Favorite thing: In the north of the island,many of the original dense laurel woods can still be seen, although interspersed here and there are junipers together with tree ferns, tree heaths, chestnuts and cedars up to 30m(100ft) in height. On the south of the island the woodlands are less dense due to the lower rainfall levels and, in many places, forest has given way to agricultural land. Oak, spruce, larch, beech and parasol pine flourish as well as one or two dragon trees.
Favorite thing: Madeira enjoys a favourable climate and particularly in spring and autumn, visitors to the island will discover a blaze of colour. Just take a look around: bougainvillea in all their colours, freesias, geraniums, bright red poinsettias, jasmine, amaryllis, lilies, olive green aloes, gladioli, begonia, chrysanthemum, antirrhinums and marigolds, hyacinths,violets, magnolia, camellia and the finest orchids, probably the best known.
Favorite thing: The Laurissilva forest occupies a coastal strip from 300 to 1300 metres above sea level, and plays a crucial role in soil preservation and the capture and filtration of rainfall on the island. Considered a living relic, almost all of it has been classified as part of the Madeira Nature Reserve, and is deemed a Total Preservation Area.
This is a unique rarity which has not yet been entirely quantified. It was awarded the distinction of UNESCO World Natural Heritage, on the 2nd December, 1999.This new position of the Region in relation to the rest of the world, enables it to be seen for its true and specific value, as a biocultural heritage for all humanity
Favorite thing: Running high above the valley floor, these small channels were built to bring water from the rainy North to the easier farmable, but drier, South. Today, part of the 2,150km long system is also used for hydroelectric plants. The maintainance paths running along the levadas are great for hiking, and come in all varieties. Some are paths through woods and fields, and sometimes you have to walk on the wall which makes up the levada, when it passes a rock wall. But almost all of them keep about the same height.
Pride of Madeira
Favorite thing: Madeira viper's bugloss (Pride of Madeira) with it first reddish, then blue flowers is frequently to be seen growing alongside footpaths and levadas. It's the symbol of Madeira forest.