Madeira Island is located in the Atlantic Ocean, southwest of continental Portugal, and has a surface area of 459 square miles (741 km2, 35 miles long and 13 miles wide). The island is 310 miles from the African coast, and 620 miles from the European continent, which is the equivalent of a 1 hour 30 minutes flight from Lisbon. The archipelago, discovered by the Portuguese in 1418, is made up of the Islands of Madeira, Porto Santo and the uninhabited Islands Selvagens and Desertas (both Natural Reserves).
Madeira has an all year round mild climate where temperatures rarely go bellow 16°C, here plants and flowers strive, most of these are endemic to the island and it's Laurissilva forest, a world heritage. The temperature in September varies between 21° and 25°C.
The summit of the highest volcanic mountain peek Pico Ruivo which rises to an altitude of 1.861m (6,105 ft) above sea level. Cabo Girão is one of the world's highest ocean cliffs 589m (1,933 ft) above sea level.
Madeira Island is a place of breathtaking valleys, splashed with flowers and painted Atlantic Ocean blue.
Last update: May 25st, 2011
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