Madeira, the Portuguese island in the Atlantic Ocean

Tuesday, 15 March 2011 - 12:37 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, UNESCO World Heritage

Market in Funchal © Hannes Grobe

Market in Funchal © Hannes Grobe

Madeira is a Portuguese archipelago that lies just under 400 km north of Tenerife, Canary Islands, in the north Atlantic Ocean and an outermost region of the European Union. The archipelago comprises one of the two Autonomous regions of Portugal (the other being the Azores located to the northwest), that includes the islands of Madeira, Porto Santo, the Desertas and the Savage Islands. Madeira was re-discovered by Portuguese sailors in the service of Infante D. Henrique (Henry the Navigator) in 1419, and settled after 1420. The archipelago is considered to be the first territorial discovery of the exploratory period of the Portuguese Age of Discovery.

Today, it is a popular year-round resort, being visited every year by about one million tourists, noted for its Madeira wine, flowers, landscapes and embroidery artisans, as well for its annual New Years celebrations that feature a spectacular fireworks show (considered the largest in the world according to the Guinness World Records). The main harbour in Funchal is an important stopover for commercial and trans-Atlantic passenger cruises between Europe, the Caribbean and North America. Madeira is currently the second richest region in Portugal, after Lisbon, with a GDP per capita of 103% of the European average. On 1 July 1976, following the democratic revolution of 1974, Portugal granted political autonomy to Madeira, celebrated on Madeira Day. The region now has its own government and legislative assembly.

Market in Funchal © Hannes Grobe Typical Madeira flowers © Amanda Jonathan & Hannes Grobe Botanical garden with Funchal in the background © Hannes Grobe Camara de Lobos © Markus Bernet Curral das Freiras © Dietrich Bartel Espada with Banana © AngMoKio Ferry between Madeira and Porto Santo Islands © Zarco Forum Madeira Mall in Funchal © Zarco Funchal from Pico da Cruz © Ville Koistinen Japanese stone lanterns in Monte Palace Tropical Garden © Jonathan Grobe & Hannes Grobe Lavradores Market © Luke H Gordon Machico and Santa Catarina Airport © Kogo Machico © Karl Gruber Monte Palace Tropical Garden © Wouter Hagens Monte Palace Tropical Garden © Wouter Hagens Pilgrimage church Nossa Senhora do Monte © Kogo Ponta do Sol © XinuXano Porto Moniz © Kogo Porto Santo and Vila Baleira © Bem bom Roman Catholic Cathedral of Funchal © Lacobrigo Statue of João Gonçalves Zarco in Funchal © Rei-artur Sunrise showing the distant Desertas Islands © Félix Potuit Traditional Madeira cottage in Santana © Lacobrigo
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Japanese stone lanterns in Monte Palace Tropical Garden © Jonathan Grobe & Hannes Grobe
The setting-up of the Free trade zone has led to the installation, under more favourable conditions, of infrastructure, production shops and essential services for small and medium-sized industrial enterprises. The Free Zone of Madeira, also called the Madeira International Business Centre, being a tax-privileged economic area, provides an incentive for companies, offering them financial and tax advantages via a whole range of activities exercised in the Industrial Free Zone, the Off-Shore Financial Centre, the International Shipping Register organisation, and the International Service Centre. The services sector makes the largest contribution to the formation of the regional gross value added as opposed to the agricultural sector, for which the share has continuously declined in the regional economy. Over the last few years, the regional economy has managed to open up and establish more internal and external competitiveness, so that its companies have become competitive internationally. The largest industries are by sector food, beverages (especially Madeira wine), and construction.

To inform you about latest news most of the city, town or tourism websites offer a newsletter service and/or operate Facepage pages/Twitter accounts. Read more on madeira-tourist.com and Wikipedia Madeira. Learn more about the use of photos.





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