Madeira Portugal – Europe’s Hawaiian Islands

Madeira Portugal is known for its wine, warm subtropical climate and beautiful epic scenery strikingly similar to the Hawaiian island of Maui

madeira portugal
madeira portugal natural pools

The bond between Madeira and Maui is reinforced by the fact that many native Madeirans emigrated to Maui in the late the 1800’s

Madeira Portugal Wins
World Travel Awards

Madeira Portugal was once again voted the Best Destination in Europe. It is the sixth time that Madeira has won this award and this year (2019) was special as the prize was delivered in Funchal

The announcement was at the Gala World Travel Awards, held at the Belmond Reids Hotel in Funchal

Madeira wins again, beating destinations like the Azores, Balearic Islands, Canary Islands, Crete, Cyclades, Cyprus, Guernsey, Jersey, Malta, Sardinia and Sicily

One of the worlds favorite cruise ship destinations

Madeira is visited every year by around 1.5 million tourists which is almost six times its current population

The region is noted for its Madeira wine, gastronomy, history and culture and most importantly the flora and fauna

The main harbour in Funchal has long been the leading Portuguese port in cruise liner dockings receiving more than half a million tourists annually through its main port

Discovery and Economy

Portuguese colonization begin in 1420 with the richly forested and uninhabited island being populated with cows, pigs, and sheep

The island was named for its timber (madeira), which became its first important export

Once the majority of Madeiras timber was harvested, grain production for mainland quickly replaced it

Sugar and Slavery in Madeira Portugal

Slaves brought in from mainland Africa created the 2,100 kilometers of irrigation canals known as the “Lavadas”

These waterways were required for the production of what was called “white gold” or as we know it today sugar

Due to it’s subtropical climate, Madeira was able to grow sugarcane to supply the sweet tooth of Portugal along with the rest of Europe

In essence, Madeira was the starting point for the European slave trade