Surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean some seven hundred kilometres west of the African coast, Maderia is a magnificent emerald island, stretching approximately 57 kilometres in length by 26 kilometres wide, its shores lapped by the warm waters of the Gulf Stream. Discovered in 1419 by Zarco, Madeira became an important resting place on the long trip to the new world. From these humble beginnings, the holiday trade was formed and this spectacular island, which used to be the favourite place of the rich and famous, is now the preferred choice of all sorts of visitors, from nature lovers and sightseers, to sports enthusiasts of all ages. From golf to mountain biking to paragliding and big game fishing, Madeira has something for everyone.
No matter where you go on the island you are rewarded by fabulous scenery, tiny villages and friendly people.
With a population of over 100,000, Funchal is not only the capital, but also the ‘heart’ of Madeira and home to many of the islanders. This makes it a busy, chic, cosmopolitan and fun city, full of shops, shopping centres, bars, cafés and a great variety of restaurants and entertainment; a vibrant, metropolitan town where historic splendour and breathtaking natural beauty combine with a thoroughly modern atmosphere. It also boasts a colourful covered market, numerous stately old buildings, including an imposing cathedral and a lovely theatre. The city has grown over the years, ascending higher and higher up the mountainsides, resulting in a beautiful display of sparkling white buildings by day and a myriad of glittering lights at night.