The floating garden of the Atlantic
Madeira was discovered in 1419 and is located approx 500 miles off the West African coast in the Atlantic Ocean. Madeira has many places of historical interest and is well known for its natural beauty, traditional villages and its mountains and lush plantations.
You will find luxurious hotels and for those staying in Funchal there is a very cosmopolitan atmosphere. Summers are hot whilst winters are mild.
Time Difference: GMT +1 hour
Summers (from May to the end of September) are hot and dry especially in the inland areas. Temperatures may be slightly lower in coastal areas. Autumn months can often be mild with snow a possibility in some areas in winter.
The capital of Madeira, Funchal, is not a large city and you can probably see most of its’ highlights within a day, but it’s still well worth a visit. This picturesque city has some interesting architecture and a fantastic market. There’s also a brilliant (and cheap) cable car which can take you up to Monte Village where you will experience stunning views over Funchal.
Diving in Madeira Aquarium
This is definitely a unique opportunity! First of all, you are given instruction from an experienced diver on how to use the dive equipment. Next you will have the chance to plunge into the massive aquarium which is home to sharks, rays and hundreds of fish. Friends and family will be able to watch you and take photographs while you are inside the tank.
Whale and Dolphin Watching
The waters around Madeira are some of the best in the world to view whales and dolphins. There’s a 90 per cent chance you will see at least 1 or 2 species of dolphin. There are many companies on the island who can offer these fantastic boat trips.
by Debra Hammond