World Heritage #0934 – Laurisilva of Madeira

Last updated Nov 8, 2019 | Published on May 2, 1994Portugal, Southern Europe, World Heritage Sites

The island of Madeira in the Atlantic Ocean is green, humid and lovely. The forest is unique.

The UNESCO World Heritage List includes more than a thousand properties with outstanding universal value. They are all part of the world’s cultural and natural heritage.


Official facts

Country: Portugal

Date of Inscription: 1999

Category: Natural site

UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre’s short description of site no. 934:

“The Laurisilva of Madeira is an outstanding relict of a previously widespread laurel forest type. It is the largest surviving area of laurel forest and is believed to be 90% primary forest. It contains a unique suite of plants and animals, including many endemic species such as the Madeiran long-toed pigeon.”


My visit

A “laurisilva” is a subtropical forest and as such with high humidity and a fairly stable, mild climate. The Portuguese island of Madeira in the Atlantic Ocean has a large biological diversity and makes a wonderful island to visit. We spent a week there in early May, rented a car and drove around the island.

During our stay we walked the levadas (water channels) running across large parts of the island, and we climbed high up in the mountains with scarce vegetation and deep down its lush valleys. We missed the long-toed pigeon, but we experienced a lot of other things. Including British-style afternoon tea at a hotel in Funchal.

Read more about my visit. 

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