Madeira is a perfect alternative to your traditional beach holiday. The island, often called the "Jewel of the Atlantic" is also known as the "Floating Garden." Majestic mountains are carpeted in vineyards, plantations, and exuberant flowers and an old-world charm is still evident in traditional villages such as Santana as well as its capital, Funchal.
Set in the Eastern Atlantic, Madeira lies 1,000km from Lisbon and 600km from Morocco (the nearest mainland). Click on the map to the right to take a closer view. The island measures 54km by 23km and has a population of 300,000. Madeira is the product of volcanic eruptions some 20 million years ago. Some of Madeira's volcanic peaks rise over 1,800m and can attract snow during the winter.
The climate is sub-tropical with warm frost free winters and cooling Atlantic winds to take the edge off the intense heat of summer. Temperatures average 24°C in the summer and only drop to around 19°C in the winter.
Madeira's fortune was built on sugar production in the 15th to 17th centuries, switching to the production of Madeira wine in the 18th and 19th centuries. Today the biggest revenue generator is tourism.
Belonging to Portugal, the language is Portuguese, currency is the Euro, and electrics are 220/240v on a 2 pin continental socket.