4*, Roca Mar 4*,
Tropical 4*, Alpino Atlântico 4*, Villa Opuntia, Inn & Art Madeira Hotel & Villas,
Dom Pedro Garajau Hotel 3*.