Portugal Regions – Madeira
The second archipelago that is part of the Portugal regions is made up of the Madeira Islands, some may not be aware that there are actually more than just the one Madeira island.
As far as the Madeira island goes, it is as close to Eden as possible, a wonderfully green oasis in the deep blue of the Atlantic. The island packs in a lot of wonderful sights, from the sheer cliffs and rocky beaches, to mist-shrouded green mountains. Besides being a wonderful destination because of the wonderful subtropical climate, there are a plethora of activities that one can engage in.
The island was discovered in the 15th century when Portuguese settlers found the rich volcanic soil and started cultivated vineyards and banana plantations. The capital of the island, Fuchal, takes its name from the dense number of fennel plants that characterized the place since it was initially discovered. Located in the southern part of the island, besides a wonderful range of cultural activities, it also boasts lush botanical gardens and wonderful panoramas.
One rather unique characteristic of the island are its levadas – or aqueduct channels. These were built many hundreds of years ago to channel water from the rainier part of the island to the drier one and they still work and are maintained. This makes something known as a levada walk, which will allow you to both visit these wonderful feats of human engineering while at the same time seeing the unspoilt landscape of the ancient Laurisilvia forests and indigenous flora.
You can combine your walking or hiking trip with a swim in the many natural pools that you can find all around the island, or you can just lounge around the beaches.
The local gastronomy includes a lot of fresh fish, seafood and ‘espetadas’ – meat grilled on fragrant laurel skewers – and of course a plethora of tropical fruit.
You can visit Madeira regardless of the season, and the best way of visiting it is with the help of some quality Madeira car hire services. You can also visit the entire island using quality Madeira sightseeing tours.