Madeira ( , also
, ), officially the Autonomous Region of Madeira ( pt|Região Autónoma da Madeira), is one of the two autonomous regions of Portugal
, the other being the Azores
. It is an archipelago
situated in the North Atlantic Ocean
, in a region known as Macaronesia
, just under to the north of the Canary Islands
and west of Morocco
Madeira is geologically located on the African Tectonic Plate
, though the archipelago is culturally, economically and politically European.
Its total population was estimated in 2016 at 289,000. The capital of Madeira is Funchal
, which is located on the main island's south coast.
The archipelago includes the islands of Madeira
, Porto Santo
, and the Desertas
, administered together with the separate archipelago of the Savage Islands
. The region has political and administrative autonomy through the Administrative Political Statute of the Autonomous Region of Madeira
provided for in the Portuguese Constitution
. The autonomous region is an integral part of the European Union
as an outermost region
. Madeira generally has a very mild and moderated subtropical climate
summer droughts and winter rain. Many microclimates
are found at different elevations.
Madeira was claimed by Portuguese sailors in the service of 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 Age of Discovery
Today, it is a popular year-round resort, being visited every year by about 1.4 million tourists, almost five times its population. The region is noted for its Madeira wine
, historical and cultural value, flora
, landscapes (laurel forest
) that are classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site
, and embroidery artisans. The main harbour in Funchal has long been the leading Portuguese port in cruise liner dockings,receiving more than half a million tourists through its main port in 2017, being an important stopover for commercial and trans-Atlantic passenger cruises between Europe, the Caribbean
and North Africa. In addition, the International Business Centre of Madeira
, also known as the Madeira Free Trade Zone
, was created formally in the 1980s as a tool of regional economic policy. It consists of a set of incentives, mainly tax-related, granted with the objective of attracting foreign direct investment based on international services into Madeira.
in his ''Parallel Lives
'' (''Sertorius'', 75 AD) referring to the military commander Quintus Sertorius
(d. 72 BC), relates that after his return to Cádiz
, he met sailors who spoke of idyllic Atlantic islands: "The islands are said to be two in number separated by a very narrow strait and lie from Africa. They are called the Isles of the Blessed
The historian Diodorus Siculus
told that the Tyrrhenians of Sardinia
, inhabitants of the Nuragic villages, had organized an expedition to conquer an Atlantic island, Madeira, in 650 BC. The project failed due to the intervention of the Carthaginians
, who tried to hinder the expansionist aims of the Sardinians.
Archaeological evidence suggests that the islands may have been visited by the Viking
s sometime between 900 and 1030.
Accounts by Muhammad al-Idrisi
state that the Mugharrarin
came across an island where they found "a huge quantity of sheep, which its meat was bitter and inedible" before going to the more incontrovertibly inhabited Canary Islands
. This island, suggested to be Madeira or Hierro
, would have been inhabited or have been visited due to the presence of livestock.
During the reign of King Edward III of England
, lovers Robert Machim
and Anna d'Arfet were said to have fled from England to France in 1346. Driven off course by a violent storm, their ship ran 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
on the island, in memory of the young lovers.
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.
In 1418, two captains under service to Prince Henry the Navigator
, João Gonçalves Zarco
and Tristão Vaz Teixeira
, were driven off course by a storm to an island they named Porto Santo
(English: ''holy harbour'') in gratitude for divine deliverance from a shipwreck. The following year, an organised expedition, under the captaincy of Zarco, Vaz Teixeira, and Bartolomeu Perestrello
, traveled to the island to claim it on behalf of the Portuguese Crown. Subsequently, the new settlers observed "a heavy black cloud suspended to the southwest." Their investigation revealed it to be the larger island they called Madeira.
The first Portuguese settlers began colonizing the islands around 1420 or 1425.
Grain production began to fall and the ensuing crisis forced Henry the Navigator
to order other commercial crops to be planted so that the islands could be profitable. These specialised plants, and their associated industrial technology, created one of the major revolutions on the islands and fuelled 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,
using advisers from Sicily
and financed by Genoese
capital. (Genoa acted as an integral part of the island economy until the 17th century.) The accessibility of Madeira attracted Genoese and Flemish
traders, who were keen to bypass Venetian
Sugarcane production was the primary engine of the island's economy, increasing the demand for labour. Enslaved Africans were used during portions of the island's history to cultivate sugar cane, and the proportion of enslaved people brought from Africa reached 10% of the total population of Madeira by the 16th century. 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. 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.
first amicably occupied the island in 1801 whereafter Colonel William Henry Clinton
became governor. A detachment of the 85th Regiment of Foot
under Lieutenant-colonel James Willoughby Gordon
garrisoned the island.
After the Peace of Amiens
, British troops withdrew in 1802, only to reoccupy Madeira in 1807 until the end of the Peninsular War
In 1856, British troops recovering from cholera, and widows and orphans of soldiers fallen in the Crimean War, were stationed in Funchal, Madeira.
World War I
On 31 December 1916, during the Great War
, a German U-boat
, , 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. ''Dacia'' had previously undertaken war work off the coast of Casablanca
. It was in the process of diverting the German South American cable into Brest, France.
* SS ''Kanguroo''
(2,493 tons), a French specialized "heavy-lift" transport.
* ''Surprise'' (680 tons), a French gunboat
. Her commander and 34 crewmen (including 7 Portuguese) were killed.
After attacking the ships, ''U-38'' bombarded Funchal for two hours from a range of about . Batteries on Madeira returned fire and eventually forced ''U-38'' to withdraw.
On 12 December 1917, two German U-boats, ''SM U-156
'' and ''SM U-157
'' (captained by Max Valentiner
), again bombarded Funchal. This time the attack lasted around 30 minutes. The U-boats fired 40 shells. There were three fatalities and 17 wounded; a number of houses and Santa Clara church were hit.
Charles I (Karl I)
, the last Emperor of the Austro-Hungarian Empire
, was exiled 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. He died there on 1 April 1922 and his coffin lies in a chapel of the Church of Our Lady of Monte
The archipelago of Madeira is located from the African coast and from the European continent (approximately a one-and-a-half-hour flight from the Portuguese capital of Lisbon
). Madeira is on the same parallel as Bermuda
a few time zones further west in the Atlantic. The two archipelagos are the only land in the Atlantic on the 32nd parallel north
. Madeira 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 . 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.
Islands and islets
), including Ilhéu de Agostinho, Ilhéu de São Lourenço, Ilhéu Mole (northwest); Total population: 262,456 (2011 Census).
* Porto Santo
), including Ilhéu de Baixo ou da Cal
, Ilhéu de Ferro, Ilhéu das Cenouras, Ilhéu de Fora, Ilhéu de Cima; Total population: 5,483 (2011 Census).
* Desertas Islands
), including the three uninhabited islands: Deserta Grande Island
, Bugio Island
and Ilhéu de Chão
* Savage Islands
), 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).
The island of Madeira is at the top of a massive shield volcano
that rises about from the floor of the Atlantic Ocean, on the Tore underwater mountain range. The volcano formed atop an east–west rift
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.
This was followed by extensive erosion
, producing two large amphitheatres open to south in the central part of the island. Volcanic activity later resumed, producing scoria cone
s and lava flow
s 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 cone
s and lava flows.
It is the largest island of the group with an area of , a length of (from Ponte de São Lourenço to Ponte do Pargo), while approximately at its widest point (from Ponte da Cruz to Ponte São Jorge), with a coastline of . It has a mountain ridge that extends along the centre of the island, reaching at its highest point (Pico Ruivo
), while much lower (below 200 metres) along its eastern extent. The primitive volcanic foci responsible for the central mountainous area, consisted of the peaks: 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 circled by reefs was formed, its marine vestiges are evident in a calcareous layer in the area of Lameiros, in São Vicente (which was later explored for calcium oxide
production). Sea cliffs, such as Cabo Girão
, valleys and ravines extend from this central spine, making the interior generally inaccessible. Daily life is concentrated in the many villages at the mouths of the ravines, through which the heavy rains of autumn and winter usually travel to the sea.
Madeira has many different bioclimates.
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 it mild to warm year-round temperatures; according to the Instituto de Meteorologia (IPMA), the average annual temperature at Funchal weather station is for the 1981–2010 period. Due to the strong influence of the northern African dry air mass, pasture in Madeira is poor in zinc and calcium fluoride. Relief
is a determinant factor on precipitation levels, areas such as the Madeira Natural Park
can get as much as of precipitation a year hosting green lush laurel forests
, while Porto Santo
, being a much flatter island, has a semiarid climate
(''BSh''). In most winters snowfall occurs in the mountains of Madeira. The main Madeira island has areas with an annual average temperature exceeding along the coast (according to the Portuguese Meteorological Institute).
Flora and fauna
Madeira island is home to several endemic plant and animal species.
In the south, there is very little left of the indigenous subtropical rainforest that once covered the whole island (the original 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'', notably the forests on the northern slopes of Madeira Island, are designated as a World Heritage Site
by UNESCO. The paleobotanical record of Madeira reveals that laurisilva forest has existed in this island for at least 1.8 million years. Critically endangered species such as the vine ''Jasminum azoricum
and the rowan ''Sorbus maderensis
'' are endemic to Madeira. The Madeiran large white butterfly
was an endemic subspecies
of the Large white
which inhabited the laurisilva forests but has not been seen since 1977 so may now be extinct
Madeiran wall lizard
The Madeiran wall lizard (''Teira dugesii'') is a species
in the family Lacertidae
. The species is endemic
to the Island where it is very common, and is the only small lizard, ranging from sea coasts to altitudes of . It is usually found in rocky places or among scrub and may climb into trees. 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. The colouring is variable and tends to match the colour of the animal's surroundings, being some shade of brown or grey with occasionally a greenish tinge. Most animals are finely flecked with darker markings. The underparts are white or cream, sometimes with dark spots, with some males having orange or red underparts and blue throats, but these bright colours may fade if the animal is disturbed.
The Madeiran wall lizard grows to a snout-to-vent length of about with a tail about 1.7 times the length of its body. Females lay two to three clutches of eggs in a year with the juveniles being about when they hatch.
Two species of birds are endemic to Maderia, the Trocaz pigeon
and the Madeira firecrest
. In addition to these are the extinct Madeiran scops owl
which may have died out soon after the islands were settled, and the Madeiran wood pigeon
, a subspecies of the widespread common wood pigeon
and which was last seen in the early 20th century.
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 building the levadas was difficult and often convicts or slaves were used. Many are cut into the sides of mountains, and it was also necessary to dig of tunnels, some of which are still accessible.
Today the levadas not only supply water to the southern parts of the island, but provide hydro-electric power
. There are over of levadas 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. Since 2011, some improvements have been made to these pathways, after the 2010 Madeira floods and mudslides
on the island, to clean and reconstruct some critical parts of the island, including the levadas. Such improvements involved the continuous maintenance of the water streams, cementing the trails, and positioning safety fences on dangerous paths.
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 from Maroços to the ''Caniçal Tunnel''. It is known as the ''mimosa levada'', because "mimosa" trees, (the colloquial name for invasive acacia
) are found all along the route.
Due to its distinct geography, economy, social and cultural situation, as well as the historical autonomic aspirations of the Madeiran island population, the Autonomous Regions of Madeira was established in 1976.
Although it is a politico-administrative autonomic region the Portuguese constitution specifies both a regional and national connection, obliging their administrations to maintain democratic principles and promote regional interests, while still reinforcing national unity.
As defined by the Portuguese constitution
and other laws, Madeira possesses its own political and administrative statute
and has its own government
. The branches of Government are the Regional Government
and the Legislative Assembly
, the later being elected by universal suffrage
, using the D'Hondt method
of proportional representation
The president of the Regional Government is appointed by the Representative of the Republic according to the results of the election to the legislative assemblies.
of the Portuguese Republic was represented in Madeira by the Minister of the Republic, proposed by the Government of the Republic
and appointed by the President of the Republic
. However, after the sixth amendment to the Portuguese Constitution
was passed in 2006, the Minister of the Republic was replaced by a less-powerful Representative of the Republic who is appointed by the President, after listening to the Government, but otherwise it is a presidential prerogative. The other tasks of Representative of the Republic are to sign and order the publication of regional legislative decrees and regional regulatory decrees or to exercise the right of veto over regional laws, should these laws be unconstitutional.
Status within the European Union
Madeira is also an Outermost Region
(OMR) of the European Union
, meaning that due to its geographical situation, it is entitled to derogation
from some EU policies despite being part of the European Union.
According to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union
, both primary and secondary European Union law
applies automatically to Madeira, with possible derogations to take account of its "structural social and economic situation (...) which is compounded by their remoteness, insularity, small size, difficult topography and climate, economic dependence on a few products, the permanence and combination of which severely restrain their development".
[Article 349 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.]
An example of such derogation is seen in the approval of the International Business Centre of Madeira
and other state aid policies to help the rum industry.
It forms part of the European Union customs area
, the Schengen Area
and the European Union Value Added Tax Area
Administratively, Madeira (with a population of 267,302 inhabitants in 2011
) and covering an area of is organised into eleven municipalities
Funchal is the capital and principal 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 "amphitheatre
" composed of vulcanological structure and fluvial hydrological forces. Beginning at the harbour (Porto de Funchal), the neighbourhoods and streets rise almost , along gentle slopes that helped to provide a natural shelter to the early settlers.
The island was settled by Portuguese people
, especially farmers from the Minho
region, meaning that Madeirans ( pt|Madeirenses), as they are called, 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 on the main island of Madeira where the population density is ; meanwhile only around 5,000 live on the Porto Santo island where the population density is .
About 247,000 (96%) of the population are Catholic and Funchal
is the location of the Catholic cathedral
Madeirans migrated to the United States, Venezuela
, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
and Trinidad and Tobago
. 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 a famine struck Madeira over 6,000 of the inhabitants migrated to British Guiana
. In 1891 they numbered 4.3% of the population. In 1902 in Honolulu
, Hawaii there were 5,000 Portuguese people, mostly Madeirans. In 1910 this grew to 21,000.
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
with financial and physical aid of the American Protestant Society, headquartered in New York City. In the late 1830s the Reverend Robert Reid Kalley
, from Scotland, a Presbyterian minister as well as a physician, made a stop at Funchal, Madeira on his way to 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. 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 mob violence because of their religious conversions, chose to immigrate to Trinidad and other locations in the West Indies in answer for a call for sugar plantation workers. 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 sent the Rev. Manuel J. Gonsalves, a Baptist minister and a naturalized U.S. citizen from Madeira, to work with the Rev. Arsénio da Silva, who had emigrated with the exiles from Madeira, to arrange to resettle those who wanted to come to the United States. The Rev. da Silva died in early 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 purchased with funds raised by the American Protestant Society. Accounts state that anywhere from 700 to 1,000 exiles came to the United States at this time.
There are several large Madeiran communities around the world, such as the number in the UK, including Jersey
, the Portuguese British
community mostly made up of Madeirans celebrate Madeira Day
Madeira is part of the Schengen Area
The Venezuelan (14.4%), British (14.2%), Brazilian (12.1%) and German (7.0%) nationalities constituted the largest foreign communities residing in Madeira in 2017. The Venezuelan community showed a sharp increase (38.0%) in 2017 after migration due to the socioeconomic crisis in Venezuela. In terms of geographical distribution, the foreign population mainly concentrates in Funchal (59.2% of the total of the region), followed by Santa Cruz (13.8%), Calheta (7.3%) and Porto Santo (4.0%). The foreign population with resident status in the Autonomous Region of Madeira totalled 6,720 (up by 10.0% from 2016), distributed between residence permits (6,692) and long-stay visas (28).
The Gross domestic product
(GDP) of the region was 4.9 billion euros in 2018, accounting for 2.4% of Portugal's economic output. GDP per capita adjusted for purchasing power was 22,500 euros or 75% of the EU27 average in the same year. The GDP per employee was 71% of the EU average.
Madeira International Business Center
The setting-up of a free trade zone
, also known as the Madeira International Business Center
(MIBC) has led to the installation, under more favorable conditions, of infrastructure, production shops and essential services for small and medium-sized industrial enterprises. The International Business Centre of Madeira comprises presently three sectors of investment: the Industrial Free Trade Zone, the International Shipping Register – MAR and the International Services. Madeira's tax regime has been approved by the European Commission as legal State Aid and its deadline has recently been extended by the E.C. until the end of 2027. The International Business Center of Madeira, also known as Madeira Free Trade Zone, was created formally in the 1980s as a tool of regional economic policy. It consists of a set of incentives, mainly of a tax nature, granted with the objective of attracting inward investment into Madeira, recognized as the most efficient mechanism to modernize, diversify and internationalize the regional economy. The decision to create the International Business Center of Madeira was the result of a thorough process of analysis and study. Other small island economies, with similar geographical and economic restraints, had successfully implemented projects of attraction of foreign direct investment based on international services activities, becoming therefore examples of successful economic policies.
Since the beginning, favorable operational and fiscal conditions have been offered in the context of a preferential tax regime, fully recognized and approved by the European Commission in the framework of State aid for regional purposes and under the terms for the Ultra-peripheral Regions
set in the Treaties, namely Article 299 of the Treaty on European Union
. The IBC of Madeira has therefore been fully integrated in the Portuguese and EU legal systems and, as a consequence, it is regulated and supervised by the competent Portuguese and EU authorities in a transparent and stable business environment, marking a clear difference from the so-called "tax havens" and "offshore jurisdictions", since its inception. In 2015, the European Commission authorized the new state aid regime for new companies incorporated between 2015 and 2020 and the extension of the deadline of the tax reductions until the end of 2027. The present tax regime is outlined in Article 36°-A of the Portuguese Tax Incentives Statute. Available data clearly demonstrates the contribution that this development programme has brought to the local economy over its 20 years of existence: impact in the local labor market, through the creation of qualified jobs for the young population but also for Madeiran professionals who have returned to Madeira thanks to the opportunities now created; an increase in productivity due to the transfer of know how and the implementation of new business practices and technologies; indirect influence on other sectors of activity: business tourism benefits from the visits of investors and their clients and suppliers, and other sectors such as real estate, telecommunications and other services benefit from the growth of their client base; impact on direct sources of revenue: the companies attracted by the IBC of Madeira represent over 40% of the revenue in terms of corporate income tax for the Government of Madeira and nearly 3.000 jobs, most of which qualified, among other benefits. Also there are above average salaries paid by the companies in the IBC of Madeira in comparison with the wages paid in the other sectors of activity in Madeira.
Madeira has been a significant recipient of European Union
funding, totaling up to €2 billion. In 2012, it was reported that despite a population of just 250,000, the local administration owes some €6 billion. Furthermore, the Portuguese treasury (IGCP) assumed Madeira's debt management between 2012 and 2015. The region continues to work with the central government on a long-term plan to reduce its debt levels and commercial debt stock. Moody's notes that the region has made significant fiscal consolidation efforts and that its tax revenue collection has increased significantly in recent years due to tax rate hikes. Madeira's tax revenues increased by 41% between 2012 and 2016, helping the region to reduce its deficit to operating revenue ratio to 10% in 2016 from 77% in 2013.
is an important sector in the region's economy, contributing 20% to the region's GDP, providing support 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%) also highlights this phenomenon. The island of Porto Santo, with its beach and its climate, is entirely devoted 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, reaching its maximum in March and April, when it exceeds 70%.
has become very popular in recent years. Many species of dolphins, such as common dolphin
, spotted dolphin, striped dolphin
, bottlenose dolphin
, short-finned pilot whale
, and whales such as Bryde's whale
, Sei whale
, fin whale
, sperm whale
, beaked whale
s can be spotted near the coast or offshore.
Electricity on Madeira is provided solely through EEM (Empresa de Electricidade da Madeira, SA, which holds a monopoly for the provision of electrical supply on 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. Energy production comes from conventional thermal and hydropower, as well as wind and solar energy. The Ribeira dos Soccoridos hydropower
plant, rated at 15MW utilises a pumped hydropower
reservoir to recycle mountain water during the dry summer.
In 2011, renewable energy formed 26.5% of the electricity used in Madeira. By 2020, half of Madeira's energy will come from renewable energy sources. This is due to the planned completion of the Pico da Urze / Calheta pumped storage
hydropower plant, rated at 30MW.
Battery technologies are being tested to minimize Madeira's reliance on fossil fuel imports. Renault SA and EEM piloted the Sustainable Porto Santo—Smart Fossil Free Island project on Porto Santo to demonstrate how fossil fuels can be entirely replaced with renewable energy.
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 are to Lisbon
. There are also direct flights to over 30 other airports in Europe and nearby islands.
Transport between the two main islands is by plane, or ferries from the Porto Santo Line, the latter also carrying vehicles. Visiting the interior of the islands is now easy thanks to construction 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, have regularly scheduled routes to all points of interest on the island.
music in Madeira is widespread and mainly uses local musical instruments such as the machete
, which are used in traditional folkloric 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
immigrants from Madeira and Cape Verde. Three immigrants in particular, Madeiran cabinet makers Manuel Nunes, José do Espírito Santo, and Augusto Dias, are generally credited as the first ukulele makers. Two weeks after they disembarked from the ''SS Ravenscrag
'' in late August 1879, the ''Hawaiian Gazette'' reported that "Madeira Islanders recently arrived here, have been delighting the people with nightly street concerts."
Because of the geographic situation of Madeira in the Atlantic Ocean, the island has an abundance of fish of various kinds. The species that are consumed the most are espada (black scabbardfish
), blue fin tuna
, white marlin
, blue marlin
, bigeye tuna
, skipjack tuna
and many others are found in the local dishes as they are found along the coast of Madeira. Espada is often served with banana. Bacalhau
is also popular, as it is in Portugal.
There are many different meat dishes on Madeira, one of the most popular being espetada
. 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 a part of traditional eating habits that a special iron stand is available with a T-shaped end, each branch of the "T" having a slot in the middle to hold a brochette
(espeto in Portuguese); a small plate is then placed underneath to collect the juices. The brochettes are very long and have a V-shaped blade in order to pierce the meat more easily. It is usually accompanied with the local bread called bolo do caco
Other popular dishes in Madeira include açorda
and carne de vinha d'alhos
Traditional pastries in Madeira usually contain local ingredients, one of the most common being ''mel 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 commonly known as "Madeira cake
" in England is named after Madeira wine
s are a local confection which are mainly consumed during the Carnival of Madeira
. Pastéis de nata
, as in the rest of Portugal, are also very popular.
is a popular dish in Madeira that is similar to the Italian dish polenta
Madeirense is another popular local dish.
Madeira is known for the high quality of its cherimoya
fruits. The Annona Festival is traditional and held annually in the parish of Faial. This event encourages the consumption of this fruit and its derivatives, such as liqueurs, puddings, ice cream and smoothies.
Madeira is a fortified wine
, produced in the Madeira Islands; varieties 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 spirit
s were added. However, wine producers of Madeira discovered, when an unsold shipment of wine returned to the islands after a round trip, that the flavour of the wine had been transformed by exposure to heat and movement. Today, Madeira is noted for its unique winemaking process that involves heating the wine and deliberately exposing the wine to some levels of oxidation
[T. Stevenson ''"The Sotheby's Wine Encyclopedia"'' pg 340–341 Dorling Kindersley 2005 ]
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
A local beer called Coral is produced by the Madeira Brewery
, which dates from 1872. It has achieved 2 Monde Selection
Grand Gold Medals, 24 Monde Selection Gold Medals and 2 Monde Selection Silver Medals.
Other alcoholic drinks are also popular in Madeira, such as the locally created Poncha
, Niquita, Pé de Cabra, Aniz, as well as Portuguese drinks such as Macieira Brandy
, Licor Beirão
is a type of carbonated
soft drink with an orange flavour, 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 drink
s, a brand name, are also very popular and come in a range of flavours.
There is a coffee culture
in Madeira. As in mainland Portugal, popular coffee-based drinks include Garoto
, Café com Cheirinho
250px|Monument in Camacha
, celebrating the first ever organised football game in Portugal
is the most popular sport in Madeira and the island was indeed the first place in Portugal to host a match, organised by British
residents in 1875. The island is the birthplace of international star Cristiano Ronaldo
and is home to two prominent Primeira Liga
teams, C.S. Marítimo
- the only island team to win a national championship
- and C.D. Nacional
As well as football, the island is also home to professional sports teams in basketball
) and handball
(Madeira Andebol SAD
, who were runners up in the 2019 European Challenge Cup
). Madeira was also the host of the 2003 World Handball Championship
The annual Rally Vinho da Madeira
is considered one of the biggest sporting events on the island whilst other popular sporting activities include golf
at one of the island's two courses (plus one on Porto Santo
, scuba diving
, and hiking
Madeira Island has the following sister provinces:
* Italy: Autonomous Region of Aosta Valley
* Jersey: Bailiwick of Jersey
* South Africa: Eastern Cape Province
* South Korea: Jeju Province
* Gibraltar: Gibraltar
Portugal has issued postage stamps for Madeira during several periods, beginning in 1868.
The following people were either born or have lived part of their lives in Madeira:
* Charles I of Austria
, last Emperor of Austria
and last King of Hungary
, deposed monarch, died in exile on Madeira in 1922
* António de Abreu
, naval officer and navigator
* Miguel Albuquerque
, third and current President of the Regional Government
* Catarina Fagundes
, Olympic athlete for windsurf
* Vânia Fernandes
, Portuguese singer who represented Portugal in Eurovision 2008
* José Vicente de Freitas
, military general and Prime-Minister of Portugal
* Vasco da Gama Rodrigues
, poet, born in Paul do Mar
*Alfredo Rodrigues Gaspar
, navy officer and Prime-Minister of Portugal
* Teodósio Clemente de Gouveia
, Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church
* George Walter Grabham
* Herberto Hélder
* Moisés Henriques
, former Australian Under-19 Captain and NSW Blues
player and former Australian international cricketer
* Alberto João Jardim
, second President of the Regional Government
* Luís Jardim
, producer of music
* Paul Langerhans
, German pathologist
* Fátima Lopes
, fashion designer
* José Tolentino Mendonça
, priest, theologian
, poet, Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church and Librarian and Archivist of the Vatican Apostolic Archive
* Aires de Ornelas e Vasconcelos
, former Archbishop of the former Portuguese colonial enclave Goa
* Lloyd Mathews
, British naval officer, politician and abolitionist
* Dionísio Pestana
, president of the Pestana Group
* Rigo 23
* João Rodrigues
, Olympic windsurfer
* Cristiano Ronaldo
, professional footballer for Juventus
* John Santos
* Ana da Silva
, founding member of post-punk
band The Raincoats
* Elisa Silva
, Portuguese singer who was due to represent Portugal in Eurovision 2020
* Manoel Dias Soeyro or Menasseh Ben Israel
(1604–1657), Sephardi rabbi
* Artur de Sousa Pinga
, former CS Marítimo
and FC Porto
* José Travassos Valdez, 1st Count of Bonfim
, governor during 1827–1828
* "Have Some Madeira M'Dear
* Geology of Madeira
* List of birds of Madeira
* Madeira Islands Open
, an annual European Tour golf tournament
* Surfing in Madeira
*Islands of Macaronesia
Madeira's Government Website
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Category:Wine regions of Portugal
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