MADEIRA ISLANDMadeira, officially designated as Autonomous Region of Madeira, is a Portuguese territory with political and administrative autonomy granted by the Estatuto Político Administrativo da Região Autónoma da Madeira (Political - Administrative Statute of the Autonomous Region of Madeira), due to the Constitution of The Portuguese Republic. Madeira Island is part of the European Union due to the statute of the ultraperipheral regions of the territory of the Union, in accordance with article 299.º-2 of the Treaty of the European Union (EU).
The archipelago was discovered by the Potuguese sailors Tristão Vaz Teixeira and João Gonçalves Zarco in 1419, who named the island Madeira (wood) because of the abundance of wood on the island. Before that, João Gonçalves Zarco and Tristão Vaz Teixeira discovered Porto Santo island in 1418. Then, in 1419, Bartolomeu Perestrelo and João Gonçalves Zarco discovered Madeira.
The archipelago is a popular year-round resort, because of its perfect climate, both in the winter and in the summer, and also for its New Year´s Eve celebration with spectacular fireworks show, recently considered the biggest fireworks show in the world (New Year´s Eve 2006/2007), by the Guinness World Records. In addition, Madeira is famed worlwide for its splendid Madeira wine, for its flowers and also for the beautiful landscapes, steep mountains, flowered green valleys, breathtaking views of the ocean, cliffs, and the golden sand beaches of Porto Santo island.
MACHICO CITYIn July 1419, João Gonçalves Zarco and Tristão “das ilhas” docked in the beautiful beach of Machico. This was the beginning of the glorious epopeia of the Portuguese Discoveries. It was in Machico that the Franciscans that came along in the expedition celebrated the first Mass on the island on Saint Isabel´s Day (July 2), to express their thanks for the joy of the discovery.
There are many stories about the origin of the name Machico. The most famous one, and yet polemical, is the romantic tale of the English lovers Robert Machim and Anna d´Arfet. The city is said to have been named as such after the name Machim.
GOLFFacing the bay of Machico, where the Portuguese sailors first docked, the Santo da Serra Golf Club offers a spectacular and totally new 27-hole golf course, redesigned in 1991 by the famous golf course architect Robert Trent Jones.
In Santo da Serra Golf Club you find a golf course and nature in perfect harmony, where you can compete and have a good time.
WALKS AND LEVADASMadeira Island is undoubtedly a “floating garden” , a true paradise for botanic lovers. As you walk through the primitive forest, along the levadas, you can find unique species, no longer existing throughout Europe ever since the glacial period, which are still preserved here due to the mild subtropical weather. You can walk along the pleasant paths covered with hydrangeas, orchids and Estrelicias, and the steep mountainsides planted with corn and wheat, and walk through the tunnels laboriously excavated in the rocks in order to carry the water across the levadas. You can also surprise yourself with the great variety of vegetation along the footpaths.
As you reach the top of Pico Ruivo, you will have a breathtaking view of the wild rocky landscape and “hear” the silence of the fresh open air. Then, you can walk along the paths of the mountain in the tranquility of the meadowlands and the wild flowers.
You can walk the lonesome paths of Ponta de São Lourenço enjoying the spectacular landscape of the rocky cliffs that plunge towards the ocean. There, you can go swimming in the small bays of clear water.