If you tell friends you are going to Madeira Islands, they would probably say, “Wow!” and then give you a quizzical look even before they finish the interjection. Madeira? Where is that?
Well, a lot of people would ask the same question especially if you are from the other part of the world. Besides, even if you have a map, it would probably not come easy for you to find where these little jewels are. Who could locate dots in the Atlantic anyway?
The archipelago of Madeira is 310 miles from the coast of Africa and 620 miles from the European continent. In plain language, it’s an hour and a half flight from Lisbon. It was accidentally discovered by two young sea captains in the 15th century when Prince Henry the Navigator wanted to gain more knowledge on the West African coast. They were on their voyage when they were blown off course and bumped into a small land they named Porto Santo. When they reported this to King Henry, they were immediately ordered to colonize the island.
A year after Porto Santo was discovered, the voyagers sailed again. There was a dark mass of clouds on the southern horizon then but they still decided to push through the journey. They braved out Atlantic rollers along the northern coast and the angry cross currents at Ponta de Sao Lourenco. As they were rounding the headland, they got into Machico Bay, the threshold to the densely forested island they named Madeira.
There are so many things you can enjoy in Madeira Islands. You can visit the Casa das Mudas Art Centre, The Sao Vicente Caves and Volcanism Centre, the Quinta Monte Palace, the Quinta do Arco Rose Garden, and a whole lot more. You can also just enjoy your usual favorite activities like walking, golfing, shopping, and going to the spa. And since Madeira is an island, it’s the perfect place for nautical sports too like swimming, surfing, sailing, canoeing, and water skiing.
It’s an ideal getaway right in the middle of the ocean.