As we left our first destination in Morocco, our next cruise stop was to the port city of Funchal on the Portuguese island of Madeira. Our excursion today included a cable car ride down the mountainside over the city of Funchal, followed by a tour into the interior mountain highlands. Madeira was settled by Portugal in the early 15th century after an accidental discovery by Portuguese ships driven off course during a storm. There is also evidence that the island was visited by the Vikings in the 10th century.
- Largest city: Funchal (111,000 population) / 289,000 population of Madeira
- Self-governing island belonging to Portugal
- 310 square miles of land area
- Highest elevation 6,109 feet
- Discovered by Portugal in 1415
- Location: 280 miles from the African coast & 540 miles from Europe
- Volcanic islands created over 20 million years ago
So, after our stop in Madeira, our next two stops were a little further south in the Canary Islands….