The excitement that you’ll feel on discovering Madeira just cannot be matched. Five hundred years of history are spread throughout its many streets and lanes which are flanked by buildings that are almost as old as the island itself.
As far as the island’s historical heritage is concerned, there are various places of interest, especially museums, churches, chapels and fortresses, mainly in the city of Funchal. Amongst other places meriting a visit are the Palácio de São Lourenço, the Fortaleza do Pico, the Igreja da Sé, the Igreja do Colégio (also known as the Igreja dos Jesuítas), the Convento de Santa Clara, the Forte de São Tiago and the Municipal Market. As you travel around the island, you will have no difficulty finding statues erected in honour of different historical figures, such as Christopher Columbus and the discoverer of Madeira João Gonçalves Zarco.
The island’s architectural heritage is also an important part of the region’s supply of tourist accommodation. You can stay in one of Madeira’s famous quintas, country estates that were formerly the residences of princes and aristocrats, or perhaps you might prefer to stay in one of the old manor-houses.
In either case, make sure to appreciate the charm of these buildings and learn all about their history, discovering the centuries-old habits and traditions of the local population.