The Madeira Archipelago, situated on the Atlantic Ocean at about 1000km distance from Continental Portugal, is composed by the Madeira Island, by the Porto Santo Island, also known as the Golden Island, by the three uninhabitable Desert Islands and also by the natural reserve of the “Selvagens” (Wild) Islands.
This territory was once known by Romans and Phoenicians, yet the official discovery was in 1418, first with the Porto Santo island by the navigators João Gonçalves Zarco and Tristão Vaz Teixeira, and on the year after the Madeira Island, by João Gonçalves Zarco and Bartolomeu Perestrelo. The initial plan was about exploring the western coast of Africa, yet due to a storm, the navigators had to shove off the initial route, which lead them to discover the golden Porto Santo Island. The colonization started straight ahead, and century after century transformed this archipelago in one of the biggest Portuguese touristic spots.
The archipelago is famous for its great temperatures, with a very mild weather, where it seems to be spring all year long, and famous for its luxuriant vegetation. Hence, Madeira is often known as “Atlantic Pearl” or “Atlantic Garden”. Porto Santo, or the golden island, is a calm and relaxing destination, famous for its nice beach, in an arid yet lovely landscape, Many other pleasant features, such as great infra-structures and services, modern accesses, a rich heritage, a strong tradition or the beautiful panoramas, make of Madeira a perfect tourist destination all year long.