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Madeira ©Gerhard Lier. Used with friendly permission

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Rother Walking Guide: Madeira - 50 of the finest walks


Madeira Lage

The Madeira archipelago lies 700 km west off the west coast of Africa at the height of Morocco. To mainland Portugal and the capital of Portugal, the distance is about 900 km, while the Canary Islands just 500 miles south of Madeira are located.

The archipelago consists of the main island of Madeira, the smaller neighboring island of Porto Santo and the uninhabited Deserted Islands . Although geographically belonging to the Canary Islands already isolated the Selvagens Islands of Madeira also manages and are therefore constitutionally as the Archipelago of Portugal.

Like the other major island groups in the North Atlantic, the Azores, the Canaries and Cape Verde, Madeira is of volcanic origin. In contrast to the other island groups of volcanic activity on Madeira, however, have ceased about 6500 years ago. Since that time, only the erosion is gnawing at the surface shape of the islands of Madeira and has formed a bizarre and impressive mountains. With the year-round mild climate and sufficient rainfall for lush vegetation Madeira offers almost ideal conditions for active vacationers who are looking for hikes of various difficulty levels.

In contrast to the main island, the small island of Porto Santo not imposing mountains, but it has a very large sandy beach and offers itself to trips with swimming day.

Deserted Islands and the uninhabited Selvagens Islands are under strict protection and should therefore be of tourists, if you have no compelling reason to visit, are best left alone.

©Attila Bertalan