Islands of Portugal

Madeira – Canary Islands

Madeira is a Portuguese archipelago located in the north Atlantic Ocean, just under 400 kilometres (250 mi) north of Tenerife, Canary Islands. The archipelago is one of the two Autonomous regions of Portugal (the other being the Azores, located to the northwest), and includes the islands of Madeira, Porto Santo, and the Desertas, administered together with the separate archipelago of the Savage Islands. It is an outermost region of the European Union.

Madeira was claimed by Portuguese sailors in the service of Prince Henry the Navigator in 1419, and settled after 1420. The archipelago is considered to be the first territorial discovery of the exploratory period of the Portuguese Age of Discovery.

Today, it is a popular year-round resort, being visited every year by about one million tourists, noted for its Madeira wine, flowers, landscapes and embroidery artisans, as well as for its annual New Year celebrations that feature the largest fireworks show in the world, as officially recognised by Guinness World Records in 2006.  The main harbour in Funchal is the leading Portuguese port in cruise liner dockings,  being an important stopover for commercial and trans-Atlantic passenger cruises between Europe, the Caribbean and North Africa.


A nice bit of welcoming street art found in the port of Funchal.