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Madeira Holidays

Book flights, hotels and holidays to Madeira online

You can book your Madeira holiday online by simply choosing from our huge range of flights and hotels to create your own unique arrangement. By booking with Unwind Worldwide you can be asssured that our Madeira holidays represent excellent value for money. We pride ourselves in sourcing the cheapest offers on the best flights and hotels.

Booking a holiday to Madeira online is simple, safe and secure. However, should you have any questions, our Reservations Team are always are on hand to help you book your ideal holiday to Madeira. You can contact our team via LiveHelp or by telephoning 0844 875 4010.

Madeira Travel Guide

Madeira is a sub–tropical archipelago located in the Atlantic Ocean and an autonomous region of Portugal. The archipelago is made up of two populated islands, Madeira and Porto Santo, and two groups of unpopulated islands called the Desertas and Selvagens Islands. It is part of the European Union ultraperifric area.

The archipelago of Madeira is located 520 km (323.11 mi) from the African coast and 1,000 km (621.37 mi) from the European continent. The archipelago itself is a series of oceanic volcanic islands that date back to the Miocene (about 20 million years ago), and constructed from a hotspot in the Earth's crust of the African Tectonic Plate. Madeira, and the smaller Desertas Islands, are the youngest of these islands (dating from 4.6 to 0.7 million years), while Porto Santo, the smaller of the main islands, is the oldest (approximately 14 million years).

Madeira Islands, known worldwide as the Islands of eternal spring, are just a short trip from Europe (more or less 4 hours from UK), to a destination where you can combine holidays on the beach, in the mountains or in the city and offers a mild climate throughout the entire year. Discovered early in the 15th century by the Portuguese navigators Joo Gonalves Zarco, Tristo Vaz Teixeira and Bartolomeu Perestrelo, Madeira is an autonomous region of Portugal.

Today, Madeira is a popular year–round resort for tourists of all ages, 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 the largest fireworks show in the world. Its constant mild climate (temperatures between 20 and 27C) keeps the spring on Madeira all year round. The levadas, an ingenious system of stone– and concrete–lined watercourses distributing water from the rainy north to the dry south, help flowers and crops flourish all year. That's why this island is called the Garden in the Atlantic. The maintenance pathways for these water canals provide wonderful level trails for hiking in the mountains (up to 1861m) and through the tremendous landscape.

Unfortunately, Madeira was hit by several catastrophes in 2010: in February heavy rainfall inundated parts of the island and caused destructive floods in river valleys on the south coast of the island, chiefly in Funchal, Ribeira Brava and Tabua. Reconstruction work of lost bridges and roads has now been largely completed, but the legacy of major forest fires in August of that year is likely to last longer, and some upper mountain footpaths in the east of the island remain closed or interrupted. Further floods in the 'Nuns' Valley' in October 2010 caused more damage to infrastructure, but this has been repaired. Despite all this, the authorities and locals have been hard at work ensuring that Madeira's tourism infrastructure has returned largely back to normal, and there is still plenty to see and do on Madeira!

Madeira Wine

It would be difficult not to mention Madeira Wine, given its worldwide popularity. Madeira is a fortified Portuguese wine, produced in the Madeira Islands; varieties may be sweet or dry. It has a history dating back to the Age of Exploration when Madeira was a standard port of call for ships heading to the New World or East Indies. To prevent the wine from spoiling, neutral grape spirits were added. However, wine producers of Madeira discovered, when an unsold shipment of wine returned to the islands after a round trip, that the flavour of the wine had been transformed by exposure to heat and movement. Today, Madeira is noted for its unique winemaking process which involves heating the wine and deliberately exposing the wine to some levels of oxidation.[50] Most countries limit the use of the term Madeira or Madre to only those wines that come from the Madeira Islands, to which the European Union grants Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status

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