Holidays to fantastically floral Madeira
The picturesque island of Madeira is a haven for nature lovers. This Portuguese island off the north-west coast of Africa is gorgeously decorated with bright and colourful flowers.
Madeira’s weather is often warm enough to sit outside with a meal or a coffee and enjoy the island’s views. Sparkling seas, bursting colours and faraway sailing boats are typical sights. The island’s landscape is best appreciated whilst relaxing with a glass of local wine at sundown, so why not take a holiday in Madeira and experience her beautiful sunsets for yourself?
Indulge your green-fingered side by discovering the native plants at one of the island’s many public gardens, where you can also spot birds unique to Madeira. Or perhaps spend your time on holiday in Madeira exploring Funchal’s modern cafes and restaurants for a city-break atmosphere.
Found on a slope overlooking the city of Funchal and the shimmering waves of the Atlantic beyond, this beautiful botanical garden is well worth a visit regardless of your own thoughts on gardening, but especially so if you happen to possess a green thumb. The immaculately kept terraced gardens are the ideal way to explore at a pace that suits you, and with themed sections like the succulent garden, the indigenous plants section and many more besides, there is always something florally interesting waiting to be discovered. It’s also a focus for conservation, with endangered plants cultivated with a view to reintroduction into their native habitats.
Funchal’s pleasant climate is a major draw, not only for the sunshine but also for the lush surroundings the mild weather encourages. This attractive city is shaped by both its proximity to the water and its access to spectacular floral displays – you'll need your camera on hand at all times! Here you’ll also find culinary experiences to write home about; not only does Funchal benefit from its location with a wealth of fresh-grown produce from the land and delicious seafood from the water, but also from the combination of traditional Portuguese cooking and Madeiran specialties.
Madeira boasts a fascinating network of irrigation channels; originally built in the 16th century to transport water across the fertile farming lands, the levadas are now popular hiking trails. Stretching for hundreds of miles, the levadas are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and considered a remarkable historical and cultural landmark. Whatever your hiking ability, you’ll find a levada trail that suits your fitness level, and guarantees incredible views over Madeira’s verdant green hillsides, ancient laurel forests, eucalyptus groves and craggy, majestic peaks.
Madeira is located in the Atlantic Ocean, over 600 miles south of Portugal and over 400 miles west of Africa.
Madeira’s currency is the Euro.
Tipping is generally more relied upon as a wage supplement than in other Portuguese destinations, so a generous hand at the end of your meal will be very much appreciated.
Madeira is on the same time as the UK.
You’ll find Portuguese spoken in Madeira, but in the more popular tourist spots you’re likely to find plenty of people who are happy to speak English.
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