Madeira: Geography

Scenic mountainous landscapes, stunning wildlife and fabulous food

Madeira Geography

The Madeira Archipelago includes two inhabited islands (Madeira and Porto Santo).

Madeira lies about 360 miles (580 km) from Africa and 535 miles (861 km) from Lisbon, but despite being closer to Africa, Madeira is a part of Portugal. The largest island is Madeira Island, which is 30x13 miles (57kmx22km). Along Madeira’s middle lies a mountain chain, from which deep ravines radiate outward to the Madeira coast. Madeira gained its name from the Portuguese word for wood, thanks to the laurisilva subtropical rainforest, which once covered the whole island. It now exists in the northern valleys only, and has been designated a World Heritage Site.