Wines of Spain: Visit Madeira Island

Madeira is only about 30 miles long and 10 miles wide, but for a small island it offers a lot of variety, with everything from lush woodlands and gardens to deep canyons and dramatic cliffs. Although a part of Portugal, the island lies in the Atlantic Ocean, about 520 miles off the Moroccan coast. Madeira is a popular stop for cruise ships, and whether you are here for just a few hours or you are spending a few days here, you will find plenty to see and do in this island paradise.

And it’s affordable too. A quick search on Flybe shows that you can fly there at a very affordable rate. Always check for coupons before booking flights or hotels.

The island enjoys a mild sub-tropical climate, with temperatures ranging from around 17 degrees C in February to around 23 degrees C in September, making it a popular vacation destination all year round. The highest rainfall occurs between October and March, especially on the northern part of the island. Madeira is in the same time zone as the UK, regardless of the time of year.

Most visitors to the island make their base in the modest capital of Funchal. The town was founded in 1425 and officially became a city in 1508 and today, many of the original buildings are still intact. It’s a town of attractive whitewashed and red-roofed buildings and wide boulevards, surrounded by mountains on three sides. The city is also known for its Art Deco architecture and has several excellent museums, as well as a lovely promenade offering views out to sea and over the city.

Funchal is also blessed with plenty of parks and gardens. If you visit the town’s immaculately kept botanical gardens, you can enjoy not only a wide variety of plants … Read the rest

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