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Madeira, aptly named the floating garden, is known for its many tropical flowers, mild climate and famous Garajau Marine Nature Reserve.

Inserted/Added by: lars, © Author: Lars Hemel

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Madeira is a nice mountainous island in the northern Atlantic Ocean known for its mild climate and its many subtropical flowers and plants, suitably nicknamed the floating garden. The capital Funchal is a five century old Portuguese town with picturesque buildings, breathtaking views on the coast and the historic Sé Cathedral. Activities such as surfing, scuba diving, snorkeling, mountain biking, island tours, boating and guided walks are popular among tourists. Besides Funchal, villages like Porto Moniz, Ribeira Brava, Curral das Freiras and Santana cater well for tourists.

Excellent tracks, gorges and nature paths are found inside the Funchal Ecological Park (Ecologico do Funchal) and Cold River (Natural de Ribeiro Frio). The Funchal Passenger Ropeway is a popular gondola lift to enter the suburb Monte in Funchal. Villa Echium, near the Garajau Marine Nature Reserve, is an old time favorite with loads of holiday homes for upper class tourists coming from all across the world. Scuba diving is especially popular inside Madeira's Garajau Marine Nature Reserve just southeast of Funchal and Rocha do Navio on the north coast. Here, fishing and hunting is forbidden, which has resulted in a very rich underwater marine world. The Gulf Stream provides for warm waters between 17 and 24 degrees Celsius, a rocky shore with dive sites that are best accessible by boat and a fish species such as mobula rays, groupers and Mediterranean moray eels.

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