Forming an archipelago compromising of Madeira’s main isle, Porto Santo and a further three uninhabited islands, the collectively named Madeira, was originally formed by a volcanic eruption. This tiny idyllic haven, situated five-hundred miles off the southwest coast of Portugal, is actually the summit of a gargantuan undersea volcanic mountain – submerged shyly in the deepest part of the Atlantic Ocean with an above-water peak that only spreads thirteen miles wide and thirty-five miles long. The terrain is a rugged rock formation comprising of deep, eroded lava gorges all running down to the sea, steep cliff faces that include one of the world’s highest ocean cliffs (at 589 metres high it is an impressive, but steep drop), a lush vegetative interior and an abundance of agriculture.
In fact, the capital city of Funchal is connected to the town of Monte by a cable-car system, originally constructed for farmers transporting their freshly harvested crops and it still boasts glorious panoramic views of Madeira’s coast and Funchal Bay. On return, it is an absolute must to experience Madeira’s dry-land toboggan rides, travelling through the narrow streets at top speeds, old-fashioned wicker toboggans are pushed by two Madeirense runners dressed in traditional attire; a visit to Madeira wouldn’t be complete without experiencing this exhilarating trip.