Madeira
June 2006
Capital

Funchal

Area

741 km²
(0.017x the Netherlands)

Time

UTC +1

Language

Portugese

Highest point

Pico Ruivo - 1,862 m

Flag

The current flag was adopted in 1978. The blue represents the ocean and the yellow represents the favorable climate which created prosperity. In the middle is the cross of the Order of Christ.


Climate

The least precipitation is on the south side of the island. November to January are the wettest months, July and August are the driest. The temperature in the table is an average.


Funchal

Temp. (°C) Jan Apr Jul Okt
max 19 19 24 24
min 13 13 18 18
Currency

The euro was introduced simultaneously in 12 European countries, as well as in Monaco, San Marino and Vatican City on 1 January 2002. This was the largest monetary exchange operation of all time. On the front of the note is a gate or window and a bridge on the back. These are all fictional. The euro replaces the Portugese Escudo.


Itinerary


Highlights

The island of Madeira is an autonomous region of Portugal. It was created as a result of a volcanic eruption underwater. Madeira was discovered in 1418 by the Portuguese. It's always spring on Madeira. There's al lot of precititation in the northern part, but little in the south. A large irrigation system has been devised for this. The irrigation channels, levadas, have been built by slaves and have a total length of 2150 km. They are maintained continuously so they have to be accessible. Therefore they provide great hiking.

The capital is Funchal. When the first residents arrived here they found a lot of wild growing fennel which provided the name of the city. Funchal was founded in 1425 and received city rights in 1508. Half of the 250,000 residents of the island live there. The highest cliff in Europe is located near the capital. Cabo Girão towers 600 meters above the sea.



When you have a fear of heights, many of the walks in Madeira like the walk from Pico Arieiro (1,818 meters) to the highest mountain Pico Ruivo (1,862 meters) are no go. This is a beautiful walk. Also most levada's are well above the ground at one side. Sometimes the decline is a few meters.

Unlike the rest of Madeira, Ponta de São Lourenço is very bare. Here you can see the volcanic origin of the island. There's a long hike (same way back) on this narrow headland.

In Monte you can sled down the asphalt to Funchal. Carreiros (driver who stands on the back of the sled) handles a toboggan, a two person reed sled.