Madeira ( / m ə d ɪər ə – of ɛər ə / mə- DEER -ə , – DAIR -ə ; Portuguese: [mɐðejɾɐ, -ðɐj-] ) is a Portuguese archipelago Situated in the north Atlantic Ocean , southwest of Portugal. Its total population was estimated in 2011 at 267,785. The capital of Madeira is Funchal , located on the main island of south coast.

The archipelago is just under 400 kilometers (250 mi.) North of Tenerife , Canary Islands . Since 1976, the archipelago has been one of the two autonomous regions of Portugal (the other being the Azores , located to the northwest). It includes the islands of Madeira , Porto Santo , and the Desertas , together with the separate archipelago of the Savage Islands . The region has political and administrative autonomy through the Administrative Political Statue of the Autonomous Region of Madeira provided for in the Portuguese Constitution. The autonomous area is an integral share of the European Union , Having pronounced status as an outermost area of the European Union, as detailed in Article 299-2 of the Treaty of the European Union . [6]

Prince Henry the Navigator in 1419 and settled after 1420. The archipelago is considered to be the first territorial discovery of the exploratory period of the Portuguese Age of Discovery , which extended from 1415 to 1542.

Today, it is a popular year-round resort , being visited every year by one million tourists, [7] three times its population. The region is noted for its Madeira wine , gastronomy , historical and cultural value, flora and fauna , landscapes ( Laurel forest ) which are classified as UNESCO World Heritage Site , and embroidery craftsmen. Its annual fireworks show in the world, as officially recognized by Guinness World Records in 2006. [8] [9]The main harbor in Funchal is the leading Portuguese harbor in cruise liner dockings, [10] being white year major stopover for shopping and trans-Atlantic passenger cruises entre Europe, the Caribbean and North Africa. Madeira is the second richest region of Portugal by GDP per capita, only surpassed by Lisbon . [11]

[ edit ]

Main article: History of Madeira


Plotarch in his Parallel Lives ( Sertorius , 75 AD) Referring to the military command Quintus Sertorius (d.72 BC), relates to his return to Cadiz , he puts sailors who spoke of idyllic Atlantic islands: “The islands are said to be Two thousand and one thousand and one thousand and one thousand and one thousand and one thousand and one thousand and one thousand furlongs (2,011.68 km) from Africa, They are called the Isles of the Blessed … “. [12]

Archeological evidence suggests that the islands may have been visited by the Vikings sometime between 900 and 1030. [13]


During the reign of King Edward III of England , Robert Machim’s lovers and Arfet’s Anna were told to be from England to France in 1346. They were driven off their course by a violent storm and their ship went aground along the coast of an island that may have been Madeira. Later this legend was the basis of the naming of the city of Machico , in memory of the young lovers. [14]


Knowledge of some Atlantic islands, such as Madeira, existed before their formal discovery and settlement, as the islands were shown on maps as early as 1339. [15]

Statue of João Gonçalves Zarco

In 1418, two captains under service to Prince Henry the Navigator , João Gonçalves Zarco and Tristão Vaz Teixeira , were driven off by a ship to an island where they named Porto Santo (English: holy harbor ) in gratitude for divine deliverance from a shipwreck . The following year, an organized expedition, under the captaincy of Zarco, Vaz Teixeira, and Bartolomeu Perestrello , traveled to the island to claim the title of the Crown. Subsequently, the new settlers observed “a heavy black cloud suspended to the southwest.” [16] Their investigation revealed it to be the larger island they called Madeira. [17]


Cathedral of Funchal with its 15th-century tower Gothic stylein the background

The first Portuguese settlers began colonizing the islands around 1420 or 1425. [18]

Grain production began to fall under the influence of Henry the Navigator to other profitable crops. citation needed ] These specialized plants, and their associated industrial technology, have been established in the major revolutions of the Portuguese industry. Following the introduction of the first water-driven sugar mill on Madeira, sugar production increased to over 6,000 arrobas (an arroba was equal to 11 to 12 kilograms) by 1455, [19] using advisers from Sicily and financed by Genoesecapital. The accessibility of Madeira attracted Genoese and Flemish traders, who were keen to bypass Venetian monopolies.

“By 1480 Antwerp had some seventy engaged in the Madeira sugar trade, with the refining and distribution concentrated in Antwerp. By the 1490s Madeira had overtaken Cyprus as a producer of sugar.” [20]

Sugarcane production was the primary engine of the island’s economy, increasing the demand for labor. African slaves were used during the cultivation of sugar cane, and the proportion of imported slaves reached 10% of the total population of Madeira by the 16th century. [21]

Barbary corsairs from North Africa, who enslaved Europeans from ships and coastal communities throughout the Mediterranean region, captured 1,200 people in Porto Santo in 1617. [22] [23] After the 17th century, as Portuguese sugar production was shifted to Brazil , São Tomé and Príncipe and elsewhere, Madeira’s most important commodity product became its wine . quote needed ]

The British first amicably occupied the island in 1801 whereafter Colonel William Henry Clinton became governor.[24] A detachment of the 85th Regiment of Foot under Lieutenant-colonel James Willoughby Gordon garrisoned the island.[25] After the Peace of Amiens, British troops withdrew in 1802, only to reoccupy Madeira in 1807 until the end of the Peninsular War in 1814.[26]

World War I

On 31 December 1916, during the Great War, a German U-boat, SM U-38, captained by Max Valentiner, entered Funchal harbour on Madeira. U-38 torpedoed and sank three ships, bringing the war to Portugal by extension. The ships sunk were:

  • CS Dacia (1,856 tons), a British cable-laying vessel.[27] Dacia had previously undertaken war work off the coast of Casablanca and Dakar. It was in the process of diverting the German South American cable into Brest, France.[28]
  • SS Kanguroo (2,493 tons), a French specialized “heavy-lift” transport.[29]
  • Surprise (680 tons), a French gunboat. Her commander and 34 crewmen (including 7 Portuguese) were killed.[30]

After attacking the ships, U-38 bombarded Funchal for two hours from a range of about 2 miles (3 km). Batteries on Madeira returned fire and eventually forced U-38 to withdraw.[31]

On 12 December 1917, two German U-boats, SM U-156 and SM U-157 (captained by Max Valentiner), again bombarded Funchal.[32] This time the attack lasted around 30 minutes. The U-boats fired 40 4.7-and-5.9-inch (120 and 150 mm) shells. There were three fatalities and 17 wounded; a number of houses and Santa Clara church were hit.[citation needed]

Charles I (Karl I), the last Emperor of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, went to Madeira after the war. Determined to prevent an attempt to restore Charles to the throne, the Council of Allied Powers agreed he could go into exile on Madeira because it was isolated in the Atlantic and easily guarded.[33] He died there on 1 April 1922 and is buried in Monte.

Autonomy and contemporaneity

On 1 July 1976, following the democratic revolution of 1974, Portugal granted political autonomy to Madeira, celebrated on Madeira Day. The region now has its own government and legislative assembly.

On 20 February 2010 at least 42 people died[34] and 100 were injured[35] due to an extreme weather phenomenon that affected the Island.

In October 2012, it was reported that there was a dengue fever epidemic on the island.[36][37] There was a total of 2,168 cases reported of dengue fever since the start in October 2012. The number of cases was on the decline since mid November 2012 and by 4 February 2013, no new cases had been reported.[38]

In August 2016, wildfires spread on Madeira and reached Funchal, killing three and destroying 150 homes.[39]

In August 2017, at least 13 people and injured people died at a religious ceremony. In the village – Monte – to celebrate the Roman Catholic Feast of the Assumption, which takes place on Tuesday and is a public holiday. The Lady of the Mount festival is the biggest island. [40]


Distribution of the archipelago (not including the Savage Islands )
Sights from Bica da Cana showing Madeira’s high orography

The archipelago of Madeira is located 520 km (280 nmi) from the African coast and 1,000 km (540 nmi) from the European continent (approximately a one-and-a-half hour flight from the Portuguese capital of Lisbon).[41] It is found in the extreme south of the Tore-Madeira Ridge, a bathymetric structure of great dimensions oriented along a north-northeast to south-southwest axis that extends for 1,000 kilometres (540 nmi). This submarine structure consists of long geomorphological relief that extends from the abyssal plain to 3500 metres; its highest submersed point is at a depth of about 150 metres (around latitude 36ºN). The origins of the Tore-Madeira Ridge are not clearly established, but may have resulted from a morphological buckling of the lithosphere.[42][43]

Islands and islets

Madeira (740.7 km²), including Ilhéu de Agostinho, Ilhéu de São Lourenço, Ilhéu Mole (northwest); Total population: 262,456 (2011 Census).

Porto Santo (42.5 km²), including Ilhéu de Baixo ou da Cal, Ilhéu de Ferro, Ilhéu das Cenouras, Ilhéu de Fora, Ilhéu de Cima; Total population: 5483 (2011 Census).

Desertas Islands (14.2 km²), including the three uninhabited islands: Deserta Grande Island, Bugio Island and Ilhéu de Chão;

Savage Islands (3.6 km²), archipelago 280 km south-southeast of Madeira Island including three main islands and 16 uninhabited islets in two groups: the Northwest Group (Selvagem Grande Island, Ilhéu de Palheiro da Terra, Ilhéu de Palheiro do Mar) and the Southeast Group (Selvagem Pequena Island, Ilhéu Grande, Ilhéu Sul, Ilhéu Pequeno, Ilhéu Fora, Ilhéu Alto, Ilhéu Comprido, Ilhéu Redondo, Ilhéu Norte).

Madeira Island

Main article: Madeira Island
Detailed, true-color image of Madeira. The image shows that deep green forest Laurissilva survives intact on the steep northern slopes of the island, but in the south, where is the land, the terracotta color of towns and the light green color of agriculture are more dominant

The island of Madeira is at the top of a massive volcano shield that rises about 6 km (20,000 ft) from the Atlantic Ocean floor, on the Tore underwater mountain range. The volcano formed atop an east-west rift [44] [45] in the oceanic crust along the African Plate , beginning during the Miocene epoch over 5 million years ago, continuing into the Pleistocene until about 700,000 years ago. [46] This was followed by extensive erosion , producing two large amphitheaters open to the south of the central part of the island. Volcanic activity later resumed, producing scoria cones andlava flows atop the older eroded shield. The most recent volcanic eruptions were on the west-central part of the island only 6,500 years ago, creating more cinder conesand lava flows. [46]

It is the largest island of the group with an area of ​​741 km 2 (286 sq mi), a length of 57 km (35 mi) (from Ponte de São Lourenço to Ponte do Pargo), while approximately 22 km (14 mi) at its widest point (from Ponte da Cruz to Ponte São Jorge), with a coastline of 150 km (90 mi). It has a mountain ridge that reaches the center of the island, reaching 1,862 meters (6,109 feet) at its highest point ( Pico Ruivo), while much lower (below 200 meters) along its eastern extent. The most important volcanic area of ​​the mountainous region, Ruivo (1,862 m), Torres (1,851 m), Arieiro (1,818 m), Cidrão (1,802 m), Cedro (1,759 m), Casado (1,725 ​​m) ), Grande (1,657 m), Ferreiro (1,582 m). At the end of this eruptive phase, an island has been formed, and its marine remains are evident in the area of ​​Lameiros, in São Vicente (which was later explored for calcium oxide production). Sea cliffs, such as Cabo Girão , valleys and gullies extend from this central spine, making the interior generally inaccessible. [47]Daily life is concentrated in the many villages at the mouths of the ravines, through which the heavy rains of autumn and winter. [48]


Madeira has been classified as a Mediterranean climate ( ). On the highest windward slopes of Madeira, rainfall exceeds 1,250 mm (50 inches) per year, mostly falling between October and April. In most winters snowfall occurs in the mountains of Madeira.Köppen climate classification: Csa/Csb).[49] Based on differences in sun exposure, humidity, and annual mean temperature, there are clear variations between north- and south-facing regions, as well as between some islands. The islands are strongly influenced by the Gulf Stream and Canary Current, giving mild year-round temperatures; according to the Instituto de Meteorologia (IM), the average annual temperature at Funchal weather station is 19.6 °C (67.3 °F) for the 1980–2010 period. Porto Santo has at least one weather station with a semiarid climate (BSh

  • View from Pico do Arieiro

  • Lava pools[50] in Porto Moniz

  • Porto Santo ‘s lack of higher mountains results in a paradoxical landscape when comparing it with its sister island Madeira

  • The Desertas Islands in the distance at sunrise

  • In some winters snow can occasionally be seen from Funchal, while the temperatures in the city stay mild

[ hide ]Climate data for Funchal, Capital of Madeira
month Jan Feb Mar Apr may Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec year
Record high ° C (° F) 25.5
Average high ° C (° F) 19.7
Daily mean ° C (° F) 16.7
Average low ° C (° F) 13.7
Record low ° C (° F) 8.2
Average precipitation mm (inches) 74.1
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm) 12 10 9 8 6 3 1 2 6 9 10 13 87
Mean monthly sunshine hours 167.4 171.1 204.6 225.0 213.9 198.0 244.9 260.4 225.0 204.6 168.0 164.3 2447.2
Source: Instituto de Meteorologia , [51] [52] for Sunshine hours data


NASA satellite image of wildfires on the island of Madeira from 19 July 2012

Drought conditions, coupled with hot and cold weather in recent years. The largest of the fires in August 2010 burned through 95 percent of the Funchal Ecological Park, a 1,000-hectare preserve set aside to restore native vegetation to the island. [53] [54] In July 2012 Madeira was suffering again from severe drought. Wildfires broke out on July 18, in the midst of temperatures up to 40 ° C (more than 100 ° F) and high winds. By 20 July, fires had spread to the nearby island of Porto Santo, and firefighters were blowing away from mainland Portugal to contain the multiple blazes. [55] [56] [57] [58]

In August 2013, Funchal has evacuated a wildfire approached hospital. A number of homes were destroyed when the fire hit Monte, a suburb of Funchal. [59] [60]

In August 2016, wildfires caused over 1,000 people to be evacuated, and led to the death of three people – all of which are said to have aged. [61] [62] The wildfires threatened the capital of Madeira – Funchal – specifically, however other administrative regions of Madeira have also been threatened by separate populations – eg Calheta .

Flora and fauna

In the south, there is very little left of the indigenous subtropical rainforest qui once covered the whole island citation needed ] (the original The Settlers set fire to the island to clear the land for farming) and gave it the name it now bears ( Madeira means “wood” in Portuguese). However, in the north, the valleys contain native trees of fine growth. These “laurisilva” forests , called lauraceas madeirense , mainly the forests of the Madeira Island, are designated as World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The paleobotanical record of Madeira reveals that laurel forests at least 1.8 million years.[63] Critically endangered species such as the vine Jasminum azoricum [64] or the rowan sorbus maderensis are endemic to Madeira.

Madeiran Wall Lizard[edit]

Madeiran lizard wall ( Lacerta dugesii ) captured in Levada do Norte , Madeira
Main article: Lacerta dugesii

The Wall Mounted Lizard ( Lacerta dugesii ) is a species of lizard in the Lacertidae family . The species is endemic to the island where it is very common and small in size, ranging from sea coasts to altitudes of 1,850 meters (6,070 ft). It is usually found in rocky places or among others. It is also found in gardens and on the walls of buildings. It feeds on small invertebrates such as ants and also eats some vegetable matter. The tail is easily shed and the stump regenerates slowly. Females lay two to three clutches of eggs in a year with the juveniles being about 3 cm (1.2 in) when they hatch. [65]The coloring is variable and tends to match the color of the animal’s surroundings, sometimes being greenish tinge. Most animals are finely flecked with darker markings. The underparts are white gold cream, sometimes with dark spots, with some males having orange or red underparts and blue throats, but these bright colors may be fade if the animal is disturbed. [65] The Madeiran wall lizard grows to a snout-to-wind. Length of about 8 cm (3.1 in). Females lay two to three clutches of eggs in a year with the juveniles being about 3 cm (1.2 in) when they hatch. [65]


A levada
Main article: Levada

The island of Madeira is wet in the northwest, but dry in the southeast. In the 16th century the Portuguese started building levadas or aqueducts to carry water to the agricultural regions in the south. Madeira is very mountainous, and the building has been difficult and often used. citation needed ] Many are cut into the sides of mountains, and it was also necessary to dig 25 miles (40 km) of tunnels, some of which are still accessible.

The present day is not only supplying water to the southern parts of the island, but providing hydro-electric power . [66] There are over 1,350 miles (2.170 km) of Levada And They Provide a network of walking paths. Some provide easy and relaxing walks through the countryside, but others are narrow, crumbling ledges where a slip could result in serious injury or death.

Two of the most popular levadas to hike are the Levada do Caldeirão Verde and the Levada do Caldeirão do Inferno, which should not be attempted by hikers prone to vertigo or without torches and helmets. The Levada do Caniçal is a much easier walk, running 7.1 miles (11.4 km) from Maroços to the Caniçal Tunnel. It is known as the mimosa levada, because mimosa trees are found all along the route.


Administratively, Madeira (with a population of 267.302 habitants in 2011 [67] ) and covering an area of 768.0 km 2 (296.5 sq mi) is Organized into eleven Municipalities : [68]

Municipality Population
(2011) [67]
Area Main settlement Parishes
Funchal [69] 111.892 75.7 km 2 (29.2 sq mi) Funchal 10
Santa Cruz [70] 43.005 68.0 km 2 (26.3 sq mi) Santa Cruz 5
Câmara de Lobos 35.666 52.6 km 2 (20.3 sq mi) Câmara de Lobos 5
Machico 21.828 67.6 km 2 (26.1 sq mi) Machico 5
Ribeira Brava 13.375 64.9 km 2 (25.1 sq mi) Ribeira Brava 4
Calheta 11.521 110.3 km 2 (42.6 sq mi) Calheta 8
Ponta do Sol 8.862 46.8 km 2 (18.1 sq mi) Ponta do Sol 3
Santana 7.719 93.1 km 2 (35.9 sq mi) Santana 6
São Vicente 5,723 80.8 km 2 (31.2 sq mi) São Vicente 3
Porto Santo [71] 5,483 42.4 km 2 (16.4 sq mi) Vila Baleira 1
Porto Moniz 2,711 82.6 km 2 (31.9 sq mi) Porto Moniz 4


Main article: Funchal
Partial view of the capital as seen from the mountains above it

Funchal is the capital and main city of the Autonomous Region of Madeira, located along the southern coast of the island of Madeira. It is a modern city, located within a natural geological ” amphitheater ” composed of vulcanological structure and fluvial hydrological forces. Beginning at the harbor (Porto de Funchal), the neighborhoods and streets rise almost 1,200 meters (3,900 ft), along the way.



Was the island-settled by Portuguese people , Especially farmers from the Minho Region, [72] meaning That Madeirans ( Portuguese : Madeirenses ), As They are called Expired, are ethnically Portuguese, though They Have Developed Their own distinct regional identity and cultural traits.

The region has a total population of just under 270,000, the majority of whom live in Madeira where the population density is 337 / km²; meanwhile only around 5,000 live on Porto Santo Island where the population density is 112 / km².


Main article: Portuguese diaspora
Map of the European Union in the world, with overseas countries and territories (OCT) and outermost regions (OMR) for which Madeira is included

Madeirans migrated to the United States, Venezuela , Brazil , British Guiana, St. Vincent and Trinidad . [73] [74] Madeiran immigrants in North America mostly clustered in the New England and Mid-Atlantic states , Toronto , Northern California, and Hawaii . The city of New Bedford is especially rich in Madeirans, hosting the Museum of Madeira Heritage, as well as the annual Madeiran and Luso-American celebration, the Feast of the Blessed Sacrament, the world’s largest celebration of Madeiran heritage, regularly drawing crowds of tens of thousands to the city’s Madeira Field.

In 1846, when famine struck Madeira over 6,000 of the inhabitants migrated to British Guiana . In 1891 they numbered 4.3% of the population. [75] In 1902 in Honolulu , Hawaii there were 5,000 Portuguese people, mostly Madeirans. In 1910 this grew to 21,000. [76]

1849 saw an emigration of Protestant religious exiles from Madeira to the United States, by way of Trinidad and other locations in the West Indies. Most of them settled in Illinois [77] with the American Protestant Society, headquartered in New York City . In the late 1830s the Reverend Robert Reid Kalley , from Scotland, a Presbyterian minister, made a stop at Funchal, Madeira on a mission in China, with his wife, so that she could recover from an illness . The Rev. Kalley and his wife stayed on Madeira where he began preaching the Protestant gospel and converting islanders from Catholicism. [78]Eventually, the Rev. Kalley was arrested for his religious conversion activities and imprisoned. Another missionary from Scotland, William Hepburn Hewitson, took on Protestant Ministerial Activities in Madeira. By 1846, about 1,000 Protestant Madeirenses, who were discriminated against and the subjects of violence because of their religious conversions, to the West Indies in response to a call for sugar plantation workers. [79]The Madeirenses exiles did not fare well in the West Indies. The tropical climate was unfamiliar and they found themselves in serious economic difficulties. By 1848, the American Protestant Society Raised Money and the Rev. Manuel J. Gonsalves, a Baptist minister and a naturalized US citizen from Madeira, to work with the Rev. Arsenio da Silva, who had emigrated with the exiles from Madeira, to arrange to resettle those who wanted to come to the United y 1849. Later in 1849, the Rev. Gonsalves was then charged with escorting the exiles from Trinidad to be settled in Sangamon and Morgan counties in Illinois on land by the American Protestant Society. Accounts state that anywhere from 700 to 1,000 exiles came to the United States at this time. [80][81]

There are several large Madeiran communities around the world, such as the UK , including Jersey , [82] the Portuguese British community mostly made up of Madeirans celebrate Madeira Day .


The setting-up of a free trade area , under the conditions of infrastructure, production and small and medium-sized industrial enterprises. The Madeira Free Trade Zone, [83] also called the Madeira International Business Center, being a tax-privileged economic area, provides an incentive for companies, offering them financial and tax advantages through a range of activities in the Industrial Free Zone, the Off-Shore Financial Center, the International Shipping Register Organization, and the International Service Center.

Madeira has been a significant recipient of European Union aid, totalling up to € 2 billion. In 2012, it was reported that despite a population of just 250,000, the local administration owes some $ 6 billion. [84]


The Manufactured coastal beachof Calheta : Replacing the dark rock / sand of the volcanic island with beach sand.

Tourism is significant year sector in the Region’s economy since it Contributes 20% [85] to the Region’s GDP , providing good media Throughout the Year for commercial, transport and other activities and Constituting a significant market for local products. The share in Gross Value Added of hotels and restaurants (9%) aussi highlights this phenomenon. The island of Porto Santo , with its 9 km (5.6 mi) long beach and its climate, is entirely dedicated to tourism.

Visitors are mainly from the European Union, with German, British, Scandinavian and Portuguese tourists providing the main contingents. The average annual occupancy rate was 60.3% in 2008, [86] reaching its peak in March and April, when it exceeded 70%.

Whale watching

Whale watching has become very popular in recent years. Many species of dolphins, such as common dolphin , spotted dolphin, dolphin striped , bottlenose dolphin , short-finned whale pilot , and whales such as Bryde’s whale , Sei whale , [87] whale end , sperm whale , beaked whales can be spotted near the coast or offshore. [88]


Madeira is part of the Schengen Area .

In 2009, there were 7,105 legal immigrants living in Madeira Islands. They come mostly from Brazil (1,300), the United Kingdom (912), Venezuela (732) and Ukraine (682), according to Serviço de Estrangeiros and Fronteiras (SEF). [89] In 2013, that number dropped to 5.829, also according to SEF. [89] The latest figures available (2015) detail another slight drop to 5.745, the majority of which are from the United Kingdom (818), Brazil (752) and Venezuela (581). [89] The ongoing crisis in Venezuela has resulted in immigrants from the country with dual citizenship (forming Madeira immigrants).

Renewable energy

Electricity on Madeira is provided solely by EEM – Empresa de Electricidade da Madeira, SA – who holds a monopoly for the supply of electricity to the autonomous region – and consists largely of fossil fuels, but with a significant supply of seasonal hydroelectricity from the Levada system, wind power and a small amount of solar. In 2011, renewable energy formed 26.5% of the electricity used in Madeira. [90]


The Islands have two airports, Cristiano Ronaldo International Airport and Porto Santo Airport , on the islands of Madeira and Porto Santo respectively. From Cristiano Ronaldo International Airport the most frequent flights to Lisbon . There are also airports in Europe and nearby islands. [91]

Transport between the two main islands is by plane, or ferries from the Porto Santo Line, [92] the latter also carrying vehicles. Visiting the interior of the islands is now easy thanks to building of the Vias Rápidas , major roads That cross the island. Modern roads reach all points of interest on the islands.

Funchal has an extensive public transportation system. Bus companies, including Horários do Funchal which has been operating for over a hundred years.



Folklore music in Madeira is widespread and mainly used local musical instruments such as the machete , rajao , brinquinho and cavaquinho , which are used in traditional folklore dances like the bailinho da Madeira .

Emigrants from Madeira also influenced the creation of new musical instruments. In the 1880s, the ukulele was created, based on two small guitar-like instruments of Madeiran origin, the cavaquinho and the rajao . The ukulele was introduced to the Hawaiian Islands by Portuguese immigrants from Madeira and Cape Verde. [93] Three immigrants in particular, Madeiran cabinet makers Manuel Nunes, José do Espírito Santo, and Augusto Dias, are credited as the first ukulele makers. [94] Two weeks after they disembarked from the SS Ravenscrag in late August 1879, the Hawaiian Gazettereported that “Madeira Islanders have recently arrived here, have been delighting the people with nightly street concerts.” [95]


Because of the geographical situation of Madeira in the Atlantic Ocean, the island has an abundance of fish of various kinds. The species are consumed the most are espada ( black scabbardfish ), blue end tuna , white marlin , blue marlin , yellowfin tuna , bigeye tuna , wahoo , spearfish , skipjack tuna and many others are found in the local dishes. down the coast of Madeira. citation needed ] Espada is often served with banana . Bacalhau is also popular, as it is in Portugal.

There are many meat dishes on Madeira, one of the most popular being espetada . [96] Espetada is traditionally made of large chunks of beef rubbed in garlic, salt and bay leaf and marinated for 4 to 6 hours in Madeira wine, red wine vinegar and olive oil then skewered onto a bay laurel stick and left to grill over smouldering wood chips. These are so integral parts of traditional clothing that a special iron booth is available with a T-shaped end, each branch of the “T” having a slot in the middle to hold a skewer(espeto in Portuguese); A small plate is then placed to collect the juices. The kebabs are very long and have a V-shaped blade in order to pierce the meat more easily. It is usually accompanied by local bread called bolo do caco .

Other popular dishes in Madeira include açorda , feijoada , carne de vinha d’alhos .

Traditional pastries in Madeira usually containing local ingredients, one of the most common being de cana , literally “sugarcane honey” ( molasses ). The traditional cake of Madeira is called Bolo de Mel , which translates as (Sugarcane) “Honey Cake” and according to custom, is never cut with a knife, but broken into pieces by hand. It is a rich and heavy cake. The cake is also known as ” Madeira Cake ” in England and has its naming roots in the Island of Madeira.

Malasadas are a Madeiran creation that were taken around the world by emigrants to places such as Hawaii . In Madeira, Malasadas are mainly consumed during the Carnival of Madeira . Pastéis de nata , as in the rest of Portugal, are also very popular.

Milho is a very popular dish in Madeira which is very similar to the Italian dish polenta . Açorda Madeirense is another popular local dish.


Coral Beer, produced since 1872 [97] in the Island’s main brewery, has achieved several World Selectionmedals

Madeira is a fortified wine , produced in the Madeira Islands; may be sweet or dry. It has a history dating back to the Age of Exploration when Madeira was a standard port of call for ships heading to the New World or East Indies . To prevent the wine from spoiling, neutral grape spirits were added. However, the wine producers of Madeira discovered, when an unspecified shipment of wine returned to the islands after a round trip, that the flavor of the wine had been transformed by exposure to heat and movement. Today, Madeira is noted for its unique winemaking process which involves heating wine and deliberately exposing the wine to some levels of oxidation. [98] Most countries limit the use of the term Madeira to those wines that come from the Madeira Islands, to which the European Union grants Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status. [99]

A local beer called Coral is produced by the Madeira Brewery , which dates from 1872. It has achieved 2 World Selection Grand Gold Medals, 24 World Selection Gold Medals and 2 World Selection Silver Medals. [97] Other alcoholic drinks are also popular in Madeira, such as the locally created Poncha , Niquita, Pé de Cabra, Aniz, Portuguese drinks such as Macieira Brandy , Licor Beirão .

Laranjada is a type of carbonated soft drink with an orange flavor, its name being derived from the Portuguese word laranja (“orange”). Launched in 1872 it was the first soft drink to be produced in Portugal, and remains very popular to the present day. Brisa drinks , a brand name, are also very popular and come in a range of flavors.

There is also a huge coffee culture in Madeira. Like in mainland Portugal, popular coffee-based drinks include Garoto , Galão , Bica , Coffee com Cheirinho , Mazagran , Chinesa and many more.


Main article: Sport in Madeira

Sister provinces

Madeira Island has the following provinces:

  • : Autonomous Region of Aosta Valley , Italy (1987)
  • : Bailiwick of Jersey , British Crown Dependencies (1998)
  • : Eastern Cape Province , South Africa
  • : Jeju Province , South Korea (2007)
  • : Gibraltar , British Overseas Territory (2009) [100]

Postage stamps

Main article: Postage stamps and postal history of Madeira

Portugal has posted postage stamps for Madeira during several periods, beginning in 1868.

Notable people

Cristiano Ronaldo , born in Madeira, was the 2008, 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017 FIFA World Player of the Year
Joe Berardo is a businessman , stock investor, speculator and art collector . He is also one of the wealthiest people in Portugal.

The following people have lived in Madeira:

  • Joe Berardo , Portuguese millionaire, and art collector
  • Rubina Berardo , Portuguese politician
  • António de Abreu , naval officer and navigator
  • Nadia Almada , winner of the British reality show Big Brother
  • Menasseh Ben Israel , Jewish Rabbi.
  • Charles I of Austria , deposed monarch, died in exile on Madeira in 1922
  • Catarina Fagundes , Olympic athlete for windsurf
  • Vânia Fernandes , Portuguese singer who represented Portugal in Eurovision 2008
  • José Vicente de Freitas , General Military and Politician
  • Vasco da Gama Rodrigues , poet, born in Paul do Mar
  • Teodósio Clemente de Gouveia , Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church
  • George Walter Grabham , geologist
  • Herberto Hélder , poet
  • Moisés Henriques , train Australian Under-19 Captain and current NSW Blues and Australian International Twenty20 cricketer
  • Alberto João Jardim , Second President of the Regional Government
  • Luís Jardim , producer of music
  • Paul Langerhans , German pathologist and biologist
  • Fátima Lopes , fashion designer
  • Jaime Ornelas Camacho , first and former President of the Regional Government
  • Aires de Ornelas e Vasconcelos , to form Archbishop of the Portuguese colonial formation enclave Goa (in India)
  • Lloyd Mathews , British naval officer, politician and abolitionist
  • Dionísio Pestana , president of the Pestana Group
  • Rigo 23 , artist
  • João Rodrigues , Olympic windsurfer
  • Cristiano Ronaldo , Real Madrid , Portugal and form Manchester United football player
  • John Santos , photographer
  • Ana da Silva , founding member of the post-punk band The Raincoats
  • Pedro Macedo Camacho , compose
  • Flávia Brito, Miss Universo Portugal 2016, beauty pageant
  • Manoel Dias Soeyro or Menasseh Ben Israel (1604-1657), Sephardi Rabbi and publisher
  • Artur de Sousa Pinga , form CS Marítimo and FC Porto football player
  • Maximiano de Sousa (Max) , popular singer, born in Funchal
  • Virgílio Teixeira , actor
  • José Travassos Valdez, 1st Count of Bonfim , governor during 1827-1828
  • Miguel Albuquerque , third and current President of the Regional Government
  • Bernardo Sousa , rally driver in the WRC

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