From sugarcane plantations, vineyards and banana exports to powerful energy factories: Madeira’s natural treasures

Geographically located two times closer to Africa than to Europe (about 1000 km of the closest cost) Madeira island was probably one of the legendary Fortunate isles mentioned for the first time in Plutarch’s “Parallel lives”..

Officially discovered and settled during 15th century, the island quickly became known for the production of sugar cane. Madeira was attracting adventurers and merchants from all parts of Europe and the city of Funchal became a mandatory port of call for European trade routes.

During the 17th century when sugar production has been moved to Brasil, Madeira’s started the tradition of wine, that last until today.

Approximately 85% of Madeira is produced with the red grape, negra mole.. 

There are all different tastes available, from variety of dry to very sweet style.

What makes the Madeira the most original is probably the way it is made. Usually the wine is heated and cooled dozens of times throughout the aging process and it’s also exposed to oxygen (!)


If you decide to visit the island Madeira, you can certainly have a walk on the Banana road (Rota da Banana, near to Madalena do Mar). According to the history, it is thank to Portuguese sailors that bananas have been brought to Europe from West Africa in the early fifteenth century. As Madeira was from the beginning under Portugal governance, the plantation of the fruits came here very quickly. However, with almost 20 000 tonnes per year, bananas became one of the biggest island’s revenue only during the 20th century.

Due to the climate and natural water resources, the government of Portugal is investing in hydrological factories on the island. While the production in winter and spring is almost maximum, there is a big decrease during summer months, compensated by increased wind power. (source)

Most parts of Madeira receive on average 300 days of sunshine a year, which makes the Island a promising location for solar energy utilization.

In fact, the production of electricity from renewable sources on the island has reached almost 40 pourcent in 2021.

Next article soon:

Pico Ruivio, a journey above the clouds & other surprises on Madeira

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