07 Jul 2016 5529
Sofia Vasconcelos {Local Blogger} From Madeira to Mars
#nature

The best-kept secrets of Madeira’s nature

We finally met ‘mother’ nature, Madeira’s nature.

She is beautiful - it’s a fact.

She’s got that natural "look" enlightened by the sun. It’s love at first sight.

However, like all beautiful women, she has beauty secrets that are not known to everyone.

Join us to discover the best kept secrets of Madeira’s nature:

Madeira was born after several volcanic eruptions. The last eruption occurred only about 6,000 years ago. Its relative youth is visible in its fertilized soils, enriched by volcanic ashes and a lush nature. In some areas of Madeira you can even identify parts of a volcanic cone. This is the case of the ‘Sra da Piedade Peak’, in Ponta de São Lourenço.

Enjoy the volcanic sceneries.

About 20% of Madeira’s surface is covered by the Laurissilva forest, recognized by UNESCO as Natural World Heritage site. This forest is not only a rarity in the world (it became extinct in Continental Europe during the Ice Age) but has also purifies the air, releasing the toxins accumulated on your body. This environmental quality is visible through several lichens and some forms of excessive growth in plants (gigantism) which are abundant in this forest.

Go for a walk in these ancient forests and breath in the purest freshest air known to mother earth.

Madeira "drinks lots of water”.

I mean there’s water everywhere, from the mountains to the sea.

To take advantage of the water collected in the mountains, through waterfalls and fountains, man built irrigation canals which are called ‘levadas’. These canals collect and drive water to several parts of the island, to feed agricultural crops and also produce energy. These streams are the lifeline, the arteries of this island.

Walk along the ‘levadas’ and admire amazing landscapes , blessed by its water.

Madeira has a mild and therapeutic climate. It is located about 700 km from the African coast and is influenced by the Gulf Stream. Seawater offers temperatures of around 22 ° C in summer and 18º C in the winter. By staying in The Cliff Bay hotel you have direct access to the sea.

Swim in the warm waters of Madeira.

In Madeira, the prevailing wind blows from the northeast. This offers the south coast of the island warmer temperatures sheltered by the steep mountains of the north.

Drive south to north coast of the island and be amazed with its contrasting, diverse landscapes.

The capital of Madeira- Funchal, owes its name to the abundance of fennel. This plant, common in coastal areas, has an aroma of anise and is used for cooking purposes. The tea made from fennel, according to Madeiran popular medicine is beneficial in the treatment of respiratory diseases. It is also the main ingredient for the popular fennel candies. - Have you tried this?

Located at 475 meters of altitude, ​​the Lameiros area of Madeira has fossil crustaceans and other forms of marine life, which prove that this area was once submerged.

Visit the lime route in São Vicente and find out more about the geology of Madeira.

Madeira has 4 species of endemic birds. They are the Zino's Petrel, the Trocaz Pigeon, the Bugio's Petrel (which makes their nests in the Bugio, one of the three Desertas islands) and Bis-Bis, the smallest bird of the island.

Take your binoculars to the mountains of Madeira. Watch and listen to the birds singing.

Madeira has a fabulous marine biodiversity. Thanks to its volcanic origin and the proximity with maritime Gulf Stream, the marine fauna and flora is really diverse and interesting. By diving in Madeira you can see anemones, corals, groupers, moray eels and even rays. In the nature reserve of the Desertas islands, you can seek the last refuge of Monk seals in the Atlantic Ocean.

Take a guided tour to Desertas islands and learn about the conservation of this endangered species.

Madeira is decorated with endemic flowers. The "Massaroco” (Pride of Madeira) has bright blue colours and can be seen from April to August. The Orchid of Madeira has a beautiful pink color which will surprise you along the ‘levadas’. In the gardens of Vila Porto Mare Hotel, you can find several species of endemic plants of Madeira.

Enjoy the exclusivity.

Another key thing to remember, agriculture in Madeira produces various fruits, rich in vitamins and anti-cancer qualities. Grapes, for example, besides producing sublime Madeira wine, have an antioxidant role.

Let’s make a toast to the benefits of Madeira’s Nature. Cheers!

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