"Madeira" Região Autónoma da Madeira by bambino36

Região Autónoma da Madeira Travel Guide: 1,650 reviews and 3,907 photos

Location


The group comprises the main island of Madeira, the smaller island of Porto Santo, the three uninhabited islets of Ilheu Chão, Deserta Grande and Ilheu de Bugio, and the Selvagens (a group of uninhabited islets located South of Madeira). The islands are hilly and of volcanic origin and the coast of Madeira is steep and rocky with deep eroded lava gorges running down to the sea. These are particularly impressive on the north coast of Madeira island. At Cabo Girão, west of the capital of Funchal, is the second-highest cliff in the world. Inland, Pico Ruivo is the island’s highest point (1862m) with the slightly lower Pico de Arieiro (1810m) nearby. Both are destinations for sightseeing tours, commanding fine views of the surrounding mountains. Madeira’s volcanic origin means that it has no sandy beaches.
Porto Santo is much smaller, only 14km (9 miles) long and 5km (3 miles) wide, with a long, golden sandy beach, complementing Madeira.

History


The island of Porto Santo was the first to be discovered. This event took place in 1418 with Madeira being discovered the following year. The discovery of the Archipelago of Madeira was not planned but happened during an expedition to Guinea, in which the fleet was overtaken by a storm, taking them to the island of Porto Santo.
The island of Madeira developed more quickly than Porto Santo, mainly because of its rich vegetation, the abundance of water for irrigation and its inaccessibility, which afforded protection from invasion by pirates.
In 1508, D. Manuel I, King of Portugal, by Royal Decree, elevated Funchal to the status of "City". At this time, Funchal was considered one of the most important cities in the Portuguese Kingdom, and also the first city built by Europeans, outside Europe.
After the Revolution of 1974 the Archipelago of Madeira reached full autonomy (both economic and political) to become the Madeira Autonomous Region (Região Autónoma da Madeira).

Climate


The temperature is fairly uniform during the year, providing the possibility of enjoying the sun in winter as well as in summer.
Air temperatures fluctuate from 16°C to 19°C in winter and 21°C to 25°C in summer with an annual average of 20°C. Sea temperatures vary from 18°C to 23°C.




Even if I was there cause of work I managed to have a great time during my free time. I also had the opportunity to visit all the main islands, including the Selvagens and the Desertas.

Madeira Island
Porto Santo Island
Deserta Grande Island
Selvagem Grande Island
Selvagem Pequena Island

  • Intro Updated Oct 7, 2004
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bambino36

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