Machico the oldest settlement area and Madeira´s second largest
town. It lies approximately 10 minutes from the airport and in a
beautiful natural bay.
It is said that Machico had gotten
its name after an Englishman called Robert Machin, who was shipwrecked
here with his mistress in 1344.
Machico was Madeira´s
capital from 1440 – 1496 under Tirstão Vaz Teixeira. Funchal became the
capital when the island was unified and Machico then became a centre
for sugar production and fishing.
The seafront is favored
by most of the tourists however there is a lot of activity around the
Largo Dr António Jardim D´Oliveira (the main cobbled square).
Capela do Milagres is Machico´s holiest building where locals from all
over the island come to celebrate the festival in October. There are
still two of the three forts remaining which were built to protect the
town from marauding pirates in the 18th centaury.
those interested in diving, the coast off Machico is part of a marine
reserve and a popular place for most divers. For some spectacular views
one might want to take a trip up to Pico do Facho where beacons used to
be lit to warn the locals of approaching pirates.