World Heritage #0934 – Madeira

Last modified 07.05.2023 | Published 02.05.1994Portugal, Southern Europe, World Heritage Sites

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

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

  • Full name of site: Laurisilva of Madeira
  • 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.

It goes without saying, but we did taste several varieties of Madeira wine.

Read more about my visit. 

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