From The Madeira Island Web Site
is situated in the
North Atlantic, some 550
kilometres (340 miles) from Essaouira (also called Mogador in older - especially
Portuguese - texts) the nearest point on the African coast. It is 2140
kilometres (1330 miles) from Southampton and 860 kilometres (535 miles) from
mainland Portugal and approximately 1000 kilometres from the capital Lisbon. Interestingly
enough, the distance to
mainland Portugal is about the same
Santa Maria in the
(the other major archipelago and autonomous region) under the Portuguese flag.
The Geography of the Island of Madeira
By Jorge Barbosa
Apr 22, 2007 - 9:56:07 PM
The island of Madeira
should not be confused with the archipelago of Madeira, which is constituted
not only of the principal island of Madeira itself but also the only other
inhabited island of Porto Santo and a further two sets of uninhabited islands
called the Desertas (the “deserted” islands) some 16 kilometres south-east of the main island and the Selvagens (the “savage” or
“wild” islands) some 216 kilometres south.
lies between the parallels of 32º 49’ 44’’ and 32º 37’ 18’’ north latitude, and
between longitude of 16º 39’ 30’’ and 17º 16’ 38’’ west of
Greenwich. The island’s orientation is
principally developed along a WNW to ESE direction. By great fortuitousness
this orientation falls along the more expansive and most pleasantly liveable
part of the coast of
’s length is 58 kilometres (36
miles) in length from the point where sits the lighthouse at
Ponta do Pargo to
Ponta do Barlavento. It is 23 kilometres (14 miles) wide, measured
from Ponta da Cruz to Ponta de São Jorge.
coastline has a total length of 153 kilometres (95 miles) which circumscribes
an area of 737 square kilometres (458 square miles).
terrain structure of Madeira may be described as a mountain chain or ridge stretching
roughly east and west, forming the backbone of the Island. This mountain chain,
interrupted only by the former volcano and crater hole of “
Curral das Freiras”, throws off lateral spurs, between which are
great ravines running north and south, which terminate in mighty precipices and
awesome sea-cliffs. Several of the central peaks reach a height of
approximately 1800 metres (6000 feet), or a little less, forming a jagged and
broken outline which is singularly impressive and picturesque.
Some interesting facts:
Mount Carmel (
U.S.A.) are all on the same
Bermuda is very nearly on the same parallel as
and Marrakech (
are only about one degree further south.
Madeira is about 400 kilometres (250 miles)
from Tenerife (Canary Islands,
The "Selvagens" islands are closer to the Canary Islands than it is to Madeira Island itself.
The island of Madeira is about the same size as Singapore. But unlike Singapore a journey around the island will take more than half a day by car due to the irregular and winding roads along craggy and steep hills. In Singapore it takes an hour to do the same.
© Copyright 2007 by The Madeira Island Web Site