Madeira – mysterious island in the Atlantic Ocean
Madeira, the island of flowers, is located west of the coast of Morocco and looks on the world map like a lonely bastille in the middle of the ocean. The Portuguese island offers pleasant weather conditions all year round with a stunning nature and a vibrant capitol.
Funchal is the capitol of Madeira and offers unique attractions for his visitors. Driving up the mountain in a gondola and returning to the beach in a sled, that the guides are steering through the streets will be one of the experiences you will never forget from this trip.
The market in the city center is called “Mercado dos Lavadores” and has a rich offer in fruit, vegetables, fish and flowers from the island. With its very vibrant atmosphere the market is an experience itself, since the farmers are offering unique fruits, which you won’t find anywhere else. First of all you can find passionfruit that tastes like banana, lemon or oranges. Next you can find the Madeira banana, which tastes just like vanilla ice cream. Also to mention is the cherimoya, which tastes like a mix of pineapple, pear and strawberry, some even taste a hint of strawberry.
The mountains of the island are a must-see destination, which shows the complete opposite of the beaches and cities. Located in the middle of the island, the mountains are home to dense forests, which can be covered in a deep, mysterious fog. Madeira has its own microclimate and while there is sun on the beaches, the mountains will show you a different face of the island. You can follow the “levadas”, the artificial waterways through the mountains and see the panoramic views towards ocean or mountains, while smelling the laurel-forests that are located all over the island. You can also climb all the mountains on the island, but the Pico de Arieiro is the only one you can actually drive to.
Since the island is actually a volcano, you can also visit lava caves. In Sao Vincente you can enter the caves that lead to an underground way, with deep waterholes and impressive shades of blue in the water. In Porto Moniz the volcano formed natural pools on the coast, where you can relax all day and watch the waves go by.
Madeira offers a pleasant climate all over the year, but a special time to go would be in May. Madeira has a flower festival, where the houses in Funchal are decorated with flowers and the whole city is glowing in all different colors you can imagine.