[WORLDKINGS] Exceptional places around the world (P.94) – Madeira (Portugal) : An island paradise with great eco-diversity


(WorldKings.org) Madeira, Portugal, is a dream destination for many. With its breathtaking landscapes, perfect climate, delicious cuisine and outstanding recreational possibilities, it might just offer that perfect sub-tropical getaway.

The weather in Madeira is almost ideal: it has a mild Mediterranean climate with average high temperatures that are between about 20 and 26 degrees Celsius. The warmest months are June to September, but even in the other months, the temperature rarely dips below 20 degrees. Depending on the location and exposure, Madeira has many microclimates, from desert-like conditions to rather humid and wet locations.

Being of volcanic origin, Madeira Island has some fantastic landscapes. Sitting at the top of a huge shield volcano, Madeira itself features very high, rugged mountains and its highest peak has an altitude of 1,862 metres.

Funchal is the largest city on Madeira Island and has a myriad of interesting sites. Magnificent historic architecture can be admired at the Sé Cathedral, Sao Lourenco Palace, the Santa Clara Monastery, the Igreja de Nossa Senorha do Monte church and many other places. Funchal has a wealth of colonial architecture that was mainly built between 1400 and 1800.

Sé Cathedral

Funchal and the surrounding areas also have some outstanding tropical gardens that are a must-see for flower enthusiasts. The Madeira Botanical Gardens display rainforest orchids, desert cacti, dragon trees, South African proteas and much more. The Monte Palace Tropical Garden boasts all sorts of tropical vegetation as well as two oriental gardens. The Jardins do Palheiro feature interestingly shaped topiaries and a large collection of camellias in every colour. Just a 20 minute walk from downtown Funchal, the Quinta da Boa Vista is a spectacular orchid garden that showcases many other tropical plants as well. Plant lovers will be astounded by Madeira’s magnificent vegetation.

Madeira Botanical Gardens

Another completely unique experience in Madeira, Portugal is the Monte toboggan rides where you get to ride from the top of the Monte Hill down on winding streets into Funchal. The wicker toboggan sleds first came into use in the 1850s and made for a quick way of getting into town. It takes about 10 minutes to get down the hill and the sleds reach speeds of almost 50 km/h.

Being located in the middle of an ocean, the cuisine of Madeira is heavily based around seafood. The most commonly available types of fish are various species of tuna, marlin, spearfish and many others. Madeira wine, a fortified wine that can be sweet or dry, is the most famous beverage here.

According to travelandtransitions.com

Mihan (Collect and edit) (World Records Union - WorldKings.org)


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