Madeira, “The Green Pearl of the Atlantic”, with its spectacular variety of landscapes, the island that they say it sometimes is 6 different continents in one mini-continent. The friendly locals and the picturesque villages make Madeira a perfect island for those seeking a combination of adventure, sports, nature, sun and rest.
An island with many faces, that is Madeira. Still famous for its Levada, miles-long irrigation channels, ideal for walkers. But Madeira is more: there are beautiful hiking trails through vast Eucalyptus and Laurel Forest, “cobbled roads” between friendly villages and narrow roads on sunny slopes.
In the East, Madeira Island is very woody and you can visit the many nature reserves. Middle Madeira is also known as the Rocky Mountains because this part of the island is not very easy to access, but certainly worthwhile to take the challenge. The south coast of Madeira makes you think you are on the sunny coast of southern Europe. There are many fishing villages and (pebble) beaches where you can enjoy the sun. In the west you can find a more efficient environment, but once you have arrived on the plateau above, you will certainly enjoy the beautiful view over the mountains and the Atlantic Ocean. The north coast is more a jungle of steep cliffs, interrupted by deep green valleys.
Nature lovers will really love this island. You can explore one of the many protected reserves or gardens for colourful flowering fauna and discover why Madeira is also referred to as ‘The Floating Garden of the Atlantic’. You could start your holiday with a trip to the Botanical gardens of Madeira located in Funchal, or the Ponta de Sao Lourenco – a peninsular located on the East of the island that boasts amazing coastal views and a variety of flowering fauna perfect for the botanist in you.
Various secondary roads winds through banana plantations and agricultural lands, taking you higher up through forests of fragrant eucalyptus trees. The roadsides are full flowering Agapanthus, Bougainvillea, Hibiscus and Begonias and the houses, which are scarcer towards the top, have Roses and Orchids in large quantities in their gardens and/or balconies.
We need to learn the past …. to understand the present … and prepare for the future.
This magnificent project, created by Eduardo Costa Audiovisual Productions, aims an encounter with the valuable past, the Folklore and Ethnography of the archipelago of Madeira. It portraits in terrific details the daily life and activities the small nation in the past, but in some places still present-day culture and profession.
The project “Raízes de um Povo” (Roots of a People) is a 13 documentaries about 25 minutes. Each county of Madeira will have its own documentary. There will be a dedicated version for the Christmas period on Madeira. The main objective is to produce a true and accurate reference that guarantees historical consistency and validity.
The German television company WDR has broadcast at the beginning of this month in their weekly travel program Wunderschön! (Beautiful!), a 90 minutes report of Madeira “Blumeninsel im Atlantik” (Island of Flowers), presented by Tamina Kallert.
Although it is in German and 1 hour and a half long … it is worth to watch this webTV program.
One thing I noticed when watching this German travel report ….. from it you can learn what visitors want to see and visit. Remember, this is a 1 hour and a half long TV program, so it should cover the most important attractions and things-to-do that a German traveler will be looking for in Madeira. I got a good impression of what that is … but I leave it up to you to find it out yourself. I am curious if you come to the same conclusion as I did.
After watching the TV report one will learn that all the attractions that were covered by the German Wunderschön! group had one thing in common …. they all missed one characteristic …. namely “modern”. Talking in Internet-terms … if you could tag all the attractions mentioned in the TV program … the word “modern”, “new-flanged” or “futuristic” would not be one of them. In the German travel coverage I missed things like modern entities such as Story Center, Casa das Mudas, Madeira Magic, Santana Theme park, trip with one of the catamarans, double deck buses, shopping malls/centers, and also none of the modern hotels were mentioned.
My conclusion is that visitors prefer to experience the old-fashioned. Searching for old traditions and typical things that they do not get to see in their home country or have been lost during the modernization. Just ask a Madeira visitor to name the characteristics of Madeira …. and you will hear most of them mentioning the same subjects that were covered in the German TV program. This is a lesson that one can learn from.
My advice to (future) entrepreneurs on Madeira: learn first the Madeiran (old) culture …. search for images of (lost) traditions …. and if you can restore (part of it) back …. then you will be a winner in the area of tourism.
Check the photo show below of Madeira. The Madeira lots of people are talking about … the Madeira that we want to cherish and preserve … the Madeira with its 360 degrees of pure unspoiled beauty … the Madeira with a few places that are difficult to reach, but we do not care as long as we can conserve it.
This is the Madeira that we expect that will still be there for many decades more … for us and for our children. Its beautiful nature, mountains, green valleys, waterfalls, flowers, trees ….
For the twenty first consecutive year the Madeira Classic Car Club is organizing, from 25 to 28 June 2008, the Volta a Madeira Classic Rally, which takes place on the beautiful Island of Madeira.
This rally is part of the calendar of FIA, for historic regularity, and of the international calendar of FIVA, category A, reason why all vehicles entering the competition must be perfect conditions of conservation and originality.
As a result of the quality presented throughout the past editions, the Volta a Madeira Classic Rally was given the privilege of being assigned as the FIVA World Rally for 2008.
This event occurs over a period of 4 days and combines competition under the motto body.mind.madeira (editor: hhhmmm sounds like “blog.thoughts.madeira”?). Here, on this islands known as the Pearl of the Atlantic, the pleasure of body and mind is connected to the paradisaical landscapes, the refinement of its gastronomy and the hospitality of its people.
On its 400km length, each competitor will be able to experience harmony between sport and nature in a rally which is intended to be competitive and also characterized by an important social component. These are the values that this event has to offer that will make it one of the most interesting and exciting historic regularity rallies for classic vehicles that you will not want to miss!
Madeira was referred in the Guinness World Records to have the biggest fireworks event in the world. Maybe you will say to your partner Honey, lets watch the fireworks on Madeira!. We will need to wait till the end of the year? …. Actually, that is not true!
This month the Regional Secretariat of Tourism and Culture organizes the Festival of Atlantic … an important event that combines culture and entertainment. The event will be divided in two main parts namely Madeira Music Festival and the International Fireworks Competition.
In the Fireworks Competition teams from four different countries will compete for putting on the most impressive pyro-musical display ever. This popular event takes place on each Saturday of June and is allegedly watched by thousand and thousand people who have a good view from various spots in the city limits of Funchal.
In the past fireworks in countries like China were used to scare away evil spirits. That was then. Nowadays city like Funchal (Madeira) such displays is intended to pray for happiness and prosperity.
For a detail programme of the Atlantic Festival can be checked out on the Internet at: www.madeiraislands.travel