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565 bytes added, 13:21, 13 July 2011
Updated a few sections and generally tidied up the English
Discovered early in the 15th century by the Portuguese navigators João Gonçalves Zarco, Tristão Vaz Teixeira and Bartolomeu Perestrelo, Madeira is an autonomous region of [[Portugal]].
Nowadays Madeira is a popular destination for tourists of all ages. Its constant mild climate throughout the year (temperatures between 20 and 27°C) keeps the spring on Madeira never endingall year round. The Levadaslevadas, a an ingenious system to distribute the of stone- and concrete-lined watercourses distributing water from the rainy north to the dry south, helps help flowers blooming and crops flourish all over the year. That's why this island is called the ''Garden in the Atlantic'' . The maintenance pathways to maintain for these water canals are provide wonderful samelevel level trails for hiking in the mountains (up to 1861m) and through the tremendous landscape.
Unfortunately , Madeira was hit by two several catastrophes in 2010: Heavy rainfalls drowned Madeira in February heavy rainfall inundated parts of the island and entailed a flood caused destructive floods in river valleys on the lower parts at south coast of the coasts with swelling riversisland, chiefly in Funchal, Ribeira Brava and Tabua. While the results Reconstruction work of this are barely to see anymorelost bridges and roads has now been largely completed, but the results legacy of the disaster major forest fires in August are still visible: heavy forest fires destroyed large parts of the forest. Up that year is likely to last longer, and some upper mountain footpaths in the summit east of the Pico Ruivoisland remain closed or interrupted. Further floods in the 'Nuns' Valley' in October 2010 caused more damage to infrastructure, but this has been repaired. Despite all this, the authorities and locals have been hard at work ensuring that Madeira's highest Mountaintourism unfrastructure has returned largely back to normal, you can still see burnt ground and trees. While the soil is often already covered with a gentle green, the black logs of the trees still remind on the catastrophe. Nevertheless, there is still enough plenty to see and hike do on Madeira!
==Get in==
The following Airline companies fly regularly to Madeira International Airport: TAP Portugal, Portugália, SATA, British Airways, Norwegian Airlines, Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, Air France, easyJet, Finnair, First Choice Airways, Thomson, LTU, Thomas Cook, Condor, Niki, SAS, Sterling, Transavia, My Travel, Binter Canarias and (from May 2010).
If you go to/from the airport by (rental) car, ask for directions to the parking area you need; there are 7, and they are badly signposted. Note that some smaller rental companies operate from sites near but not at the airport, and provide transport between terminal and depot.
===By boat===
*[[Cruise ships]] port here.
*There is a weekly connection between Portimão (Algarve) to and Madeira offered by Naviera Armas [].
*There is a '''car ferry''' between Porto Santo and Madeira, two hours one way. Ferry Service Funchal-Porto Santo. []
==Get around==
*'''Buses''' Recommended to get a A 7 days -day bus ticketis recommended, access to valid on all Funchal City routes, 17.50 EUR (March 2007)
Beware - timetables are very confusing as they do not include clear route details.
*'''Car rental''' Renting a car is a great way to see the island. All European rules of the road apply in Madeira. Roads outside of [[Funchal]] can be windy and steep and gas petrol stations rare. Renting via the Internet is usually cheaper than walking-in.
*'''Levadas''' An impressive system of aqueducts built between 1461 and 1966 to bring water from the mountains to croplandfarmland. *'''Cabo Girão''' One of the world's highest ocean cliffs (590m/1,935 ft. above sea level), you'll easily realize the island's Edenlike quality.
*'''Jardim Botânico''' Funchal Botanical garden.
*''' São Vicente Caves''', [].Volcanic caves (grutas) where you can visit lava tubes.
*'''Jardim do Monte Palace''' Magnificent gardens of the former Monte Palace hotel.
*'''Jardim Orquídea''' Orchid garden.
*'''Madeira Story Centre''', []. The best way to learn about Madeira's history and culture.
*'''Fireworks on New Year's eve''' The biggest fireworks in the world (Guinness world record 2007). Best places to see the fireworks include the tip of the marina of Funchal, on the a cruise ship, and Pico dos Barcelos (on the side where you can see the Funchal's marina).*'''Miradouro''' means viewpoint. Splendid view views of the island can be seen from different various viewpoints. Recommended viewpoints include: , including Pico dos Barcelos, Pico do Arieiro, Pico de Facho, Curral das Freiras, Monte.
*'''Hiking at Ponta de São Lourenço''', the eastern part of Madeira is a Nature Reserve nature reserve with wonderful panoramic views of the Atlantic and spectacular volcanic rock formations. Many unusual species of plants are found here and are best seen on footfrom the footpath, like such as the Ice Plant, Everlasting, Cardoon and many more. The hiking trail, which in recent years has been upgraded with stone steps and safety railings, can be walked comfortably with a pair of good hiking boots. The full walk, including a curcuit of the reserve at the far end, will take several hours, so carry food and drink. Down the cliff from the road before reaching the trailhead is a secluded beach called Prainha, the island’s only natural black sandy beach. Very popular with the locals, it’s great for swimming. The hiking trail can be walked comfortably with a pair of good hiking boots. Hiking duration could last several hours, prepare food and drink.
*''' Santo da Serra Golf''', [].
*'''Scuba diving'''.
*'''Surfing''' The Atlantic offers waves for moderate to experienced surfers. Jardim do Mar and Paul do Mar are the most popular surfing places.
*'''Bird watching'''.
* '''Coral Restaurante''', Praca da Autonomia, Câmara de Lobos, Tel: +351 291 098 284. Fresh fish and shell fish.
* '''Espada Preta''', Caminho Trincheira, 9300-159 Câmara de Lobos, Tel: +351 291 948 439. Fresh fish and shell fish, also try their specialty "bread soup" (main course).
* '''Restaurante O Tunel''', near the tunnel of Caniçal. Seafood starters and espetada as main course. If Convenient if you do the levada walk or drive around the area of Caniçal, Machico and Pico de Facho.
* '''Internet Access''' - In some of the larger towns and cities on Madeira there is a public ''free'' wifi internet access sponsored by the Madeiran gouvernmentgovernment. You'll find a 2m tall white and blue board telling you that wifi is availlable hereavailable. There is also ''free'' access on in the airport gatesterminal. Above thatIn addition, some bars and cafés offer internet access too.
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