From The Madeira Island Web Site

Machico
Machico - A Short Introduction
By Madeira Online Editorial Staff
Apr 29, 2007 - 3:36:02 PM

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).

The 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.

For 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.















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