Madeira

Off the track Madeira!

Madeira is an exotic Portuguese island, reputated for its wine. Located in the middle of the Atlantic ocean, with a legendary soft climate, an exuberant flora, volcanic mountains and vertiginous cliffs, the island is overcrowded: fields on fields, every meter is cultivated.

At the beginning of the century, vessels were used to relax in Funchal, the capital. The town also hosted the aristocracy of Europe. Beyond the waves anchored the rest of the archipelago: the small Porto Santo, renown for its long beach of pale sand, and the uninhabited islands of the Desertas and Selvagens.

Closer to Africa (600 km) than from Lisbon (1000 km), the archipelago has a tropical vegetation that will delight most of the Explorers: camellias, pink azaleas, bougainvillea, mimosa, amaryllis...

Maybe the most impressive part of Madeira are the "Levadas": patients, the poor farmers have gradually colonized Madeira: even the less available land has been cultivated, thanks to an ingenious irrigation system: the "Levadas", little canals aiming at recovering rainwater. All parcels, or nearly all, are worked by hand: the slope still prohibits any mechanization. Previously, some were even reachable only by rope ladders!

The advent of tourism, then the entry of Portugal into the European Union, however, changed many things and, most importantly, reversed the trend of emigration: many people come here now to enjoy this so sweet climate...

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by Webmaster
07/26/2010
Join the community and post your topics!0 n/a by Webmaster
07/26/2010
Desertas island!0 n/a by Anonymous
06/07/2010