Born from the meeting of America and Africa, this volcanic land, a paradise for hikers, is also the land of eternal spring, where life is good.
The island rises like a pyramid of black rocks above the ocean and leaves little room for human development. To access it, the landing strip overflows the water, resting on 180 concrete pillars.
The road on the north coast is just as impressive, carved into the rock at the foot of steep walls plunging into the ocean. From the miniature fishing port of Seixal, clinging to a lava flow, the view is superb on the string of green walls, which ends at the eastern end of the island, by the Point Saint-Laurent. Semi-arid, with its remarkably shaped and colored ledges, it offers a landscape of the end of the world.
The southern side presents the highest cliff in Europe, Cabo Girao, offering a panorama on the ocean from the top of its 580 m. Founded in 1421 by the Portuguese who discovered the island, Funchal spreads out on gentler slopes, inviting you to stroll between its quintas surrounded by gardens, its cathedral with its sumptuous wooden ceiling, and its beautiful market. You will discover the flavors of unknown fruits, imitating the passion fruit, used in several iconic preparations of the island, and the long black sword with sharp teeth, a fish living up to 1,600 meters deep, which marry together wonderfully.
This is a good way to build up your strength to climb the Pico de Ariero, which offers a 360° view of the island, and to continue to its highest point, the spectacular Pico Ruivo, at 1,862 meters.
Experienced hikers and walkers will find their happiness in Madeira, between jagged basalt walls, primary forest, and laurel forest, classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, waterfalls, and levadas, channels that you follow on the mountainside and through a multitude of tunnels.
The hike “of the green cauldron,” which starts in the village of Santana, preserving the last traditional houses with thatched roofs, the palheiros, is one of the most immersive.
The jagged coastline only offers black sandy coves and the volcanic pools of Porto Moniz to bathers, but take a boat towards the island of Porto Santo and enjoy a well-deserved rest on a long golden beach.