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Island of Madeira, Portugal - Lush and Luxurious, by Shyam Amladi

Island of Funchal, harbor side

Looking out from the island of Porto Santo, Portugal

Madeira is MAGICAL! It is blessed with fertile soil, temperate climate, all kinds of flowers and fruits and breath-taking vistas. And of course the famous fortified wine which is produced here, called Madeira.

Where is it?

It is about 670 miles SW of Lisbon, Portugal, of which it is an autonomous part. There are actually two islands, as shown above, Madeira, which is bigger, and Porto Santo.


Madeira grows a number of fruits--top among them, banana, guava, anona, chestnut, passion fruit, medlar, and many others.

The highest peak in Madeira is Pico Ruiva, about 6,100 feet high. The ocean is a stunning blue and green and is visible from almost anywhere in the island.


?Madeira was discovered in 1419 by two Portugese explorers, Zarco and Vaz.

Things to do

For Briskwalkers, there are stunning scenic gems waiting for you when you hike through the Madeira National Park. There is also the Risco Waterfall hiking trail, where you can visit and enjoy the 328 foot waterfall that is a beautiful sight to see, encased in lush vegetation and providing a nice little pool you can wade/swim in.

Then there is the  Pousada Dos Vinhaticos, a high-ridge mountain walking trail that is at times a bit difficult, but generally moderate.

Of course you can always drive/walk the banana trail which circles the island.

A lookout point, Madeira island

For cuisine, try the ubiquitous Bacalhau, salted cod, which is delicious any way you eat it, but particularly grilled in olive oil.The meat casseroles are a local favorite.

For a memorable sub-tropical holiday, few islands beat Madeira