Madeira UNESCO World Heritage Site

Laurel forest “Laurisilva” from Madeira
Madeira belongs to Portugal. Madeira’s laurel forest covers an area of ​​approx. 150 km². It can be found on the north side of the island at altitudes between around 300 and 1,300 m and on the south side between 700 and 1,200 m. Since the humid air of the Atlantic doesn’t beat itself on the slopes, the forests are very humid. The typical trees in the Lobeerwald are the Madeira laurel, the Azores laurel, the Barbusano, the Canary holly, the tree heather, the Madeira elder and the silver laurel.
In 1999, the Laurisilva Forest was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Cities and towns in Madeira

Camara de Lobos
Camara de Lobos, with a population of around 5,000, is a small fishing village and offers a delightful backdrop. The place was founded in 1420 and is one of the oldest settlements in Madeira. In 1996 it received city status.

Calheta, with a population of around 5,500, is located in the southwest of the island. The city is one of the oldest settlements on the island, the place received city charter as early as 1502 and was for a long time the center of sugar cane cultivation.

Camacha, with a population of about 6,300, is located in the eastern part of the island. The city is the center of basket weaving. The trade dates back to the 16th century and has always been the main source of income for the city’s residents.

Funchal with around 103,000 residents is the capital and administrative center of Madeira. The city is located on the south coast of the island and rises up to 1,200 m on the slopes of a mountain range. About half of Madeira’s residents live in Funchal. The city is also a trading and banking center, the seat of the university and a Roman Catholic bishop.

Machico with around 12,000 residents is the second largest settlement on the island. In addition to the fishing port, the city has a Madeira embroidery school. From 1440 Machico was the capital of the eastern part of the island, but quickly lost its importance after the founding of Funchal.

Monte with around 9,000 residents has long been a popular climatic health resort. Today there are numerous villas and hotels that are among the best on the island.

Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz with around 10,000 residents is an old fishing village on the southeast coast of Madeira. The picturesque promenade with the colorful ships is 4 km long.

Sao Vicente
Sao Vicente with around 6,000 residents is located on the north coast of the island. The city is surrounded by high mountain ranges and is therefore the starting point for mountaineers and hikers. In the eighties of the last century, the small town received a monument protection award for its beautiful cityscape.

Special buildings

Praca do Municipio
The Praca do Municipio in Funchal is a beautiful square surrounded by baroque buildings. On the east side of the square is the town hall, which was built in 1758.

Hotel in the former country house Quinta Splendida
The hotel in the former country house Quinta Splendida includes a very nice gourmet restaurant and is surrounded by a beautiful park.

Madeira Wine Company
The Madeira Wine Company is located in Funchal in a former Franciscan monastery. It is the oldest and most important winery on the island.

Mercado dos Lavradores market hall The Mercado dos Lavradores
market hall in Funchal is decorated with blue and white tiles and shows images from everyday market life.

Technical buildings

Cable car between Funchal and Monte
The cable car between Funchal and Monte offers a very nice view over Funchal and the landscape.

Ponta de Sao Jorge
From the Ponta de Sao Jorge in Sao Jorge, a bridge jutting out into the sea, one has a beautiful view of the sea.


Museu de Arte Contemporanea
The Museu de Arte Contemporanea in Funchal is housed in an old house from 1614 in the city’s harbor bay.

University of Madeira
The University of Madeira is located in a former 17th century Jesuit convent in Funchal.

Seo de Arte Sacra
The Museo de Arte Sacra in Funchal is located in the former episcopal palace on Praca do Municipio and shows sacred works of art.

Museo Photographia Vicentes
The Museo Photographia Vicentes in Funchal shows Portugal’s first photo studio from 1848.

Casa-Museu Frederico de Freitas
The Casa-Museu Frederico de Freitas in Funchal displays furniture, paintings and handicrafts.

Museu Etnografico
The Museu Etnografico in Ribeira Brava gives an overview of the history of Madeira.


Parish Church in Calheta
The parish church in Calheta was built in 1430, but rebuilt in 1639. In the choir you can admire an artistically crafted wooden ceiling.

Sé Gothic Cathedral The Sé
Gothic Cathedral in Funchal dates back to 1514 and was the first Portuguese cathedral to be consecrated outside of Portugal.

Santa Clara Monastery The Santa Clara
Monastery in Funchal was founded in the 15th century and houses the remains of the island explorer.

Parish Church of Nossa Senhora da Conceicao
The parish church of Nossa Senhora da Conceicao in Machico was built in the 15th century. The portals, altars and the painted wooden ceiling are worth seeing.

Pilgrimage Church of Nossa Senhora do Monte
The pilgrimage church of Nossa Senhora do Monte in Monte was rebuilt in Baroque style in 1818 after an earthquake in the 18th century.

Capela do Bom Jesus
The Capela do Bom Jesus in Ponta Delgada has a beautifully painted church ceiling and the remainder of a half-burned cross that is venerated by the population.

Igreja de Sao Bento
church The Igreja de Sao Bento church in Ribeira Brava dates from the 16th century. The top of the church tower is decorated with white and blue tiles. Inside you can see an old baptismal font and a beautiful pulpit.

Parish Church Igreja de Sao Salvador
the parish church Igreja de Sao Salvador in Santa Cruz is a three-aisled church from the year 1533. The portal and the windows are worth seeing

Natural beauties

Porto Santo
The island belonging to Madeira is approx. Km away from Madeira. It is famous for its wonderful, wide sandy beaches, such as the 9 km long Campo de Baixo. The island covers an area of ​​around 42 km² – with around 4,500 residents. The highest point on the island is the 517 m high Pico do Facho.

Mountain Pico da Torre
The mountain Pico da Torre near Camara offers a beautiful view over the city.

Cabo Girao near Estreito de Camara
One of the highest cliffs in Europe is the Cabo Girao near Estreito de Camara with a height of 580 m.

Santa Catarina Park The Santa Catarina
Park in Funchal was laid out in the middle of the 20th century and offers a beautiful view over the city’s harbor.

Botanical Garden
The Botanical Garden near Funchal is home to many exotic and native plants as well as a small natural history museum.

Mountain Pico do Facho
The mountain Pico do Facho offers a very nice view over Machico.

J ardim Tropical Monte Palace
The Jardim Tropical Monte Palace in Monte is a very beautiful park that houses a museum for porcelain and mineralogy.

Pico Ruivo
Madeira’s highest mountain, Pico Ruivo, rises above the island in reddish rock.

Water basins made of lava rock
In Porto Moniz you can bathe in naturally created water basins made of lava rock, which are connected to the sea.

Parque Florestal nature reserve The Parque Florestal
nature reserve protects a laurel forest and other rare plants.

Grottoes Grutas de Sao Vicente
The grottos Grutas de Sao Vicente in Sao Vicente were created by the lava flows around 400,000 years ago. There are guided tours through the grottoes.

Ports in Madeira

Port of Funchal
The small port of Funchal only offers space for smaller ships. Unfortunately, the port is repeatedly heavily contaminated with oil and other fuels, so that one does not like to stay here because of the smell and longer.

Port in Camara
The port in Camara with the small boats offers a very nice backdrop. Winston Churchill already sat there to paint

Ports in Madeira