Madeira island is 520 km (323.11 mi) from the African coast and 1,000 km (621.37 mi) from the European continent, which is the equivalent of a 1 hour 30 minute flight from Lisbon.Madeira Island is the largest island of the group with an area of 741 km2 (286 sq mi), a length of 57 km (35 mi), a breadth of 22 km (14 mi) at its widest point, and a coastline of 150 km (93.21 mi). Its longer axis lies east and west, along which lies a mountain chain with a mean altitude of 4,000 feet (1,220 m), considered the backbone of the island from which many deep ravines radiate outward to the coast.Its most famous sea cliff, the Cabo Girão, is one of the highest in Europe. The highest point on the island is Pico Ruivo, at 1,862 metres (6,107 ft).
Madeira Island's geographical position and mountainous landscape result in a very pleasant climate which varies between the north side, south side, and smaller islands groups like Porto Santo and Savages. The mean annual temperature on the coastline can reach more than 20 °C (68 °F) in the south. With its mild humidity, the weather of the island is classified as oceanic subtropical and with its low rain level, desertic on the Savages. Influenced by the Gulf Stream, sea water temperature varies between 26 °C (78.8 °F) during the summer and 17 °C (62.6 °F) in the winter.
Madeira has the perfect combination of natural elements that produce the ideal setting to practice all sports throughout the year. Naturally there is a broader range of water sports however, with its mild climate and specific geographical formation, this island encourages not only the local population but also those who visit us, to participate in other outdoor activities.
With a well-documented history, Madeira’s artistic heritage is one of the pillars of the island’s culture. During the 15th and the 16th centuries Madeira’s geographical situation was responsible for making it a way station for all Atlantic navigation. This period, when the sugar trade was at its height, represented Madeira’s golden era. Convents, temples, palaces and mansions, military fortifications and other buildings of artistic value are some of the monuments that tourists can visit today.
Madeira Funchal International Airport is located in Santa Cruz,16kms from the port of Funchal on the southern coast.Oficial site: www.anam.ptTel: + 351 291 520 700