Madeira Nature … a Festival of Colors and Biodiversity

Madeira … a Portuguese archipelago, that is the outermost region of the European Union, has a very high green biodiversity, and in combination with the ocean, mountains and sky it creates a real festival of colors.

Rainbow at BalcoesRainbow at Balcões (Photo by Alan)

Madeira is known as the “Flower Island“, but instead it would be more fitting to call it “The Green Pearl of the Atlantic Ocean” with its 13,010,405,091,801 type of green colors it holds. If you do not believe it, then come over to Madeira and count the colors green yourself.

Cascadas en la levada do Caldeirao VerdeCascades of the Levada do Caldeirao Verde (Photo by Rafael Fresno)

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Arriving at Madeira … what is the first thing you do?

You have booked a holiday to the island of Madeira. At the arrival at the Madeira airport … you go and collect your bags/suitcases … head out with your partner where you are welcomed by your hostess or you are going to the car rental desk. Afterwards you leave the airport building where you might need to wait a while for the transfer bus or car. Then my question to you is the following …. What is the first thing you do while you wait?

  • To look at your watch and wondering how long it will take;
  • You are checking your bags if they have sustained any damage;
  • You discuss with your partner where you are going to eat tonight … hotel or in the city;
  • You are wondering what time the return flight is;
  • You hope that your hotel room will be ready and whether you will get sea-view;
  • You are wondering what the weather today is, … and what is the forecast for tomorrow and the rest of the week;
  • You check if your mobile is still working and send an SMS to the home front;

OR

While you are waiting, … together with your partner, you look to the South and admire the vast ocean. You realize that you are in the middle of the Atlantic. You can see the Islands Desertas (deserted islands) and more to the East you see the peninsula Ponta de São Lourenço, that has a completely different structure from the rest of Madeira. Furthermore you look to the North and you will notice how mountainous the island is … and that it even extends beyond the clouds. You will see the steep slopes of the West Coast displaying the various colorful villages.

In other words …

Madeira is Magic by Hugo Travel

  • You look around and enjoy the environment.

What do you do?

What is an Arraial?

Madeira has various ‘Arraiais‘ all year round. Arraiais are traditional regional festivities that is celebrated with street processions, flower carpets, churches and street decorations with lights, colorful flags, music, traditional folklore, food and drink. Each town/parish has its own Arraial and they can differ one from another. To give you an impression of such an Arraial …. check out the following videos made by resp. Rui Martins and ‘Berdades’.

The Cherry Picker from Jardim da Serra

A beautiful video created by Heitor Rodrigues of a Madeiran cherry picker (apanhador de cerejas) Sr. Agostinho of the village Jardim da Serra.

Enjoy the serenity and un-stressfulness when Sr. Agostinho picks the cherries to sell them at the Funchal Market (Mercado dos Lavradores). Next time you buy and eat a Madeiran cherry …. remember this video.

FusiON Art by Porto Bay @ Zona Velha

More than 30 Portuguese and Spanish artists participated, live and in public, in ON by Porto Bay, … a fusion art festival that took place in Funchal’s historic Old Town.

Event organised by the Porto Bay Hotel Group designed to foster urban entertainment events in the city of Funchal, with the idea that private organisations should also contribute to making the city a more dynamic place. Festival aims to raise funds for charitable purposes.

For more information: www.onbyportobay.com

Madeira Music Videos & Movies

Madeira Island is the ideal location for music videos and film productions.

Funchal – Old Town (Zona Velha)

Pico Ruivo

Madeira Waters

Various Locations

Mysterious Forest

So Steven Spielberg, Quentin Tarantino, Tim Robbins, Paul Verhoeven, Bernardo Bertolucci, Lynne Ramsay, Lukas Moodysson, David Cronenberg, David Lynch and other filmmakers … come and discover your next film location …. Madeira

Rua de Santa Maria, Funchal

The Old Town (Zona Velha) of Funchal is one of most attractive areas of the city. One can experience the real typical surroundings and local life of the city … taking you back in time to when the first settlement of the island started. One of the romantic narrow cobbled streets that we recommend is Rua de Santa Maria.

Rua de Santa Maria is the oldest street of the city, that was first laid out in 1430 through the neighborhood with the same name Santa Maria Maior. It has access to many old buildings with refurbished facades, which offer a glimpse into the city’s traditional architecture. It is a pleasant street to visit with several restaurants and cafes with typical decors and traditional interiors. Also you will enjoy of the numerous doors and entrances that have been revamped by artists, thanks to the project “Art of Open Doors” (Arte de Portas Abertas).

Protect yourself against the sunrays

Here are a few hints how to protect yourself against the dangerous UVA– and UVB-rays from the sun.

The UV rays emitted by the sun are strongest and most harmful at mid-day, between the hours of 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Calheta SunMost people think that they are well protected against these harmful sunrays by wearing just a T-shirt. Well … they are wrong! Only thick and dark clothing can protect your skin from these UV rays.

Best protection offers among others denim and thick wool. Light clothing of cotton or linen, which are moreover slightly of color, generally offers only moderate protection … which can be compared with a sun lotion factor 10.

Keep a long-sleeved shirt in the trunk of your (rental)car to put on when you go for an unexpected walk, or find yourself without sunscreen.

Of course we all realize that during the (hot) summer days most people will not wear thick trousers and pullovers. Therefore the advice is to use sun blockers and sunscreen lotions. Purchase sunscreen that has at least a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher. Use it liberally, better too have more than less when being exposed to ultraviolet rays. Introduce the creme approximately a half hour before and …. an excessive lubrication of your skin is most worthwhile … even a must. Also a water-based sunscreen lotion is the best option above the other alternatives.

Enjoying the sun on Madeira - photo by sognocaliforniaThe main key to successful protection is reapplying! It might be that you will find no application “rules” on your bottle or that it is in a language you do not understand, but the suggested norm is every couple of hours. If you are sweating or swimming, most recommend reapplying more often.

Buy several smaller tubes of sunscreen, rather than one large tube. Keep one at home, near the front door, and one near the back door for easy access. Keep one in the car and one in your purse or briefcase.

Wear a hat with a wide brim when you are outside. This will protect your head, nose and ears from sun damage, and can also protect you from sunstroke.

For more information about UV Radiation, check also:

Pico Ruivo Time-lapse – Madeira

An excellent (time-lapse) video made by Hugo Câmara (photographer) …. 1862 meters (6107 ft) high above the clouds … Pico Ruivo.

Pico Ruivo, the highest peak on the Madeira Islands, which usually one could reach via Pico do Arieiro (a strenuous hike), but that path is temporary closed due to repair. Advice is to do it from Achada do Teixeira. Contact an official guide and/or Madeira Walking organization for details.