Here in the Atlantic
Ocean, not too far from the centre of Europe, we find the islands
of Madeira and Porto Santo.
The archipelago is famous for its friendly people,
exceptional natural beauty and mild climate.
Madeira Islands are just a short trip from Europe, to a destination where you can combine holidays on the beach, in
the mountains or in the city.
Porto Santo are the ideal places to relax and restore the balance of mind and
body that you need to face the stress of daily life.
also very famous for its natural environment, where the most important feature
is the Laurissilva Forest, a relic of the Tertiary Age, which has been classified by UNESCO
as a World Natural Heritage Site. It is no less well known for its year-round
The island’s mild climate and a water temperature that never
goes below 17ºC mean that you can be on the go all the time. Its traditions and
customs, visible in its old buildings, museums and churches and even in
regional products like its wine and embroidery, have lasted for centuries and
deserve your very special attention. Porto Santo is 40 km from Madeira and is quite simply
heaven on earth! This island, with a 9‑kilometre beach of golden sand washed by
warm, crystalline waters is the ideal refuge for a quiet, relaxing holiday.
As for the uninhabited Desertas and Selvagens Islands, take a
trip there and, in a few hours, you will get to know some of the rarest fauna
and flora on the planet.
The Desertas Islands are about 22 miles southwest of Funchal
and have been made a biogenetic reserve, which, today, is that last Atlantic
refuge of the Mediterranean monk seal (Monachus monachus), the rarest
seal in the world.
The Selvagens Islands are made up of two groups of small islands, Selvagem Grande and
Selvagem Pequena, and are about 180 miles from Madeira.
These islands also have a nature reserve, where we can find
some of the rarest flora on the planet. They are also considered a bird
sanctuary because of their ideal nesting conditions for sea birds.
The capital of the archipelago is on Madeira’s south
coast, in a beautiful bay washed by the warm waters of the Atlantic
Ocean and surrounded by tall, green mountains and deep valleys.
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.
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.
The west coast is the sunniest part of Madeira.
Washed by the warm, limpid sea, most places have attractive bathing areas
tempting you in for a swim. Surfers will find some of the best waves in Europe
at the beaches of Jardim do Mar and Paul do Mar.
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 include rambling through the forest, enjoying
the landscapes that seem to plunge into the sea or cooling down in the natural
Just a short distance away from Madeira is one of the
most beautiful, paradisiacal islands in the world, Porto Santo! It is very
different from Madeira in spite of the fact that it is
so close. Nine kilometres of beach washed by a calm, limpid, deep-blue sea are
its main attraction. It is known as the “golden isle”, because of its arid landscape
full of warm shades of brown and yellow.