- Madeira -


What you need to know about Madeira

Madeira is a Portuguese archipelago situated in the north Atlantic Ocean, southwest of Portugal. Its total population was estimated in 2011 at 267,785. The capital of Madeira is Funchal, on the southern coast of the main island. It is just under 400 kilometers (250 miles) north of Tenerife, Canary Islands. Since 1976, the archipelago has been one of the two autonomous regions of Portugal (being the other of the Azores, located to the northwest). It includes the islands of Madeira, Porto Santo, and Desertas, administered in conjunction with the separate archipelago of the Selvagens Islands. It is an outermost region of the European Union. Madeira was claimed by Portuguese sailors in the service of Prince Henry in 1419 and was established after 1420. The archipelago is considered the first territorial discovery of the exploratory period of the Portuguese Age of Discovery, which stretched from 1415 to 1542. Its southern marine position makes it the warmest subtropical climate all year round in Portugal, with winters being extremely mild and summers long, but with relatively modest heat. Today, it is a popular resort all year round, being visited every year by about one million tourists. The region is known for its Madeira wines, gastronomy, historical and cultural value, its flora and fauna, landscapes (Laurel forest) which are classified as UNESCO World Heritage and embroidery artisans. Its annual New Year festivities feature the world’s largest fireworks, as officially recognized by Guinness World Records in 2006. The main port of Funchal is the Portuguese port taking on cruise liner dockings, being an important stopover for commercial and trans -Atlantic cruises between Europe, the Caribbean and North Africa. Madeira is the second richest region of Portugal by GDP per capita, being only surpassed by Lisbon

Currency: € EURO


The archipelago of Madeira is located 520 km (280 nautical miles) from the African coast and 1,000 km (540 nautical miles) from the European continent (about a one-and-a-half hour flight from the Portuguese capital of Lisbon). It can be found at the south end of the Tore-Madeira Ridge, a large bathymetric structure oriented north-northeast to the south-southwest axis extending for 1,000 kilometers (540 nautical miles). This submarine structure consists of long geomorphologic relief extending from the abyssal plain to 3500 meters; its highest point submersend is to a depth of about 150 meters (about 36 ° N latitude). The origins of the Tore-Madeira summit are not clearly established, but may have resulted from a morphological deformation of the lithosphere.


The establishment of a free trade area has led to the installation, under more favorable conditions, of infrastructure, production and service facilities essential for small and medium-sized industrial enterprises. The Madeira Free Trade Zone, also called the International Business Center of Madeira, is a privileged economic economic space, provides an incentive for companies, offering them financial and fiscal advantages through a whole range of activities carried out in the Industrial Free Zone, Off-Shore Financial Center, the International Ship Registry, and the International Services Center. Madeira has been a significant recipient of aid from the European Union, worth up to € 2 billion. In 2012, it was reported that, despite a population of only 250,000, the local administration owes some € 6 billion.



Folklore music in Madeira is widespread and mainly uses local musical instruments such as machete, rachan, toy and cavaquinho, which are used in traditional folk dances, such as the bailinho da Madeira. Emigrants from Madeira also influenced the creation of new musical instruments. In the 1880s, the ukulele was created, based on two small guitar-like instruments of Madeiran origin, the cavaquinho and the Rajão. The ukulele was introduced to the Hawaiian Islands by Portuguese immigrants from Madeira and Cape Verde. Three immigrants in particular, Madeira lumbermen Manuel Nunes, José do Espírito Santo, and Augusto Dias, are generally credited as the first ukulele manufacturers. Two weeks after they had landed from the SS Ravenscrag in late August 1879, in the Hawaiian Diary reported that “Madeira Islanders just arrived here, they were enchanting people with street concerts every night.”

Portuguese: language

POPULATION: 268 000 people live on these islands according to data collected in 2011. Half the population lives in the capital. The population density is very high, reaching 334 inhabitants / km² in Madeira and 130 per square kilometer in Porto Santo.


The islands have two airports, Madeira Airport (Cristiano Ronaldo Airport) and Porto Santo Airport, in the islands of Madeira and Porto Santo, respectively. From Madeira airport the most frequent flights are to Lisbon. There are also direct flights to more than 30 other airports in Europe and the nearby islands. Transportation between the two main islands is by plane, or ferries from Porto Santo Line, the last vehicles that also present. Visiting the interior of the islands is now easier thanks to the construction of the Fast Track, the main roads built during the economic boom of Portugal. [Citation needed] ] Modern roads reach all points of interest on the islands. Funchal has an extensive public transport system. Bus companies, including the Horários do Funchal, which operates for over a hundred years, have regularly scheduled routes to all points of interest on the island.


Tourism is an important sector in the region’s economy, as it contributes to the region’s GDP, providing year-round support for commercial purposes, transport and other activities and a significant market for local products. The share of Gross Value Added of hotels and restaurants also highlights this phenomenon. The island of Porto Santo, with its 9 km (5.6 miles) long beach and its climate, is entirely dedicated to tourism.


Madeira was classified as a Mediterranean climate (Köppen climate classification: Csa / BSC). Based on the differences in exposure to sun, humidity and annual average temperature, there are clear variations between the North and South facing regions, as well as between some islands. The islands are heavily influenced by the Gulf Stream and the Canary Current, giving mild temperatures throughout the year; according to the Institute of Meteorology (IM), the average annual temperature in the Funchal weather station is 19.6 ° C (67.3 ° F) for the period 1980-2010. For the period 1960-1990, IM published an article showing that some regions of the South Coast exceed 20 ° C (68 ° F), on an annual average. Other microclimates are expected to exist, from the wettest areas constantly moist from the mountains to the desert and arid Selvagens Islands. Porto Santo has at least one meteorological station with a semi-arid climate (BSh). On the highest windward slope of Madeira, precipitation exceeds 50 inches per year, most falling between October and April. In most winters snow occurs in the mountains of Madeira.