"Madeira is a unique Island of green mountains and flowers, it is situated in the Atlantic Ocean approx 564 Kilometers off the West Coast of Africa, north of the Canary Islands. The highest point is 1,862 metres at Pico Ruivo and it is approximately 57km long and 22km wide. With a total population of some 300,000, over half of the which live in the capital Funchal.
The largest of a group of five islands formed by volcanic eruption, Madeira is in fact, the summit of a mountain range rising four miles from the sea bed. Most other islands formed this way are barren but Madeira is lush and verdant, boasting rich agricultural resources. Indeed, being such a mountainous area, the island can have a moderate level of rainfall. However, the rain, particularly in the summer months, is usually in short sharp bursts.
The climate in Madeira is considered to be one of the best in the world. Because of it's privileged geographical position and mountainous relief, it has a surprisingly mild climate all year round. The warm summer temperatures and mild winter temperatures, combine with the moderate levels of rainfall and humidity to give Madeira exceptional subtropical features. The seawater temperature is also very mild, because of the influence of the warm Gulf current, presenting averages of 22c in the summer and 18c in the winter".