The island of Madeira has a surface area of 459 square miles (741 km2), (35 miles long and 13 miles wide).
Thanks to their excellent geographical location and mountainous relief, these islands have surprisingly balmy weather, with moderate humidity and pleasant average temperatures of 25ºC in the summer and 17ºC in the winter.
The sea temperature is also very mild, thanks to the influence of the warm Gulf Stream, averaging 22ºC in the summer and 18ºC in the winter.
The archipelago is located in the African Plate in the Atlantic Ocean between latitude 30 ° and 33 °N, basically at the same latitude as Casablanca, at about 1000 km southwest of Lisbon, about 500 km west of the African coast, and 450 km north of the Canary Islands.
This archipelago is formed by the Madeira Island with an area of 741 km², Porto Santo with 42.5 km², the Desertas Islands with a total of 14.2 km² comprising the three uninhabited islands, and by the Selvagens Islands whose set of 2 islands and sixteen uninhabited islets make up an area of 3.6 km².
Of the eight islands, only the two largest (Madeira and Porto Santo) are inhabited and can be accessed via the Madeira Airport in Funchal and Porto Santo Airport.
Funchal, the capital of the Archipelago of Madeira, is acessible by sea, featuring a port with a modern station that stands out on the national scene.
About cruising, more than half a million passengers disembark here per year. The remaining islands are nature reserves.
For hundreds of years, Funchal was the only city of the Autonomous Region of Madeira, until 5 other cities gained this status between the end of the twentieth century and the beginning of the next century: Câmara de Lobos, Santa Cruz, Machico, Santana and Vila Baleira.
The island of Madeira has a very rugged terrain, with the highest point being Pico Ruivo (1,862 m), the Pico das Torres (1,851 m) and Pico do Arieiro (1,818 m), respectively the third, fourth and fifth highest points of Portugal.
The northern coast is dominated by high cliffs and in the western part of the island you find the only plateau in the island, the Paul da Serra with altitudes between 1,300 and 1,500 m.
The Autonomous Region of Madeira has about 270,000 inhabitants and a population density of 267,785 inhab./Km².
In spite of this population density being higher than the national average, 75% of the population of Madeira dwells in only 35% of the territory, mainly on the south coast.
This is where Funchal, capital of Madeira, is located which includes 45% of the population (130,000 inhabitants), with a population of 1,500 inhab./Km². It is here that most of the hotels are located.