Madeira, "The Green Pearl of the Atlantic", with its spectacular variety of landscapes, the island that they say it sometimes is 6 different continents in one mini-continent. The friendly locals and the picturesque villages make Madeira a perfect island for those seeking a combination of adventure, sports, nature, sun and rest.
The reference to the green color is, according to some, thanks to its 13,010,405,091,801 shades of green it holds for the whole archipelago. It is said that the number 13010405091801 is kind of an OCR green color-code for Madeira island.
An island with many faces, that is Madeira. Still famous for its Levada, miles-long irrigation channels, ideal for walkers. But Madeira is more: there are beautiful hiking trails through vast Eucalyptus and Laurel Forest, "cobbled roads" between friendly villages and narrow roads on sunny slopes.
In the East, Madeira Island is very woody and you can visit the many nature reserves. Middle Madeira is also known as the Rocky Mountains because this part of the island is not very easy to access, but certainly worthwhile to take the challenge. The south coast of Madeira makes you think you are on the sunny coast of southern Europe. There are many fishing villages and (pebble) beaches where you can enjoy the sun. In the west you can find a more efficient environment, but once you have arrived on the plateau above, you will certainly enjoy the beautiful view over the mountains and the Atlantic Ocean. The north coast is more a jungle of steep cliffs, interrupted by deep green valleys.
Nature lovers will really love this island. You can explore one of the many protected reserves or gardens for colourful flowering fauna and discover why Madeira is also referred to as 'The Floating Garden of the Atlantic'. You could start your holiday with a trip to the Botanical gardens of Madeira located in Funchal, or the Ponta de Sao Lourenco – a peninsular located on the East of the island that boasts amazing coastal views and a variety of flowering fauna perfect for the botanist in you.
Various secondary roads winds through banana plantations and agricultural lands, taking you higher up through forests of fragrant eucalyptus trees. The roadsides are full flowering Agapanthus, Bougainvillea, Hibiscus and Begonias and the houses, which are scarcer towards the top, have Roses and Orchids in large quantities in their gardens and/or balconies.