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Cloaked in lush tropical vegetation thanks to a warm year-round climate, Madeira is part of a Portuguese volcanic archipelago in the Atlantic, . Only 21 km by 56 km, but exploring it takes a while due to its winding, dramatic roads with vertiginous views. On the island’s south coast is one of Europe’s tallest sea cliffs, the Cabo Girao, which is a dizzying 589 m high. Its near complete absence of beaches due to a coastline comprised of towering cliffs is compensated by a series of large, saltwater swimming pools hewn out of lava rocks.
irst inhabited in 1420, Madeira has remained largely in Portuguese hands.Read more
Oscar Niemeyer in the late 70s, and the Se, the capital’s magnificent whitewashed 15th-century cathedral. See some of the islands colourful produce piled high in one of Funchal’s markets, such as Mercado dos Lavradores. Around 4 km from Funchal are the botanical gardens, with superb views over Funchal harbour, displaying 2,000 species of tropical and subtropical plants which grow on the island, such as bird of paradise, jacaranda, bougainvillea, frangipani and orchids.
peaks of Arieiro (1,818 m) and Ruivo (1,862), the latter Madeira’s highest peak, set in the volcanic landscape characterising the rugged interior.
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