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Madeira, discovered in 1419 by Portugese navigators is an archipelago of volcanic origin. It consists of the island of Madeira (the largest and most populated with its capital in Funchal,Porto Santo and two groups of uninhabited islands - the Desertas and the Selvagens (bird sanctuaries). Madeira's mild climate (between 16ºC and 25ºC) and legendary natural beauty make this a remarkable holiday destination. The island is served by weekly direct flight from Dublin by SATA Airlines from April 1st.
On their own, the meandering roads of Madeira are a sight to see, as one wanders amongst trees, belvederes and waterfalls. From the sea, Madeira offers an unforgettable sight. The mountains dropping straight into the valleys, the dense vegitation growing on mountain terraces, split by steep cliffs and dotted white houses. The beautiful assortment of flowers and tropical fruits, mild temperature of the ocean water and natural pools, a wealthy cultural heritage, luxurious hotels and Funchal's cosmoploitan life are but a few of the available charms found here. For all flower/vegetation lovers don’t miss out on a visit to the Botanical Gardens
The Flower Festival, that takes place in spring (usually mid April) when the flowers are at their best, has been one of the major attractions for both tourists and locals for a long time. This enchanting festival with a parade and floats through the streets of Funchal exhibits and perfumes the air with a multiplicity of floral species of the island, spreading a fairy tale ambiance all over the city centre. In every year’s edition each group presents their costumes accompanied with dances to a newly conceived choreography. Madeira is also famous for its renowned wine which is known worldwide.
From 1st to 30th June
The Atlantic Festival is an important event that combines entertainment and culture. It has three components: the Madeira Music Festival, the International Fireworks Competition and performances by philharmonic bands in the city centre.
During this festival classical music performances are held in the city centre, Teatro Municipal Balthazar Dias and within some churches.
It has been further enhanced by the recent introduction of the International Fireworks Competition in which contestants organise firework displays to accompany the music on Saturdays