Madeira (//, US also /--/ -DAIR-, Portuguese: [mɐˈðejɾɐ, -ˈðɐj-]), officially the Autonomous Region of Madeira (Portuguese: Região Autónoma da Madeira), is one of two autonomous regions of Portugal, the other being the Azores. It is an archipelago situated in the North Atlantic Ocean, in a region known as Macaronesia, just under 400 kilometres (250 mi) to the north of the Canary Islands and 520 kilometres (320 mi) west of the Kingdom of Morocco. Madeira is geologically located on the African Tectonic Plate, although its people are descended from Portuguese settlers. Its population was 251,060 in 2021. The capital of Madeira is Funchal, which is located on the main island's south coast.
|Autonomous Region of Madeira|
Região Autónoma da Madeira (Portuguese)
Pearl of the Atlantic
Das Ilhas as Mais Belas e Livres
(English: "Of all islands, the most beautiful and free")
|Anthem: Hino da Região Autónoma da Madeira|
(English: "Anthem of the Autonomous Region of Madeira")
|Autonomous status||30 April 1976|
|Named for||English: wood (Portuguese: madeira)|
|Demonym(s)||English: Madeiran (Portuguese: Madeirense)|
• Representative of the Republic
• President of the Legislative Assembly
|José Manuel Rodrigues|
|National and European representation|
|6 MPs (of 230)|
|2 MEP (of 21 Portuguese seats)|
|801 km2 (309 sq mi)|
|Highest elevation||1,861 m (6,106 ft)|
|Lowest elevation||0 m (0 ft)|
• 2021 census
|313/km2 (810.7/sq mi)|
|GDP (nominal)||2023 (Fitch) estimate|
• Per capita
|Currency||Euro (€) (EUR)|
|Time zone||UTC±00:00 (WET)|
• Summer (DST)
|Date format||dd/mm/yyyy (CE)|
|Calling code||+351 (291)|
|ISO 3166 code||PT-30|
The archipelago includes the islands of Madeira, Porto Santo, and the Desertas, administered together with the separate archipelago of the Savage Islands. Roughly half of the region's population lives in Funchal. The region has political and administrative autonomy through the Administrative Political Statute of the Autonomous Region of Madeira provided for in the Portuguese Constitution. The autonomous region is an integral part of the European Union as an outermost region. Madeira generally has a very mild and moderate subtropical climate with mediterranean summer droughts and winter rain. Many microclimates are found at different elevations.
Madeira, originally uninhabited, was claimed by Portuguese sailors in the service of Prince Henry the Navigator in 1419 and settled after 1420. The archipelago is considered to be the first territorial discovery of the exploratory period of the Age of Discovery.
Madeira is a popular year-round resort, particularly for fellow Portuguese, but also British (148,000 visits in 2021), and Germans (113,000). It is by far the most populous and densely populated Portuguese island. The region is noted for its Madeira wine, flora, fauna, with its pre-historic laurel forest classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The main harbour in Funchal has long been the leading Portuguese port in cruise liner dockings, an important stopover for Atlantic passenger cruises between Europe, the Caribbean and North Africa. In addition, the International Business Centre of Madeira, also known as the Madeira Free Trade Zone, was created formally in the 1980s as a tool of regional economic policy. It consists of a set of incentives, mainly tax-related, granted with the objective of attracting foreign direct investment based on international services into Madeira.