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Madeira is a Portuguese archipelago that lies just under 400 kilometres north of Tenerife, Canary Islands, in the north Atlantic Ocean.
The archipelago comprises the major part of one of the two Autonomous regions of Portugal (the other being the Azores located to the northwest), that includes the islands of Madeira, Porto Santo, and the Desertas, administered together with the separate archipelago of the Savage Islands.
Madeira was discovered by Portuguese sailors in the service of Infante D. Henrique (Henry the Navigator) in 1419, and settled after 1420.
Today, it is a popular year-round resort, being visited every year by about one million tourists, noted for its Madeira wine, flowers, landscapes and embroidery artisans, as well as for its annual New Year celebrations that feature the largest fireworks show in the world, as officially recognised by the Guinness World Records, in 2006. The main harbour in Funchal is the leading Portuguese port in cruise liner dockings, being an important stopover for commercial and trans-Atlantic passenger cruises between Europe, the Caribbean and North Africa.
The island of Madeira is lapped by the waters of the Gulf Stream with warm comfortable summers and mild winters that make it an enchanting holiday destination all year round. Madeira Island is known as the Pearl of the Atlantic.
Tourism is an important sector in the region's economy since it contributes 20% to the region's GDP, providing support throughout the year for commercial, transport and other activities and constituting a significant market for local products. The share in Gross Value Added of hotels and restaurants (9%) also highlights this phenomenon. The island of Porto Santo, with its 9 km (5.6 mi) long beach and its climate, is entirely devoted to tourism. Over the past decade it has recorded a substantial increase in its hotel accommodation capacity.
Book Your Madeira Car Hire AheadWhen planning your holidays in Portugal include your Madeira Car Hire online reservation in your early holiday plans.
Making your Madeira Car Hire reservation ahead you guarantee car hire availability and lower prices and when you arrive your preferred rental car, booked in advance, will be waiting for you at Madeira airport.
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